Decision Maker Response
Bart Mellish MP’s response
Aug 27, 2020 — It’s clear that the locals want this land to be preserved. Council have already done well in refusing this application- now they need to finish the job. They have a great opportunity to step up and save this bushland. I would be very disappointed if they negotiate an outcome with the developer on this land.
As the local state member for the area, I have campaigned hard to save this land from development. Council now need to step up and use funds from their ‘Bushland Acquisition Program’ to save this land.
If the State Government had the ability to call this in, I’d be the first one banging on ministers doors, but unfortunately we don’t, and that’s the formal advice I have from the planning department.
I am advised that under section 91 of the Planning Act 2016, the State Planning Minister has the power to call in an application, only if the matter involves, or is likely to involve, a state interest. As the council refused the Beckett Road application for reasons including protection of the natural environment, this addresses the State’s interest in koala habitat under the legislation. In this instance, unfortunately there are no state interests impacted by the development in a manner which would warrant the Minister’s involvement under the planning framework.
Council have funds available sitting in an account, raised from the bushland levy charged on everyone’s rates bill. They need to use it to save this land.