Planning ‘hurry on’

With more than 800 hectares of rezoned land in development stalemate, State Planning Minster Mathew Guy has vowed to address the region’s residential land shortage. 

Following Latrobe City Council’s urgent request, the State Government last January began a staged rezoning of 800 hectares on undeveloped land throughout the Latrobe Valley.

“What we said is that we are willing to provide all support necessary to the council, be that personnel or financial assistance, to bring forward rezonings that the State Government did nearly 18 months ago,” Mr Guy said. 

“It’s a polite way of saying we want these developments to move and move quickly.” 

His visit to Valley on Friday included meetings with Latrobe City councillors and its planning department and Latrobe Vision, an existing developer’s action group, which Mr Guy said was an opportunity to address ongoing development issues. 

“Communication is one, clarity around timing and clarity around process is another,” he said. 

“The development industry and council are having those issues between them and they have been raised over a number of months.”

He said this offering of planning progress support was the first made to any council in Victoria. 

“Council obviously are going through development contributions challenges and subdivision rules. We are willing to provide all support necessary to overcome those issues,” he said. 

“I don’t want to fight with the council at all, I want to provide them all opportunities to succeed.” 

Considering the Valley’s economic uncertainty, he said the State Government was now demanding progress from council.

“The Federal Government’s contract for closure (scheme) has smashed the economic confidence of the Valley, threatening the power industry and as a consequence we are doing everything we can do to restore certainty,” Mr Guy said.