Newsletter 2012-11-28 Community groups rally to STOP THE PLANNING DISASTER – Thursday Nov.29

Community groups rally to STOP THE PLANNING DISASTER – Thursday Nov.29


Rally to STOP THE PLANNING DISASTER1pm Thursday Nov.29, Parliament steps

Sponsored by Protectors of Public Lands and Green Wedges Coalition, endorsed by Save our Suburbs and Environment Victoria and supported by many local groups

After a year of unprecedented attacks on Melbourne’s Green Wedges and now rural, township and coastal areas as well by State Government and developers through the planning zones review and arbitrary ministerial interventions, community groups will gather to tell the State Government to change direction.

After rezoning 6000 ha of Green Wedge land for urban development this year (on top of 43,600 ha in league with the Brumby Government in 2010) Premier Ted Baillieu and Minister Matthew Guy are planning radical changes to the planning zones to:

* urbanise the green wedges by allowing service stations, medical centres, display homes, nursing homes, schools,  restaurants, hotels on green wedge lots of any size.

* potentially double the population of bushfire prone townships like Warrandyte (and urban suburbs) by allowing at least two houses on any residential lot.

* new residential zones to allow shops, offices, medical centres and churches to be established without planning permits in residential streets.

* propose new commercial zones to include supermarkets and accommodation.

As well, they:  

* propose more tollways and road tunnels, but cut funding for bicycle paths

* quietly drop the Rowville, Tullamarine, Epping and Doncaster rail projects promised as part of earlier freeway/development approvals

* are cutting back on environmental protection and sustainable energy projects

* overruled councils and communities to approve inappropriate developments eg a transmission tower on the Merri Creek at Brunswick and tourist and education developments along the south-west coast

* approved high rise residential towers on Southbank only metres from existing towers.

RMIT planning Professor Michael Buxton will address the rally.  Planning Minister Guy has been invited to speak.  Opposition ALP planning spokesman Brian Tee MLC and Colleen Hartland MLC (on behalf of Greens Planning spokesman Greg Barber) have agreed to speak.  A speech has been sent by Matthew Guy’s twin brother in case the Minister doesn’t attend. Rod Quantock will be MC.

Despite 2000 public submissions against the planning zone changes, Matthew Guy dismisses concerns as either non-existent or from “the usual suspects.”  The initiative for this rally has come from Mornington Peninsula residents who have never before taken to the streets and who are concerned that it will be “an open door to developers to do what they wish.”

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