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Labor Politics over Planning

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (09:50:29) — Yesterday the Minister for Planning proposed, in his words, ‘Landmark legislation to protect the Macedon Ranges’.

While we do not yet know what is in the bill, its very existence highlights the partisan nature of this government’s planning approach. The government will act to provide planning protection for Labor seats, yet at the same time it has introduced policies that are leading directly to the destruction of the unique character of the Mornington Peninsula.

Clearly it is one rule for Labor and another very different rule for the rest.

According to the minister’s media release:

The Macedon Ranges boasts some of Victoria’s most picturesque settings, stunning wildlife and a renowned food and wine sector.

I agree, and so does the Mornington Peninsula, but not for long if this government has its way.

The minister says the government will work with the public on the draft Macedon Ranges localised planning statement. On the peninsula that has already occurred.

I led the community and council committee that drafted the Mornington Peninsulastatement, which was adopted in July 2014.

While the adopted policy undoubtedly reflects the community vision for the Mornington Peninsula, as the minister claims the Macedon statement is intended to do, it has unfortunately been routinely ignored by this government.

Indeed when asked a direct question about whether he was aware of the statement and had taken it into account when he cavalierly rezoned every residential area on the Mornington Peninsula, the minister declined to respond directly.

This morning I tabled a petition of over 900 signatures from local residents concerned at the risk presented by the foreshadowed sale of the remaining landholdings from Sir Reginald Ansett’s estate.

The threat to the peninsula is real and must not be ignored.

I welcome the minister’s actions to protect the Macedon Ranges, and I call on him introduce similar measures to protect the Mornington Peninsula.