In this issue:                                                                     November, 2013

MAV submission on Plan Melbourne
STEP planning program enrolment period opens
Rural forum – the wrap up
Councils’ initial views on the concept of an agricultural overlay
Draft Building Strategy consultation
Victorian Coastal Strategy
Local Government Briefing on the Planning and Environment Act 1987
Planning and the greyhound industry
MAV/CFA working group on planning permit conditions
Interesting tid bits

We hope you are all surviving the last minute Christmas rush, relief is in sight with 25 December rapidly approaching.

Enjoy the read.

Gareth, Michelle, Stuart and Kevin

What’s happening in planning?

MAV submission on Plan Melbourne

The MAV submission on Plan Melbourne has been circulated to CEOs, MAV Metropolitan Strategy Reference Group and Planning Directors for comment.

Our submission focuses primarily on the implementation, prioritisation of policy issues and work plan items, and the positioning of councils to work with the government.

In our submission we also call for development of a State – Local Government Protocol to provide clarity on the roles and powers of the Metropolitan Planning Authority. Comments on our submission close on Monday 2 December.

Thank you for your comments so far and your responses to our survey. Copies of your submissions have also been extremely useful to provide a finer grain understanding of individual council views on the strategy.

STEP planning program enrolment period opens…

We are trying something new and have introduced an enrolment period for the STEP planning program running from December through to the end of February. This will allow us to know our total member numbers at the start of the year and map out the workshops for the year ahead.

A letter has been sent to all CEOs and Planning Directors, inviting participation in the program.  We will also be briefing regional groupings of councils in the New Year.

If you have not seen copy of the letter and would like to, please contact Michelle Croughan on 9667 5541.

Rural forum – the wrap up

The MAV, with support from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI), hosted our quarterly Rural and Regional Planning Forum on 8 November at the RACV Club in Melbourne.

The forum was well attended by over 90 council representatives from across the state. It provided an opportunity for councils to discuss land use planning issues and for the Victorian Government to engage with the sector.

November’s forum featured presentations from a variety of State Government representatives who covered a range of topics relevant to rural and regional councils, including the revised rural zones, agricultural land use and the case for an agricultural overlay, the revised native vegetation regulations, Bushfire Management Overlay schedules, modelling the costs of different settlement patterns in regional Victoria and the 2014 PLANET planning training program.

Six councils also discussed strategic projects and issues of relevance to their municipalities, including discretionary uses in the Farming Zone, flood and tourism studies, salinity management and encouraging environmentally efficient design measures in new developments.

An update on regulatory changes to the Planning and Environment Act and Bushfire Management Overlay mapping were also provided by DTPLI representatives.

This event was a resounding success and we thank all the presenters for their contributions and hope to see you at the next one.

Councils’ initial views on the concept of an agricultural overlay

We also used the forum as a proactive opportunity to seek feedback on the concept of the agricultural overlay to inform MAV discussions with the DTPLI. The concept of the overlay has been mentioned on several occasions by the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy and is identified in the draft Metropolitan Strategy as an option for investigation.

A draft paper summarising council feedback has been distributed to the sector for comment. For further information or to discuss this matter, please email Stuart Grigg, Rural and Regional Planning Officer or call 9667 5595.

Draft Building Strategy consultation

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has been consulting with councils on a draft Building Strategy throughout November.

The strategy emerges from the Auditor General’s report into the Building System and addresses matters such as clarifying that councils have no responsibility to monitor private buildings surveyors, broader cooperation between councils, and the need to provide greater structure around the delivery of building services through a Building Control Plan.

The VBA has held eight consultations around Victoria. If you have any further comments or concerns about the draft strategy contact Michelle Croughan on 9667 5541.

Victorian Coastal Strategy

Our Environment team has prepared a draft submission on the Victorian Coastal Council Strategy. The document will be circulated to planning directors and managers for comment shortly.

Local Government Briefing on the Planning and Environment Act 1987

A total of 50 planners attended the MAV Local Government Briefing on the changes to the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

A copy of the DTPLI presentation on the amendments to the Act and the changes to the amendment process can be viewed online. To see further presentations please contact Gareth Hately.

Planning and the greyhound industry

The MAV and several other councils have been invited to participate in a Planning and the Greyhound Industry Reference Group.

The purpose of the group is to examine the existing planning provisions and processes for approving use and development of land for greyhound training, keeping and breeding facilities, and identify options that may codify or provide a consistent approach for assessing greyhound keeping, training and breeding facilities.

If you have any useful feedback based on your experience in assessing these facilities, please email Gareth Hately or call on 9667 5596.

MAV/CFA working group on planning permit conditions

The MAV and CFA held the first working group meeting on the bushfire management overlay. The meeting was useful to understand how the conditions can be improved.

A report recommending practical steps to improve the drafting of permit conditions will be distributed on completion.

Thank you to Shepparton, Whittlesea, Yarra Ranges, Bendigo, Surf Coast, Murrindindi, Northern Grampians, South Gippsland, Golden Plains and Nillumbik councils for participating.

In other news...

East West Link Assessment Committee appointed

The Minister for Planning has appointed an Assessment Committee to assess the Comprehensive Impact Statement (CIS) for the East West Link (Eastern Section) Project and to make recommendations to the Minister regarding any applicable approvals required to facilitate the project.

The Committee members are Kathryn Mitchell (Chair), Nicholas Wimbush (Deputy Chair), Lynette Denison, Desmond Grogan, James Holdsworth and William O'Neil.

Under the Terms of Reference set out by the Minister, the committee is required to prepare a summary of all public submissions made regarding the CIS and provide a report and recommendations that evaluate all applicable statutory approvals required for the project.

The CIS is currently being publicly exhibited for 30 business days from 31 October – 12 December.

Seminar on the Plan Melbourne discusses implementation

The MAV attended a seminar held by SGS Economic and Planning that included presentations from Patrick Fensham, Principal at SGS Economics and Planning, Dr Alan March from Melbourne University and renowned urban designer Rob Adams.

The seminar discussed the implementation of the Plan Melbourne strategy and the challenges of growing high quality jobs in suburban areas.

DTPLI movements

Prue Digby, former Deputy Secretary of Planning and Building in the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure has become the new CEO of the Victorian Building Authority, replacing Joe Demasi.

Jim Gardner is the Acting Deputy Secretary.

PIA Kemsley Oration

Congratulations to Mark Bartley, Kathy Mitchell, Tufan Chakir, Tim Hellsten and Con Tsortsoros who were made fellows of the Planning Institute of Australia at the recent Kemsley Oration.

Environment and Planning Legislation Committee report

The Environment and Planning Legislation Committee tabled a report on Regulatory Impact Statement Process.

The report recommended the Minister for Planning Matthew Guy, in consultation with the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission, amend Ministerial Direction 11 (Strategic Assessment of Amendments) to require a costs benefit analysis for significant changes to the planning scheme.

Interesting tid bits

Upcoming MAV events...

5 December

The MAV Mayoral Program

5 December

LGICT December Forum

11 December

DIBP & MAV Council citizenship information session


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