PROPOSED reforms to Victoria’s planning laws have sparked concerns by Moyne Shire Council that extra layers of bureaucracy could be added.
The shire will target its comments around farming and residential zones which will apply to council decisions.
Councillors last week described the proposed reforms as sweeping and voted to send a submission to Planning Minister Matthew Guy.
Cr James Purcell said he doubted the government’s intent to “reduce regulatory burden, cut red tape and ensure planning schemes are more responsive to the community’s needs” could be achieved.
Cr Colin Ryan called for a strong submission voicing the council’s concerns.
“The changes are wide ranging,” Cr Ryan said of the submission,.
Cr Bernie Harris said he would be surprised if “red tape does a U-turn”.
This brought a quip from the sustainable development director Oliver Moles.
He said: “I’ll be in a box in the ground before that happens.” Mr Moles presented a detailed summary of the proposed reforms and suggested the council should clearly signal it was keen to be involved in translation of details of the zones and supported with financial and professional assistance.
Mr Moles said there were positives in that the number of applications may be reduced, but new residential zones would be more complex.
“The ability to tailor which zone to use across the shire is a positive outcome, but assistance will be required to achieve the best outcomes,” he said.
The reforms recommend maintaining the 40-hectare minimum lot size for more rural areas of the shire, increasing the 10-hectare minimum lot size in the Belfast-Killarney area to 40 hectares.
The reforms also recommend increasing from 40 hectares to 80 hectares in the north, Mr Moles said.