Spread the word – Transport Forum Your Regional meetings

To SOS members and all members of the public. The First meeting had some very strong  messages from the academics and those in the know…
These regional meetings offer unique opportunities to Q and A your local candidates.
Rarely do we have this opportunity.
Victoria is experiencing unprecedented mass migration with no end in sight!
Planning of infrastructure, housing, and the quality of life as we have known it in the past is on a fast downhill decline. Transport and traffic mayhem is worsening day by day.
Ask  your candidates ‘ Can you demonstrate to us how you would curtail this downhill fate that we are already on?’

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SOS support for council legal challenge to EWL planning approval

In mid-July, SOS sent this urgent letter to Moonee Valley and Yarra City Councillors:

Save our Suburbs Inc. strongly opposes the East West Link proposal because of its potential damage to the fabric of inner city life, and because building more freeways attracts more traffic and soon creates more congestion than before. This is confirmed by Melbourne’s own experience with the Monash Freeway, the Westgate Bridge, etc. 

 But building rail links in parallel with freeways attracts commuters back to rail, lowers rail costs/head and frees up arterial roads for those who need to use them – trucks, commercial vehicles and multi-destination vehicles.  This is explained scientifically by the long-established Downs-Thompson Paradox: Continue reading

SOS Planning Update – Community Planning Groups, August 2014

There are several important events coming up that address the democratic planning and liveability of Melbourne. Please let your members and friends know about these coming events:

* “Power to the People  – reclaiming control of electricity in Victoria” - Wednesday, Sept 3, 6.30-9pm Brunswick Town Hall    (see flyer ) Power to the People Flyer-2014-09-03

Energy bills out of control.Power companies standing in the way of renewable energy.

State and Federal Governments doing nothing to lead the climate change or energy debate. 

It’s time for communities to demand reform of the energy sector and governments to take action…… Continue reading

Key performance indicators omitted from Plan Melbourne

The pro-development focus and lack of transparency & accountability of the final version of Plan Melbourne (May 2014) shouldn’t be under-estimated.

 Under Direction 7.5: “Monitor Progress and Outcomes”, a number of important performance indicators previously included in the draft version have been left out of the final document. These were all vital parameters in measuring how well Plan Melbourne might achieve its goals. These missing Performance Measures include: Continue reading

Implementation of the new Residential Zones – some observations

 On July 1, those councils still waiting for their choice of zone allocation to be approved were subjected to a “neutral conversion” – the General Residential Zone was imposed across all of their existing residential zone areas. This involved two dozen councils, including some which had applied as early as late last year for their new zoning amendments to be approved. SOS has heard that some of these 24 councils have since been experiencing a sudden surge in development applications in residential areas that may later come under the more restrictive Neighbourhood RZ once zoning amendments have been approved by the Minister. Strange that draft amendments lodged early by some councils for consideration by the Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee still hadn’t been approved by July….. As to the content of the new zones, giving councils a bit more power to vary local controls for better neighborhood protection was appropriate but for these controls to be effective, councils should have been required to specify not only mandatory heights but minimum lot size and the maximum number of dwellings per lot. Specifying both is necessary to maintain reasonable local dwelling density and protect green open space. Some councils have specified subdivisions into multiple lots with a minimum lot size of 250-400 sqm, so an existing 1000 sqm suburban block could be subdivided into 3 or 4 lots. * For background, see: www.actpla.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/13704/Tony_Hall_-_Death_of_the_Australian_Backyard_paper.pdf Since Rescode is a state planning provision which even VCAT agrees should not be treated as a “one size fits all” code, Rescode variations to suit different areas are appropriate and councils should have also been required to include extra locally-appropriate variations in the new zone schedules. These should also have been mandatory – instead, most councils have failed to include any extra variations but even where they have, as discretionary guidelines these just amount to more scope for argument at VCAT and provide only an illusion of protection. * For help in arguing on Rescode and neighbourhood character in your VCAT submission, see: http://www.sos.asn.au/category/help-arguing-rescode-amenity-standards-vcat * For an detailed expose of the implications of the New Zones, see: http://www.sterow.com/?p=4099

SOS Update – July 2014 Election Lead-Up

In the lead-up to the state election, there are several important events coming up addressing issues vital to the democratic planning and liveability of Melbourne. Our Full Article can be found here

  • Accommodating population growth.
  • Upgrading infrastructure assets and services.
  • Living standards.
  • VCAT fees have risen astronomically.
  • The new Plan Melbourne strategy is unashamedly designed to facilitate development, not regulate it.

At the very least, we need a wide public debate on future planning for Victoria.

* The next Victoria First meeting is this Sat. 2 Aug. at 2 pm, at the Frankston Life Saving Club. Featuring Ian Hundley (PTUA) speaking on “The transport crisis in the Frankston area Continue reading

Backtrack, Dec.2013 – Critique of Plan Melbourne

First Posted By SOS – Posted on 04 December 2013 – keep this in mind when we publish the latest review over the coming weeks.

Plan Melbourne, VicSmart and New Residential Zones

The focus of Plan Melbourne is to drive delivery and facilitate development in general (Direction 7.1, p.163).  Virtually every aspect of the planning regime is to be modified to facilitate the economic vision of Plan Melbourne and make it “more relevant”.  This includes the entirety of each planning scheme – the new zones, changes to existing Overlays and Particular Provisions and the state and local planning policy frameworks (SPPF and LPPF) which will soon be rolled into one PPF.

Read more…...                                                            MAKE A SUBMISSION HERE

A more detailed version of this SOS analysis of Plan Melbourne can be found here

East West Link & Plan Melbourne undermined by resignation of advisory committee

 The integrity of the new draft planning strategy for Melbourne was thrown into doubt after it was revealed in December that the Minister’s Advisory Panel for Plan Melbourne had resigned over key transport concerns:
http://www.sos.asn.au/category/plan-melbourne-ew-link-challenged-ministe…
Panel chair Roz Hansen publicly denounced the government’s $8 billion East-West Link in a submission to Melbourne Council’s “Future Melbourne Committee” on Dec.10, and called for Victorians to be given a choice on public transport issues.
Here’s a link to our previous article: Professor Hansen’s comments about the lack of justification for the EW Link and the failure of the State Government to respond to the demand for better public transport…..(12 min audio, Melb. City Council)