Category Archives: Protest

2010 Election Q&A on our environment

Thursday, 18 November 2010 @ 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start – 9.00pm
Swanston Hall, Ground Floor, Melbourne Town Hall
Corner Swanston and Collins Streets, Melbourne

Brought to you by Environment Victoria and proudly sponsored by mecu, The Age and City of Melbourne
Have you got a burning question about our environment for our political leaders? This could be your last chance before the state election to get them answered.
*Minister for the Environment, Hon Gavin Jennings

*Shadow Minister for the Environment,  Hon Mary Woolridge
*Greens MP, Hon Greg Barber.
They’ll be joined by a panel of environmental experts, including Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy, Matt Ruchel from VNPA and Claire Hooper, from Good News Week to make the evening just a little bit fun.

The evening will be facilitated by Adam Morton, Chief Environment Reporter, The Age.
Join us as we ask the hard questions of the main political players – face to face – just nine days out from the state election.
This is one election event you can’t afford to miss; and places are limited.
So book your spot today! Bookings essential:
Please email us your question along with your RSVP.  If you can’t make it, email your question anyway as we hope to video the event and put it on our website!
Authorised by Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO, Environment Victoria, Level 2, 60 Leicester St, Carlton, VIC 3053

Mitcham State Election Candidate Forum

The Mitcham Residents Association Inc. will host a State Election Candidate Forum for Mitcham in the lead-up to the 2010 State  election:

Date:       Tuesday 23rd November, 7:30pm

Venue:  Mitcham RSL, 26 McDowall St Mitcham


All candidates for the Electorate of Mitcham have been invited to participate and as of November 15 the following candidates have confirmed they will be present:
* Mr Tony Robinson MP, Labor Member for Mitcham
, Minister for Gaming, Minister for Consumer Affairs
* Ms Dee Ryall, Liberal candidate
* Ms Sheridan Lewis, Greens candidate
This meeting will be widely advertised and members of the public are invited to attend. Those attending will need to advise Mrs Kaele Way AM JP
(M) 0412 177793  (H) 03 9877 1901
for seating and catering.
Supper will be served following the Forum


Should there be firm height limits?
Does the community have enough say?
Will traffic choke our suburb?

State Election Forum 2010
Candidates speaking:
• Jane Garrett (Labor)  
• Cyndi Dawes (Greens) 
• Liberal Party representative
• Trent Hawkins (Socialist Alliance) 
• Phil Cleary (Independent — if standing)
• Bill Cawte (Independent)
Chair: Shane Maloney Brunwick writer
All welcome!  Includes Q&A from chair, plus audience questions.
Organised by local residents’ network.
More info:  0421 840 100
Authorised by Nancy Atkin, 135 Albert Street Brunswick


PUBLIC PLANNING FORUM – Richmond Town Hall 4pm, Sunday 7th Nov

Melbourne’s population is over 4 million 
They are planning for 8 million 
Is that too many?
How many is too many?
Infrastructure, who pays for it ??


Richmond Town Hall
333 Bridge Rd, RICHMOND
4pm, Sunday 7th November 2010

Andrew MacLeod, CEO Committee for Melbourne
Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills
Melina Sehr – Stonnington City Councillor
Rupert Mann – Melbourne Heritage Action Group
David O’Brien – Planning Barrister
Mary Drost – Convenor Planning Backlash
Moderator – David Trenerry


– please add your voices to green wedge, public lands and urban planning backlash groups to oppose this environmental catastrophe & please forward to your lists of interested citizens
Green Wedges Coalition
– a vision for Melbourne       
Dear Green Wedge supporters,  
Please will you help us to avert an environmental and community catastrophe that will ensue if the State Government is able to persuade Parliament to approve a planning scheme amendment to take 43,600 ha out of Melbourne’s green wedges and to surround the new urban growth zones with a freeway that will not be needed when we move to a carbon-constrained economy? 

Having failed to get the Parliament to pass the State Government’s Planning Scheme Amendment VC67 in June, Planning Minister Madden told a Housing Industry breakfast last week that he will split it in two in order to get it passed by the Legislative Council. Minister Madden predicted that: 
·       Coalition MPs will support the Urban Growth Boundary expansion and the new E6 freeway; &
·       Greens MPs will support increased urban density along tram and orbital bus routes.Announcing
 this to developers an not in a public statement shows who is in charge of State planning policy.
(The Greens have said they will vote against this Clause 12 amendment, which also includes clauses that weaken the UGB.)
The Government is planning to table these new and probably re-numbered amendments on Tuesday 27 July and to debate and pass them on Wednesday or Thursday.
Please email all State MPs and ask them to protect Melbourne’s green wedges by voting against these amendments. (see list of email addresses in the attachment below) If you have time, explain why in your own words. It would also be great to see you in the gallery of the Legislative Council to watch the debate. To find out about the timing, please ring the Legislative Council table office at 9651 8678.
To find out more, please read on, and/or google VC67, which should still be on the DPCD website. You are also welcome to email the Green Wedges Coalition coordinators, Rosemary West;;  Arnie Azaris,;
If ratified by Parliament these planning amendments could signify a catastrophe for Melbourne – our city will be changed irrevocably forever with green wedges replaced by suburban sprawl.
This State Government plan will unleash unprecedented environmental, agricultural and landscape destruction in the green wedges. It will expand the Urban Growth Boundary to take 43,600 ha out of the western, northern and Cranbourne south green wedges for housing development, freeways and freight terminals. 
The UGB expansion will clear for urban development: 5000 ha of environmentally significant Western Basalt Plains grasslands; the grassy woodlands of the Maribyrnong and Merri Creek catchments, with their giant red gums; and 4000 ha of the South East food-bowl, where highly productive market gardens using recycled water double as Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat. (Please see details below and attached.)
It will also destroy the certainty on which green wedge protection is based. The developers who will profit from speculative purchases of green wedge land to be rezoned by the renamed VC67 amendments will go looking for more spec purchases outside the next UGB.
The Coalition parties have said they will not oppose the UGB expansion, but that they would oppose the E6 freeway, which is close to the existing parallel Craigieburn Freeway and they will oppose amendments to Clause 12, which provides for increased urban density. We call on them to hold firm on these issues and in addition to move amendments to save at least some of the above-listed priority green wedge areas.
 Before the 2006 election, Liberal, ALP and Greens MPs surveyed by the Green Wedges Coalition all supported the current Government policy to protect green wedges "including the present boundaries."   Only the Greens have stood by their election policy and have consistently opposed the UGB expansion. We call on Coalition MPs to support the Greens motion to refer this matter to a committee to negotiate amendments to mitigate the damage.
The plans also run counter to a report released in May into sustainable agribusiness from a parliamentary committee representing all parties. The report describes the green wedges as area as "a diverse and dynamic farming region" which produces 16 per cent of the Victoria’s agricultural wealth from less than four per cent of the state’s farmland. It recommended "That Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary be stabilised to provide certainty to land-holders and agribusiness."  
The Government has claimed it needs the extra land to house our rapidly growing population, yet both PM Julia Gillard and Premier Brumby have acknowledged the need to re-think “Big Australia” policies. They should also re-think the need for these planning scheme amendments and for the green wedge destruction.

Rosemary West & Arnie Azaris

Green Wedges Coalition coordinators


 Saturday 5 June 2010 – 12 noon Queens Park, Mt Alexander Rd,Moonee Ponds
Moonee Valley suburban streets are being targeted by developers for this kind of 3 to 4 storey development.
The Moonee Valley Council is currently considering at least 30 applications like this for ordinary suburban streets. Instead of one household next door, you could soon have more than 27 people in up to 9 households next to you!

  • Their height and bulk is visually unacceptable.
  • They overshadow neighbours and remove local yards and gardens.
  • They create extra traffic and cause problems with street parking.
Join other concerned residents to fight over-development in Moonee Valley.
·         Matthew Guy – Shadow Minister for Planning
·         Rose Iser – Greens Candidate for Essendon
·         Ian Wood – President, Save Our Suburbs SOS

When                    Saturday 5 June 2010 – 12 noon

Where                   Queens Park – Sound Shell (South side of Bowling Club)
                                    Mt Alexander Road Moonee Ponds (Mel Ref 28 J6)
Information         Mick Ryan 0408 534 651
Communities Opposed to Over Development




Rally – Thursday 25 March, 1 pm;  Steps of Parliament Spring Street

Victorians have been enraged and appalled by Planning Minister Madden’s decision
to approve the redevelopment of the Windsor Hotel.
The community has not been given its chance to be properly heard – so come along
and let the government know what you think. The Windsor is threatened with a 91m
tower addition in a ‘return to facadism’. Development and heritage can and must live
together however the parliamentary precinct deserves proper protection not
discretionary height controls.

We call on the government to work with City of Melbourne to deliver a proper structure plan for the precinct. Discretionary controls in the hand of the Minister are insufficient.
We need to press home the need for changes to planning process on developments
over 25,000m2 – for which the Minister is currently the Responsible Authority. The
City celebrates its 175th birthday this year yet has many significant places that still
lack heritage controls – we call on the City of Melbourne to act now.
The National Trust of Australia (Vic), Planning Backlash and Protectors of Public Lands have
joined forces to hold a protest rally.
Thursday 25 March, 1 pm;  Steps of Parliament Spring Street
Transport: Train to Parliament Station; tram up Collins St. or Bourke St, W Class on City Circle.
Bring Banners and Placards!
The weather will be warm so bring hats, sunscreen and water! 
Ask your friends and relations to attend. It’s time to put on a show of strength.
Paul Roser, National Trust email:
Julianne Bell, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria  0408022408
Mary Drost, Planning Backlash  0401834899
Make your voice heard on what you value about our city’s
heritage architecture before it’s too late!

Councillors and residents call for a return to democracy in planning

As you've no doubt been hearing in the media for weeks now, the Planning Minister has embarked on a "call-in" spree to give "strategically important projects" a permit without any transparent process or community input. Local councillors as well as residents are becoming increasingly outraged.


This action is being organised by the Planning Backlash Coalition – 9882 2829 or 0401 834 899 Premier Brumby and Planning Minister Madden are by-passing planning laws to fast track the building of hundreds of apartment complexes and school extensions without council planning permits. Most of the haste appears to be to cash in on Federal infrastructure grants which have time limits for completion, which does mean some fast-tracking is necessary.

So why not simply mandate compliance with planning guidelines (including adequate components of affordable housing, etc)? Why should non-compliant proposals be fast-tracked without any community or council input, possibly creating the slums of the future ??

The State Government has already moved to take away resident's rights to object or appeal against such projects. Their proposal for new residential zones will effectively change low-scale suburban areas near activity centres into blocks of three or four or more storeys of apartment complexes. Premier Brumby plans to appoint unelected, unaccountable Development Assessment Committees to take over planning from councils in Activity Centres to give the green light to apartment towers in these centres.

Some of these changes are before Parliament – make sure your local member knows your views NOW! Victoria's Planning Act review could formalize these government plans, including property acquisition.

Here's what the normally conservative Municipal Association of Victoria said about all this in their recent press release:


Councils condemn Minister: Victoria the call-in capital

The Municipal Association of Victoria has condemned the State Government's decision to remove planning permit requirements for social housing and school building projects funded by the Rudd Government.

Cr Bill McArthur, MAV President said fast-tracking of infrastructure to stimulate the economy was supported but not at the expense of fair, transparent and inclusive planning processes. "More affordable housing options are important, but with 5,000 development sites expected across Victoria in the next 18 months, the community has every right to provide input.

"This Government has a clear emphasis on jobs and stimulus but is completely disregarding good planning and design outcomes, neighbourhood character, local amenity and the wishes of surrounding communities.

"The MAV does not support the Minister removing community input for Federally- funded housing and school infrastructure projects simply to speed up one part of the development process.

"The State has revealed its contempt for democratic input as a key element of Victoria's planning system. There will be no checks and balances such as public review, notification or third party appeal rights.

"As stressed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) to the Prime Minister and state leaders at the February Council of Australian Governments meeting, timely approvals for planning and council involvement in the assessment process are not mutually exclusive.

"In April, the Premier's office advised the ALGA that it would consult with local government on the mechanism to expedite planning processes for school and social housing projects prior to making a decision.

"The agreement with the ALGA has clearly been breached. There has been no discussion with the sector.

"Councils' central role in planning decisions is to balance the views of all interested parties – experts, applicants, objectors and the broader community.

"This is a key step that adds value and delivers decisions that meet state and local policy objectives, yet the Minister has granted himself sole decision-making powers.

"The Minister cannot single-handedly do the work of 79 councils. Corners will be cut and good planning outcomes compromised in order to secure jobs and meet unrealistic Commonwealth timelines.

"Developments last several generations and can't be undone when the economic crisis is over.

"Councils and communities across Victoria have every right to be extremely worried about the erosion of important democratic input rights. It is beyond disappointing," he concluded.

Contact the MAV President, Cr Bill McArthur on 0437 984 793 or MAV Communications (03) 9667 5521. Issued: 20/5/2009 Municipal Association of Victoria Level 12, 60 Collins Street Tel: 9667 5555 Fax: 9667 5550 Email:

Planning protest meeting – Planning Backlash

Planning Backlash have organised a public meeting to protest about the abysmal state of Planning in Victoria.

Sunday 6th of July
Town Hall
750 Mt Alexander Rd
Mooney Valley.

We will be there supporting the rally, and we encourage everyone to go!

See for more details.

Eddington Road Tunnel: North Fitzroy off-ramps to add to inner city gridlock

A storm of dissent is gathering in the inner city over the proposed Eddington road tunnel. There has been unprecedented interest in the proposed North Fitzroy tunnel openings onto Queens Parade, highlighted by Clifton Hill community planning group, "3068". The Eddington Study said the tunnel would have no city exits to avoid exacerbating traffic congestion where Alexandra Parade becomes one long 3-lane exit into the city from the Eastern Freeway and East-Link. But the Queens Parade tunnel off-ramps described in the consultant’s technical report would push more commuter and freight traffic onto Queens Parade and Alexandra Parade, doubling the traffic on Queens Parade, with trucks from the port and the west heading up to Heidelberg Road. Western suburbs commuters would gain access to the city via Smith St, Wellington St and Hoddle St. As well as the existing air-pollution, six underground lanes of cars and trucks would add further toxic exhaust fumes into the local airshed via unfiltered vent stacks every 2km along the tunnel route. The tunnel openings would destroy the Triangle Park and Smith reserve next to the Fitzroy Pool. There would be an elevated ramp at the interchange, possibly over the 4.3 hectare Gasworks site, which would prevent the planned redevelopment of the site for community purposes. The 3068 Group is preparing an alternative plan for the Gasworks site based on community needs and residents’ ideas.

3068 information stall & Public Meetings

3068 will set up an information stall on Queens Parade again this Saturday June 14 from 10am – 12noon, at Queens Parade shopping village (near Michael St, North Fiztroy). This will give residents another opportunity to see how the Eddington tunnel would affect Clifton Hill, North Fitzroy and the Gasworks Urban Design Framework (which includes apartments and an indoor sports centre). There will be another opportunity to see the plans Thursday night June 12, 7pm, at Fitzroy Town Hall where speakers Dr Paul Mees and Yarra councillor Steve Jolly will launch the Yarra residents’ campaign against the tunnel. To contact The 3068 Group: PO Box 118 Clifton Hill 3068 Other public meetings on the Eddington plan include: – Public Forum on Transport and Climate Change (Public Transport Users Association) 15 June 2008 Time 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm Date: Saturday 15 June 2008 Venue: Melbourne Town Hall In addition to an update on the latest climate change science, the PTUA forum will consider options for reducing transport emissions and whether Sir Rod Eddington’s report is appropriate for a carbon-constrained world. – City of Melbourne Council Meeting – Tunnels Vote 24 June 2008 Time: 5:30 pm Date: Tuesday 24 June 2008 Venue: Town Hall Swanston Street Melbourne. Show support for the anti-tunnel Councillors and disapproval of Lord Mayor John So’s position.