In this issue:                                                                   September, 2013

Planning Process Improvement Conference success
SPPF submission
Setting the agenda - where we are now and where are we going to?
Reformed residential zones workshop
Rural and regional planners’ forum – 8 November
Municipal Planners Yammer page
Environmentally efficient design provisions
MAV Building Regulation Advisory Committee appointments
Bushfire planning
Development around high pressure gas pipelines
Planning protection for Melbourne’s Rivers
Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Growth Vision 
Federal Government’s plan for planning
Interesting tid bits
Industry events
MAV events

Hi all,
We hope you enjoy the September wash up in two and a half minutes.
Gareth, Michelle, Kevin and Stuart

What we have been doing

Planning Process Improvement Conference success

The sold out 2013 MAV Planning Improvement Conference took place on 19 September in Melbourne. This annual event sourced speakers from many backgrounds to speak on the many ways in which local government planners can improve process, customer relationships, and measure how their systems perform. Streamed master classes on the topics of maintaining a contemporary planning scheme, the enforcement framework and the incoming VicSmart legislation ensured there was something for all delegates.

It was great to see that this important event had representation from the majority of Victorian councils, signifying the importance of culturing an environment of continuous improvement. Preliminary feedback and discussion on the day has indicated that many positive lessons and fresh ideas were taken home to implement from this event.

For those interested in the ideas discussed, the MAV runs the STEP Planning Improvement program to deliver measureable improvements to participating councils. For further information please visit the STEP Planning Improvement program webpage, or contact Michelle and Kevin at SPlanning@mav.asn.au.

SPPF submission

We recently submitted our views about the role, structure and format of the State Planning Policy Framework and how best it can integrate with the Metropolitan Strategy and Regional Growth Plans. We voiced concern, like many, that the review seems to put the ‘cart before the horse’ and would be better informed once the structure and content of key reforms are known. A copy of our submission will be available on the MAV Planning and Building webpage shortly.

Setting the agenda - where we are now and where are we going to?

Once the dust has settled, people have recovered from reform fatigue and things are bedded down, we see value in convening councils to set the agenda, identify system refinements and articulate the top five things that must be pursued to improve planning outcomes in Victoria. We’d welcome your feedback and ideas. Please give us a call or drop us an email to discuss this.

Reformed residential zones workshop

A total of sixty-five planners and councillors crowded into room 11.01 for a speed sharing session on how councils are considering converting the residential zones. Participants were surprisingly familiar with this variation on the speed dating format, but were quick to assure that it was not from personal experience. It’s good to see many are considering a staged approach based on existing strategic work. We hope all involved found the session useful. A copy of summary document can be downloaded from the MAV webpage. We hope to hold a series of these workshops on particular matters of importance throughout the year.

Rural and regional planners’ forum – 8 November

We are hosting our next rural and regional planners’ forum at the RACV Club in Melbourne on 8 November and the agenda is jam packed! Rural zones, agricultural overlays, native vegetation regulations and the CFA BMO schedules project will be discussed. A total of six councils will also discuss projects they are working on from major agricultural developments, flood studies to tourism. The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure is also coming along to provide an update on regulatory changes. The forums are open to planners and councillors from across rural and regional Victoria. The forum attracts 60 and 120 people and is held in conjunction with the annual rural and regional planners’ conference. For further information contact Stuart Grigg on 9667 5595.

Municipal Planners Yammer page

Council planners are invited to join the MAV's new Municipal Planners Yammer page. The page recognises that we are all experiencing similar issues and working on the same projects, but don’t have a space to realise the collective knowledge of the sector. The network is similar to LinkenIn or Facebook but provides a secure space for collaboration and enables planners to ask questions of one another, upload project briefs, councils submissions, VCAT or PPV reports and anything else you think your peers could benefit from. On creating an account, we ask that you abide by the Code of Conduct at all times when participating in this group. We hope that over time it becomes a useful resource for council planners. Get uploading!

What's in the news Environmentally efficient design provisions

We have written to the Minister for Planning and Chair of the Environmental Efficient Design Advisory Committee to reiterate the sector’s support for a statewide approach to implementing environmentally efficient design requirements. The approach will provide consistency and improve the performance of development, consistent with the Victorian Government’s commitment in the Plan for Planning. The State has established an Advisory Committee to report on how best environmentally efficient design requirements can be incorporated into the building and planning system. We look forward to the release of the Committee Report on completion and the Government’s response.

MAV Building Regulation Advisory Committee appointments

We’ve had many phone calls from those who applied to be MAV representative on the Building Regulatory Advisory Committee (BRAC). All nominations have been submitted. We’ve been advised that appointments should be finalised in the next three weeks. BRAC provides advice to the Minister on draft building regulations and considers amendments to the Building Code and Australian Standards. We’d like to thank John Prendergast, Manager of Building Services at Greater Dandenong, who has been the MAV representative for a number of years.

Bushfire planning

Bushfire Management Overlay notification postponed
Councils were notified by the Department mid-month that the proposed landowner notification for the Bushfire Management Overlay mapping updates has been postponed. The Government is yet to provide advice on the next steps. Councils are supportive of a transparent consultation process and are eager to understand the next steps.

DTPLI bushfire projects workshop
On Friday 18 October, DTPLI, with MAV support is hosting a session for the sector to share how council projects on bushfire planning are progressing. The session is open to council planners and will be held at the MAV from 10 am. Several councils have been invited to share their project, how they are tacking challenges and approaching things in different ways. Please register on the MAV webpage.

Bushfire Planning Provisions Council Funding Program Workshop
DTPLI and the MAV are hosting a Bushfire Planning Provisions Council Funding Program Workshop on 18 October. The workshop will be a great opportunity to learn how each council has utilised the funding from DTPLI to reduce their bushfire risk and increase hazard awareness. Please register your attendance.

CFA strategic planning support material
The Country Fire Authority has made available information on its website to support strategic planning for bushfire.

Development around high pressure gas pipelines

Development around high pressure gas pipelines is producing a range of views. Undoubtedly ruptures are low likelihood, but high consequence events. Some have jumped quickly towards land use planning and the creation of an overlay control as the obvious solution. While this may be worth pursuing, it’s important that the extent of the issue is known. A prudent first step would be to map high pressure gas pipelines, land within the heat flux zone, pipe rating and the underlying land use. Transparency on engineering solutions, costs and the mechanisms outside of planning that manage risk with existing developed areas are incredibly important. Then short, medium and longer term management solutions can be put in place.

Planning protection for Melbourne’s Rivers

Local planning controls to protect Melbourne’s Rivers have been adopted for the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers. The controls include specific height and setback requirements to guard against inappropriate development.

Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Growth Vision

The Victorian Government recently launched the Draft Vision for the Fishermans Bend urban renewal project. The Draft Vision outlines a plan to allow for Melbourne’s continued growth through an expanded CBD. The Draft Vision indicates that a number of precincts will develop to include low rise family-friendly housing, medium scale development, and high density development around a future transport corridor and new employment hubs. Public comments and submissions close on 22 November. A final structure plan for the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area is expected to be released in early 2014.

Federal Government’s plan for planning

The Major Cities Unit, which provided advice on developing Australia's 18 biggest cities, has been dismantled. Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Environment articulated the role of the Commonwealth in the September issue of Urban Policy and Research, proposing an integrated planning commission for each capital city to develop a 30 year plan and create necessary reservations for major infrastructure items. The commission would be made up of state ministers, shadow ministers, Commonwealth and local government.

Interesting tid bits

Industry events

October is Planning Month and the Planning Institute of Australia is running a raft of events.

Upcoming MAV events...

23 October

Effective mentoring - strategies for success

30 October

Local economic development for changing times

31 October

Local government legislative framework workshop

 

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