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SE Water Land Must be Protected

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (14:09): I rise today to acquaint the house with developments—or rather the lack of development—on the status of the abandoned South East Water land in Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza.

The land was the subject of a planning scheme amendment, and it was expected to be rezoned to neighbourhood residential. The amendment went to a panel, which recommended the application of a general residential zone and the removal of the proposed environmental audit overlay.

If ever there was a panel report that demonstrated the shortcomings of our planning system, this was it. No mention of protecting the land, simply a green light for increased density.

Fortunately the council did not proceed with the rezoning, but the status of the land remains in limbo.

At the time I called on the Minister for Water to hand over the site to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council for the purposes of a nature conservation reserve. That has not happened, and in fact correspondence from the Minister for Planning suggested that those interested in permanently protecting the site should speak to the shire council—not a particularly helpful suggestion, as the council have absolutely no control over the site.

This has become an exercise in finger-pointing, and meanwhile this important land remains unprotected. The situation has become even more acute given the application for an enormous multistorey retirement village outside the urban growth boundary but directly opposite this site.

I call on the government to act urgently to protect this reserve and to either transfer its management to an appropriate state agency, be it Parks Victoria or another agency, or make it available to the council so that it can be protected for future generations.