In this issue:                                                                     June, 2013

Rural and Regional Planning Conference: 4 - 5 July
Stronger planning enforcement – risk assessment tool training
STEP planning ‘enforcement’ trial
Financial costs of different settlement patterns project
Metropolitan Strategy and Metropolitan Planning Authority
Bushfire planning permit conditions
Wind farm meeting
Building Regulation Advisory Committee
Zones reform
VCAT fees
Development contribution review
Regional Growth Plans
Potentially contaminated land
Native vegetation clearing provisions
In other news...
Vale: Paul Mees
Events

Dear readers,

We hope you find this edition of the MAV Land Use Planning Bulletin an interesting read.

Norton Rose has developed a summary of the NSW White Paper on Planning Reform. The paper covers off on matters from delivery culture, strategic planning and development assessment (permit assessment) to the provision of infrastructure.

Locally, the Department of Planning recently presented to the MAV Planning Committee on the reformed commercial and industrial zones. We hope the presentations are useful for council briefings.

Gareth & Michelle

What we are doing... Last chance to attend Rural & Regional Planning Conference: 4 - 5 July

The MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference is less than a month away and registrations are coming in fast.

All senior managers, councillors and strategic and statutory planners are encouraged to attend, so don’t leave your registration to the last minute.

We would like to thank the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (formerly DPCD), Spiire and Planisphere for supporting the event.

David McKinna has been confirmed as a speaker. David is recognised as a preeminent Australian opinion-maker on agrifood issues. He will discuss the good, bad and ugly of the battle between the big two supermarkets and unpack how decisions such as $1 per litre milk, the phasing out of caged eggs and banning of growth hormones in meat products are benefiting the consumer through lower grocery prices, but restricting industries and redefining rural and regional Victoria.

The MAV has secured discount accommodation at the four-star Novotel Resort. When you book, please advise that you are attending the conference to receive the discount.

Stronger planning enforcement – risk assessment tool training

We are pleased to advise that The Stronger Planning Enforcement - Risk Assessment Tool and Supplementary Resource are in production. These documents have been prepared by Russell Kennedy Solicitors on behalf of the MAV and Rural Councils Victoria. The resources are intended to provide a model that councils - in particular rural councils - may use to assist in determining enforcement priorities, having regard to available resources.

These resources will be distributed to councils and are available on the MAV website.

The tool adopts a risk assessment approach through a process of identifying areas for proactive and reactive enforcement, and determining the risk profile associated with potential or actual breaches of planning permits and/or the planning scheme.

Training for planning managers and planning enforcement officers has been arranged in three venues:

The training session in Melbourne will be recorded for those unable to attend any of the identified sessions and made available on our website.

STEP planning ‘enforcement’ trial

Following on with more enforcement news is the innovative approach currently being developed by the Shire of Campaspe which engages the community, management and staff. This inclusive approach involves developing enforcement principles and utilising the Risk Assessment Tool.

We believe that this approach can be used as part of the STEP planning program for those councils that need assistance with formulating their enforcement position, engaging with the community and within council, and utilising the risk assessment tool.

Financial costs of different settlement patterns project

After several months of hard work, the financial costs of different settlement patterns project is now complete.

The project provides councils with an understanding of the capital, maintenance and renewal costs of different settlement typologies (infill, greenfield and dispersed) based on typical infrastructure, services and dwelling density per hectare.

The project was prepared with SGS Economics and Planning, and Aurecon on behalf of the MAV and Rural Councils Victoria. We would like to thank our case study councils: Baw Baw, Macedon Ranges, Bass Coast and Surf Coast Shire who provided invaluable advice throughout the project.

The tool will be distributed to planning directors and managers, along with details on regional briefing sessions this week.

Metropolitan Strategy and Metropolitan Planning Authority

The MAV held a meeting of the MAV Metropolitan Strategy Reference Group to assist the Victorian Government gauge councils’ initial views on the Metropolitan Planning Authority.

The meeting was attended by council CEOs, planning directors, councillors; Prue Digby, Deputy Secretary, DPCD; Professor Roz Hansen, Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee; PricewaterhouseCoopers; and various Department representatives.

The MAV has prepared a paper summarising councils’ initial views on the Metropolitan Planning Authority.

Bushfire planning permit conditions

The MAV is convening a small group of councils to provide a forum to seek feedback on CFA standard planning permit conditions. We hope this session is useful for all involved to ensure that conditions are legally valid and enforceable so requirements are met and understood by permit holders.

Wind farm meeting

A council officer wind farm meeting was held this week. The meeting was designed to provide an avenue for officers to exchange information on wind farms. A range of matters were discussed, from how best to assess wind farm applications; tips on the assessment of noise monitoring and traffic management plans; and how other councils are undertaking monitoring and compliance.

Building Regulation Advisory Committee

We have provided the Department with council nominations for the Building Regulation Advisory Committee. The Committee is designed to provide advice on draft building regulations and accrediting building products, construction methods or designs, components or system connected building work.

What's on...

Zones reform

New residential, commercial and industrial zones have been released. The Advisory Committee Report on the rural zones was also submitted on 28 February. It will be interesting to see the final product.

VCAT fees

It was disappointing to see that council concerns with VCAT fees were not considered in the final fee structure. We believe matters such as planning enforcement orders will increase significantly and could act as a disincentive for issuing enforcement orders to maintain compliance with the scheme.

Development contribution review

The Standard Development Contribution Plan Advisory Committee submitted its report to Minister Guy on 31 May. We hope the standard levies provide adequate cost recovery and the planning scheme amendment process is tailored to facilitate implementation.

Regional Growth Plans

Many of the Regional Growth Plans are out for public consultation. Publically, the State Government has advised that the Regional Growth Plans and the Metropolitan Strategy will create a Vision for Victoria.

The plans respond to the directions in the regional strategic plans that were prepared by local government in Victoria in 2010. Eight regional growth plans will be completed by the end of 2013.

Potentially contaminated land

The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (formerly DPCD) held a workshop session with a number of councils and environmental auditors to discuss the implementation of recommendations accepted by the Government in response to the Potentially Contaminated Land Advisory Committee Report, released on 15 March.

There will also be a future engagement session led by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries on the broader policy questions relating to Victoria’s policy and regulatory framework for potentially contaminated environments. This includes the Advisory Committee’s report and the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office Managing Contaminated Sites report recommendations marked for longer-term implementation.

Native vegetation clearing provisions

Reforms to Victoria's native vegetation permitted clearing regulations have been underway and are due to commence in September following amendment of the Victoria Planning Provisions. We support in principle many of the priority reforms carried through into the changes, with areas that require further detail including the granularity of biodiversity mapping and native vegetation offsets. A PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the reform.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) has been holding a number of information sessions. These sessions provide information on the reform package to local government planning and environment staff. The final information session will be held in Benalla on 21 June. If you would like to attend this session, please RSVP via nativevegetation.review@dse.vic.gov.au.

In other news...

  • The City of Melbourne this week released a new discussion paper, titled Future Living, which explores options for overcoming current housing issues in the city, such as lack of access to affordable housing, lack of housing diversity and poor quality design and amenity.
  • Not to fear, the last resting places of our loved ones will continue to be protected… Read the Premier’s media release for more information.
  • In 1961, Harvard told married women that they probably shouldn't bother studying urban planning. Currently approximately 50 per cent of planners in local government are female.
  • The domestic building consumer protection reform strategy has been released. The reforms are designed to provide more effective consumer protection and improve the performance of government entities that oversee the framework.
  • Oliver Hume's latest Melbourne growth area land market report for the March 2013 quarter finds that the median land price eased during the quarter to $201 250, compared to $205 000 in the previous quarter.
  • When times are hard, it’s equally hard to keep and motivate employees by routinely upping their pay, and in any case many studies suggest that for people with good salaries, some nonfinancial incentives work better. A McKinsey Quarterly survey found that praise from managers, leadership attention, and a chance to lead projects or taskforces are no less or even more effective than cash bonuses, higher base pay, and stock or stock options. That’s why the ongoing economic crisis makes it essential for business leaders to understand the lessons of “Motivating people: Getting beyond money” (November 2009).
  • China’s next chapter: The infrastructure and environmental challenge
  • Chinese infrastructure: The big picture
  • The National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference will take place on 22 - 23 July

Vale: Paul Mees

We would like to pass on our condolences to family and friends of Paul Mees, who passed away recently. Paul, who taught many of us at university, was a staunch public transport advocate and will be missed in the future debates on the provision of public transport.

Upcoming MAV events...

4 - 5 July

Rural and regional planning conference

11 - 25 July

Planning enforcement workshops - Risk assessment tool

26 - 28 July

Councillor development weekend

 

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