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.
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.