Media Statements

Statement - Community revolt over planning takeover

Statement – Community revolt over planning takeover

James Newbury, Shadow Minister for Planning

9 December 2023.

The peak body representing Victorian councils, the Municipal Association of Victoria, is the latest community representative body to voice its opposition to Labor’s proposed government takeover of our planning system.

Calling out the two key issues of taking away community rights and a proposed system that would reduce transparency, the Association is the voice of 79 councils, representing Victoria’s more than six million people.

The Association’s Deputy President, Joseph Haweil, said the government takeover will lead to “increased ability for developers to go direct to the state government to have their projects approved with limited transparency”.

And added that “communities will rightly be concerned that the minister has been given the power…”

The Association’s intervention follows Boroondara City Council taking the unprecedented step of describing the proposed planning takeover as “completely unacceptable”.

Shadow Minister for Planning, James Newbury, said: “The Minister for Planning is wandering around Victoria meeting with councils, trying to calm their deep concerns about Labor’s intention to centralise planning decisions in her office. Instead of calming them, councils are left more concerned than before the Minister arrived”.

“The State Government’s proposed government-led planning takeover runs against the principle of democracy, where people can have a say over what is happening in their own community. There is no doubt that the community will revolt over Labor’s plan and councils will soon queue to speak out.”

James Newbury, Shadow Minister for Planning