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Jack-boot planning coming to Victoria - Time to Protest is NOW

A citizen's Red Alert on the three new State residential zones in Victoria has been issued at The situation is critical. If these zones go ahead as is, you stand to lose your rights to know what happens where you live, potentially leaving you absolutely powerless, legally prohibited from being able to do anything about, or even being notified of, a development or subdivision proposal in your area. In other words, residents are being shut out of planning.

We are losing all our democracy and all our rights.

Victorians need to put in a submission even if it’s just a single sentence saying that these zones and their removal of residents’ rights to know about, to object to and to appeal at VCAT against development and subdivision proposals in residential zones ISN’T ON. And it really is a matter of speak now, or forever hold your peace. If someone thinks proposals comply with ResCode, you can kiss your rights goodbye – you won’t have any.

The government is now trying to hose down growing community concerns, saying these zones don’t extinguish rights, but even the government’s own residential zones’ Discussion Paper says they will.

More than that, all three zones promote “fast-tracking” of development approvals, and two promote multi-storey development, with one not allowing anything under 4 storeys (and no maximum height limit), and another – the one most likely to be broadly applied in Macedon Ranges ( a significant country area, famous for Hanging Rock) – not allowing a maximum height of less than 3 storeys.

What do you think these zones will do to the character of our rural towns, of your street? Even if you don’t live in a residential zone, there are some pretty big principles involved here, so check it out and put your views in by April 18. PS Ask your friends to do the same.

NEW RED ALERT New Residential Zones Rub Out Residents' Rights - Get Submissions In by Friday 18 April

(7/4/08 - P) MRRA RED ALERT TO RESIDENTS: You might not get another chance so take this opportunity to say "NO" to losing your rights to be notified of, object to and appeal against planning applications. And don't muck around or put it off - a new executive director position for "Planning Services and Development Facilitation" is already being set up in the Department of Planning, so get your submission in - quick!

(For more on how the property developers and the media now run our government, read the last half of "Why the Brisbane elections shouldn't have been boring". It's the same now in every state. Also, have a look at the Australian Property Council website documents in your state. Very instructive about what we probably can expect - no mercy.)


Suzy's picture

After reading through the questions, I find many are somewhat technical and difficult to answer - how do you comment on a question like, "Do you agree that there should be the ability to apply different controls to different areas within this zone?", or "Which residential standards do you think should be able to be varied in this zone?"

Yes. It would make sense for the people in Melbourne to be given the opportunity to give permission or withold permission for further population growth and development. This document should be the information provided so that Melburnians and Victorians may make an informed choice, knowing that these will be the consequences of further growth. I think we can be sure that the purpose of the document is to abrogate any such informed choice whilst marketing the document as a detailed questionnaire.

Unfortunately democracy has been distilled into a sort of tick-box about which colour you would prefer your oppression to be delivered in.

It is severely coercive to ask people if they think that some neighbourhoods might be spared total negative transformation whilst others should take the full brunt. Obviously people would not choose to run roughshod over any neighbourhood or region. One can only assume that the Government marketers are relying on the belief that Victorians remain unaware of the fact that there is absolutely no need, humanitarianly or economically, for high immigration. And, for those who are well aware, as am I, that the only reason we have these alarming levels of population growth is because the government is forcing us to have them, the parameters of the questionnaire and the lack of anonymity implicitly exclude such rational protest.

The fact that we must fully identify ourselves makes it scary to comment unfavourably on the questionnaire and I interpret this as another part of the marketing of the forced growth. Dissenters will think twice before revealing their names and addresses to a government which gives so little consideration to democracy or quality of life.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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Suzy's picture

I made a submission through the online form, though I could not answer most of the questions (see my previous comment)! I ended with a rather lame comment:

"The new zones give too much power to developers to do whatever they like; even the current zones are preferable to these proposed ones. The residents who are affected by a development should have the right to object to it. Melbourne's liveability - its open spaces and low residential density - is being eroded by overdevelopment. The Government should try to restrict population growth rather than try to cram more and more people into the same area."

Every comment counts to build up a symphony of voices to counter the deafening white noise from the commercial and government propagandists. Please keep commenting. I repeat, every word from a kind and thoughtful person concerned about democracy is of immeasurable value to Australians and this planet.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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