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BRAG: New Planning Bill to Further Empower Madden
Picture of Jack Roach
New Planning Bill to Further Empower Madden
by Jack Roach - Monday, 12 October 2009, 05:06 AM


The State government has rushed through both houses of parliament a new bill, which will result in a massive shift in the way transport and planning projects are to be implemented in future. This bill was introduced without any public consultation or the usual democratic processes.

The Bill provides for the Planning Minister to be the decision maker without challenge, appeal or review or be quashed or called into question in any court or tribunal. More  importantly, the wording throughout the bill has been drafted so that removal of the word "transport" could enable this bill to be used for ANY major planning project.

The Liberals supported the bill despite their concerns because of their previous many criticisms of the Government's shortcomings on transport issues. BRAG and other community groups are very angry that the Liberals did not take the opportunity to push for  an amendment to limit the Minister's powers.

Remember, Minister Madden is the Minister who professed he knew nothing of his electoral office involvement in the corrupt practices within the Brimbank Council.

He sees nothing, he hears nothing and he knows nothing - but he now has unlimited power. 

As we have said before, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Brian Walters, barrister and President of Protectors of Public Land says that this legislation is aimed at keeping residents and the general community out of the planning process. He also says that it is undemocratic, against the spirit of Westminster and renders the community powerless. Brian thinks that Jeff Kennett, at the height of his hubris, would not have dared introduce such legislation. 

Together with the proposed changes to Victoria's Planning Act, Premier Brumby  through this Minister will be be in total control and we will be powerless to have any say in planning in our own areas. The "Growth Lobby" including the development industry will be biven the green light to do whatever they want wherever they want provided their "political donations" measure up to expectations.

It is very clear that we now live in a dictatorship.