It is our firm belief that further consultation (on residential zones) could not have resulted in a better outcome, and may well have had the opposite effect. Our concern, on this as in all matters, was to achieve the best possible result for the Community. (13th August, 2013)

Thus spoke Council as part of the answer to a public question! The villainy is further compounded by the Minister’s mandatory release of his ‘reasons’ for approving Amendment C110 under Section 20(4) – that is, without public consultation. We’ve uploaded the complete Ministerial statement here and highlighted some choice sections below. What is absolutely clear is:

  • Council’s continued responses to public questions were at worst entirely dishonest and, at best, deliberately evasive and disingenuous
  • ‘Negotiations’ between the department, minister, and Council had been ongoing well before the announcement of August 5th 2013
  • The Minister’s statement reads exactly like something that would have been composed by the public relations arm of Council and he merely signed off on it.

Here are some extracts and residents should question the failure of governance that has spawned this amendment  –

The Glen Eira City Council has requested that I prepare, adopt and approve Amendment C110 to the Glen Eira Planning Scheme, with exemption from the notice requirements under section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).

The Glen Eira City Council gave effect to its Housing and Residential Development Strategy (Strategy) with the introduction in 2004 of Amendment C25. Work on the Strategy commenced in October 2000, and included a community notification and consultation process. Nine community workshops attended by approximately 50 people also contributed to the development and refinement of the Strategy. The Strategy was adopted by the Council in 2002.

Exemption of the amendment under section 20(4) will enable a prompt decision on the adoption and approval of the amendment and will allow for the orderly application of residential zoning controls for this planning scheme, based on previous strategic work. It will avoid the need for a further notification, exhibition and consultation process, which is considered unnecessary given the strategic basis for applying the new zones can be found within the existing planning scheme.

As the Glen Eira City Council has requested the amendment, the support of the Council for the amendment is evident.

I consider that further notification through the formal statutory process is unnecessary. Consultation has been conducted during the development of the Housing and Residential Development Strategy and in relation to Amendment C25, which introduced the local policies upon which the application of the new residential zones is based.