Issue No. 11 November 2011

Logical Inclusions! Coming to your town soon, here is a great opportunity, any rural property is eligible. Be part of this exciting concept devised by the current Planning Minister, managed by the Growth Area Authority and your local Council is doing all it can to facilitate the project. This is about expansion of the urban growth boundary, all you have to do is nominate some land (preferably your own) but any land will probably be approved, developer’s land, public land, private land, creeks, railway easements etc. This year’s round is about to close, but don’t be disappointed, the Minister has promised a UGB Review every second year until he is voted out. The current vision for Cardinia Shire is the eastern UGB to be at Longwarry by 2016. To the north and south, well that is anbody’s guess at the moment as some creative engineering ideas will be called for, but there are already some clever and expensive solutions at Development Manager level for the problems of traffic congestion and public transport. So, get in for your share of the greed wedge windfall – sorry, error there, meant to say the green wedge windfall.

Of course, there will always be a few critics who say you cant grow food on concrete and bitumen, and what about the frogs, bandicoots and loss of native vegetation? Well, there is always plenty of imported food available, and the wildlife shelters at Maryknoll and Bayles are sure to have a spare wire enclosure to keep a few endangered species for the kids to look at. In the meantime, don’t be pessimistic, this is all visionary stuff about lots more unnecessary houses, highrise, lowrise, units, activity centres and infinite prospects of social engineering programs for future economic population growth.

News from the Towns

Beaconsfield Following two years at VCAT including several adjournments, new plans for a subdivision, altered hotel plans and costly hearings, VCAT approved a hotel on the corner of May Road and Princes Highway to include gaming machines, sports bar, alcohol sales, function room facilities and late closing hours. The VCAT decision overrode Council refusal of the application and strong opposition from the local community concerning the adjacent location of a community centre and kindergarten, reduction of carparking and removal of native vegetation.


the Minister has promised a UGB Review every second year until he is voted out.


For several years, Maryknoll residents have resisted attempts to compromise the township’s unique character.


Residents in Panorama estate have been told the site previously designated for a park and community centre is to be sold. The mega planning now being done for Beaconsfield and Officer should not extend to the disadvantage of residents who bought properties with the incentive of a promised park nearby. Rigid State planning controls administered by the Growth Area Authority are having a detrimental effect on residents in growth councils around Melbourne and this is likely to increase after the current major Review of the State Planning System is completed.

Catani residents will go to VCAT in January to oppose the establishment of a broiler farm in their small town. The applicant has appealed the Council decision to refuse a permit and has submitted altered plans to VCAT. Meanwhile, a Cora Lynn resident has been prevented from building a dwelling on his property due to an existing broiler farm on an adjacent property. In the interest of both residents and commercial interests, it is time for a Review of the Victorian Broiler Code regulations.

Cockatoo residents persisted with their campaign campaign to save the historic former Kindergarten building in McBride Street, and the Council’s shameful and hasty demolition of the building came to a halt. Discussions are now underway towards restoring and preserving what remains of the building as a permanent bushfire memorial precinct.

For several years, Maryknoll residents have resisted attempts to compromise the township’s unique character. However, the presence of a broiler farm was used as a supporting excuse and the latest bid was successful, with Council endorsing a proposal to subdivide green wedge land and requesting Ministerial approval for the controversial development. Following a Panel Hearing and strong opposition from the local Progress Association, that approval has been given.

It has only taken 34 years to achieve some progress towards preserving the future of the Pakenham golf course land and adjoining land to the south set aside in 1977 for community open space and recreation, and it is well known that in 2005 it was almost lost to development. Now, with a Council masterplan for the site and the first step in recovering the land during a community planting day held on 15th October, the future vision for this public land can become a reality.


The need is ever present for community vigilance regarding preservation of existing neighbourhood character, protection of the environment and valued sites and buildings. It is a regrettable fact that those employed to represent and administer our local and State governments and who are trusted to respond to the aspirations and needs of the residential community frequently fail those responsibilities.

Pepi’s Paddock in Emerald, originally set aside for community recreation, was sold by Council in 2004. Due to Cr. Chatwin’s persistence, the land is now back in Council ownership with a Masterplan to reflect the community vision for the land . Unfortunately a few hectares will have to be sold to fund the community facilities planned for Pepi’s paddock.

Urban Growth – “Logical Inclusions”
The current bid by the twelve month old State Government to extend the Urban Growth Boundary in all growth corridors around Melbourne, includes Cardinia Shire where the proposed move is almost to Nar Nar Goon, both north and south of the Princes Highway. The consequent loss of viable farmland, environmental impact and inevitable traffic increase is being trivialised, while the prospect of a huge housing subdivision and urban infrastructure is being promoted by a well known developer, and supported by the Council How will this affect existing ratepayers, especially those in the rural towns, as an already debt burdened Council will be required to fund growth corridor costs from Officer to Nar Nar Goon? See Growth Area Authority website or ask your local State MP for information.

Review of the Victorian State Planning System The Planning Minister established an Advisory Committee to conduct this Review of the whole planning system, how it works, State and local policy, zones and overlays, use of incorporated and reference documents and how permit applications and rezoning requests are dealt with. Submissions from local citizens, Councils, planning consultants and developers have now closed. The final results could be major changes in what has been accepted until now as local input and democratic practice. Where we live, location of roads, recreation facilities, schools, residential development, local neighbourhoods could all be affected by the proposed changes. See Dept. of Planning & Commnunity Development website or ask your local State MP for information.


How will this affect existing ratepayers, especially those in the rural towns


New Mayor for Cardinia.


Electoral Review 2012. Electoral Review 2012. The Victorian Electoral Commission is conducting a review of Cardinia Shire electoral ward boundaries as voter numbers have increased in the urban growth Central Ward. Council put forward two preferred options, one of which requires nine councillors. CRRA position is we definitely cannot afford extra councillors. Submissions have closed, VEC Preliminary Report out for public comment February 2012. Public hearing 8th March 2012.

Westernport Green Wedge Management Plan is currently being considered. If we keep on finding reasons to rezone green wedge, there will soon be none left to manage.

Council rates 2012 The coming year will be a property revaluation year. It is also Council election year (October 2012). There is a good case for holding rates at 2011 level 6.25% . Ratepayers do not need extra financial burden in a revaluation year.

Smart Meters.
If you have concern about the Smart Meter roll out and associated technology, it is urgent that you contact your local State MP and request information about the Review that has been conducted. Do we have full transparency on this issue. Apparently not.

Breaking news! Our Mayor for 2012 is Cr Ed A. Chatwin. On a single nomination Ed was elected unopposed, Congratultions Mr Mayor. Cr. Ed Chatwins six years in office following CRRA's endorsement in November 2005 and subsequent election is characterised by a singular dilligent examination and understanding of council financials and operations.