Minister Uninformed on Peninsula Planning Issues

23 Aug 2017

I raise a matter for the Minister for Planning, and the action I seek is that he take immediate action to ensure that his recent changes to the general residential zone within the Mornington Peninsula planning scheme are suspended until such time as the Mornington Peninsula Housing and Settlement Strategy 2017 is completed and implemented and an implementation plan for changes to the general residential zone is agreed.

On 7 June I asked a question of the minister around what action he had taken to ensure his recent changes to the general residential zone were not in conflict with the Mornington Peninsula Localised Planning Statement.

The answer, which came almost a month late, made it very clear that the real answer was no. It was some seven paragraphs, but the real answer was no, because he replied that the department had:

... undertaken an analysis of residentially zoned land in the Mornington Peninsula planning scheme. It found that for the entire municipality only 13 per cent of land area is included in the general residential zone.

Seventy per cent of the entire land area is included in green wedge or special use zones, so what he is actually saying is that almost half the land that is inside the urban growth boundary is in fact zoned for general residential. He went on to say: The department will work closely with council to ensure any future amendment is strategically sound … presumably on the basis of the government’s rules.

I do not want to be too hard on the minister. He is a decent bloke. But in this answer he clearly indicates that he either had no idea that the localised planning scheme existed, or if he did, then he gave it no weight.

The answer unfortunately reveals his ignorance of planning issues on the Mornington Peninsula.

If the minister wishes to resuscitate the approach to the Mornington Peninsula taken by Minister Madden and Minister Hulls, which was essentially that the peninsula is just another suburb, then that is fine. He should have the courage to come out and say so.

If he does not believe that, and I certainly hope that is the case, then he should suspend the operation of these planning scheme amendments, work through the issues with the Council, and do something that is in conformity with the localised planning scheme.