Thursday, 30th November
MR WELLS (Rowville) (11:34:00) — (13 742) The question I wish to raise is for the Minister for Planning. Minister, under changes proposed by Labor’s so-called smart planning system what requirements will be in place to ensure communities are consulted about new developments and to protect the freedom of residents to have their say and raise objections to planning applications that impact on their own neighbourhoods? The Rowville residents are deeply concerned that the reform advisory group, the expert panel advising Labor’s Victoria Planning Provisions framework, does not include residents or community groups although local government representatives and industry bodies are on the panel. They are also concerned at the prospect of some parts of the planning process being privatised and an expansion of a number of planning applications which will not require a permit, particularly if those include medium and high-density developments.
The Victorian community has been consulted on the potential Smart Planning reforms to our planning system, and asked to contribute. The Discussion Paper Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions was publicly available through the Engage Victoria website from 16 October, with a seven week period available for submissions to be made. This was publicized through electronic newsletters with thousands of subscribers, many of whom are community members or represent community groups. After consultation closed on 1 December, over 250 submissions had been received across the state, with 48 formal submissions from community groups, and 86 from individual community members. This is proof that the community had been effectively engaged. The views expressed in these and all other submissions will be taken into account in confirming the reforms to be taken forward.
There are no plans to ‘privatise’ any part of the planning system under the Smart Planning program.
The proposed reforms include removing the need for a planning permit in some cases. However, these aim to reduce red tape for applicants and only relate to select low impact proposals, and not higher impact areas like medium or high density developments.
HON RICHARD WYNNE MP