Stopping Developers Ruining Bellarine And The Surf Coast

26 September 2018

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will permanently protect the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula from over development, with planning protection enshrined in law.

Former Planning Minister Matthew Guy and the Liberals gave developers in the region open slather, expanding Torquay and Point Lonsdale, and forcing small towns on the Bellarine Peninsula to absorb Geelong’s massive growth with multi-storey developments and sprawling housing estates.

Only Labor will permanently protect the lifestyle locals on the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula enjoy from overnight decisions behind closed doors that will change their community forever.

A re-elected Labor Government will declare both the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula a Distinctive Area and Landscape under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The declaration triggers a requirement for a Statement of Planning Policy, which will set permanent height controls and town boundaries to protect the environment, landscape and local lifestyle.

Any attempt to change these town boundaries must be agreed to by the Parliament, protecting local communities from the kind of inappropriate sprawl and secret deals with developers that flourished under the Liberals.

As part of this process, a re-elected Labor Government will strengthen Torquay’s boundary, alongside towns across the Bellarine Peninsula to permanently end the push by developers to expand these towns and ruin the relaxed beach lifestyle locals enjoy.

The Statement of Planning Policy will be developed within the first year of a re-elected Labor Government in consultation with local councils and residents who know their area best.

Parks, wetlands and waterways across the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula will also get an immediate boost. The Andrews Labor Government will use $8 million to upgrade significant parks and wetlands in the distinctive areas including Lake Connewarre, Moolap and the coastal reserves.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“These planning protections will be enshrined in law – that means locals will be permanently protected from the kind of overnight deals with developers that flourished under Matthew Guy and the Liberals.”

“There’s no denying that our state is growing but that doesn’t mean we should let developers ruin our small towns. Growth needs to be managed and only Labor will put the interests of communities first.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

"Only Labor will protect the lifestyle locals on the Bellarine Peninsula enjoy with permanent planning protection, enshrined in law – this is about protecting our treasured communities and everything that is great about them.”

Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney

“The Torquay and Surf Coast area boasts some of most beautiful scenery with a unique environment – Labor will protect what the Liberals tried to ruin.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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