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Friday, 28 September 2012

PLANNING DEADLOCK STIFLING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND RUINING FAMILIES’ LIVES

Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards attended a meeting of the Landowners Action Group in Campbells Creek last night and said that the planning deadlock that is crippling housing development in the Mount Alexander Shire is also ruining the lives of many people who cannot build their homes and have found their land is worthless.

The planning deadlock is a result of a VCAT decision made in February and Supreme Court ruling that has meant land owners whose properties are less than 40 hectares and not connected to reticulated sewerage are having their planning permits rejected by Goulburn Murray Water and the Shire.

Ms Edwards said despite raising this matter in Parliament with the Minister for Planning in August and despite correspondence sent to the Minister on behalf of affected constituents the Minister has failed to respond or even acknowledge their concerns.

“A conservative estimate of the economic impact of this planning debacle is around $15 million for the local economy. There are builders in the Shire who are saying that they are also being crippled by the failure to issue building permits”.

The Mount Alexander Shire estimate around 95% of the Shire is affected by this planning fiasco.

“The Minister has not kept the community informed of any progress the State Government is making to address this matter.”

“The Landowners Action Group has a petition that I will present to Parliament on their behalf which has a reasonable solution that will fix this problem quickly, and I urge the Minister to seriously consider the options that are in the petition”.

“The petition calls on the Legislative Assembly to address this matter by amending the planning guidelines on the relevant legislation, the development of a Statewide Water Catchment Strategy, and the development of specific landowner requirements to satisfy ‘common sense’ applications of the planning permits”.

“It also calls for an amendment to State Planning Policy to responsibly address the precautionary principle regarding the accumulative effect of the adverse impact of onsite waste water systems by requiring affected landowners to enter into agreements with the responsible Water Authority in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987”.

“This planning problem cannot be left to drag on for years because the local economy and the affected families cannot afford to wait, and I again call on the Minister to intervene.”

For further information contact Glenn White convenor of the Landowners Action Group gmatt692002@yahoo.com

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