Adjournment Debate – 27 February 2008
Boroondara: planning approvals
Mr D. DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Planning. It concerns the apparent targeting of the City of Boroondara for certain special treatment by the minister and his department. I note that in the application of Melbourne 2030 planning principles and the various planning laws in the City of Boroondara there has been a very high rate of interventions by the minister and decisions in a number of specific cases to intervene to the detriment of the municipality.
I want to put on the record here for the minister's attention the situation at the Camberwell railway station, where there is still widespread community opposition to the government's plans and the overriding of council control of the future management of the land surrounding that, and to the situation with Kew Residential Services, well known in this chamber, where 27 hectares of prime land in Kew is being developed by the government through a contract with Walker Corporation in a medium-density arrangement that will see the destruction of an enormous number of trees.
Already more than 170 trees have been destroyed on the site, and stage 2 will see another 70 trees pulled off the site if the minister accedes to the developer's proposed plans. There are further stages to go, meaning that in the end hundreds of trees, many of them established and important trees, will be removed from that site. I believe the loss of amenity and vegetation is a significant detriment to the area.
Under the government's planning provisions there has been a tragic outcome at the Henley Honda site, with a 14-storey tower to be built at Camberwell Junction. That will be completely out of character with the surrounding area and will set a precedent that could lead to the destruction of amenity through that area.
My point is that the government's planning arrangements are not working well in the city of Boroondara, nor, I would venture to add, in some others, too. It appears that this municipality has been singled out by the government for special treatment. The municipality is under threat, and in my view the quality of life is at risk under the government's plans.
For this reason I ask the minister specifically to respect the role of local government and to desist from any further unnecessary and inappropriate call-ins in the city of Boroondara -- --
The PRESIDENT -- Order! The member's time has expired.
Mr LENDERS (Treasurer) – David Davis raised an issue. Going back to my opening remarks, David Davis opened his comments by saying the Minister for Planning -- and I paraphrase him and I will be interested to see Hansard in the morning -- was targeting the city of Boroondara.
He then went through a range of issues -- Kew Cottages, Camberwell -- --
Mr D. Davis -- Like his predecessor!
Mr LENDERS -- He extended it to his predecessor as well. I regard the issue as well and truly discharged. Mr Davis's conclusion was to show respect for local government. This government respects local government. We did not sack 209 municipal councils and replace them with unelected commissioners. We restored local government authority, and no minister in this government would target a municipality. The fact that David Davis thinks it happens is obviously because he remembers what life was like in the time of the Kennett government where people were targeted. I regard the matter as discharged. It was a political statement. Ministers in this government do not penalise, penalise, prosecute or target municipalities. I regard it as political. I regard my statement as discharging his adjournment item.