Results from our Candidate Survey are now rushing in. The survey is live and candidates can respond until election day.
The survey provides a snapshot of planning and infrastructure issues across Victoria. Candidates across the state and across the political spectrum share our concern that we have a crisis in planning in Victoria.
The most important areas of reform nominated are:
- “Improved public transport network”
- “Governance to protect integrity and transparency”
- “Diverse and affordable housing”
Trend results showed:
- Over 90% support political donations reform
- Over 90% think that the Planning Minister should publish advice relied on and reasons for decisions
- Over 95% say we need to improve transparency, accountability and integrity
Community groups across Victoria have joined together to survey candidates on the conduct and direction of Planning in Victoria.
The Survey was drafted by SOS with input and support from a wide range of groups. These include some of our smallest newest residents groups and also long standing state wide groups like Green Wedges, Protectors of Public Lands, Planning Backlash and the Public Transport Users Association.
The Survey asks about local issues and key issues of concern including:
- The need for VCAT reform and better protection of local amenity
- Whether we have a failure of independent, long term infrastructure planning
- Failure to secure the Urban Growth Boundary and Green Wedges
- Whether the increasing deregulation and privatisation of planning is in Victoria’s interest
- Whether Victoria has ‘an inappropriate culture of undue influence and political opportunism’
- Whether candidates support reform of political donations laws
SOS will hold its AGM on Sunday 16 November at 2:30pm, Ground floor meeting room, Ross House, 247-251 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
SOS Notice of AGM 2014 SOS Nomination Form 2014
Guest Speaker, Professor Brendan Gleeson, Professor of Urban Policy Studies and Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at Melbourne University will speak at 3.00pm.
Professor Gleeson has researched and written extensively on the wellbeing of our cities and suburbs and the political, social, economic and environmental trends shaping Australia. Modern capitalist society has provided our present high standard of living but now also brings challenges and threats, especially climate change, resource depletion, social division and economic insecurity.
So how can we plan for a more resilient city designed to meet these challenges and maintain our residential amenity within sustainable limits? Economic and population growth cannot continue indefinitely – what sort of political, social and economic system might we need to move towards, and what should urban planning policy look like?
Here’s the link to Professor Gleeson’s presentation and the questions and answers that followed. A transcript will be available shortly.
On 6 November 2014, the Age featured an excellent Focus Report, It’s all go in the election zone.
The article highlights the discontent in Glen Eira with the impacts of the new zones and the fact that people were not consulted.
The article states ‘In a fortnight, Save Our Suburbs will hold a specially convened forum in Bentleigh on the zones’. However, this forum is convened by the Glen Eira Residents Association for the AGM on 19 November at the Bentleigh Club in Yawla St.
The meeting starts at 7.00pm and SOS president Ian Wood will be guest speaker at 7.30pm.
See Focus Report at
The early results of the Candidate Survey reveal widespread concern across Victoria. See below for details of Survey.
There is a very high level of concern over ‘how Melbourne is developing’ and that we have an ‘inappropriate culture of undue influence on public decision making’. All candidates support the need to improve transparency, accountability and integrity, with overwhelming support for political donations reform.
There is a very high level of concern over ‘the increasing deregulation and privatisation of planning that successive Governments have introduced over the last twenty years’. All candidates agree that ‘the marketplace alone can not address planning issues that involve long term social, environmental and economic impacts’.
The candidates also express very high levels of concern over the lack of certainty in our planning scheme, with overwhelming support for minimum mandatory standards and for limits on Ministerial discretion. There is also strong support for reform of VCAT to make it fairer and more accessible. There is a serious level of uncertainty over the new zones.
There is also overwhelming support for greater precedence for Ecologically Sustainable Development, Green Wedges, public transport, and for local policy and amenity.
Candidate Responses are being collated and will be posted over the next two weeks.
SOS supports political donations reform.
Victoria has some of the weakest electoral donation integrity laws in Australia.
SOS would like to see all donations over $1000 disclosed. The Federal Liberal Government recently increased donation disclosure levels to over $12,000. We also need timely reporting of donations, within 14 days as in certain UK and USA elections, not up to 18 months as in Victoria. We would also like to see a ban on certain classes of donation eg developer donations, as in NSW.
Rob Oakshott has started a petition calling for reform. See details and the link below:
To: The Governor-General of Australia http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_GovernorGeneral_of_Australia_approve_a_Royal_Commission_into_Australian_political_donation_reform/?krEOxib
Last Monday, on 13 October, at the Deakin Edge, the Lord Mayor and ALP Kelvin Thompson presented two very different views of Melbourne and the impact of population growth.
Robert Doyle started the debate enthusiastically defending population growth, saying increased population made for a more interesting city and ‘generates prosperity’. He boasted about how well Melbourne City had grown, how proud he was of the number of coffee shops and rate of CBD development and population growth. He defended multiculturalism, suggesting opponents of population growth must be anti multiculturalism. He said we could have clever growth. He drew parallels with the way we reduced water consumption in the late 2000s. He said Melbournians needed to adapt. He said we could put 2.3m people along existing infrastructure hubs, using only 6% of Melbourne’s land. In any event, he said he didn’t know how it could be stopped. He said ‘population growth was inevitable … because this is what we are’.
Kelvin Thomson had a very different view of Melbourne, a ‘high rise boom dominated by high rise buildings – not only poor design but in the wrong places’ and the CBD as ‘Cold Big and Dysfunctional’. He spoke about more intrusive government, increased inequality and crime, economic impacts and infrastructure failure with higher population. He referred to impending environmental crises – ‘treating the Earth as a state in liquidation … with many species on a short, fast road to extinction’. He said our kids did not have the opportunities we had and faced an ‘axis of … housing shortage, unemployment, education debt and increased depression’. Thomson also had very different ideas of social justice and economic imperatives and referred to success of low growth Scandinavian countries with low currencies, low unemployment, free education and budget surplus. He concluded saying that we faced a ‘world broken by rapid population growth – global warming, poverty and terrorism, made by those who own the world [corporate interests, those promoting growth]’.
After lengthy question time, almost entirely supporting less growth, Mary Drost from Planning Backlash thanked both speakers. She then asked whether they supported a referendum on the population growth policy. Thompson supported the referendum, Doyle reluctantly conceded but seemed to suggest there wasn’t much point to a referendum!
Video of the debate can be found at: http://candobetter.net/node/4118
Video of questions can be found at: http://candobetter.net/node/4121
SOS Newsletter #31: Members will have recently received a copy by post & now the online version is here : SOS Newsletter Residents Voice 30 September 2014
In this issue:
President’s Address: Key Performance
Indicators cut from Plan Melbourne
STOP PRESS – VCAT fee hike cuts appeals
SOS supports challenge to EW Link
Implementation of New Residential Zones
Help with Rescode for Residents at VCAT
Beware s89 appeals!
Avoid Dual Occupancy by Stealth
- Coming Events
SOS Newsletter Residents Voice 30 September 2014
SOS Members Planning Update – 4 October 2014
Read on for these hot topics
(1)The latest from Save Our Suburbs: SOS Candidates’ Survey for Election 2014
(2)Reminder – RACV Board Election – Last-minute call for RACV members to vote before this Tuesday Oct, 7th
(3)Reminder – The Great Population Debate, 5.30 – 7pm, October 13, Deakin Edge, Fed.Square
(4)Rally – The Future of Public Transport in Victoria, Thurs 16 Oct. 12:45/1 pm start, Parliament steps
(5)East-West Link Updates: From campaigner Andrew Herington
(6)High-rise apartment design standards “coming”:
To SOS members and all members of the public. The First meeting had some very strong messages from the academics and those in the know…
These regional meetings offer unique opportunities to Q and A your local candidates.
Rarely do we have this opportunity.
Victoria is experiencing unprecedented mass migration with no end in sight!
Planning of infrastructure, housing, and the quality of life as we have known it in the past is on a fast downhill decline. Transport and traffic mayhem is worsening day by day.
Ask your candidates ‘ Can you demonstrate to us how you would curtail this downhill fate that we are already on?’