25 November, 2016


The Andrews Government has announced that it is redeveloping the Markham Public Housing Estate in Ashburton with a proposal to increase the number of public housing from 56 to 62. It will be financed by 190  dwellings to be built on the site and sold to private buyers.
What is not disclosed is that the number of bedrooms in the new 62 pulic dwellings will contain less bedrooms than the already demolished 56 public dwellings. 
The proceeds of the sale of the 190 private dwellings will achieve much more revenue than that required to build the public housing so really this con is all about making a profit while doing nothing to assist the 30.000 people on the waiting lists for public housing.
The Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne has appointed himself to be the "Responsible Authority" thereby removing any say or control by the Boroondara Council. Places Victoria, which is managing this development,  promised to "engaage with community and stakeholders"  which is a deceptive way of indicating that the community and council would be consulted but really meaning that they will have no input at all.
There has certainly been no consultation, instead Places Victoria has run "Pop-up information sessions" in the street around Ashburton displaying pretty pictures that are very deceptive. For instance they depict buildings that do not show their real heights and any details provided about the development is very general and of little value. These information sessions are nothing more than a public relations excercise that have had the opposite effect of making the local residents very angry. They are not against public housing, quite the contrary, they support this site for public housing, but not 6 & 7 storey blocks of  apartments that will not be for public housing squeezed into this site that will be totally out of character with their local area.
Shame on you Richard Wynne and shame on you Daniel Andrews.
If you would like to help use the attached submission in the top right corner of this post to send your own message to the government.... 
email: richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au

05 July, 2016


The hall was overflowing with many standing. Each of the 3 panelists, David Davis (Shadow Minister for Planning) Prof. Michael Buxton (Environment & Planning RMIT) and Dr Bob Birrell (Australian Population Research Inst.) commented upon the current government's review of suburban planning under Plan Melbourne Refresh and the review by a government Panel of the residential zones. The indications are that the intent will be to allow more medium density and high-rise into the established suburbs of Melbourne
The audience reaction made it very clear that this was unacceptable.
The Forum was well attended by residents from many parts of Melbourne. (We noted representatives from resident groups from Darebin, Thornbury, Knox, Vermont South, Malvern, Monash, Glen Huntly,Whitehorse, Brunswick, Brighton, Surrey Hills, and a group with concerns about development at Pentridge. There were many others including all the suburbs in Boroondara).
Members of the audience were given the opportunity to speak and ask questions of the Panel with all being  critical of the government's plans for our established suburbs.
The audience was asked to consider and support a "Residents' Bill of Rights" (RBR) and a motion to do so was passed unanimously. One of the  aims of the RBR is to ensure that residents in future have a real voice in how their residential suburbs are developed along with a list of demands for changes to the overall planning for the future of Melbourne and beyond. 
A copy of an updated version of  "Residents'Bill of Rights" (RBR) is attached (see above). The updates include many of the suggestions in the  emails of support from resident groups and we are now very confident that we  speak for most if not all of the  resident groups right across Melbourne and beyond.
It is our intention to push hard for the RBR to be accepted to protect the interests of residents from developers who are plundering our residential areas, only intent on exploiting every construction opportunity regardless of the impact upon our local residential areas and lifestyle.
We strongly believe this RBR will be widely applicable and we seek your support to get it acceptedYou can  send your intention to support the RBR to the Convenor of PLANNING BACKLASH  -  drostmary@gmail.com   

19 January, 2016


Melbourne is set to double it's population within the next 30 years and our governments of both political persuasions  are continuing to push population growth through continually increasing immigration. In 2000/2001 our intake was 80,000 and it is now around 250,000 pa.
Our governments, both State and Federal, keep telling us that all this population growth feeds our economic growth, so do you really feel better off now than you did in 2000?
No, well the Productivity Commission tells that the actual benefit per head over the last 20 years is only around $380 in total. The Commission goes on to say that what benefits there are go mainly to the new arrivals. not to the existing citizens.
Its the record rate of our population growth that is causing all our problems with planning and development issues. And now Planning Minister Wynne wants you and I to move over to make more room for greater density in our residential suburbs  by "unlocking the potential in the middle suburbs".
I suggest that the Minister is influenced by the development industry's political donations and influence from the developers'  lobbyists.  The effect will be to rejig the residential zones to accept multi-storey development in our residential areas to cope with all the growth in our population.
Will that benefit you? No, it certainly won't.  Any benefit will all go to the new arrivals just as the Productivity Commission has said.
BRAG believes that the Minister's plan will result in increased pressure on our already overloaded infrastructure and we all know that our government cannot finance the infrastructure upgrades to cope with today's demands, let alone what will be required when our population doubles. 
It is time for a public debate on these issues and a total re-think about immigration. population growth and infrastructure issues.
The attached item  (above) "Population Growth can make us worse off", written by Ross Gittens, is worth reading.