03 December, 2018


Dear Members and supporters, enjoy a very Merry Christmas for the New Year will not bring much joy ( see the two posts below).


In the post below we forewarned that should Labor win the election, Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, would force 70 % of new residential development into the middle suburbs.

This is now a reality and multi-story development will negatively change the streetscapes in Boroondara as Minister Wynne has made it clear that he is targeting Boroondara for special attention.

As we pointed out, there will be up to ten dwellings or more on a single block which will most likely mean that the new developments will not be just three storeys, but could be much higher and neither you or your council will be able to do a thing about it.

For more on this please read the post below.

12 October, 2018

Dramatic Changes being Planned for Development in our Suburbs

BRAG has always tried to remain unaligned politically but the plans the Andrews' Government has for centralizing planning  if and when it is re-elected require us to take a stand.
Right now there are plans being developed in secret by Labor to ensure that massive changes can be rammed through to push at least 70% of new medium and high density housing into the middle suburbs with the leafy Eastern suburbs targeted for more than most.
What this means is that you can expect the Labor Government, if re-elected,  to approve multi story blocks of flats in your local street and neither you nor your council will be able to do a thing about it. You will have no right to be advised, object or appeal and the first indication you will have is when construction commences.
And these flats won't be just two or three story, they could be up to seven or eight stories or even more. No more mandatory heights, no real restriction on how many dwellings per block, with Planning Minister, Richard Wynne telling the Public Accounts & Estimates Committee that, under the changes, 10 or more dwellings could be built on a single block previously mandated as a maximum of only two dwellings per block. No more backyards or gardens or trees just buildings and lots of concrete.
On the other hand, the Coalition has announced and confirmed in writing, if elected , it will "restore the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and General Residential Zone protections introduced under the former Coalition Government recently torn up by Labor". In addition we have established that the Coalition will review VCAT's practice of acting as another Responsible Authority and over-ruling over 80% of Councils' properly arrived at decisions. 
BRAG is raising this issue because Labor's plans for densification of our surburban residential areas will drastically change the way we live.
You can do something about it at the November election. Its really up to you to choose.
(A copy of David Davis' speech at our Restore Residents' Rights Rally is attached above setting out the Coalition's position. Note : the heights in second paraagraph no longer apply).

30 August, 2018

There is an election coming & we have an Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 29th August
BRAG and other Boroondara Groups met with David Davis (Shadow Planning Minister) and John Pesutto (Shadow Attorney General) to encourage them to consider our recommendations for changes to planning regulations, if elected, to overcome the unacceptable and damaging changes made by the Andrews' government.
David Davis has already promised publicly and by letter to Boroondara Residents to reverse the changes to the Neighbourhood Residential Zones to restore the protections the earlier NRZ provided. But there are other changes needed to protect what we love about our neighbourhood and our briefing and a copy of the recommndations made to David Davis and John Pesutto at our meeting are attached above.
Professor Michael Buxton also attended our meeting and offered helpful thoughts on what we should think about.
Michael along with Kelvin Thomson (former MP for Wills) are our guest speakers at our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 20th September when we will have the opportunity to further our plans for changes to planning regulations, VCAT, etc.
BRAG is considering to campaign in the lead-up to the coming election because the Andrews' government has made very unacceptable changes to planning in Victoria including forcing 70% of all new development into the middle suburbs.His Planning Minister, Richard Wynne has criticized both Glen Eira and Boroondara in parliament saying "he would get us" His changes have gone a long way of achieving his promise by acting to force 70% of all new development into the middle suburbs.
It is clear that the "leafy eastern suburbs" are being targeted so we are urgng our 600 members to attend our AGM to hear what our guest speakers say and they will then be better informed on what actions they and BRAG should take.
Of course the elephant in the room is the massive rate of poulation growth of Melbourne (2.4%) which is three times that of comparible countries. But our poiticians are deliberately ignoring this as they tell us that poulation growth equals economic growth. They quote increase in GDP but ignore GDP per capita which is what affects us. That has been flat or going backwards for some time. Ask yourself are you better off today than say 10 years ago?
Watch this space.....

09 August, 2018


Instead of relying on the property bubble pretending that our economy is strong, Australia needs real structural change in the way we grow our economy.Chinese money is creating this gigantic property bubble here and in other countries around the world but it is not doing us any favours.
We have gone mad building houses and apartment blocks, mainly for the new arrivals and Chinese investors,  but this cannot go on indefinitely. Australia's earnings of of $1.6 trillion is nearly 70% from services rather then producing goods. John Hewson said recently that the entire country is basically sitting around serving each other cups of coffee and smashed avacado. 
In the 1970's we really became a third world economy selling raw materials and food but left the industrial production slide. It was "she'll be right mate" but sooner rather than later there will be a massive adjustment and we will become just another banana republic as Paul Keating predicted.
Building houses is not enough, we need to enthusiastically develop our technolodgical skills and lift our sights to secure our future. No longer can we rely upon mining, for China is taking less and less resulting in revinue dropping significantly while costs continue to rise.
The old "she'll be right" attitude must change before it is too late.
We have previously pointed out that our governments have always used positive GDP growth as a measure to mislead us into thinking all is well, but the real measure is GDP "per capita" which is static or going backwards and restricting our salary and wages growth. So we are no better off today than we were 10 years ago. 
The first step we need to take is to reduce our migrant intake back to the 70,000 pa we used to accept in the late 1990's and early 2000's, which will still meet our international obligations, and the second step is to put a stop to Chinese investment in housing and buying up our farmland and other assets.  
Time to wake up Australia.......

18 June, 2018

New Planning Laws to Save Our Suburbs

A new development proposal in Glen Iris for a three storey block of nine flats was the site of a press release from the Coalition promising to introduce strict new planing rules within its first 100 days of office if elected at the November election.
A full copy of the release is attached above...
This development proposal currently before the Boroondara Council is the result of the Andrew's government changes to the residential zones introduced last year which increase heights and allowed for development of more than two dwellings per lot. When questioned, Richard Wynne, the Current Minister for Planning, reluctantly admitted that more than 10 dwellings on one lot was possible.
At the Restore Residents' Rights Rally on the steps of parliament David Davis promised that, if elected, to restore the protections of the previous residential zones and today's press release honors that promise.
Matthew Guy said that "Victoria needs the right growth in the right places, not allowing anything to be built anywhere"
David Davis said that "a Liberal Nationals Government will put the brakes on this unplanned over development and give control back to residents and their councils".

05 June, 2018

The Election and Our Problems with Plan Melbourne

Plan Melbourne 2017 - 2050 introduced by the Andrews' government has stripped away many of the protections against over-development that were put in place by the previous Coalition government. The General Residential Zones (GRZ) height has been  inceased from 9 metres to 11 metres, the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) from 8 metres to 9 metres and the cap of two residences per block has been removed completely.
Richard Wynne, the Minister for Planning, has admitted under pressure to the Public Accounts Committee, that 10 or more dwellings can now be crammed into one NRZ block. His government has said that 70% of new development will be forced into the middle suburbs and the leafy eastern suburbs have been especially targeted. This means that you could have a three storey block of flats with 10 or  more apartments being built next door and neither you or your council will be able to do a thing about it
There is an election coming and this is an opportunity to get things changed and its up to you to do something about it. We will certainly be seeking changes. David Davis, the Shadow Minister for Planning, at our Restore Residents Rights rally on the steps of parliament, committed the Coalition, if elected,to restore the protections to the residential zones and this has been confirmed in writing.
We will also be seeking changes to VCAT to ensure that it is returned to being an appeal body confined to resolution of legal matters arising form planning law. In other words, to stop VCAT from assuming the role of another Responsible Authority for planning applications.
BRAG and Planning Backlash will be seeking further commitments from those standing at the next election in line with the Residents' Bill of Rights. A copy of this can be viewed on our website  www.brag.asn.au