12 June 2007: Without any prior consultation or notice, Planning Minister Justin Madden is about to summarily terminate the State Government’s Melbourne 2030 advisory group. The M2030 Implementation Reference Group (IRG) was originally set up to provide feedback on how the new planning guidelines were working in practice. The IRG has been critical of the way the government introduced the policy before much of the necessary council structure plans and upgraded public transport services had been put in place. Residential amenity protection lobby group Save Our Suburbs had two seats on the IRG. SOS president Ian Quick said, “This unilateral action by the Minister leaves the community with no input into the continuing problems caused by Melbourne 2030, a policy that desperately needs removal or serious improvement”. SOS has recommended a moratorium on M2030 until many of the key issues are addressed, including –
- A Ministerial directive and/or Planning Act amendments so that Rescode amenity standards as well as zone and overlay controls become mandatory.
- Municipal structure plans completed, and allowed to contain mandatory provisions.
- Develop a strategic public transport plan with parliamentary funding commitment and begin implementation under the control of a new statutory mass transit authority
- All Activity Centres locations to be revised to ensure they are located at mass transit nodes and at locations that can support higher density development.
- Reform VCAT to improve municipal performance by overseeing council development assessment procedures rather than taking over the role of the Responsible Authority.