Posted 13/8/10  Updated 20/8/10

 

Federal Election August 21, 2010

 

Candidates' Responses To MRRA Questions

 

Return to Federal Election 2010 index

 

SEE ALSO:  MAJOR PARTY RESPONSES TO BOOBOOK DECLARATION QUESTIONNAIRE (including MRRA question 14)

see also:  State Govt Pushes Growth Agenda Into Macedon Ranges (13/8/10)

see also:  Lower & Upper House Candidates (and contact details) - Macedon Ranges Shire

 

 

Macedon Ranges Residents' Association Inc has put some important questions to all lower house candidates for the electorates of Bendigo and McEwen:

 

"Our Association would like to hear: 

see full text of MRRA Questions To Candidates letter

see also:  MRRA Media Release 13/8/10

 

 

Here are the responses MRRA has received (due by Wednesday 18th August).   We sincerely thank those candidates who responded.

 

Bendigo Electorate - Responses Received

Family First

Greens

 

McEwen Electorate - Responses Received

Family First

Greens / Steve Meacher  (2 responses received - Party/Candidate)

 

 

 

Bendigo Electorate

(in ballot paper order)
Candidate nameParty Response To MRRA
Steve GIBBONS*  ALP

No response received

 

Kymberlie DIMOZANTOS

 

Greens

 

The Greens support a system of land use planning - from the Federal to the local level - that strengthens the ability of  local communities acting collectively to protect what they value most about their area. 

 

In the 1970s, Macedon Ranges used to have such a system, known as the Statement of Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds.  Unfortunately, the way planning schemes were changed by the Kennett Government has weakened the ability of local communities to embed their values in the planning rules.  In Macedon Ranges, these include values such as  flora and fauna, landscape protection, nature conservation, vegetation, recreation values, fire hazard, agriculture, population growth and water resource management.

 

While the Municipal Strategic Statement now serves this role, it is the lack of supporting and localised controls - such as subdivision limits - that prevent the high level objectives from being delivered.

 

An additional pressure is that of 'leapfrog' growth from Melbourne as a result of the Urban Growth Boundary.  The creation of such boundaries without corresponding local controls has put pressure on development in Macedon Ranges.

 

The Greens seek to reform Victoria's planning system to achieve these aims.   Where Federal government planning and funding decisions have an impact we will work to ensure these planning objectives are respected.

 

 Statement of Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds

 

This policy recognises the National and State significance of the Macedon Ranges, in particular the environmental and landscape significance of the Macedon Ranges and its surrounds, and sets out a planning policy context to ensure the values of the area are protected and enhanced.

 

The Statement of Planning Policy was adopted as State Planning Policy by the then State Government on 30 September 1975.  The legislative basis was provided by the provisions for statements of planning policy introduced in 1968 to the /Town and Country Planning Act 1961/.  One of the purposes of statements of planning policy was to safeguard the interests of the state as a whole in the conservation and development of localised resources.

 

Accompanying documents were the /Explanatory Statement/ and the /Report of Studies/ for the Preparation of Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 (published February, 1975).  The /Proceedings /of a seminar held 1 May 1976 to examine the Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 provide discussion of the main themes of the Policy.

 

The Policy has provided the basis of strategic planning in the Macedon Ranges area since 1975.  Now that the Policy area is contained in a single municipality, it is essential that the Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 be retained as a Local Policy in the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme.  The Policy has formed part of the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme since approval of the amalgamated Planning Scheme and previously formed part of the respective Councils’ Planning Schemes. 

 

The provisions of Statement Planning Policy No. 8 are essential and relevant to the planning of the Macedon Ranges area today as they were when the Policy was introduced in 1975.

 

The Policy specifically recognises the need for planning to comprehensively address these main themes:  flora and fauna values, landscape protection, nature conservation, vegetation, recreation values, fire hazard, agriculture, population growth and water resource management.  The Policy sets out a strategic planning context to manage use and development to ensure the area’s significance is protected and enhanced.

  

The Council is proposing to include the Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 in the overall review of the non urban areas of the municipality, proposed for 2000.  This will provide an opportunity for the Council, community and relevant State Government agencies to review the document and its ongoing importance to the Macedon Ranges municipality from a local, regional and State perspective.

 
Craig HUNTER Liberal

No response received

HOWARD, Alan

Family First

The Macedon Ranges is a unique and beautiful part of Victoria which must be protected and preserved.  Family First believe we need to take great care to protect the area as an environmentally sensitive area and this would include ensuring that there are proper controls in place to prevent over-development and over-population. 

As the population in Australia grows and development in more remote areas becomes more prominent, it is important to ensure that this is balanced carefully so as not to destroy the uniqueness of certain areas, including the Macedon Ranges. 

Family First believes the Federal Government needs to enact measures to ensure the community is properly consulted before any major decisions are made which could have a major impact on the area and that these views need to be properly taken into account before any decisions are made. Family First would also support the Government declaring certain areas as protected areas from development or further regulations on what types of developments may occur.

 

*  Sitting member

 

 

McEwen Electorate

(in ballot paper order)
Candidate nameParty

Response To MRRA

Rob MITCHELL

ALP No response received
Mark BINI  Liberal Democrats (LDP) No response received
 

Steve MEACHER 

 

Greens 1

 

Thank you for your inquiry. As I am chairman of Healesville Environment Watch, treasurer of the Climate Emergency Network and a committee member of Friends of Leadbeater's Possum, it will not surprise you that I share your members' concerns for adequate and effective protection of environmentally sensitive areas, including the Macedon Ranges. Running as a candidate in this federal election is a further expression of my concern for the environment, which is lifelong and ongoing.

 

My brief responses to your specific questions are below and further information on Greens' policies is available on our website - http://greens.org.au/mcewen


What your views are on protecting Macedon Ranges as an environmentally sensitive area from over-development and over-population?

 

Both as a private individual and as a Greens candidate I fully support the protection of the Macedon Ranges and other environmentally sensitive areas from over development and over-population.  As you know Victoria is already the most cleared state in Australia and what is left of remnant natural biodiversity is increasingly important. 

 

Dick Hamer was committed to environmental protection and the 1975 Planning Policy No 8 encapsulates many important principles which must be defended.

 

Although I am not intimately familiar with the Macedon Ranges Shire Natural Environment Strategy, adopted in 2009, it does seem to incorporate many of those principles.  I am particularly pleased to note it also includes a substantial section on the threat of climate change, which is the greatest current threat to the long-term sustainability of our environments and communities.  The challenge is now to ensure that the strategy is fully implemented and acted upon, reviewed and strengthened as circumstances evolve and that the community is consulted and involved at all stages of the process.

 

What, if elected, you will do to provide long-term protection for Macedon Ranges at a Federal level, in the absence of protection from the current Victorian State government. 

  

As stated above, the greatest threat to biodiversity is climate change and if elected I will be determined in pushing for urgent and effective action to mitigate the risks of continuing on current trajectories to an unsafe climate.

 

The federal EPBC Act is not as effective as it needs to be and the Greens called for a Senate Review, to which I made a submission. 

 

I would also like to see review of the Regional Forest Agreements, formulated under the Howard government. I recently attended and spoke at a community meeting at Woodend called in response to concern at an announcement that the activities of VicForests should be extended to the west. I have been active in objecting to the state government agency's unsustainable clear-felling in the Central Highlands and would vigorously defend the Macedon Ranges from their depredations.

 

In the context of the above, if elected, the first thing I would like to do to protect the Macedon Ranges would be to meet with your members, Shire representatives and other local experts to identify and discuss in detail the challenges to environmental sustainability in the region and how my new position could be best utilised to support the aspirations of the community for its long-term future.

 

Details of the Greens Environmental Principles are available on our website here.

 
 Greens 2

The Greens support a system of land use planning - from the Federal to the local level - that strengthens the ability of  local communities acting collectively to protect what they value most about their area. 

 

In the 1970s, Macedon Ranges used to have such a system, known as the Statement of Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds.  Unfortunately, the way planning schemes were changed by the Kennett Government has weakened the ability of local communities to embed their values in the planning rules.  In Macedon Ranges, these include values such as  flora and fauna, landscape protection, nature conservation, vegetation, recreation values, fire hazard, agriculture, population growth and water resource management.

 

While the Municipal Strategic Statement now serves this role, it is the lack of supporting and localised controls - such as subdivision limits - that prevent the high level objectives from being delivered.

 

An additional pressure is that of 'leapfrog' growth from Melbourne as a result of the Urban Growth Boundary.  The creation of such boundaries without corresponding local controls has put pressure on development in Macedon Ranges.

 

The Greens seek to reform Victoria's planning system to achieve these aims.   Where Federal government planning and funding decisions have an impact we will work to ensure these planning objectives are respected.

 

 Statement of Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds

 

This policy recognises the National and State significance of the Macedon Ranges, in particular the environmental and landscape significance of the Macedon Ranges and its surrounds, and sets out a planning policy context to ensure the values of the area are protected and enhanced.

 

The Statement of Planning Policy was adopted as State Planning Policy by the then State Government on 30 September 1975.  The legislative basis was provided by the provisions for statements of planning policy introduced in 1968 to the /Town and Country Planning Act 1961/.  One of the purposes of statements of planning policy was to safeguard the interests of the state as a whole in the conservation and development of localised resources.

 

Accompanying documents were the /Explanatory Statement/ and the /Report of Studies/ for the Preparation of Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 (published February, 1975).  The /Proceedings /of a seminar held 1 May 1976 to examine the Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 provide discussion of the main themes of the Policy.

 

The Policy has provided the basis of strategic planning in the Macedon Ranges area since 1975.  Now that the Policy area is contained in a single municipality, it is essential that the Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 be retained as a Local Policy in the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme.  The Policy has formed part of the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme since approval of the amalgamated Planning Scheme and previously formed part of the respective Councils’ Planning Schemes. 

 

The provisions of Statement Planning Policy No. 8 are essential and relevant to the planning of the Macedon Ranges area today as they were when the Policy was introduced in 1975.

 

The Policy specifically recognises the need for planning to comprehensively address these main themes:  flora and fauna values, landscape protection, nature conservation, vegetation, recreation values, fire hazard, agriculture, population growth and water resource management.  The Policy sets out a strategic planning context to manage use and development to ensure the area’s significance is protected and enhanced.

  

The Council is proposing to include the Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 in the overall review of the non urban areas of the municipality, proposed for 2000.  This will provide an opportunity for the Council, community and relevant State Government agencies to review the document and its ongoing importance to the Macedon Ranges municipality from a local, regional and State perspective.

 

Cameron CAINE  Liberal No response received
Robert GORDON Secular Party of Australia No response received
 

Belinda CLARKSON

 

Family First

 

The Macedon Ranges is a unique and beautiful part of Victoria which must be protected and preserved.   Family First believe we need to take great care to protect the area as an environmentally sensitive area and this would include ensuring that there are proper controls in place to prevent over-development and over-population.

 

As the population in Australia grows and development in more remote areas becomes more prominent, it is important to ensure that this is balanced carefully so as not to destroy the uniqueness of certain areas, including the Macedon Ranges.

 

Family First believes the Federal Government needs to enact measures to ensure the community is properly consulted before any major decisions are made which could have a major impact on the area and that these views need to be properly taken into account before any decisions are made.  Family First would also support the Government declaring certain areas as protected areas from development or further regulations on what types of developments may occur.