Victoria's Infectious Big Build

Planning Minister Richard Wynne now has total control over Council land in Victoria as part of the Andrews’ Governments zeal to build the state out of Covid recession.


Amendment VC194 which is part of the Government’s Big Build program, allows the Minister to approve projects on Council land with no prior advice to Councils or local residents, and with no right of appeal afterwards.


Even though the amendment appears directly contrary to good governance and democratic principles, only six MPs outside the two major parties, fought against it in the Upper House.


Clifford Hayes from Sustainable Australia, Independent MP Catherine Cumming, Greens leader Samantha Ratnnam, Rodney Barton from Transport Matters and the two members of the Liberal Democrats, David Limbrick and Tim Quilty all voted against the amendment.


But there weren’t enough minor party voters to stop it when it came to the vote in June. Both the Justice Party MPs voted with the Government as did the the Shooters, Animal Justice and Reason Party MPs. Former ALP minister Adem Somyurek, who’s now Independent, didn’t vote at all. (I hope his taxpaying constituents are getting their money’s worth in other ways.)


Ratepayers’ Victoria hosted free zoom forums during September so residents will at least understand what’s happening and why, if and when their local skylines become visually polluted with disease-spreading towers.


Research so far, indicates there are no companion policies or requirements for developers to ensure projects approved as part of the ‘Big Build’ don’t exacerbate the spread of Covid or other highly-contagious diseases such as flu or Legionnaires.


Only Planning Minister Richard Wynne has the power to ensure his government’s impatience to support developers and building unions doesn’t jeopardise the health of families and staff who will be living and working in the buildings he’s approved.






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