Mary Drost Backlash

Mary Drost  Convenor

Residents’ groups are being overwhelmed by the ever increasing planning issues and government strategies that keep us busy reacting  instead of us concentrating upon positive changes to maintain our liveable status. Meanwhile our residential areas are being plundered by developers only intent on exploiting every construction opportunity, regardless of the impact upon our residential areas. It is time we took a more proactive stance by reminding our governments, both state and federal as well as our councils, that they exist to look after our best interests, not the vested interests of the development industry, foreign investors  and other non-constituents.We held a public forum with an expert panel at which

residents from all over Melbourne and beyond attended to discuss our issues with planning.

We presented a RESIDENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS (RBR) as an initiative to return control of development to councils and government rather than the development industry, so that residents have more input into the process. A motion to accept the RBR was readily accepted and we asked the residents to take the copy home, read and consider the recommendations, and email  support to me. We received  a massive response of support including some suggestions for additional demands and amendments. A separate copy of the RBR is forwarded which sets out our demands as amended to include many of the suggestions received from residents at the forum. It can be adapted to suit your group. it is aspirational but realistic. Please don’t be too judgemental, for it is a response to the many different concerns from many different groups all with different issues.

We believe this RBR could be widely applicable and we are seeking support from you and your group to help make this work. It will help us all to “speak from the same page”. We suggest you ask your local councils and both state and federal M.P.’s to support you in getting it implemented. It will take time but if we are persistent, in time it could have a positive effect. Please don’t just rely on PLANNING BACKLASH to do this for you. We need a concentrated effort if we are to achieve a positive result.

We need to get the RESIDENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS implemented before the developers completely destroy our residential areas.

Please help us to help you.

 Mary Drost,   Convenor of PLANNING BACKLASH.



  1. Rachel Clifford says:

    With one term minority governments likely to be the future norm it is now time for Planning Backlash to have a senator in Federal Parliament. If the current crop can get elected on such minor issues a candidate against over development and overpopulation would trot in. Someone we could trust, someone who couldn’t be “got at” so to speak. Anyone out there??

    1. Greenvale says:

      I could not agree more! We need a Katter among our parliamentary pigeons if we are to get a voice against the over development and overpopulation of our great city.

  2. Taylor K says:

    Interesting idea and better than relying on one or two councillors who never seem able get a majority to defeat these dodgy planning decisions. The trouble with the Manningham Council is that they are the designers of these high rise strategies, the determining authority and the controller of cut and pasted propaganda. On the rare occasions councillors would reject a recommendation to issue a permit for a high rise apartment building, council planners could always rely on a tribunal member at VCAT to be their hatchet man.

  3. Jack Roach says:

    Thank you for sending this out to your readers. We need as much publicity as we can to get our message out to residents. However, we also need residents of Melbourne as well as country and coastal areas of Victoria to take up the campaign to get the politicians of both state and federal governments to sit up and take notice and then take action to implement our demands.
    Rachel is quite right, to get someone elected to government is the way to go so if you are a possible candidate get in contact with us at See also to get a copy of the RBR and for more on this subject.
    for more on this subject.
    Jack Roach
    President, Boroondara Residents’Action Group(BRAG)

  4. Delta Victor says:

    Unelected and faceless bureaucrats run the planning of our city and suburbs. Writing to a politician or a councillor will get you nowhere because they are less informed than the community. Writing to bureaucrats would be even more futile, if you could track them down, because they keep merging offices and changing the names and phone numbers of departments. For example. The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) was changed to the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) then last year they split it into three departments..1. Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. 2. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. 3. Department of Health and Human Services

  5. Daniel D. says:

    When you read that the Minister for Planning has added to or altered the wording of an amendment, overruled or “called in” a proposal after being refused by councillors, chances are the Minister would know nothing about it. This deflects responsibility away from our cowardly state planning executives by just stamping the Minister’s signature on a press release. They were exposed when a misdirected email went public which revealed that the bureaucrats had decided that the Minister should reject a proposal to extend the Windsor Hotel because of public opinion. Only trouble was there was not enough time to fully brief the Minister Justin Madden on his “decision” before a press conference was called on the project, as a result he was made to look a fool when a reporter had to help him out when he didn’t know how many storeys had been proposed

  6. J.D says:

    The politicians need the bureaucrats to answer letters and write speeches for them in return they usually behave as instructed. It must have been humiliating for Justin Madden the way he was hung out to dry in Windsor Hotel affair. There are exceptions such as the overturning of the Phillip Island approval, a political decision, but they are generally made with the foreknowledge and cooperation of the department of planning.

  7. Handyman says:

    The huge Bunnings development may not be proceeding because of access difficulties due to the expected gridlock on Doncaster Hill despite all the assurances from Manningham’s traffic consultants. It has been more than three years since Bunnings were issued a planning permit.

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