Archive:  Getting Riddell Right

Last Updated 6/2/15


Contact  Getting Riddell Right


See also Riddells Creek Supermarket



Getting Riddell Right [GRR]:  Not-To-Be-Missed Arts Fundraiser At Dromkeen Homestead, November 15, 4.00pm

(10/11/14 - CC)   GRR prepares for VCAT case against supermarket - your support warmly welcomed   Supermarket File   


Here's a message from Getting Riddell Right


"Men and Women of Australia,


We hope you can find room for this  event for your diary (November 15, 4pm) in less than two weeks, at the beautiful Dromkeen Homestead in Riddell.  We have over 90 works of art, from investments to enjoy (Arthur Boyd collagraphs) to prints and paintings, woodwork, sculptures and photographs.  Christmas presents for you and your loved ones, or just something small or large for that hard to fill space on your shelves or your walls or floor.  There are also fabulous works by Riddell Primary School students.


Our VCAT case starts on November 17th, two days after the show opens. This is the 6th fundraising event we have held, to pay for assistance with the case, which aims to keep a HUGE supermarket from being built in the middle of Riddell.


Please consider yourself invited to join the fun and help us pay for all the work  needed to succeed at VCAT...


Jenny Grounds and John  Nicholson,  Part of team GRR. PO Box 48, Riddells Creek 3431"


MRRA Says:

Go, go, go, GRR.


UPDATE   From Getting Riddell Right "Trivia Night" 5 July

(13/7/14 - CC) Splendid results but that's no surprise from GRR  Supermarket File 

120 people attended, and over $4,000 raised for the community's VCAT case against supermarket proposal. 


MRRA Says:

Extremely well done.  What a determined bunch - glad we are on their side!



Getting Riddell Right "Trivia Night" Fundraiser For VCATSupermarket  Case

(2/7/14 - CC)  Saturday July 5, Riddells Creek Hotel : IF YOU CARE, BE THERE!   Supermarket File 

Following their Supreme Court victory, it's full steam ahead for the Riddells Creek community, raising money to fund their VCAT case.  Please help if you can.   Here's the message from GRR: 


Our next fundraiser is another fabulous TRIVIA NIGHT at the RIDDELLS CREEK HOTEL.  It will be heaps of fun like the last one, and we need the funds to keep running our case for a better outcome for the centre of Riddells Creek.  


Where:  Riddells Creek Hotel

When:  Saturday 5th July 2014, 7.30 pm

How much?:  $30 per head.  Tables of 10 pre-paid $250.  Dips and nibbles included, drinks at bar prices.

Bookings:  Lyn Hovey, SMS or phone 0418559640, OR email


We hope to fill 12 tables of 10, and only have half that so far booked, so PLEASE get your tables organised or just book for yourself with Lyn Hovey, 0417559640 or


Amendment C84: Getting Riddell Right Calls For Community Help To Have Minister For Planning Intervene

(25/6/14 - P) Council refusal to act on C84 Panel recommendation deletes critical policy and undermines community VCAT case against supermarket proposal  Supermarket File  C84 File  

Here's what Getting Riddell Right says:



We have just confirmed that Macedon Ranges Shire Council has deleted specific commercial town centre policy and a reference document from the planning scheme directly related to our appeal against the supermarket development.


After fighting for more than a year to have our case heard and successfully winning our Supreme Court Appeal we are now faced with having to fight unjust changes to the planning scheme.   


The change is hidden in amendment document C84 which is supposed to be policy neutral.


The Council report (May 28 2014) did not show the change.


The external Planning Panel who reviewed amendment C84 recommended Council put the policy back in, but Council ignored them.


The amendment is now with the Minister for Planning awaiting approval.


In the last 48 hours we have met with Council Officers, we have notified the Minister for Planning The Hon. Matthew Guy, Amanda Millar MLC & Joanne Duncan MP.


Please help us by emailing and/or calling all of the above and telling them to put the Riddells Creek Town Centre Structure Plan 1991 back into the planning scheme and demanding that the existing commercial town centre policy be retained.  


The Hon. Matthew Guy     (03) 9457 5328   fax: (03) 9455 2968o:p>

Joanne Duncan MP   (03) 5428 2138  fax: (03) 5428 2919

Amanda Millar  (03) 5427 2444   fax:(03) 5427 2155

Macedon Ranges Shire Council (03) 5422 0333 PO Box 151 Kyneton 3444"


Click Letter to see GRR's sample letter to the Minister


MRRA Says:


Well, what can we say - another oversight, or another 'favour for a mate'?   If you can help Getting Riddell Right by sending an email, please do.


As for Amendment C84, apparently the independent Panel was so frustrated with Council's previous seven (7) versions of C84 (and non-implementation and misinterpretation of the Panel's recommendations) it took the almost unheard-of step of rewriting the entire MSS itself. 


While the Panel's version is light years ahead of anything Council managed to produce, its biggest problem is that it started with the policy changing version/s Council produced; if it had started with the existing planning scheme, it could have been a winner. 


If Council had done everything the Panel said to do, it could have been better - but no, Council's got an agenda, and it's sticking to it.  Result?  In addition to the policy void at Riddells Creek, the Gisborne ODP has lost one of the documents it relies on, the Romsey ODP isn't a reference document in the MSS at all anymore (neither are several other existing reference documents added by other recent amendments), Council has refused to put back the existing rural living and rural residential policies it deleted (even though the Panel said to), and some of Council's zone 'updates' to correspond with new State zones aren't a match at all!


Errors, policy changes (in this supposedly 'policy neutral' document), and Council not acting on all Panel recommendations, mean that despite the Panel's gargantuan efforts, the C84 MSS is weaker than the existing planning scheme.  Approval of C84 in its current form would undermine any claim to protecting Macedon Ranges.  


MRRA has a list of problems, and like Getting Riddell Right, is working on getting a meeting with the Minister for Planning.  


Getting Riddell Right Gets VCAT Determinaton Overturned By Supreme Court

(22/5/14 - P)   The GRR mob were definitely the 'mouse that roared'  


Local community group, Getting Riddell Right  has proven there is justice, even for the little fellas. 


After an unfavourable ruling at VCAT last year that quashed the group's ability to appeal against Macedon Ranges Council's approval of a gigantic supermarket proposal in tiny Riddells Creek, GRR took it to the Supreme Court.  AND WON.   The Supreme Court's decision reverses VCAT's determination, and reinstates appeal rights for objectors.  Click here for the Supreme Court's decision.


MRRA Says:

Another local Macedon Ranges' community group, another round of congratulations (see also Hanging Rock "Saved" story).  


There has always been something terribly wrong with the Riddells Creek supermarket proposal, from its inception, to Council's under-the-carpet, split-vote approval, to the CEO's refusal to accept a rescission motion, to VCAT's odd determination and consequent exclusion of objectors.   The same interests are behind the supermarket proposal as were behind the still mainly empty AAMI Call Centre in Gisborne.


Now at least objectors will get to lay the manifold flaws of the supermarket proposal before what everyone hopes is a professional, objective VCAT hearing, which we are betting won't be impressed with Council's typically shoddy planning standards.


GRR, take a really, really big bow!  You are heroes.  Heady stuff.



Riddells Creek Supermarket Objectors Go To Supreme Court - update to supporters from Getting Riddell Right  (17/11/13 - P)

"With the support and encouragement of GRR and the broader Riddells Creek community, objectors to the proposed development have lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court, asking that Deputy President Gibson’s decision at the “practice day hearing” on Friday September 13th be set aside.   Legal advice indicates that we have a strong case.  We expect to win, which means that we will be back at VCAT sometime early next year, to outline the many ways in which the proposed development fails to comply with local planning laws, and asking the Tribunal not to issue a permit.   We want to emphasize that we are not opposed to commercial development on this site.  We simply say that such development should comply with planning policy, designed to protect our village character and amenity.  In addition to the matters to be raised at VCAT, there are a number of other problems that may become the subject of separate legal proceedings and/or may be referred to the appropriate authorities.  We are currently seeking advice on these matters.  This development will stand as the centrepiece of our town for the next 50-100 years.  We want to get it right for now and for the future."


   Getting Riddell Right Website Now Up And Running

(21/5/13 -RA-CC)   GRR kicks off fund-raising for VCAT supermarket case with "Supper and Songs" dinner on 29 June 

Here's what GRR says about the "Supper and Songs" at Seasons (Riddells Creek) on 29th June:  "This is the first fund raising event for the community group Getting Riddell Right (GRR). You may be aware that this group has been established to support the VCAT application opposing the inappropriate supermarket/commercial development in Riddells Creek which has been approved by Council. You can find out more about the event and GRR by visiting"


 Riddells Creek Supermarket:  'Getting Riddell Right' Becomes Getting Riddell Right Inc - Now An Incorporated Association

(23/4/13-RA-P)  Great stuff - community spirit everywhere and fundraising is underway as the vast Riddells Creek supermarket/shops development goes to VCAT 

'Getting Riddell Right Inc' is official.  At a public meeting held in Riddells Creek last Wednesday, the community came together to become members, fill committee spaces, make suggestions, get organised and get the fund-raising ball rolling.  The group's aim is to raise around $10,000 as a fighting fund for the VCAT case.  If you can help, or just want know more, click here for contact, email and website details.


MRRA Says:

Well done, and what enthusiasm!!  There's something so empowering for everyone when a community comes together with such passion and purpose.  Our contacts are also full of praise for Deb Dunn, who is helping GRR with the VCAT case. 


The supermarket proposal itself is enormous - more a 4 hectare outdoor MALL than supermarket - with a monster 2,800 square metre supermarket and 16 shops.  Just what Riddell needs - not.  If it all sounds like overkill, just remember that the person behind this extravagant proposal also gave Gisborne theAAMI Call Centre.  And what a disaster that still-almost-empty, 3 storey ugliness has been.  There's no way you can miss the towering building, but most of us are still looking for all those jobs it was going to create - you know, the hundreds of jobs that were used to justify approving it.  Anyone want to wager the same tired arguments won't be flowing for the supermarket thing? 


A quick look at the Riddells Creek supermarket proposal suggests the same tired over-development, over-riding of what the community values, and poor planning and development standards are also in play.  Yes, there will be plenty to work with at VCAT.


How, And  Why, Was The Riddells Creek Supermarket Rescission Motion Refused?

(23/4/13-RA-P)  Is Council picking and choosing process to favour some over others?  Is there even a "process" for rescission motions in Macedon Ranges anymore?

On 27 February, 2013 Macedon Ranges Council decided, on a 5 to 4 vote, to approve the very large Riddells Creek supermarket/shops proposal.  First thing the following morning, Cr. McLaughlin attempted to lodge a rescission motion, presumably with the CEO, only to be told Council's decision the previous night had already been acted on, and a rescission motion could not be entertained.  


Council's Local Law 9 (which applies to its meetings and meeting processes) sets out the process for rescission motions.

47. Notice of Rescission


47.1 A Councillor may propose a notice of rescission provided:


47.1.1 the resolution proposed to be rescinded has not been acted on; and

47.1.2 the notice of rescission is in writing signed by a Councillor, and is lodged with the Chief Executive Officer at least 24 hours prior to the day of dispatch for the relevant meeting agenda, setting out - the resolution to be rescinded; and the meeting and date when the resolution was carried.


47.2 The Chief Executive Officer or an appropriate member of Council staff is entitled to implement a resolution at any time after the close of the meeting at which it was made. A resolution will therefore be deemed to have been acted on if:


47.2.1 its contents have or substance has been formally communicated to a person whose interests are materially affected by it; or

47.2.2 a statutory process has been commenced so as to vest enforceable rights in or obligations on Council or any other person.


As Council's decision to approve the application didn't trigger commencement of a statutory process that vested rights or obligations, the basis for refusing to accept the rescission motion appears to be that its contents/substance had been formally communicated to a person whose interests are materially affected by it - apparently with the speed of light. 


MRRA Says:

How did this happen by first thing the following morning?  Who was notified?  It needed to be more than giving the permit applicant a piece of paper. The Council officer's report noted 7 objectors (or 9, depending upon which part of the report is read).  Their interests too were 'materially affected' by the decision - were they all formally notified by first thing  the next morning?   Was, as is rumoured, the Notice of Decision to Grant A Permit completed BEFORE Council met and made a decision?


The usual process for giving formal notice of (i.e. formally communicating) planning decisions made at Council meetings is posting a 'hard copy' Notice of Decision to applicants and objectors, usually received some time in the week following the Council meeting. The date that the Notice is received is taken to be the commencement of the 21 or 60 day period in which an application can be taken to VCAT. 


In this case, that type of 'formal communication' could not have been achieved by first thing the next morning.  So what form of 'formal communication' occurred? Or did it?


This matter also raises another issue: where does this leave the Shire in regard to any future rescission motions, on any issue?  Are they all going to be formally communicated in the same 'speed-of-light' timeframe, because if they are, is there any point having a Local Law that says rescission motions can be made? 


Indeed, with this application, has Council's administration unofficially rewritten the current Local Law, or was this just a 'one-off' of what could be seen as obstruction to stop Councillors having another vote on this particular application?   Either way, after this a prudent Councillor will have a ready-to-go rescission motion with them at Council meetings, to ensure there is no future denial of the ability, provided for in the current Local Law, to revisit Council decisions.  But, hey, it shouldn't be this hard to have that Local Law operate as it is intended to operate.


"Getting Riddell Right":  Public Meeting In Riddells Creek,  Mechanics Hall, Wednesday 10th April 2013

(9/4/13-RA - P)   Meeting to set up committee structure to fundraise for the VCAT appeal against the Supermarket/Shops proposal 

Objectors to the awful and damaging supermarket / 20 shops proposal in Riddells Creek (recently approved and 're-approved' by Council) are getting organised, firstly by calling themselves "Get Riddell Right", and secondly, by running a second public meeting on Wednesday 10th April.  


After a 5/4 approval of the 4 hectare development proposal by Council on 27 February, and the (CEO's?) refusal to accept Cr.McLaughlin's rescission motion the next day, Cr.McLaughlin put up a Notice of Motion (i.e. to tell VCAT that Council had changed its mind and no longer supported the proposal) for the 27 March council meeting at Romsey.  That motion was lost 7-1, when Councillors (including those who voted against the proposal in February) apparently to show solidarity with the Council "team".


Click here for information and contact details from "Get Riddell Right".