How to vote for Green Wedges
How to vote for the Green Wedges
The Green Wedges Coalition has recently met with the planning spokespersons for each of the State parliamentary parties, with generally good results.
All parties support a permanent Urban Growth Boundary to protect the Green Wedges from urban development. We hope this encourages land-bankers and developers who have bought up Green Wedge land in the hope of windfall gains from rezoning to sell to genuine farmers and conservation landholders.
The Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, and Premier Daniel Andrews recently announced that Labor, if re-elected, will rewrite the planning rules to tighten controls and better protect the Green Wedges from overdevelopment. This is good news to our Coalition and to the vast majority of citizens. Every survey of attitudes to Green Wedges has found that overwhelmingly most residents want the green wedges protected for their environmental, agricultural and rural open landscape qualities. We advocate for our Green Wedges to be protected as stringently as the English Green Belts are and hope this can now be achieved.
We also welcome Labor’s commitment to an agricultural land overlay for peri-urban areas as well as Green Wedges.
The Planning Minister, Richard Wynne’s pledge takes Green Wedge protection to a new and much needed level. Minister Wynne has already backed this policy with action, recently calling in and refusing an application to pave and build over most of a 37 ha Green Wedge property at Bangholme in Melbourne’s South East Green Wedge for a massive market development. Overdevelopments like these have been waved through by Councils and VCAT for years and we are glad this government is at last going to put a stop to it. (See attached examples from the Mornington Peninsula and South East Green Wedges.)
The Liberal Leader Matthew Guy committed to spend $10 million on a multi-hectare regional sporting precinct in Kingston’s Green Wedge (of a total $195m sporting facilities package).
Please take care when you vote. Some of the fine-sounding micro parties have a preference deal which means if you vote above the line for any party, your preferences may go to a quite different party. You need to vote below the line for only five candidates – or more.
These comments may be attributed to Rosemary West, coordinator of the Green Wedges Coalition, 0418 554 799; For comment, call Kahn Franke, President, GWC (Nillumbik) 0456 701 663 or for Kingston, Barry Ross, Defenders of the South East Green Wedge, 9598 6266.
FURTHER GREEN WEDGE COALITION COMMENT:
The Green Wedges Coalition hopes the political consensus among the parliamentary parties for a permanent Urban Growth Boundary will ensure that Frankston Council plans to rezone Green Wedge land for industrial development do not go ahead, regardless of who wins the election. And that any other like-minded Councils take note.
We hope the new Labor Government policies mean that all remaining agricultural land will:
- be protected from discretionary uses such as the spreading of so-called ‘clean’ landfill generated by urban developers; and
- be protected from other Green Wedge uses such as sportsfields and subdivision for lifestyle or rural residential development, as planned by Casey Council;
And that the Green Wedges will be protected from
- inappropriate developments like the 511-bed Ryman Health Retirement Village planned for Mt Eliza and other overdevelopments;
- unnecessary freeways and other infrastructure projects for which less destructive alternatives are available.
- intensive animal husbandry, such as some of the proposals the Government has introduced against our opposition for pig and poultry farms as discretionary uses in the Green Wedge and Rural Conservation Zones.
The most significant current threat to the Green Wedges is the Mordialloc Freeway, which the major parties both support but the Greens oppose. If they are elected with a balance of power in State Parliament, the Greens have said they will replace the freeway plans with spending on public transport improvements. Mr Guy pledged that the Liberals to spend $600m to make the Dingley Bypass into a freeway.
The Labor Government has also promised $150 million to create 6500 ha of new and upgraded parkland, with near the top of the list:
- Kingston’s Sandbelt Chain of Parks linking Karkarook Park with Braeside Park;
- a Frankston Greenbelt Parkland to link 1881 ha of parks and reserves between the Seaford Wetlands and Mornington; and
- 25 pocket parks, unfortunately none in Kingston, where groups of resident worked with Council to block a 14-unit development and to apply an Environment Significance Overlay on Dents Paddock in Tarella Road Chelsea.
Mr Taylor said the Greens have a history of supporting communities by advocating for the protection of open space, and if elected,he would advocate for the Government and Council to jointly fund the purchase of Dents Paddock for community use.
All three parliamentary parties have invited us back to talk about some of the policies that they have not yet covered, regardless of who wins the election.