VCAT decision on solar panels – they need sun.

This is a precedent case on a topic we have discussed before  – VCAT have now ruled it is NOT OK to overshadow a neighbors solar panels…

So it is OK to interrupt privacy, sunlight to living areas, but not solar panels… It has been suggested before that is because solar power is a business / and has a quantifiable monetary value of impact…

             So where else does this extend to?    What about my: Continue reading VCAT decision on solar panels – they need sun. →

Untangle the Building Zone Maze

It’s only a week away to the Manningham Event targeting the building zones, changes, and impacts night.

 Event : High Density Zones and planned changes – Koonung ward councilors review and discussion.

 RSVP here   Doncaster,  Wed Feb 20th, 2013  7:30pm

This event will be a mixture of public discussion and, council regulation insight from a qualified town planner.

A mix not offered before by our councilors – MAKE THE MOST OF IT.

VCAT fee changes – submissions close Fri Feb 15th

If you haven’t already done so you may want to consider an objection to the fees changes on grounds such as this will deny natural justice to the community, and encourage expansion of developer practice to drag out hearings with pro-applicant “experts” etc.  Notable given almost any apartment building is over $1m and therefore a major case, whereas previously it was $10m
Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 15 February 2013.
Email submissions are preferred and can be sent to with the subject ‘VCAT Fee Regulations’.
 The fee for lodging a basic planning appeal would more than triple from $322 to $1000 and many people would have to pay for mediation which is currently provided free of charge.

Major cases (now >$1m) over multiple days would be hit with

— a new case fee of $3,257.80

— pay $3,226 per day plus a further $1,834.40 per day for the need to have 2 members hearing.

For example your group could have to pay about $23k to fight at a  four day Hearing…

 VCAT Development Appeals Getting Further out of Reach.   MEG Submission to the VCAT Fee Review

EDO VCAT fees to rise, ordinary citizens to be priced out

Planning to be out in the open

This article in the Melbourne  Herald Sun on Mon Feb 4, 2013.

Makes you wonder just how much sway the developers have with decision makers about the planning of our city.

Planning to be out in the open

MELBOURNE city councillors will be stopped from holding private meetings with developers who want to lobby them on building projects.

Councillors have agreed that senior council planning officers must be present at meetings, in order to avoid perceptions of conflicts of interest after big donations went to some candidates at last October’s election.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and his team received more than $100,000 from developers such as Central Equity, Richard Gu from the AXF Group, and northbank developer Clement Lee.

Rival candidate Cr Ken Ong, who is chairman of the planning committee, also declared donations from companies linked to Mr Lee and from a consultant working for Mr Gu.

The local government watchdog is investigating claims of cash-for-access that were made during the city council election campaign and also a bribery allegation going back to 2010.

Last week, councillors agreed to a new protocol that there be no more meetings with individual developers unless a senior planning officer also attended. Continue reading Planning to be out in the open →

MEG Submission to the VCAT Fee Review

The MEG have shared their point of view on the VCAT Fee increase, if you have ever been to VCAT, some of these items might ring very true with you.

There are also some good suggestions on a different approach to fixing the problems and expenses of running VCAT appeals, while leveling the playing field…

When reading the submission, keep in mind that VCAT have already introduced the ability to pay and get your hearing brought forward, on the majors cases list. ( anything over a few townhouses qualifies…)

Well put MEG, I particularly love the idea of limiting each party to one representative. Continue reading MEG Submission to the VCAT Fee Review →

Bi-election May be called for Mullum Mullum

We may get an answer soon on this one, but it sure is messy.

If Mr Muscat had withdrawn the 521 primary votes would have gone elsewhere, as would the 26 preferences he collected, that were subsequently distributed across the remaining candidates.

So what is the right thing to do with his votes?

  • Delete all votes including preferences ?
  • Delete his primary, and distribute the subsequent choices / preferences as if they were the first?
  • Start the whole election for Mullum Mullum again ? If so should it be limited to those that ran last time?

From the table below you can see the yellow colored votes for Mr Muscat, not huge, but there is a flow on effect Continue reading Bi-election May be called for Mullum Mullum →

VCAT Development Appeals Getting Further out of Reach.

Well it’s beyond stories now, the numbers are out, Development challenges for over $1Mil –  $38 in 2012, will be Over $2000 in 2014. It’s certainly not good for residents trying to fight for thier amenity. VCAT costs are going up in a user pays environment that certainly works against Joe Public. We got the story first hand from a VCAT member recently, he said it would affect many things that VCAT did, particularly Planning cases.

You can tell VCAT – it’s not on until Feb 15th. Continue reading VCAT Development Appeals Getting Further out of Reach. →

Event : High Density Zones and planned changes – Koonung ward councilors review and discussion.

If you want to know what the high density zone changes proposed are, want to understand what the planning speak means, or want to know how to put a submission to the Independent planning panel, then this is for you.

It will be an open forum and workshop with Koonung ward councillors there, including Steve O’brien who is a professional  town planner.  Click here for full details   & to  RSVP.    Doncaster,  Wed Feb 20th, 2013  7:30pm


Interesting take on Australia’s Growth Needs.

This was sent in to us, with the following comment:  (The sender was keen to point out they are not an ALP voter, just that they appreciated the content…)

It is worth reading through from Carbon tax to Education, Skilled Immegration to Boat people, Green Wedges to Traffic. See what you make of it.

“I hope that you have some spare time to read the attached speech from Kelvin Thomson,former Attorney General and an elite visionary.”


Speech by Kelvin Thomson to Malvern East Group Annual General Meeting
7 September 2011   Member for Wills
Residents like you who love and value the community in which they live and who don’t want to see it destroyed by developments in their street, neighbourhood or suburb get told, we have no choice- people have to be allowed to live somewhere. We have to accommodate Melbourne’s growing population.

And it is certainly true that Melbourne’s population is growing- 200 people a day, 1500 a week, 75,000 each year.

But it is wrong to think that growth is inevitable, that there is nothing we can do about it. Continue reading MELBOURNE’S POPULATION by Kelvin Thompson →

Public workshop on how to present to planning panels.

Are you interested?

Koonung ward councilors are asking what topics of  interest would be in a workshop to make sure you know how to get your point across to a planning panel…

Very important to our C96 proposal.

It could cover, references,  Planning speak, items that are or not taboo, presentation techniques …

what else would you like to include?

Please contact your favourite Koonung councilor. Manningham councilors