In March 2017, Wynne gazetted Amendment VC110 which is the latest version of the residential zones and the one trumpeted to ‘save our backyards’. Practically every other council has at least put up on its website information about this amendment. Many have included an officer’s report in their agenda papers and some like Banyule and Boroondara (see images below) have voiced strong concerns/objections to the amendment. Glen Eira on the other hand has maintained a stony silence! Not a public peep has come out from any councillor and certainly not from any administrative quarters via a media release, a web page announcement. Nothing but silence! Why? Is this another foray into keeping the public ignorant? Or is it more to do with not wanting to ‘antagonise’ Wynne and the Labor party so that brokered secret deals can go through? How much is politics at play here rather than transparent planning? Why, when after years and years of patting itself on the back for achieving such ‘largesse’ from Matthew Guy (ie mandatory heights, 2 dwellings per nrz) is council now silent when these very ‘achievements’ are about to go down the drain?

And if we are correct, then the rot has already started for the Neighbourhood Residential Zones. An application is in for 76 Bignell Road, Bentleigh East. This is a site in the NRZ of 580 Sqm and was sold in September 2016 for $1m. The application is for 3 attached double storeys! And all is ‘legal’ since March 2017 thanks to Wynne. We therefore urge all residents in both the NRZ and GRZ zones to be on the look out for this new threat to our neighbourhoods – one that council is hoping will slip through unnoticed no doubt! Wynne’s amendment we suggest sits well with council’s long history of a pro-development agenda. Like VCAT it will eventually become the convenient scapegoat for over a decade of appalling strategic planning and gang after gang of complicit councillors.

We will report on the potential impacts of Wynne’s amendment in posts to come. In the meantime, here are some screen dumps from a recent Banyule council meeting and the letter that Boroondara sent out to its residents –