| What’s happening in planning?
Welcome back to another action packed year of planning. We are looking forward to the challenges ahead, and to working productively with councils during 2016. Gareth, Michelle, Kevin, Natasha and Shannon.
Infrastructure Contribution Plans
In 2015 the Planning and Environment (Infrastructure Contributions) Act introduced a new system of standard levies for infrastructure contributions.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is working through the implementation details progressively and is currently finalising details for metropolitan growth areas. A stakeholder reference group consists of industry representatives, as well as the MAV and Ballarat, Banyule, Warrnambool and Whittlesea councils.
The MAV also established a technical working group of growth area councils (both metro and rural) to help inform our feedback. The group contains officers from Whittlesea, Warrnambool, Moorabool, Wyndham, Surf Coast, Bass Coast, Ballarat, Melton, Geelong, Baw Baw, Mitchell, Hume, Wangaratta, Casey and Cardinia councils.
Using feedback from the technical working group, the MAV has prepared a 'Local Government Feedback Summary - Infrastructure Contribution Framework: Part 1 Growth Area development setting' to provide an overarching position to the government on key issues associated with implementation of the new system.
Most of the issues raised through the working group have been successfully resolved. There are two key outstanding issues:
- Land valuation and the need for legislative amendment
- The need for a streamlined amendment process to introduce the Standard Levies.
The MAV has raised the above concerns with the Department and will keep you updated on the outcomes.
Infrastructure Victoria: Laying the Foundations report released
Infrastructure Victoria has released a discussion paper titled Laying the Foundations. The paper outlines a list of draft objectives and needs that will inform the development of a 30-year infrastructure strategy for Victoria.
On 1 March the MAV arranged a local government briefing with Michel Masson, Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Victoria on the discussion paper. A recording of the session will be available online following the briefing.
To inform the our to the discussion paper, a survey has been distributed to council CEOs. A draft submission will be prepared and circulated to members for feedback. Further information on the submission process is available online.
For further information about our briefing or our submission, email Kevin Peachey or call 9667 5529.
The MAV, along with Port Phillip, Surf Coast, Shepparton, Wyndham and Glen Eira councils have been working with DELWP over the last four months to inform the review of planning fees. This has involved coordinating the collection of activity-based costings and a review of the draft fee options.
The Stakeholder Reference Group has discussed the need for additional subdivision classes to capture the complexity and cost of larger scale subdivisions.
The MAV would like to thank those councils who provided information at short notice to inform the planning fees review. A draft Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is proposed to be released in May for public comment. The MAV intends to establish a working group to inform our submission to the RIS.
For further information, contact Gareth Hately on 96675596 or via email.
Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee
The Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee has invited submissions about application of the residential zones. The scope of the Committee’s task is to consider the process of application of the zones, the level and evidence required, and improvements.
The MAV has prepared a draft submission to the Advisory Committee, which has been circulated to planning directors and CEOs for feedback. The draft is based on the results of a survey distributed on 16 February and other feedback provided to us. There are disparate views across the sector about the effect of the zones and we will attempt to reflect the positions put to us.
If you have not completed our survey, please do so by 7 March. Results will be included in our final submission due on 14 March. When providing comments please respond to the questions asked (if you can), make suggestions, provide evidence and examples where possible and identify other issues that you believe should be covered.
For further information, contact Michelle Croughan on 9667 5541 or via email.
Major Hazard Facilities Advisory Committee
The MAV has prepared a submission to the Major Hazard Facilities Advisory Committee Review. The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to consider if the planning system needs to better manage development around Major Hazard Facilities.
Our submission emphasised that any new planning control should not result in councils taking on risk assessment, mitigation and enforcement responsibilities of Major Hazard Facility operators and other agencies such as Energy Safe Victoria and Worksafe.
We also advocated that any proposed land use planning responsibility must be accompanied by an independent analysis verifying that local government has the capacity and capability of discharging this responsibility. We’d like to thank councils for providing feedback on this matter.
Rural and Regional Planning Conference to be held in Bendigo
The annual MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference will be held in Bendigo on 23-24 June. If you have enjoyed the conference in the past, we’d encourage you to block this time out in your diary.
Further details will be released shortly. Please email through any conference suggestions.
Intensive Animal Industries Advisory Committee
The MAV has prepared a submission to the Intensive Animal Industries Advisory Committee Review. The purpose of the submission was to consider how the planning system can support the establishment and expansion of intensive animal industries, while balancing environmental outcomes and community expectations.
Our submission provides broad commentary on the discussion points within the paper and emphasises the need for an authority to verify noise and odour compliance with the relevant standards and codes. We also called for a review and update of the Codes of Practices associated with intensive animal industries.
Consultation on Code Reform: intensive animal industries
The MAV is please to advise that the Department of Agriculture is scoping a review of Codes of Practice for intensive animal industries. The need for a review of the codes was identified in the Intensive Animal Industries Advisory Committee discussion paper.
The Department would like to meet with council planning officers to understand the issues with the current codes, gaps and weaknesses, and how they could be improved. Please consider sending a statutory planning officer if they have had experience is using the current codes.
The meeting will be held on 8 March at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne from 10am-12pm. Registrations can be made online.
Broader review of the building system required
At the October meeting of MAV State Council, the sector called for a review of the building system. The number of permits issued by councils has now decreased to only 10 per cent or 10,805 permits annually.
As the private sector increases its share of the market, the capability and capacity of councils to fulfil its obligations has reduced substantially. A review is required that recognises the strength of the private sector, and the resource constrained environment that council building departments are operating in.
The MAV has written to the Minister for Planning to call for a review of the building system.
Better Apartments report
In May the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne released the Better Apartments Discussion Paper to kick-start a statewide conversation about the future mechanisms to better manage apartment design into the future. Following consultation, the Better Apartments Public Engagement Report has now been released.
The MAV has been appointed to the Better Apartments Reference Group to receive reports on the project and provide feedback on the implementation of measures that may be under consideration. To inform our advice to the reference group, we will be seeking feedback from council planning officers via planning directors, or we will establish a small working group of planning officers.
For further information, contact Gareth Hately on 9667 5596.
Victoria Planning Permit Activity Report: 2014-15 released
The 12th annual report on planning permit activity in Victoria has been released. The report includes a detailed summary of statistical information for the 2014-15 financial year.
The data is provided by all councils, the Minister for Planning, and the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal.
Highlights from the report include:
- Gross number of days to assess a planning permit application has improved
- The number of permits has increased to 56,411 from 49,000 in 2006-07
- A total of 43 per cent of all applications required further information (A 12.4 per cent increase on last year)
- A total of 28 per cent of all applications required a referral to an external agency.
Rebuilding Community in Hambantota after the 2004 Tsunami
Councillor Mohamed Yehiya is an elected representative from the City of Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka who will be in Melbourne from 1 May. Yehiya (as he is known) is also a senior town planner working for the Urban Development Authority and has overseen much of the rebuilding of Hambantota since the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
On 5 May he will give a presentation at the MAV on ‘Rebuilding Community in Hambantota after the 2004 Tsunami’. He is interested in networking with Victorian councils and learning about good local examples of parkland, open space and recreation planning.
The briefing will be at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne from 2pm-3.30pm. Registrations can be made online.
For further information, email Gareth Hately or Steve Dunn.
Interesting tid bits