17 January, 2010

Planning Minister Justin Madden's flip flop

This Minister is a real worry. After expanding the urban growth boundary by 43,600 hectares late last year, to satisfy pressure from the development industry, he said that this should be the last expansion "in his lifetime".
But he now says that the government will have to consider adjustments from time to time and he has just approved Amendment VC55 to the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPPs) the rules that govern planning in Victoria. VC55 will will make some very serious changes to the VPPs including further expansion of the growth boundary - the bill is subject to parliamentary approval.
 We are confused but so is  this Minister who floundered under questioning in parliament  on the Development Assessment Committee Bill, which made it very obvious he was not on top of his portfolio.
This is the Minister who professed he knew nothing about the involvement of his electoral office in the Brimbank scandals.
This is the Minister who knew nothing about his department's approval of a beer barn in the Docklands precinct, despite his Premiers desire to limit such premises.
And yet this is the Minister who will have "decision making power without challenge , appeal or review or be quashed or called into question in any court or tribunal" under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Bill 2009. 
That is total power.
This Minister is about to get further dictatorial powers under proposed changes to the Planning Act,  including the ability to compulsory acquire council owned or private property.
We don't think this confused Minister should be trusted with so much power.
What do you think? 
Email your thoughts to info@brag.asn.au

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