Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- This bill is entitled the Planning and Environment Amendment (Growth Areas Authority and Miscellaneous) Bill 2013, and whenever you see 'miscellaneous' you know you have to go looking, although in the last sitting week it was the 'other matters' section of a bill that seemed to take up most of our time.
We should thank the Moyne Shire Council for working out what the 'miscellaneous' was all about. While ministers have all the powers in planning schemes, what you can rely on is that your local council will take responsibility for the outcomes, because local government is the level of government closest to the people. I hope Mr O'Brien gets a bit closer to his local councils, because if he were to spend some time talking to the Moyne Shire Council, the Pyrenees Shire Council and a range of other councils in that area about the particular representations they have made, he would learn that. He would also learn that local councils are on a pretty short feedback loop from their communities. People in local government carry mobile phones and take calls at all hours of the day and night; there really is nowhere to hide. At least state MPs come up to Melbourne from time to time and conduct business in this chamber without either full awareness or full admission of the impact votes may have on those people to whom they have to deliver.
MS PENNICUIK — To ask the Minister for Higher Education and Skills (for the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security): Given the number of disputed council decisions and challenges in the courts, what measures is the Government taking to address problems with the implementation of the restricted breed provisions under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I congratulate all local government councillors who were elected across Victoria on 27 October. Local government is closest to the community and plays a critical role in people's lives. Although I not have done so myself, I am told that serving as a local councillor is demanding, challenging and very rewarding. I especially thank those who stood for election as endorsed Greens candidates in local government areas around the state and all those who worked so hard on their campaigns. The Greens have always been open and transparent by standing endorsed candidates for local government.
Moorabool bemoans state moves to level rates on miners - Melton Weekly
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The minister said a lot very quickly there about the mechanics of this particular motion, but he did not in fact give us any rationale for the motion. He did not set about explaining it, and I listened carefully. Of course we have had this debate before, with Mr Guy in a different position, haven't we? At that time he started off by talking in glowing terms about the provisions of the Yarra Ranges and the Macedon Ranges planning schemes and the special nature of them. They were brought in many years ago -- it may have been by the Hamer government, to continue this week's theme; I am not too sure -- but, nevertheless, with the intent of protecting the special nature of those two areas.
Mrs Petrovich certainly encouraged the minister at the time to reflect on the importance of the Macedon Ranges planning scheme provisions, and there are plenty of others who could talk on what is special about the Yarra Ranges area.
Greens back Darebin, Moreland council's pokies stance - Melbourne Times Weekly
The Victorian Greens are taking on both big parties in an effort to retain Local Council's right to charge increased rates to pokies venues so as to tackle problem gambling in their communities.
Current debate in parliament is revealing that both Liberal and Labor will be supporting the Local Government Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 which may prevent Local Councils charging differential rates. Differential Rates enables Councils to charge higher rates to pokies venues so as to tackle the problem gambling and social issues that arise.
"Pokies create addiction that destroys people’s lives. We should be using every measure we can to discourage and minimise the damage" said the Victorian Greens Gambling Spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I rise to speak on the Planning and Environment Amendment (VicSmart Planning Assessment) Bill 2012. It is clear that as we have gone from a Labor government to a Liberal government things have gone from bad to worse. When you look at the way planning currently works here in Victoria you can see that much of Mr Tee's argument was hollow. Of course we are seeking many outcomes from the planning system, and it seems that this bill will not provide them.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Planning, and I am gratified that he is in the chamber tonight. It relates to the integrity of the administration of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 at the City of Darebin.
In terms of process my colleague Mr Trent McCarthy, a councillor at the City of Darebin, has been attempting to raise the standards by which the Planning and Environment Act 1987 is administered. He has attempted to have various major developments automatically sent to the full council, as occurs at most other councils, rather than the planning committee, which comprises only five of nine councillors and can grant permits under legal delegation. Each of these attempts has been resisted by the Labor councillors.