Planning Minister Matthew Guy has welcomed the introduction to the State Parliament of Victoria, Coalition Government legislation to abolish Labor's controversial Development Assessment Committees (DACs).
DACs were a symbol of Labor's Justin Madden wrecking ball approach to planning, treating all activities areas as one size fits all development zones with planning powers being stripped from local Councils.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is returning planning certainty to our Central, Principal and Major Activities Areas through the abolition of Labor's DACs which would have removed planning powers from local councils," Mr Guy said.
"The scrapping of Development Assessment Committees (DACs) is a strong indication that the Coalition Government is legislating to ensure local government plays the central role in the development of activities areas, and that communities have a say in how these areas are to develop."
As part of the Planning and Environment Amendment (General) Bill 2012, the Coalition Government will scrap DACs and introduce a new opt-in Planning Application Committee body (PAC).
The Coalition Government's PAC system will be entirely optional for Councils and can be used as a body to seek further advice or as a responsible authority or simply to determine applications. Importantly, this entire process will be of a Council's initiative.
"Unlike the previous government, the Coalition Government is giving further support to Councils who wish to seek advice or determine applications in their Central, Principal or Major Activities Areas," Mr Guy said.
"The new, voluntary opt-in PACs will provide a similar level of support in decision-making as a Planning Panel, and importantly will be able to offer a strong body of policy advice to the Council," Mr Guy said.
The Planning and Environment Amendment (General) Bill 2012 has been introduced into State Parliament this week and is expected to be debated in the Legislative Assembly in three weeks time.