Archive:  Minister for Planning's Criticism of MRRA and Community

Updated 27/9/05 


Minister For Planning Now Gives Gisborne Senior Citizen  A Serve In Letter To Local Paper

(10/8/05 – SP)  First a community group, now an elderly resident - and we thought three portfolios kept him busy!


The Minister for Planning, Rob Hulls, has again written a Letter to the Editor to a local (Macedon Ranges) newspaper having a go at members of the Macedon Ranges’ community.  This time, senior citizen and stalwart of the Gisborne community, Jean Philipps is the latest to be publicly targeted by the Minister as, of course, having got her facts all wrong.   The issue related to planning protections for the Yarra River.  Note:  Ms. Louise Whitefield has this week written a pertinent and somewhat scathing letter in response to Mr. Hulls’ singling out of Ms. Phillips.  Can we look forward to the Minister taking up his pen again?



MRRA Says:

We are confused.  There is a significant variance between what the Minister said he did in his June 8 Media Release:  “Protection to the Yarra River was strengthened today, following an announcement by the Minister for Planning, Rob Hulls, that the Government had approved an amendment to the Yarra Planning Scheme.   Mr. Hulls said the approval of Amendment C66 followed a request from the City of Yarra, and the review of an independent panel.”


And what he said he did in his response to Mrs. Philipps (2nd August, 2005, Leader Newspaper):  “In fact what I did was release a draft report on planning controls along the Yarra River. That report was prepared in partnership with the four councils which adjoin this section of the river.”


There was no shortage of pats on the back for the government in the Minister’s June 8 Media Release announcing his approval of Amendment C66:


"This amendment will ensure the character of a large section of our iconic river will be respected and protected."  Mr. Hulls said the approval delivered on a significant part of the Bracks Government's commitment to protect the Yarra River.  "It demonstrates that Melbourne 2030 is in action – and that it is about promoting sensible development and good urban design. Development that recognises and protects the character of this important part of Melbourne," Mr. Hulls said.  "Our great city grew from the banks of this River, and the amendment approved today will ensure that future growth is sensitive to the sense of place the Yarra provides all Melburnians.”  "The Bracks Government is listening and working the community to protect Victoria's future."


MRRA, Macedon Ranges Council and the Macedon Ranges’ community have been asking the Bracks government to listen, and help, for close on 18 months.  We know our strategic work isn’t done – that’s actually the reason why we asked for help.   And if Macedon Ranges mattered to this government it would help.  All we are asking is that the support, enthusiasm, commitment and practical help the Minister (and presumably) the government has provided to protect one of Victoria’s icons be applied to protect another of Victoria’s icons.  Macedon Ranges obviously doesn’t matter to the Bracks government, because they’re definitely NOT listening to US.



MRRA Criticized For Being Wrong

(18/7/05 – SP)  Instead, critic gets it wrong.

A recent letter to the editor in the Midland Express from Ms. Christine Roussiyan (a staffer from State MP Joanne Duncan’s office) had a lot to say about an earlier letter to the editor submitted by MRRA’s Vice President, David Bromley.  Ms. Roussiyan’s letter claimed Mr. Bromley’s letter contained errors.


MRRA Says: 

MRRA is prepared to cop fair, informed and constructive criticism, but it has to have some credibility.  Before going to print, perhaps Ms. Roussiyan should have checked her facts.  MRRA was surprised by her claim that VCAT is independent of the State government when most people know the Tribunal operates under the auspices of the State government’s Department of Justice.  VCAT’s web address ( provides further confirmation that it is not a ‘stand-alone’ entity.   MRRA was even more surprised at the statement because Ms. Roussiyan was present and took notes at MRRA’s recent meeting with Minister for Planning (and Attorney-General) Rob Hulls but seems to have missed that part of the meeting where, in response to MRRA’s criticism of VCAT decisions relating to ResCode, Mr. Hulls vigorously interrupted saying he was not having his department criticized.



MRRA Responds to Minister For Planning’s Criticism

(14/6/05 – SP)  Minister’s comments point to a lack of understanding and information about MRRA, Macedon Ranges and relevant issues.

MRRA has issued a press release in response to the Minister for Planning’s criticism in a recent Letter to the Editor in a local newspaper.   The Association is disappointed the Minister took the action he did, and that he makes allegations without providing a basis for them.  MRRA has already indicated to the Minister that it would welcome further discussion about State protection issues in Macedon Ranges, and does so again in this press release.  MRRA also clarifies that its interests are the Macedon Ranges’ environment and wider community, and that the Association will continue to put those interests first.  Click here to see text of MRRA press release and Minister’s Letter to the Editor.



Minister for Planning Slams MRRA

(1/6/05 - SP)  Letter to local newspaper says community group is “inaccurate and misleading” on planning issues.

Minister for Planning, Rob Hulls, seems to have got a few things off his chest attacking MRRA’s credibility on planning issues in a letter to a local newspaper.  MRRA is always prepared to take different points of view on board, but it helps if they are based on facts.  The MRRA Committee will decide how it will respond to Minister Hulls’ letter shortly.  To see the Hulls’ letter, click here.   You can access MRRA’s report on Daylesford’s Neighbourhood Character amendment (referred to in the Minister’s published letter) by clicking here.