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Grave concerns: new state residential zones and loss of council planning powers in Melbourne

Planning Activist, Christine Pruneau, of the Macedon Ranges Residents’ Association Inc, said, of the reasons for the public meeting in Melbourne yesterday, that the meeting was about the imminent New State Residential Zones and State Government removal of Council planning powers.

Ms Pruneau stated that the meeting was of interest to, "All Victorians who are concerned about what’s happening with planning in Victoria."

Although the meeting was to focus in particular on the impending new residential zones that "remove residents’ rights to object to or even know about planning applications," and removal of Councils’ planning powers by the Victorian government, Ms Pruneau said,

“This is as much about civil rights as it is about planning. It cuts to the question of whether the principles of consultation, transparency and accountability will survive in Victoria’s democracy."

"In Victoria, planning is being taken over by (handed to) development interests. Even the Department of Planning and Community Development is a member of the Property Council of Australia," she explained.

She added that, "The Department says this doesn't mean it has a conflict of interest," but, "MRRA says it does."

Just because you live in regional Victoria, does not mean that your rights and your environment are safe:

"Not only do these new residential zones wipe out residents' rights, but they’ve been written for Melbourne, and as usual, rural areas like Macedon Ranges and Bendigo will be forced to take them. It’s the same old story, same ghastly deficiencies, same ghastly outcomes. The difference is, this time residents won't be allowed to know or have a say when that ghastly (suburban) development happens," Pruneau stated.

Candobetter says that this is an Australia-wide stalking of our rights.

Ms Pruneau told of changes which had already happened in New South Wales.

"The NSW government has just changed its planning Act to remove, by law, residents’ rights in planning matters. This meeting is an opportunity to say we don’t want that to happen in Victoria."

Summing up, she said,

"There comes a point where if people don't stand up against injustice, they are condemned not only to live with it, but more and more of it."

She invited Victorians to take a stand.

For more information on the meeting and public transport, go to MRRA’s website (www.mrra.asn.au) or Planning Backlash (www.marvellousmelbourne.org), or call Christine Pruneau on 03 5427 1481.

NB Macedon Ranges Residents’ Association Inc [MRRA] is an affiliate member of Planning Backlash and of Sustainable Population Australia, Victorian Branch.

See also: Melbourne protests mass pop growth.

Comments

Dear fellow Residents,
I, and all the residents in our building at 260 Little Collins Street are having constant problems with noise from a variety of sources. The MCC seem to care very little, and do not monitor their contractors, street performers or special events in the area.

Last night a Fringe performance began at midnight and went to 3 a.m. with no regard for residents on the other side of the street or local laws. The police were called but did nothing because they had 'a permit' from MCC to be there at that time and were allowed to perform at whatever noise level they themselves or the police deemed as acceptable. No-one seemed to understand or care about noise and nuisance to residents.

Regardless of whether the MCC has granted a permit or not, local law needs to be observed, and beyond that, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This type of event in a known residential area contravenes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regard to articles 24 and 25 and our own basic human rights to:

"a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family"article 25
and our right to "rest and leisure", article 24.

The granting of a permit by the MCC also contravenes the World Health Organization 2009 Guidelines which were developed to protect people's health from night noise pollution.

Neither the police or the MCC are protecting residents from noise, in fact, they are encouraging it , as a very unsophisticated way of 'making Melbourne more international'. What a joke. They don't understand that those other international cities have measures in place to ensure the human rights of the residents are protected and are of primary concern.

As Melbourne grows and develops this issue will continue to become more and more destructive, and will become a major health concern for all CBD residents.

I'm drawing a line in the sand now.

I am starting a class action against the MCC for failure to enforce its Municipal Council Obligations according to the The Charter of Human Rights, and invite all affected by night noise to join me.

Candobetter Editor's comment: Please write, with "no rights for residents anywhere" as the subject, to james@candobetter.org or via the "contact" link just under the "Navigate" heading on the upper left of the candobetter site and we will pass your message on to Isabella, who authored the above comment.

Europeans "discovered" this continent, claiming the land as terra nullius — 'empty land' or 'land belonging to nobody'. This is a concept obviously alive and well in post-Colonial times! Our land on Australia's fertile coastlines is NOT a limitless resource, as governments, developers and the public seem to think. Releasing more land for housing is not a sustainable option. What is it to be "released" from? Our land, vegetation, river systems, biodiversity all depend on the web of life, and so do we. We can't just keep bulldozing habitats, trees and grasslands for more concrete structure, or over valuable farmland. We are heading for global foot shortages, and our limited fertile land should be preserved for food production. Land is not terra nullius but part of the planet's living surface. Either we stop our massive population growth rate, or accept the consequences of environmental destruction and third world living standards!