Archive:  Amendment C92 - Macedon Restructure Overlay

Last Updated  31/3/14


See also Macedon Restructure Overlay Review




Independent Panel Report To Abandon Amendment C92 On Mayor's Vote

(31/3/14 - P)  'Favours for mates' amendment to go to Minister - four Councillors not only know better, they even speak for the CFA!

At last Wednesday's Council meeting, four councillors (Jukes, Letchford, Connor and Morabito) supported the Council officer's recommendation to overturn the independent Panel's report on Amendment C92 which recommended the amendment be abandoned.   The motion to overturn was carried on the casting vote of the Mayor, Roger Juke (again).  Cr. Hackett was missing. 


An alternative motion to abandon the amendment, in line with the Panel's recommendation, was put by Cr. Jennifer Anderson, and supported by Crs. Piper, Mowatt and McLaughlin.  Cr. Anderson's motion was also defeated on the casting vote of the Mayor.


Send an email to the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, asking that he not approve Amendment C92.


MRRA Says:

There were some gems of stupidity, ignorance and arrogance dropped out by Crs. Letchford and Jukes trying to justify keeping this amendment ticking over.


Cr. Letchford: 

What do we say to the tourists and people already there.

Fires at Riddells Creek were not 1 metre high but 3 metres, can only be fought from the air.

If the yardstick in the panel report is applied, almost becomes no development, would have to look at planning scheme (including Woodend). 

Kinglake is high bushfire risk, but people were allowed to rebuild, can live in risk environment.

Officer's report said intensive consultation with CFA for over 12 months.

The panel report didn't give clear direction on moving the amendment forward, left some things in doubt.

It was only a single member panel.


Cr. Jukes:

Did not accept that CFA inspection was based on a rough site assessment, was similar to a building permit assessment.

New development would likely meet requirements for approval.


 The blind leading the blind? 



The Panel did in fact give crystal clear direction:  that the amendment be abandoned.


 Amendment C92 is wrong.  It is not just that it doesn't come within a bull's roar of proper planning, or that it advantages individuals, MRRA found it is potentially corrupt.  Someone wants it so bad, they are prepared to go to any lengths to get it, including putting people in danger, operating contrary to State policy, and throwing the Macedon Ranges planning scheme (and the panel report) out the window. 


Hey, but when it's a favour for mates, and you've just got the numbers, don't let that stuff get in the way... 



Amendment C92 (Macedon Restructure Overlay): Panel Report Says Abandon The Amendment

 (25/3/14 - P)  Council gets it (i) wrong, (ii) wrong, (iii) wrong, (iv) wrong, (v) wrong, (vi) wrong and (vii) wrong  


After a Panel Hearing on 3 & 4 December 2013, at Gisborne Shire Offices, the independent Panel recently released its report on Amendment C92.  The report recommends the C92 amendment be abandoned, saying two of the several serious flaws identified in the amendment were each sufficient, alone, to recommend abandonment. 


In 2012, Macedon Ranges Council "reviewed" the Restructure  Overlay at Macedon to "investigate" whether the Overlay's restructure development restrictions could be removed from some properties to allow more residential development than at present.  Even though:



Council decided to go ahead regardless, using  Amendment C92 to change the restrictions in Macedon Ranges' planning scheme.  


The Panel's report confirms poor planning practices from Council, and goes so far as to say (at 3.5 (iv) Irregularities in the amendment), that Amendment C92 should not have proceeded to exhibition in its current form, which finding raises concerns not only with planning standards applied at Council (which are notably not best practice), but also at Departmental level.


Undeterred by a panel report which is about as bad as a panel report gets, Macedon Ranges Shire Council's 26 March meeting agenda, at Item PE3, has an officer's recommendation to adopt the C92 amendment (with minor revisions), and send it off to the Minister for Planning to approve and gazette.   In other words, Council is ignoring the panel's report, and asking the Minister to, as well. 


Council appears to have learnt nothing - the officer report uses the same justification for approving the revised amendment as the panel report shot down.


Snapshot: Relevant quotes from the Panel report

Full Amendment C92 Panel Report


MRRA Says:


Here's another fine example of Macedon Ranges Council not taking no for an answer.  It doesn't listen when the community says 'no', either.


The Association expressed strong concerns when Council, shortly after adopting a 'no growth' strategy for Macedon in its 2011 Settlement Strategy, suddenly became inexplicably enthusiastic about winding back Macedon's long-standing RO development restrictions.   Council next danced right over substantial opposition to the RO Review's changes to development restrictions, and jumped straight into Amendment C92,  replete with that familiar touch of making last minute, piecemeal changes in chamber (a la Amendment C84). 


For Amendment C92:

Council is now saying it needs the amendment approved because it has made such an investment in it, but these days Council seems to fall back on that excuse more and more often as its irrational, badly executed and expensive pet projects go off the rails.  


MRRA did a lot of research on this amendment, and found it isn't 'the few changes' it is said to be.  The further we looked, the murkier it got.  Could it be corruption?  There at least seems to be potential for it.  Without explanation, Council exhibited two versions of the list of development restrictions for the Macedon Restructure Area (Incorporated Document).  One list reflected known changes proposed in C92 for Macedon...  But in the second list, numerous properties not included in C92  - and current development restrictions on them - in Macedon, Mt. Macedon, Barringo and Gisborne, were missing.  As the Panel report noted, it is possible to read the second list "and come to a different conclusion about a property than if the first list is read together with the notes. (p41). 


Now, faced with a panel report which basically says Council didn't get anything right, and an amendment which didn't stand up to independent scrutiny, Council still won't stop.  And the more Council pushes it, the worse it smells: who or what is really driving this amendment?


We hope the Minister is smart enough to not put his name on it. 


MRRA objected to changes in the Macedon RO Review, submitted on Amendment C92, and presented at the C92 panel hearing.