Council faces financial loss


Council faces financial loss

Protect environment: Colin Suggett and Mae Adams of Venus Bay want the Rural Conservation Zones provisions to remain.

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council stands to lose money as a result of zoning changes proposed by the State Government.

Planning work already undertaken at significant cost to councils could be made redundant as a result of draft zones announced by Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy recently.

Council has asked Deputy Premier and Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan for an extension to the September 21 deadline for submissions that councils face.

Mr Ryan told The Star last week he understood council had concerns, and had forwarded these to the minister to consider.

Councillors and the public were briefed about the zoning changes by council’s manager of strategic planning and development, Paul Stampton, at the Leongatha RSL last Wednesday.

He said the changes could undermine the significant investment in strategic work council had undertaken so far. That includes structure plans for Nyora, Loch, Poowong and Meeniyan, as well as the Rural Land Use Strategy.

Deputy mayor Cr Mohya Davies asked Mr Stampton: “So this is going to cost us a massive amount of money?”

He replied that it could.

“The structure plans that we have done are not completely redundant but there are parts of them that will have to be done again,” Mr Stampton said.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DCPD) was unable to give council a definitive answer about the changes’ effects and advised council planners to continue with projects, he said.

“I think the minister will proceed with the work that council has done and council will have to fix it up later,” Mr Stampton said.

To which Cr Jeanette Harding responded: “At our expense.”

Mr Stampton raised concerns the zoning changes would lead to some businesses not being viable and severe implications for the Rural Land Use Strategy.

With industry being allowed in Farming Zones, industrial estates would become defunct and possibly lose value.

The zoning changes would delete nine existing zones, create five new zones and amend 12 existing zones.

Don Hill of Wild Dog Valley wondered how the rules would relate to effluent control in rural areas.

Colin Suggett and Mae Adams raised concerns about possible changes to the Rural Conservation Zone, which now applies to the third estate of Venus Bay, and wanted the existing provisions to stay.

Mr Stampton said the DPCD did not have the adequate staff to deal with enquiries from 96 Victorian councils due to government staffing cutbacks.

Mr Stampton said the consultation period was short and would coincide with council elections.



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Posted by on Aug 28 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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