Planning Laws Roll Back Community’s Right To Say No

Brian Tee | 

The Baillieu Government has ignored a growing community backlash against a new approval process to give developers free rein in Victorian suburban streets, the Shadow Minister for Planning, Brian Tee, said today.

Mr Tee said details of the legislation to set up VicSmart confirmed the community’s worst fears about the Baillieu Government’s proposed development approval process.

“VicSmart will rob people of their right to protect the value of their home and lifestyles,” Mr Tee said.

“It will strip away resident’s right to be notified about a property development next door – and abolish resident’s right to appeal against it.

“There is nothing ‘smart’ about VicSmart. It is a frightening attack on the rights of home owners to stop inappropriate development in Victorian suburbs.”

Mr Tee said thousands of Victorians had signed petitions calling on the Baillieu Government to abandon VicSmart.

“The legislation makes a lie of Mr Guy’s claim that the new system will only apply to low impact developments, like pergolas and fences. The legislation makes no restrictions at all on what developments will be subject to VicSmart.

“There are no height or density limits. This means a developer could build a multi-storey development next to your house without being legally required to notify you about it.

“The first time you will know about it is when the bulldozers arrive, and you will have no right to appeal against the development to the local council or to VCAT.

“It is an outrageous attack on open and accountable planning decision-making and the public’s right to have a say about what happens in their backyard.”

Vic Smart is a one-size-fits all mandatory development process. Any development application that meets the “standards” will get the green light.

“It will be as simple as ‘tick and flick’,” he said.

Mr Tee said the Baillieu Government was pushing these laws through parliament as quickly as possible without consulting the community.

“Labor is determined to inform the community about the new laws and let them have their say,” Mr Tee said.

“To sign an online petition calling on the Baillieu Government to abandon Code Assess visit www.springst.com.au.”

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