Bass Coast Development Forum Hears From Plan Melbourne Expert


Bass Coast Shire Council held its first Industry Development Forum last Wednesday, 27 November.

The Forum is an initiative developed out of Council’s Quarterly Consultant Forums, which commenced this year. The purpose behind the initiative is to establish strong links with the developer community, and to ensure that both Council and developers understand each other's requirements and expectations.

Two external presenters brought new ideas to the latest Forum, with great interest shown from the 37 attendees.

The first guest speaker, Garry Cranny, Manager Sustainability at Dandy Pre-Mix Quarries, explained the process of community consultation and engagement they had carried out in preparation to applying for a Planning Permit for the Grantville Sand Quarry from Council.

“Before submitting a planning permit application, you should first engage with the community and allow those conversations to inform your application, regardless of whether further community engagement will follow later as part of the permit process,” Mr Cranny said.

“It is vital that you undertake community engagement with respect for the views received and an open mind about changing some of the designs of your intended project, if that’s what comes out of the consultation.

“You have to remember you want to make change in a community; therefore the benefits to the community of the proposed change must be clear.”

“Ideally, by the time you submit your planning permit application, you should already have considered as many of the different issues as possible and appropriate responses should be contained in your application – avoid lodging a permit application that was prepared in a detached manner, only to invite a raft of questions and Requests for Further Information.”

The second presenter was Steve Dunn, Project Director of the Melbourne Planning Authority, and one of the key players in the development of Plan Melbourne.

Mr Dunn took the audience, consisting of Developers, Councillors and Council staff, through the Vision for Melbourne set out in the Plan and the implications this has for regional areas, including Bass Coast and the city of Wonthaggi.

Council’s Planning and Environment Director Hannah Duncan-Jones, said one of the key strategies of Plan Melbourne is to rebalance the growth between Melbourne and regional Victoria.

“The aim is to maximise the growth potential of the state by developing a state of cities which delivers choice and opportunities not just for Melbourne, but across the state,” Ms Duncan-Jones said.

“Plan Melbourne identifies Wonthaggi as one of a few key growth regional towns.

“Having Mr Dunn present the plan and its implications for local developers and Council staff has provided a much better understanding of the vision that the state government has.

“It is not often that we get people of such calibre coming to visit us, so this was a special occasion.”