Honey, Baillieu Shrunk The Backyard

Brian Tee | 

Changes made to the state’s planning laws by the Baillieu Government have resulted in smaller backyards for families, new figures reveal.

A report by Research Four reveals that 22 per cent of blocks of land sold this year are less than 350 square metres – up from 8 per cent in 2009.

In June 2011, the Baillieu Government introduced changes to the planning scheme that meant developers no longer needed permits to develop blocks of land under 300 square metres.

Mr Tee said it wasn’t surprising that a year after the Baillieu Government made the changes, blocks of land for sale were getting smaller.

“Victoria’s liveability is going backwards under Ted Baillieu and it’s families who are paying the price,” Mr Tee said.

“Smaller housing blocks mean backyards are shrinking, providing less space for children to play outside and get the exercise they need.

“We now have the smallest backyards in the country.

“At a time when there are growing concerns about obesity, inactivity and lifestyle diseases, the Baillieu Government has created a planning scheme that is shrinking the size of housing blocks.

“Our way of life where children grow up playing in the backyard is fast disappearing.”

Mr Tee said the changes had been a boon for developers.

“Developers have been the big winners from Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s planning provisions, and the losers are families left with smaller backyards,” he said.

“Mr Baillieu has given developers a free hand to chop up the backyard so they can maximise profits.

“While families are making do with smaller properties with less outdoor space, developers have been cashing in on Mr Guy’s relaxed planning provisions.”


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