Media Release

06 March 2015

Davis: Daniel Andrews re-writes the history of Planning Flying Squad successes

Friday 6 March 2015

 

Daniel Andrews re-writes the history of Planning Flying Squad successes

The list of successfully completed projects by the Rural Council Planning Flying Squad has been removed from its website in a desperate attempt by a secretive Daniel Andrews to prepare the ground for gutting this essential assistance to rural and regional councils, Shadow Minister for Planning and Local Government, David Davis, said today.

The Planning Flying Squad was launched by the previous Coalition Government in November 2011 to provide specialist expert and technical assistance to rural and regional councils on issues such as major projects and developments, long-term land use issues, strategic plans as well as immediate planning support with planning permit and amendment work.

A copy of a list of 169 active and completed Planning Flying Squad projects downloaded in March 2014 (attached) shows the breadth and scope of the Flying Squad’s invaluable work for rural and regional councils.

Removing the public’s ability to access the Flying Squad’s record of achievements is a deliberate and cynical act from a Premier who appears determined to axe a highly successful Coalition Government program and deny rural councils access to:

  • Assistance with advice, discussions and assessments regarding major project development proposals and applications;
  • Assistance with Wind Farm applications;
  • Targeted advice and / or assistance with longer term land use issues and plans for the municipality;
  • Help to process planning scheme amendments and authorisation requests in peak periods or when council planning officers are not available;
  • Occasional assistance to help process planning permit applications to enable councils to meet 60 day statutory timeframes in peak periods or when council planning officers are not available;
  • Preparation of draft submissions/presentations to VCAT; and
  • Preparation of draft submissions/presentations to Planning Panels Victoria.

Mr Davis, today called on Daniel Andrews to drop any plans he may have to abolish the Planning Flying Squad and instead to guarantee its future.

“The Planning Flying Squad must not be abolished. Planning processes at many Councils would grind to a halt and critical projects like those listed not proceed,” Mr Davis said.