Are planning decisions for people or profit?


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My question is to the Minister for Planning, Mr Guy. The minister may be aware that Stonnington City Council is going through the process of exhibiting amendment C186. The purpose of that amendment is to allow open space contributions on property development to be increased in order to provide a source of funding for new and enhanced open space in the area. The minister's last intervention on this matter was to cut the levies on open space for a particular developer. Can the minister tell me whether the council's time and energy is being well invested in going down this path? In other words, can the minister assure us that his decisions on this matter will be for the interests of livability of the citizens of the area, not the profitability of property developers in the area?

Greens support transparency in local government planning, big or small


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens are happy to support this motion. As has been pointed out, the amendments affect very small parcels of land, with minimal planning issues.

Stonnington Planning Scheme


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I move:

That, pursuant to section 38 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Amendment C190 to the Stonnington planning scheme be revoked.

On 3 February the Minister for Planning signed off on a letter that was received by the Stonnington City Council on 13 February advising the council that, following a request from the Minister for Education, the minister had decided to exercise the power under section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to exempt himself from notice and prepare, adopt and approve amendment C190 to the Stonnington planning scheme.

Yes to Council performance reporting and accountability



Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will support the bill. After consulting the relevant local government representative bodies it appears there is no great disquiet about the bill across the sector. In fact in a lot of cases, including of course in progressive councils like the City of Yarra, these measures have already been introduced.

Is state government right to sack local governments for extended periods?


Second reading

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- To follow on from what Mr Tee just said, it seems that the government wanted to table a few pages of reports on the council in the morning and sack the council in the afternoon. At the very least we need to spend some time working out exactly why the Parliament is so willing to take this action.

State and local government must share cost of pest and weed management


Second reading

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The purpose of this bill is to clarify that municipal councils are responsible for pest animals and noxious weed management on local roadsides. It also gives the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security the power to require municipal councils to prepare roadside pest and weed management plans for regionally prohibited weeds, regionally controlled weeds and established pest animals, which must be approved by the minister. This of course is a difficult issue to grapple with. Councils are responsible for a huge number of roadsides.

Is state government helping councils plan for rising sea levels?


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My question is for the Minister for Planning, Mr Guy. The Moyne Shire Council has released the Port Fairy coastal hazards study, pointing to the likely impacts on a large number of properties of sea level rise associated with climate change. Can the minister tell the house whether he intends to introduce any planning rules to address these hazards as development continues in the area, or whether he is going to give any guidance to Moyne Shire Council as to how it should propose planning rules?

Victorian native vegetation deserves sporting chance


Hon. M. J. GUY (Minister for Planning) -- I move:
   That pursuant to section 46AD of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, amendment 120 (to create a soccer facility in what was previously an agricultural green wedge zone) to the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges regional strategy plan be approved.

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will support this amendment, but we take very seriously and scrutinise very closely any proposals to make changes to green wedge land and, for that matter, the very important Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges regional strategy plan, which has its own special provisions within the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Planning minister strips power from Councils, leaves them with the problems


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.

Q 9339: Restricted Breed Provisions, Domestic Animals Act 1994


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.