All Green Wedges

How to vote for Green Wedges

Author: 
Green Wedges Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

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.

 

22/11/2018

Bulletin No 5 URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO AVERT DISASTER FOR THE GREEN WEDGES

Author: 
Green Wedges Coalition

Green Wedges Coalition - a vision for Melbourne

Bulletin No 5 – July 2018: 

URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO AVERT DISASTER FOR THE GREEN WEDGES   

This is an occasional publication to highlight issues of major importance to the future of the Green Wedges and is also posted on the our website at  www.gwc.org.au

12/07/2018

GWC Bulletin No 1 - 20 Feb 2018

Author: 
Green Wedges Coalition

Green Wedges Coalition - a vision for Melbourne

Bulletin No 1 – 20 February 2018

This is an occasional publication to highlight issues of major importance to the future of the Green Wedges and is also posted on the organisation’s website at www.gwc.org.au

 

PLACES OF WORSHIP – BULK AND SCALE A THREAT TO GREEN WEDGES

20/02/2018

Green Wedges Coalition Advocacy Watchlist 2018

Author: 
Green Wedges Coalition

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide a resource document that identifies the specific issues of concern to the Green Wedges Coalition and its partner organisations across all the Green Wedges.

The advocacy themes are divided into:

  • State Government Programs

The main programs of immediate concern at present are the Smart Planning Program and the Sustainable Animals Industries initiative. These two programs have the potential to destroy the rural values of the Green Wedges.

12/02/2018
Subject: 

Green Wedges Coalition Advocacy Watchlist 2018

Author: 
Green Wedges Coalition
12/02/2018
Subject: 
Green Wedges: 

Purpose

The purpose of this Watchlist is to provide a resource document that identifies the specific issues of concern to the Green Wedges Coalition and its partner organisations across all the Green Wedges.

The advocacy themes are divided into:

  • State Government Programs

The main programs of immediate concern at present are the Smart Planning Program and the Sustainable Animals Industries initiative. These two programs have the potential to destroy the rural values of the Green Wedges.

Unsustainable Intensive Animal Production

Author: 
Christine Pruneau

This is a keynote address prepsented at the Green Wedges Coalition AGM on 7 December 2017 and a copy is attached as a pdf.

07/12/2017

Submission to the State Government Discussion Paper: Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions

Author: 
Green Wedges Coalition

The future of the Green Wedges is vital to the quality of life and the reputation of Melbourne as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Yet the Green Wedges are in danger of disappearing from both the ongoing encroachment of urban development and more insidiously a gradual increase in built development under uses permissible under existing non-urban zones.  These uses and these threats will be exacerbated by the line-by-line program of deregulation advanced in this discussion paper, which could lead to ‘death by a thousand cuts’ for the Green Wedges. .

Wednesday, 31 January, 2018

Green Wedges to be protected and refreshed in latest Metropolitan Planning Strategy

Author: 
Green Wedge Coalition

The good news in Minister Wynne’s new Plan Melbourne Refresh is that Melbourne’s Green Wedges are safe, behind the locked-down Urban Growth Boundary that was an election pledge of the Andrews Government.

More good news is that the new plan builds on and provides much-needed detail to former Minister Guy’s original 2014 Plan Melbourne, which also committed to a permanent Urban Growth Boundary.

Let’s hope this heralds more collaborative planning and ends the practice by new governments of throwing out old, often sound policies and bringing in more development-oriented ones. Effective planning requires consistency, commitment and long-term vision.

We still need the Government to review and tighten controls on inappropriate develop-ments allowed in by the last Government’s deregulation of green wedge zones, especially the Rural Conservation Zone. Minister Wynne told us he would review the Green Wedge and Rural zones after he had reviewed the residential zones. We hope this will now be soon.

In the meantime we are battling applications like:

  • A “cleanfill” application at Oaklands Junction, where a developer wants to cover good farmland and environmentally significant grassland with up 600,000 tonnes of perfectly good soil generated by wasteful development practices;
  • Various communities applying  to set up large urban-style  residential and community developments: (a 3000-seat centre in Carrum Downs, a church in Lyndhurst with 23 metre towers and footprint twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral,  a mosque in Narre Warren North; a brewery, a private school carpark  and restaurants with double the maximum number of patrons on  Mornington Peninsula.

Our members are also striving to save endangered species and significant landscapes on former green wedge land rezoned by former Labor and Liberal governments  in 2010 and 2012, for instance the Jacksons Creek Valley near Emu Bottom in Sunbury, Growling Grass Frogs in Merri Creek and Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat in  South East Growth corridor. 

Please attribute these comments to Kahn Franke, president of the Green Wedge Protection Group  and the Green Wedges Coalition, 0456 701 663, Rosemary West,  Green Wedges Coordinator rowest@ozemail.com.au;   0418 554 799,   or Alan Thatcher, GWC secretary, 0417 387 678 alancthatcher@gmail.com;   To contact  delegates from other Green Wedges, see attached constituent membership list. 

Background:

  1. Sunbury Residents Association is battling to protect the Jacksons Creek Valley

 from encroaching suburban development around Victoria’s oldest homestead, Emu Bottom;  Contact Trevor Dance, tdtd@ozemail.com.au0413822214  for more information see: https://www.change.org/p/victorian-government-save-jacksons-creek-valley sunbury?recruiter=149425465&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

2.The need to protect the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ):

We have particular concern about the undermining of the Rural Conservation Zone,

which covers much of the Green Wedges as well as rural land around the water catchments, high fire risk areas and most privately-owned environmentally significant land.  

As part of their deregulation of the planning scheme to promote an anything goes approach, the previous government  removed the “in conjunction”  requirement and minimum lot sizes from the RCZ for tourist and other uses and allowed schools, trash and treasure markets and ‘innominate uses’ (ie uses not named in the planning scheme) to be approved by Council permits, where previously they were prohibited.  We are disturbed that this is likely to mean:

  • diminished concern for environmental conservation ( a primary purpose for Green Wedges);
  • diminished protection for our drinking water catchments and conservation areas in the new urban growth areas and in the rural areas;
  • diminished concern for increasing fire risk and the need for rural buffers;
  • diminished concern for  the substantial amount of agriculture in the RCZ in, for example, Nillumbik & Manningham Green Wedges, as well as Frankston and Casey

The Rural Conservation Zone as it stands is apparently to be opened up to all manner of urban development,   allowing restaurants, residential hotels, group accommodation, rural store and motels on lots of any size outside the Green Wedges, without requiring any associated farming, wineries or other green wedge uses.  We have pointed out the need to balance tourist facilities with conservation of the environmental assets that attract tourists to these areas. Why would tourists want to go bush for the weekend or to a restaurant in the country for Sunday lunch or to pick up their native plants if there is a quarry or crematorium next door not to mention mining service stations and trash & treasure markets?  There is a lot of grazing and other farming in the RCZ, and as we know, farmers see this kind of urban development as a blight that impacts on their work practices and hours and will terrify the livestock as much as the tourists. 

Unacceptable new development uses arising from RCZ change from prohibited to ‘permit required’ for innominate uses: 

Cemetery, Crematorium; Cartage contractor’s depot; Saleyard; Veterinary Clinic

Display home (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Freeway Service Centre/ Service Station (both prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57.)

Funeral Parlour (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Hospital (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Research Centre (no conditions, except in Cl 57; cf GWZ & GWAZ require min. lot size)

Many other uses previously not allowed in the zone.

 

Uses where “in conjunction” ruling has been removed in RCZ (except in Green Wedges by Clause 57):

Restaurants; Residential hotels; Group accommodation

 

Uses changed from prohibited to permit required

Primary & secondary school

Trash and Treasure Market

Animal boarding. 

13/03/2017

Plan Melbourne refresh - submissions analysis May 2016

Author: 
Green Wedge Coalition

Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis - May 2016

This following documentation is a direct extraction of content from the State Government’s recently released Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis May 2016 relevant to the issues of the Green Wedge Coalition as detailed in our submission to Plan Melbourne refresh process made in December last year.

This report was independently prepared for the State Government by Capire Consulting.

27/06/2016

Plan Melbourne refresh - submissions analysis May 2016

Author: 
Alan Thatcher
06/06/2016
Subject: 
Green Wedges: 

Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis May 2016

This report was independently prepared for the State Government by Capire Consulting.

This summary does not provide the state government’s response to the main messages but aims only to overview what organisations and individuals said.

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