Hi to you all, and particularly to those of you who I do not know. As you will have heard from Mary, I have agreed to take over as Convenor from Mary Drost OAM. In 2005 Mary established Planning Backlash as an umbrella organisation and coalition of community and resident action groups. For the past 16 years it has worked to protect Melbourne’s liveability, and to give residents a say in the character of their street and their neighbourhood. Mary turned 90 this year, and is handing over the reins, to better focus on two key objectives; writing her memoirs, and living to be 100, so she can go to London and demand her letter from the Queen in person! She has done a mighty job, and we and all of Melbourne are in her debt. Big shoes to fill.
Mary has agreed to my suggestion that we adopt the name Planning Democracy. I think that the organisation is due for a makeover, and that Planning Democracy better reflects our aim of ensuring that residents have a genuine say in planning issues in Melbourne.