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Greens win in Melbourne - what does it mean for planning?

Bilby's picture
#1

The Greens, Ellen Sandell was successful in her historic contest for the lower house seat of Melbourne, and notably, Brian Tee has, it seems, lost for seat in the Legislative Council. So, as yet it's unclear who might be the next Minister for Planning. Also notable was the Greens' response to questions put by Melbourne Heritage Action about this important planning issue in the Melbourne CBD, including questions about the appropriateness of façadism, retaining post-WWII heritage and mandatory height controls in key areas of the city.

http://melbourneheritage.org.au/2014/11/14/vic-election-2014-response-fr...

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Labor has the numbers, so apart from making a little noise, Greens will have very little influence on planning policy, if at all.

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Bilby's picture

Yes, that would seem to be the case, Peter, although a little noise can go a long way in public debates over planning. The Palace Theatre debacle this week is a good example - would the City of Melbourne have pursued an Interim Heritage Protection Order, or commissioned a new heritage study which recommends internal controls, without massive public debate about the future of this site? I doubt it. What the Greens can 'do' might be limited, but their influence in publicising important issues that would otherwise be swept under the carpet might be significant.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

If you read their Planning Policy and take it on face value it doesn't really all that much different to the previous Liberal government and what we'd expect the new Labor government.

There's really not much you can argue from an urbanist's perspective on this part:

Metropolitan Melbourne and major regional centres need comprehensive and active planning which:

a. limits the spread of urban areas and protects productive agricultural land by encouraging mixed and medium-density development in established centres and renewal sites within existing urban areas;
b. integrates transport, infrastructure and land-use planning, and respects major service industries;
c. includes discrete, diverse centres of activity; and
d. prioritises the efficient use of Victoria’s limited resources, economic opportunity, public transport, ecological sustainability, social equity and representative decision-making at all levels over promotion of rapid and unsustainable population and economic growth, and thus deliver healthy, human-scale, well-integrated, accessible and sociable communities.

As Peter said they're not likely to influence the current Government's planning policy given the clear majority in the LA, however in the LC it's a different story (this all assumes the new government will make changes to planning legistlation et al).

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Alastair Taylor's picture

Plus, it's not really all that interesting/surprising they got Melbourne, what is interesting/surprising is the Greens grabbing Prahran by the skin of a bee's....

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