Colac Otway Shire Council, and all Councils across Victoria are a step closer to making clearer and faster decisions around housing development with today’s release of new draft residential zones by the Minister for Planning, Justin Madden.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said a discussion paper outlining the suggested new residential zones was now available on the web for community feedback at www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/planning .
“I encourage anyone with an interest in planning to read the discussion paper and submit their comments and views,” Ms Tierney said.
The discussion paper comes from the Brumby Government’s Making Local Policy Stronger report, released in October last year, and gives a broad overview of how the new residential zones may look.
Ms Tierney said that submissions received would play a critical part in helping shape a second, more detailed draft of the new residential zones, to be circulated for further feedback mid-year.
The new zones are expected to be finalised by the end of the year.
Information sessions will commence in the next few weeks at various regional and metropolitan locations for residents and stakeholders to discuss the proposed changes with government representatives.
“The times and venues for information sessions will be posted on the Department of Planning and Community Development website,” Ms Tierney said.
Mr Madden said that after the consultation process was complete, an Advisory Committee would be appointed to independently review the draft zones and all submissions made.
“The Advisory Committee will then give advice to the Government on what the final form of the new zones should be and how they should be implemented,” he said.
The residential zones discussion paper is part of the Brumby Government’s five point priority action plan to implement the recommendations of Making local policy stronger report.
Mr Madden said the Brumby Government had also acted quickly to get the ball rolling on implementing its priority actions of:
• revising the State Planning Policy Framework with the appointment of an expert group to oversee the process;
• establishing an overarching Planning Policy Technical Committee to provide advice and coordination of the working groups; and
• piloting a restructure of the Local Planning Policy Framework with a number of metropolitan and regional councils.
“Victoria already has a very good planning system, but these new reforms will make a big difference to councils, giving them the tools they need to manage development and change in their municipalities,” Mr Madden said.
Ms Tierney said the Brumby Government’s collaborative approach to improving residential zones in Colac Otway Shire was to be congratulated.
“It is very important that we listen to the needs of councils and local communities when it comes to planning for the future of our communities.
“The release of this discussion paper today demonstrates the Brumby Government’s real commitment to continual improvement in the planning system,” Ms Tierney said.
The draft residential zones discussion paper and details of the information sessions can be found at www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/planning .
The community can provide comment on the zones until 18 April 2008.