Friday, October 11, 2013

'new' metropolitan planning authority - a missed opportunity

The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) says the announcement of the Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) is a missed opportunity to represent Victorian communities.

“While we welcome the MPA and the clear plan of action provided by Plan Melbourne, the opportunity for a new, democratic model with new governance arrangements has been overlooked,” said VLGA President Cr Samantha Dunn.

“We acknowledge that people in the MPA have experience working in growth areas and have worked with our member local governments on many projects.

“However we believe a representative governing body is best placed to oversee the implementation of Plan Melbourne rather than a board of appointed directors.

“Such a body would enable the participation of all metropolitan local governments and their communities in achieving the shared goal of delivering on community aspirations for the future of our city.

“Population growth and the appropriate infrastructure development to support it are key concerns for all Victorians,” said Cr Samantha Dunn.

“Communities fear that the 'bigger picture' is swallowing up the 'little picture' without taking into consideration the ramifications of large-scale developments on local communities.

“That is why we have previously called for elected local councillors to be represented through the governance of this new authority and we are concerned that this ‘new’ Authority is a change in name only.

“Adequate resourcing is essential, and we strongly urge Minister Guy to make representations to Treasury to ensure the MPA has the funds it needs for the implementation of Plan Melbourne, and to work successfully with regional Victoria on regional growth plans,” said Cr Samantha Dunn.

The VLGA’s local governments represent approximately 80 per cent of Victoria's population, and the VLGA will be seeking members’ opinions on how the sub-regional areas model and how that will serve good planning and integration.

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