Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Planning. Can the minister update the house on actions the Brumby Labor government has taken to help manage growth in Torquay and Jan Juc?
Hon. J. M. MADDEN (Minister for Planning) — I welcome Ms Tierney’s interest in these matters, and I note that members of the opposition are relatively subdued.
Honourable members interjecting.
The PRESIDENT — Order! I have no comprehension of what the minister is saying because of the unruly nature of the house.
Hon. J. M. MADDEN — Thank you very much, President, and I note the subdued tone of the opposition now one of its members has left the chamber.
One of the great things about Victoria’s booming economy and the significant population growth and demand for dwellings that has already been referred to by my ministerial colleague the Treasurer is the fact that we have enormous growth not only in metropolitan Melbourne but also in the regions. A lot of that growth is in our coastal areas. The importance of managing that and in a sense directing that development to the right locations is part and parcel of the government’s policy in relation to growth not only in the regions but also in particular in coastal communities.
Recently I had the great joy of approving a planning scheme amendment that will help to secure the long-term future of the Jan Juc and Torquay regions in coastal Victoria.
I spend a fair bit of time down in Torquay and I know what a great place it is to visit, but for those who live there permanently it is a great place to live, work and raise a family. We have seen enormous housing growth, but that needs to be addressed long term to meet the needs of the broader community in Torquay and to ensure that sustainable growth complements further development in the regions, particularly in Torquay and Jan Juc.
The amendment I approved, amendment C37, addresses a range of issues including neighbourhood character, vegetation conservation, urban design, car parking, retailing and of course dwelling growth and housing in the locality. It also ensures protection of the livability of a great place like Torquay.
The work undertaken by the Surf Coast Shire Council that has allowed for this and has complemented the amendment includes the Torquay and Jan Juc structure plan, the Torquay town centre and urban design guidelines, the Torquay and Jan Juc neighbourhood character study and vegetation assessment, the Torquay town centre car parking strategy 2020 and the Surf Coast housing policy project.
This is a great compliment to the Surf Coast Shire Council, because basically it has done the strategic work — the homework, the research — to ensure that this amendment could be made.
From time to time when local governments cry out for amendments or changes to their respective planning schemes there is insufficient research or strategic work to justify significant amendments or changes. It is a great testament to the Torquay community and particularly to the Surf Coast shire that it did its homework, its research, which has ensured that the amendment has been processed and approved.
It is also part of complementary work being undertaken by the Surf Coast Shire Council known as Torquay Jan Juc 2040. This is a research and community engagement project which will pave the way for strategic land use going towards the year 2040.
This project is aimed at delivering growth management and land management for the Torquay-Jan Juc area. It encompasses a local sense of place in response to community aspirations as a driver; responds to the broader state and regional context and provides information for input into regional strategic land-use plans; balances environmental, social and economic issues; builds on the strengths of the community and the region; improves community understanding about growth; and outlines the level, scale and direction of sustainable growth for Torquay and Jan Juc to 2040 to accommodate the anticipated growth.
All of this work is being undertaken locally. It is a great compliment to the partnership and collaborative approach between the state government and local government. I compliment the community. Again this goes a long way not only towards delivering on community expectations in terms of dwellings but also towards protecting significant vegetation.
Part of that is in the Deep Creek and Bells Boulevard environment, but it also ensures that remnant Bellarine yellow gums, moonah and other vegetation is protected in residential areas. Again this is proof that this government is going ahead to make sure that not only metropolitan Victoria but also regional and coastal Victoria are great places to live, work, invest and raise a family.