CORANGAMITE Shire Council candidate Neil Trotter says it’s essential that ratepayers have ownership, input and faith in the planning system.
The south-west ward candidate said there was a demand for houses on smaller acreages for retirees to lead active retirements and for young families to have space to raise their children in a healthy environment or for people wishing to escape the city and go bush.
“Our landscapes and natural beauty are the reasons why we attract millions of visitors annually and have created a desire to capitalise on and exploit those assets,” he said.
“We need to consider carefully and proceed cautiously if we are not to allow those assets to be devalued by degrading their innate natural value.
“We need to maximise the value of our towns and ensure the infrastructure we have in place is well utilised.
“As communities we need to ensure that proposed major projects enhance and enrich our communities rather than undermine their viability. They should add to the diversity and strengthen the existing infrastructure.”
Mr Trotter said the state planning minister had proposed significant changes to planning policy and Corangamite Shire was also waiting his decision on the controversial C30 amendment, of which Mr Trotter has been a vocal opponent.
“Consistency in planning and adherence to policy are essential to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and justly,” he said. “Ambiguity, inconsistency and reactionary application of policy can have a detrimental effect on attracting investment and cause stagnation in real estate investment.
“Uncertainty is contagious and detrimental to potential investors.”
Mr Trotter said planning sessions under way needed input from all sectors of the community, particularly the young.
“The residents of our shire have the right to have input to policy changes that can affect their lives,” he said.
“They need to participate and have ownership of the policies that are formulated.
“Council cannot not make determinations of major policy without consulting with its residents first.”