The Minister for Planning - Mathew Guy, should now have amendment C66 on his desk and it is up to him whether it is approved in the form that council has submitted - in particular, returning the town boundary to Duffields Rd and directing future urban growth to the north of Torquay.
The day after the council vote to proceed with the amendment, Mathew Guy made another unwarranted statement to ABC radio - accusing some of the councilors of political maneuvering and saying " some of them are Labour Party members seeking a political fix." He is obviously not happy with their decision.
With a State election next year his decision may well be an election issue which effects the seat of Sth Barwon - the 3228 postcode has over 14,000 residents.
If you support the council and majority of the community in this important amendment then please let the government know how you feel and why. We also need the support of the opposition so I have included some email addresses for them as well.
Liberal Party -
Our local member Andrew Katos - Phone 03) 5244 2288 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Labour Party - the Opposition leader Daniel Andrews:email@example.com
cc to - Andy Richards firstname.lastname@example.org -( who has just been preselected to represent Labour in the seat of Sth Barwon)
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
You might like to remind the government of what Mr Guy said in 2011 in a quote from the Geelong Advertiser 27/7/2011 after he had threatened to intervene to rezone land in the Spring Creek valley -
"I have today expressed my desire to the surf Coast Shire Mayor that we continue to work together to resolve land supply and affordability issues in torquay, but given the council is willing to consider other locations apart from spring Creek, a ministerial amendment is no longer necessary and will not proceed.
The Victorian Coalition Government has repeatedly said we will listen to the commun ity's views and attitudes, and following the council's decision we have done so."
Other points you might mention :
- 6 of the 9 councilors would have voted for the amendment if they one hadn't been threatened with legal action and one hadn't been out of the country.
- The G21 Regional Growth Plan which was released by Planning Minister Guy in April, while acknowledging Torquay has a role to play in future growth Spring Creek valley is not part of that growth. Page 32 states - “It is considered that there is no need for additional zoned broadhectare residential land supply stocks within Torquay Jan-Juc in the short to medium term. Based on existing lot production trends there is over 25 years of broadhectare/major infill stocks. However, if the demand projections contained in the State Governments’ Population and Household projections are realised, the level of supply declines to a total of 23 years”. Planning decisions about future growth made by any council are done so within guidelines set by government. It remains council’s responsibility to determine where that growth takes place and where it will best advantage it’s community. The C66 Amendment does that.
- The much often quoted Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 is under review and the draft Vic Coastal Strategy 2013 is open to submissions. It is interesting to note that Map 1 (p86) of the draft shows Torquay has been downgraded from the 2008 strategy where it is shown as having the same status as Warrnambool, “ High Growth Regional Centre”. It is now designated as “Medium Growth or Support Growth”.
- There is no shortage of land in Torquay/Jan Juc and Armstrong Creek is only 5 minutes away with the opportunity to direct regional growth to a more affordable option.
- Directing growth to North Torquay makes strategic sense are the major infrastructure - schools, playing fields, recycled water, transport link is available there - not in Spring Creek.
- The C66 Amendment is the culmination of a robust consultation and planning process that is forward looking, not looking to the past (as the Panel would have us) to inform the future direction we should take. It has done so within the guidelines prescribed by the act.
The panel seemed to place great weight on “30 years of planning” but seemed to ignore qualifications such as The Henshall Hansen report recommending that further community consultation should take place before a decision on development in the valley proceeds – Henshall Hansen Associates (May 1996), Comprehensive Strategy Plan for Torquay /Jan Juc -……
“West of Duffields Road will constitute a major new growth initiative into an area which has a very attractive landscape and significant environmental features such as the upper reaches of Spring Creek. No development should be contemplated in this area until land east of Duffields Road is almost fully developed. At that time development should not be automatic, but should only occur after a review of the overall strategy for Torquay/JanJuc, an assessment of the success of urban consolidation policies, an assessment of the availability of remaining vacant land in Torquay North, and a review of community attitudes (at that time)about the desirability of development extending to the west of Duffields Road”.( My highlights).
Development of the Spring Creek valley would necessitate years of large construction trucks on the world famous Great Ocean Rd. Traffic lights would be required at Bells Boulevard which is not in keeping with the entrance to Bells Beach and a main attraction for tourists to our town. The often repeated phrase –“Don’t destroy what we came to enjoy” comes to mind.
I know it is a busy time of year but please take the time to let your voice be heard - it could make all the difference.