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Time to Back up Green Wedge Rhetoric with Action

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Legislative Assembly 28 October 2021

Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (18:19): (6124) I raise a matter this evening for the Minister for Planning. It relates to a property at 60–70 Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza, and the action I am seeking from the minister is that he immediately agree to the exhibition of amendment C270 to the Mornington Peninsula planning scheme.

Speaker, you may be aware, and certainly I am sure many others are, that this is not the first time I have raised this issue in the house. I think the first time I raised the specific matter of amendment C270 was in fact in February 2020, so it is a while back. There have been a number of other contributions and amendment requests related to this property over the journey, and most recently I raised the issue by way of adjournment in August of this year.

The issue with this particular site is it is a large piece of land outside the urban growth boundary but it is not protected by the green wedge provisions that protect 99 per cent or more of the Mornington Peninsula that is outside the urban growth boundary.

It is a historical anomaly. It goes back to the days when the site was occupied by the Melbourne Business School, so it is a special-use zone. The shire quite rightly saw that there was a difficulty not only with this site but with a number of other sites which amendment C270 also covers, and in February last year it resolved to request the minister to agree to the amendment.

At the time the minister responded and said, ‘I’ll look out for that amendment’, and I am sure he did. He is certainly aware of it.

In fact I should say that when I raised the issue again in August of this year the minister was of great assistance and immediately, because he was in the chamber, offered a briefing.

That briefing was conducted within a matter of days—very, very quickly—and I certainly appreciated the speed at which the minister moved and the information that was provided to me. I do not intend to go into the details of that, that shall remain confidential, but I did appreciate the information that was provided.

We are now another couple of months down the track. We are still waiting for something to happen.

The question is whether this government is actually going to back up its rhetoric of protecting green wedges, and particularly protecting the green wedges on the Mornington Peninsula, or whether it is not.

The council support this amendment. I certainly support this amendment. My colleague in the other place Edward O’Donohue strongly supports the amendment. It is time this happened.

The minister has an opportunity to back up his rhetoric with action, and that is what I am seeking from him today.