Port Phillip Planning Scheme Amendment (29.08.2012)

Written on the 29 August 2012

I am pleased to rise and speak on Mr Tee's motion. I lend my support to the comments of David O'Brien about the government's opposition to this motion. I want to make a number of comments about this particular area.


Ms Pennicuik has just finished her contribution, and she talked about the wider aspect of greater Melbourne. Mr O'Brien in his contribution talked about aspects of planning relating to the entire state.


Like Ms Pennicuik, I have lived in the city of Port Phillip. I had many good experiences during my time living in the South Melbourne area. With the last government we saw a planning system and a minister that did not give the community much say in retaining local amenity. In direct contrast, we now have a planning minister who knows his portfolio extremely well, who understands the issues and, despite what those opposite say, who has consulted widely with a range of stakeholders. He should be congratulated for his overall planning policy. He has provided a great deal of certainty and consistency in planning policy to residents, businesses and councils alike.


I was delighted to be with the minister when he announced this initiative because it is a very exciting project that is going to secure enormous benefits not only for the area but also for Melbourne and Victoria in a number of ways.


Before I get to that I want to comment on some things Mr Tee said in his contribution. He talked for over 5 minutes about the Property Council of Australia. Mr O'Brien put all those issues to rest when he got a recent comment from the Property Council of Australia in relation to its support of the Fishermans Bend precinct. Mr Tee talked about the lack of planning, including traffic, schools and community infrastructure. I do not know where Mr Tee has been, but he obviously has not listened to what the planning minister has said since we have come to government about the entire planning policy and more particularly about this project. Mr Guy has very clearly outlined what this initiative will do to the area in relation to providing the necessary community infrastructure.


I refer to a media release he put out on 2 July, just a few weeks ago, which says:


Minister Guy said the previously announced feasibility study into schools in Port Melbourne would assist in informing decisions around the sequencing of schools across the wider precinct.


'I also want to encourage non-government schools to consider locating in this precinct to serve a booming inner city community', Mr Guy said.


Mrs Coote and I were concerned about the lack of planning under the previous government for the needs of the children coming into our primary and secondary schools in the area, especially the primary school children. There was absolutely no planning.


We have had tens of thousands of people come to this state over the last decade. People will continue to come. These people need to live somewhere. The former government had a one-size-fits-all planning policy. I was delighted when Minister Guy came into office and overturned amendment VC71 to the Victoria planning provisions because high-density high-rise buildings along every tram, bus, light rail and train route in this city was absolutely not what the community wanted. The previous government did not listen to the community, and that was part of the reason it was thrown out. It was an indictment of the former planning minister that he did not listen to the community when it said it did not want high-density high-rise buildings in transport corridors in our suburban cities.


Ms Pennicuik mentioned the communities of South Melbourne and Port Melbourne. This planning minister is absolutely protecting those local communities.


Mr Guy has very thoughtfully planned for high-density areas like Fishermans Bend, and it goes to his vision and knowledge about how high-rise, high-density planning can be accommodated in an area currently known as an industrial base. Mr O'Brien went on to talk about the economic benefits of such a project, and I am going to reiterate a couple of his points because it is significant that -- --


Hon. M. P. Pakula -- Make your own points; they are much better.


Ms CROZIER -- Mr Pakula, the point is that this area is going to provide an economic boost to the state of Victoria, and you and other members opposite should be supporting something like this: supporting our construction industry, job growth and economic opportunity for a whole range of reasons, instead of backing down -- --


Hon. M. P. Pakula -- See, you don't need Mr O'Brien's points, and that is proving my point!


Ms CROZIER -- In relation to what Mr O'Brien said, I am reiterating the point that this project is worth over $2 billion over 10 years to the Victorian economy. It will see a significant amount of economic growth, unlike what we have seen displayed on the streets of Melbourne in the construction industry, which is to be condemned. I have to agree with Mr Grollo, who in statements in today's Herald Sun -- --


Mr Leane -- On the disallowance motion?


Ms CROZIER -- No, I am just going to the core of what we are on about: this is about the construction industry and securing economic growth and opportunity for all Victorians rather than the position of members opposite who want to see the loss of jobs. I am not quite sure why they are not supporting investment in this city and the future security of Victorian families. I want to reiterate what Mr Grollo said in relation to that disgraceful display yesterday. It was an illegal activity, not allowing -- --


Ms Pennicuik -- Relevance?


Ms CROZIER -- The relevance is that it is in relation to the construction industry. I am talking about jobs and making the point that investment undertaken in the heart of Melbourne will be undertaken in Fishermans Bend. Victorian families rely on workers going to work and being able to have secure jobs without requiring a police presence to get through an illegal picket line.


Mr Grollo was quoted as saying:


This goes to the core of productivity, the safety of our city and the law of Victoria.


I make that point because the construction industry is a very important industry to the overall economic growth of our state. It was shameful that members opposite said nothing about that issue when it was raised in the house yesterday. They turned their heads and talked amongst themselves.


To get back to the issue of Fishermans Bend, it will provide a huge opportunity for investment. It is going to provide a competitive advantage to our economy, city and state and will allow an appropriate development at an appropriate site identified by the minister -- --


Mr Barber -- Where is the press release?


Ms CROZIER -- I am just going to read from the press release, Mr Barber. It states:


The Fishermans Bend urban renewal area will have four precincts ...


That is part of the plan Mr Barber asked about. They are the Lorimer precinct and the Montague, Sandridge and Wirraway precincts.


There was some discussion about taking away other rights, and I am pleased to say the minister has undertaken an enormous amount of work in this area. Again I quote from the press release:


In a first for the capital city zone, there will be increased rights for residents, with notice and review rights for uses which may be of community concern in the rezoned Fishermans Bend area.


A lot has been said about the rights of residents in the city of Port Phillip. The council itself has already


recognised the need for growth and change within the Montague precinct that Ms Pennicuik made reference to, and therefore it should not be any surprise that the government has identified an area, especially an area identified as a so-called industrial base, for urban renewal. It makes absolute sense to do so. It is going to accommodate tens of thousands of people who want to live close to the city. Community infrastructure will be put in place, as was highlighted by the minister, and as I have said -- --


Mr Leane -- Time!


Ms CROZIER -- I am not going to stop, Mr Leane. I am going to keep going because I want to make my point that this is a very important project for the state of Victoria, and I suggest Mr Leane come on board and support the project instead of sitting over there talking down our economy and construction industry.


We have a vision for where the tens of thousands of people who are coming to this state are going to live, unlike the previous government which was intent on putting high-rise, high-density apartments across every suburb in this city -- a one-size-fits-all approach. The community does not want that. It wants to know what the government is planning, and the minister has outlined that very succinctly on a number of occasions.


As I said, I was very delighted to be with the minister when he made the announcement. He is somebody who understands his portfolio area extremely well, in contrast to when Mr Tee made his contribution -- and good luck to him whenever he argues the point against Mr Guy! I do not know where Mr Tee has been. As I said, there has been significant discussion around this matter, but Mr Tee just talked about a number of aspects raised by the Property Council of Australia and said that there was no infrastructure plan within that precinct.


There is no way there could be an ad hoc aspect to the plans as claimed by members opposite in relation to this area. The planning has been put in place.


The government will provide infrastructure for that community, as I have said. It is making provision for transport routes, school sites and other community infrastructure such as community organisations and the like.


I will return now to Mr O'Brien's comments about urban renewal. He made some very good points about what has gone on in the past, especially in inner city areas.


Ms Pennicuik -- Docklands.


Ms CROZIER -- Docklands and Southbank.


Those opposite will not support the urban renewal initiative put forward by this government, yet anyone who thinks about the enormous undertaking of the Minister for Planning in rezoning 240 hectares of land will agree that it is an exciting opportunity for our state and a very exciting opportunity for the local community. The areas around South Melbourne and Port Melbourne will remain the same, and so they should; they have a unique character and should not have high-rise buildings splattered throughout their communities. But Fishermans Bend has been identified as a preferred site for the rezoning necessary to ensure the urban renewal our city requires will take us into the future in the 21st century.


Melbourne has again been acknowledged as the world's most livable city. It is a tremendous accolade that we all should be very proud of. The visionary planning for Fishermans Bend will further enable Melbourne to hold on to that very highly regarded position for many years to come.


I, as Mr O'Brien has already indicated, will not be supporting Mr Tee's motion. I again commend the Minister for Planning on his excellent work on this initiative and his vision in supporting so many aspects of the Victorian community. He should be congratulated on his work as planning minister and for providing certainty and consistency in his portfolio area.

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