TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is for the Minister for Planning,
Justin Madden. The Brumby Labor government is committed to encouraging
residential development in regional Victoria while balancing the need to make
sustainable, long-term decisions that improve local communities. Can the
minister update the house on recent decisions regarding planning approvals in
J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Planning) — I welcome Ms Tierney’s interest in
these matters. I know these matters have been of much interest not only to the
locals in Apollo Bay but more broadly to people who enjoy visiting Apollo Bay
and are conscious of those values and the idyllic setting of Apollo Bay that are
held in the hearts and minds of both locals and visitors.
As a government we are committed to tackling the shortage of
housing options across the state, and that is very much at the forefront of our
minds in relation to our beloved — and sometimes overly loved — beachside
communities. Today I have announced a number of decisions regarding long-term
planning for the Shire of Colac Otway. These are very technical issues, so I
seek the indulgence of the house while I refer to some notes in relation to some
of these technical amendments.
The long-term planning decisions in relation to the Colac Otway
shire include the decision to refuse amendment C29, the Great Ocean Green
development, and the finalisation of decisions regarding Colac Otway amendment
C55, which introduced a new municipal strategic statement as well as making a
range of zoning and overlay changes to streamline existing planning controls for
I would like to thank the Colac Otway Shire Council for
finalising its major planning review and key strategic studies, including the
following: the Colac structure plan, the Apollo Bay structure plan, the rural
land strategy and the Great Ocean Road region landscape assessment. My decisions
were guided by a number of panel reports, my own visit to the site, the
council’s responses to the recommendations of the panel and advice from my
department. Some of those decisions change the Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes
Creek framework plan to prevent residential development below the 1-in-10-year
flood event level on the Barham River flood plain.
Honourable members interjecting.
Hon. J. M. MADDEN — I hear the criticisms
from the opposition. These are the sorts of things you would think the
opposition would show interest in. I know some of the minor parties have been
very interested in them: they have raised matters in this chamber and they are
listening intently as I explain the circumstances. But the opposition completely
disregards them, even though I think this neck of the woods is in a strongly
held Liberal Party seat. The opposition shows no interest in these matters at
all. I do not believe I have had a question from the Liberal-Nationals coalition
in relation to these matters, even though they have been at the forefront of the
minds of locals in the Apollo Bay community.
As I mentioned, as a result of the changes to the framework
plan I have decided to refuse amendment C29, which would have facilitated the
Great Ocean Green residential and golf course development on the Barham River
flood plain between Marengo and Apollo Bay.
I considered that the increasing risk of flooding due to
climate change and the excessive scale of engineering works required in this
sensitive location outweighed the potential benefits of the proposal for this
site. I have determined that the zoning of the amendment C29 land will remain as
rural conservation, public park and recreation.
However, I want to qualify that slightly. I have nominated two
sites that were within the amendment C29 area as being suitable for potential
residential development and inclusion within the coastal settlement boundaries
of the Apollo Bay and Marengo area. These two sites could provide up to 100 lots
adjacent to existing urban developments — so they are basically an extension of
the town boundary — and, particularly importantly, they are elevated above the
modelled 1-in-10-year flood event level.
Also in response to the need for housing growth in Apollo Bay,
which was nominated as a growth node in the Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008, I
have approved amendment C17, commonly known as the Mariners Vue development.
Mariners Vue is an 85-lot residential subdivision that could not be approved
until amendment C55 and the Apollo Bay structure plan were finalised.
The Brumby government is doing all it can to support
residential developments in regional Victoria that will not only house families
and allow for the future impacts of climate change but also, importantly,
continue to make Victoria the best place to live, work and raise a family.