Madden backflips overturning VCAT order protecting Green Wedge golf course

Even as Justin Madden was making his hypocritical announcement last month about no more urban growth (Minister alters view on sprawl, The Age 3/12), his Development Facilitation Taskforce was recommending that if Cardinia Shire Council wants to assist a private club with its viability problems by facilitating a currently prohibited residential subdivision, it should amend its planning scheme to fit and investigate "developing land surrounding the Club for residential purposes".

This advice flies in the face of a July 2009 VCAT ruling against the proposal on substantial planning and environmental grounds. Moreover, the Minister had earlier stated that his intervention in this application was not appropriate and that "VCAT was the appropriate forum for considering the matter". 

The subject land is zoned Rural Conservation with a 15 hectare minimum lot size. It is in a high fire risk bushland setting with no access to services such as public transport, reticulated water and sewerage, and is subject to Environmental Significance and Wildfire Management overlays.

Adieu consistency, certainty, commonsense, transparency, liveability and community trust. Welcome back ad hoc planning, fringe area land banking, nepotism and arrogance. Justin Madden¹s recent modus operandi leaves Rob Maclellan¹s performance for dead.

To quote Dr. Leonie Sandercock (1981): "The national hobby horse of land speculation rides again".

Rosalie Counsell
Green Wedges: