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Save Our Suburbs sends Vic politicians pre-election planning survey

Save our Suburbs (S.O.S.) have developed the attached survey on planning issues for candidates at the coming State Election. They are writing to ask planning groups to sign on to the survey. They will be listing all groups supporting the survey. The more groups that are signatories, the more influence the Survey will have, both on candidates and political parties, and also in the media.

[Click here for the survey in pdf or scroll down to find rough text version.]


S.O.S. proposes sending the survey to candidates on October 1, and to formally conclude the survey on October 31. Late responses will be included in publicity where possible. S.O.S. will publish the results on their website and also send the results to other groups. It is hoped that the results can be used by local and state groups to highlight planning issues with candidates and as content for media releases. You can find out more or contact Save Our Suburbs via

The Questions

[Editor: The following content was teased out of the linked to pdf file and there may be some inaccuracies due to the difficulty of this process. For the real questionnaire you still need to go to this link and look at the .pdf file.

Victorian Planning Survey 2014
Candidate Survey - Victorian Election

Question 1: Local issues
What are the major planning issues in your electorate?
How will you handle these issues?
What are the major infrastructure needs in your electorate?
How will you help address these needs?

Question 2: Local policy and amenity
Do you think the Environment and Planning Act should be amended to give local policy and local amenity greater weight?
Further comment?
Question 3: Community consultation on planning
Do you believe residents have been adequately consulted on major planning issues like the creation of Melbourne 2030 over a decade ago and the formulation of the current Plan Melbourne strategy?
If not, what sort of community consultation do you think should be adopted by the State Government and Local Councils?
Assuming that Melbourne continues to grow, would you rather see Melbourne develop like:

A Northern European city, with medium density diverse 4­-5 storey development
Surfer's Paradise and many Asian cities, with massive centralised high­rise development
Chicago and Los Angeles, with sprawling low density housing and vastly extended urban boundaries
Question 4: Undue influence and political donations
Do we have an inappropriate culture of undue influence in public decision making on planning matters in Victoria?
Do you support reforms to ban political donations from developers, as in NSW?
Do you support reforms to require disclosure of political donations within 14 days as in some parts of Australia, as opposed to up to 18 months in Victoria?
Do you support restoring the previous $1500 limit for mandatory disclosure of political donations, instead of the current limit of over $12000?
Further comment?
Question 4: Undue influence and political donations
According to the Productivity Commission Report, a majority of Victorians think that developers
have too much influence in planning. In answering this question please refer to the two links below.

Minister Guy's role in the Ventnor development­figures­avoid­court­examination­over­phillip­island­rezoning­20130819­2s6xs.html
Hulls and Madden's role in the Hotel Windsor development­02­10/madden­implicated­in­windsor­scandal/1937174
Do we need to improve transparency and integrity in governance of planning in Victoria?
How would you work to achieve better transparency and integrity in governance of planning?
Do you have further comments about this?

Question 5: Governance
Currently, the Minister is able to 'call­in' planning matters, that is, to intervene and remove planning applications and appeal hearings from Council and the Courts.
Would you support mandatory criteria to define the scope of ministerial call­in powers?
Do you think the Minister should be required to publish advice relied on and reasons for decisions on projects that are called in?
Do you have any further comments about this?

Question 6: Ministerial powers
Is there too much discretionary decision making in our current planning system?
Do you support minimum mandatory provisions for VCAT and Local Councils?
Do you have any further comments about this?

Question 7: Mandatory and discretionary requirements
Would you vote to amend the Planning and Environment Act to give greater precedence to environmentally sustainable development?
Recognising the need to address sustainability, human rights, and social equity, would you support wider public debate on a stable population policy for Victoria?
Do you have any further comment about this?
Question 8: Sustainability

The major political parties have withdrawn from the historic central planning role of Government. In Government, they want to 'reduce red tape', to 'get out of the way of business' and as Plan Melbourne states, to facilitate development, not regulate it
Do you think the deregulation of planning as represented by Plan Melbourne is in the public interest?
Do you think Victorians support the current policies of deregulation of planning?
Do you think the marketplace alone can address planning issues that involve long-term social, environmental and economic factors?
Do you have any further comment about this?

Question 9: Deregulation of planning
How important are the following areas of reform?
Do you have any further comments about how to achieve better planning for Victoria?

Question 10: Major planning issues
[Asked to rate the following:]
Changing the inappropriate culture of undue influence
Long-term infrastructure planning by an Independent Infrastructure Authority
Locating sustainable jobs closer to where people live
Improved resources and methods for enforcement of conditions of planning permits
Diverse and affordable housing
Planning and development to cope with the increasing impact of climate change
Minimum mandatory planning controls for Councils and VCAT, such as Rescode and Overlay requirements
Banning political donations from developers
Giving greater weight to local policy and amenity
Governance to protect integrity and transparency
Heritage protection
Improved public transport network
Rail freight transport network
Stop policies promoting unlimited growth
Smarter ways of managing growth
Limiting the Minister’s call ­in powers

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