Wednesday, April 03, 2013

yarra ranges submits to metropolitan planning strategy

report from the roundtable – 26 mar

I was pleased to move the motion to adopt Yarra Ranges submission for the new metropolitan planning strategy. 

The submission highlights key issues for Yarra Ranges including the need for an equitable distribution of infrastructure investment in Yarra Ranges, particularly a new tertiary education facility on the Swinburne site and improvements to the Belgrave and Lilydale train lines.

Other key issues include recognition as an iconic part of Melbourne that needs to be protected and the need for a hard urban/rural edge with strong planning controls to protect agricultural production, biodiversity and water catchments and to preserve parks and recreational opportunities for greater Melbourne.

Cr Witlox spoke against the motion saying that he thought a couple of things were a bit strong in the submission including the need to strengthen the green edge and the need for a permanent urban growth boundary. He mentioned the reference to climate change and peak oil but suggested congestion on Maroondah Highway should get a mention and that the submission doesn’t hit the mark.

In speaking to the motion I highlighted that the draft submission had been before council two or more times with ample opportunity to input. I also highlighted issues in current growth areas of Melbourne with lack of infrastructure and enormous travel costs that burden household budgets. I suggested that this wasn’t what we should be aspiring to in Yarra Ranges. I also suggested that when peak oil hits and the price of fuel escalates, that may well solve congestion issues, however it will also highlight the lack of critical public transport infrastructure in Yarra Ranges, a community that is already highly car dependent.  

I’m pleased to report the majority of councillors supported the motion.

Councillors for: Crs Dunn, Cox, Avery, McAllister, Callanan, McCarthy and Child

Councillors against: Cr Witlox

Councillors absent: Cr Cliff

You can read a copy of our submission here.

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