Letter To The Editor - Local Planning

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11th December 2009, 01:21pm - Views: 561

The Port Philip Council decision to withdraw planning approval for the St Kilda Triangle

Project is a disaster for the reputation of local council planning.


Residential, retail, industrial and commercial property investors will no doubt be scratching

their heads wondering whether their current or future projects are now safe given that a

major council has been permitted to overturn their previous planning decision.


Whilst many anti-development activists will no doubt be celebrating the projects inglorious

defeat, these people should never forget that real people’s lives have been badly hurt by

these circumstances.

Years of painstaking effort and millions of dollars have been spent on this project. This time

and money can never be recovered – and the local community is now the lesser for it.


In these uncertain economic times, matters need not be made worse by council back-flipping

on planning decisions. The St Kilda Triangle Project would have created thousands of local

jobs for builders, labourers and suppliers. 

It would have also have injected much needed funding into the local community for retailers,

caterers and entertainment outlets during the lengthy construction period.


Now these opportunities for growth and revenue are lost.


The St Kilda Triangle debacle should serve as a reminder to all other Councils about the

credibility of local government and its statutory role being properly fulfilled.  Calls for the

abolition of planning powers of local government have been given a boost. 

The loudest voices may well have won the day, but the people who depend on projects like

this to pay the weekly bills have lost badly.


Brian Welch

Executive Director

Master Builders Association of Victoria

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