"Plan Melbourne" retrograde, not a plan for Melbourne

15/10/2013

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- It is not often that I am kept tantalised by the prospect of hearing the words of Mr Tee. However, I am now deadly keen to hear about the planning policy that the Labor Party will bring forward at the next state election, based on the little glimpses that we got there.

What Mr Tee said -- and he has been saying it for a while -- is that if the minister does not advertise a planning scheme amendment through a panel process, then the minister is breaking the law. But in fact it is the case that the law provides for the minister, at a whim -- and ministers I have observed over the years have seemed to do this at a whim -- to at least short-circuit the normal process, let us call it, where a planning scheme amendment is put on exhibition, public submissions are sought, those submissions are examined by a panel, the panel report is released and either the local council, as a responsible authority, or the minister makes a determination about whether the amendment is to proceed or otherwise. Then, of course, there is always the opportunity for Parliament to ratify or disallow the amendment. Under certain sections of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 positive ratification by the Parliament is necessary and under other provisions Parliament can decide to disallow a planning scheme amendment, and we can all have a big debate about that.

Growth areas need public transport, not just plans

21/08/2013

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I seek to speak on a very interesting and important report that has been tabled by the Auditor-General today called Developing Transport Infrastructure and Services for Population Growth Areas. It is an absolutely damning indictment of a succession of governments, both Labor and Liberal, and how they have neglected the outer suburbs while quite willingly pocketing all the stamp duty from the house sales. It is clear that bodies such as Public Transport Victoria and recently the Growth Areas Authority not only do not take their obligations to provide public transport in these new suburbs seriously but are not even monitoring the extent to which they are failing, and it has taken the Auditor-General to tell us this.

UGB - the boundary without boundaries

14/08/2012

 Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Whether it is this latest expansion of the UGB (urban growth boundary) by the Liberal Party, or any of the other expansions that preceded it by the Labor Party, I think the process through which we got here is the least important issue. The fact is that there is a bipartisan policy put in place by Labor and Liberal going all the way back to the creation of the UGB in 2002 to continuously expand the size of Melbourne. It is written there in black and white in the planning scheme as it was left by the Labor Party to always allow 15 years of land supply. In other words, the urban growth boundary is a misnomer -- an oxymoron. It is not a growth boundary. It is not a boundary or anything; it just keeps growing endlessly, and increasingly those urban developments reach limits, including the limit of the public budget to provide the necessary infrastructure. There are also the limits of the city in terms of transport and workable size so that people can get from their homes to work, to study and to visit friends. There are also the very real environmental limits, including the important biodiversity we need to be protecting around the fringes of Melbourne.

Much of it is highly endangered. It is endangered by urban sprawl, and it has become more endangered through the years of Labor and Liberal policy.

Q: Will the Minister for Planning play by his own rules?

06/12/2011

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Planning, Mr Guy.

Mr Finn -- A good man!

Mr BARBER -- This will be a test! The minister has set up a process for the review of urban growth boundary anomalies outside growth areas. He set out a nine-step process by which this is to occur where local councils wish to participate.

The City of Greater Dandenong at its council meeting of 14 November put up a number of classic anomalies in the way the minister has previously described them: small parcels of land, in some cases with the urban growth boundary moving down the middle of them. It was the recommendation of the officers of the City of Greater Dandenong that those properties be put forward.

However, an amendment to the motion was moved by Cr Peter Brown. His proposition was that a piece of land bounded by Eumemmerring Creek, Frankston-Dandenong Road, EastLink and Harwood Road in Bangholme, an area covering more than 3 square kilometres, be put forward as an anomaly. This was moved, as I said, by a councillor from the floor of the council meeting without the usual public consultation and range of other steps required by the minister's process as set out in his letter to the council.

New Truganina suburb not sustainable or affordable with no transport

Greens transport spokesperson Greg Barber MLC says the new suburb of Allura in Truganina South won't be affordable, sustainable or liveable without better public transport.

Urban expansion cannot continue indefinitely

29/07/2010

Planning: Amendment VC68

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- A couple of weeks ago the Leader of the Opposition put out a press release detailing 66 different policies which he said the Labor Party had nicked off him in recent years.

Debating GAIC: "Discussion about the future of our entire metropolis"

08/12/2009

 PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT AMENDMENT (GROWTH AREAS INFRASTRUCTURE CONTRIBUTION) BILL - Second reading

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I move:  That the debate be adjourned for one week.

I will use the few minutes available to me to speak specifically on the procedural motion. It is not normally my job to organise the government's business program and make sure that the government's bills are passed at the right time, but on this occasion I will speak briefly on why I believe that in terms of both time and process we should not be in a rush to vote down this bill right now.

Sustainable design to stop urban sprawl

With Victoria’s population continuing to grow, the Brumby Government plans to extend the Growth Areas Boundaries, impose a Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution Tax (GAIC) and run a new outer ring road through the city fringe.  Areas under considerat

Q: Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution

29/07/2009

 Planning: growth areas infrastructure contribution

 Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My question is for the Minister for Planning and is in relation to the growth areas infrastructure charge. I have a fact sheet from the New South Wales government's Growth Centres Commission in relation to what it calls its special infrastructure contribution.  It says that the special infrastructure contribution equates to around $23 000 per average lot for residential development. Is the minister able to give an estimate of what that would equate to per lot based on his forthcoming plan for the growth area?

Planning Legislation Amendment Bill

11/06/2009

 Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- This bill is about planning, and planning is meant to be about what we want. That is all planning is about as far as I am aware. It is about the sort of city we want to live in; it is about the sorts of buildings we want to live in and work in; it is about where we want to work, what sorts of public spaces we want, how far it is to the nearest Coles supermarket, how late the music goes until, how wide the streets are, how many trees there are, whether there is enough parking -- that is all planning is. It is just about us shaping the city into the sort of city we want to live in.