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Public Land

e-petition against local councils accepting unsolicited land proposals

"In Victoria, this practice has started with Banyule Council's deal with Woolworths, who approached council to purchase an additional 828sqm of public land that wasn't on the market.
It introduced the influence of private developers over and above transparency to the public, and puts every piece of public land at risk. The Woolworths deal was well over 2 years in the making before it came to light. Imagine if you discovered that our parklands or even a local park was negotiated for sale 2 years ago - now is the time to act before the precedent is set. Public land should stay in public hands." (Excerpt from petition).

The Burden of the Public Consultation Melbourne Planning Scam - by Sally Pepper

Planning scam, or should I say, planning scam juggernaut. The speed of so-called consultations for new development proposals is overwhelming democracy. No-one, except wealthy professional developers, with dedicated teams of staff, can keep up with the proposals. Maybe that’s the point. Still recovering from two recent surgeries, and on the heels of an unavoidable community organisation event, involving time consuming preparation and sequelae, I was looking forward to taking a break. I could see about 3 weeks of "clear sky" ahead of me, in which I could deal with an issue of mutual concern with my neighbour, do my tax return, prune the lemon tree, wash the curtains, and organise the hard rubbish for Friday. This feeling of relative freedom lasted about two days, before yet another "opportunity" for consultation from Melbourne Planning reared its head.

How will we cope with 8 million in Melbourne if we have another pandemic?

Over the last 30 to 40 years, an inexorable process has been in train in Melbourne.

A city that once boasted houses with gardens for the majority has given way to the cannibalisation of our gardens in the interests of accommodating an ever-increasing population. Thus, we have seen increasing medium and high density living in our suburbs, with significant and ongoing loss of trees, other vegetation, and space per person. At the same time we have seen encroachments on public land for ever more residential development. To name only two of many examples, there was the Commonwealth Games Village in Royal Park and the Eastern Golf Course in Doncaster which were both turned into housing developments. The State Government in Victoria now plans to facilitate development on golf courses, according to their definition by a committee of developers as redundant green amenity.

Good News from Moreland - Council buys back public land for parkland

Moreland Council rezones residential land as parkland for residents, but they have to pay dearly to get the land back off the development-mad state government. Still this is something that local councils should all be doing and they should collectively be placing pressure on the State Government to sell the land at non-market prices, or gift it. For some time the requirement that developers set aside parkland for each development has been commuted to paying into a fund so that council can reissue land as parkland more cheaply. Who knows where this money goes?

Big map of South East Outfall Mornington Peninsula

This map is to give more detail for an article about the intention by the Labor Government to sell off the South East Outfall, which is a very large piece of public land that would create a perfect wildlife corridor as a complement to those fragments currently on private land, which also need to be joined. The map may stretch across print on this page, but the article associated with the map is at https://candobetter.net/node/5454

Residents seek reclaim crownland church wants to sell as appartments

See inside for a fascinating video account of the history of the law on church land grants in Victoria. A North West Melbourne group is asking for support in their battle to reclaim land for a public park land given by the crown to a Baptist church which no longer wants if for a church. The land now has a value of about $15m and the Baptist organisation wants to sell it off for a dense appartment block. The residents feel that if there is no longer need for a church, the land should revert back to the Crown and citizens and the law seems to clearly support this (see the video). People in North Melbourne are desperately short of open space and need a public park. The church never paid for the land and broke the law many times since the 19th century grant in changing its use.

Redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) Site

"The proposed redevelopment (or "renewal" to use the Lord Mayor's term) of the Queen Victoria Market will cost $250 million. Does this signify the start of a new battle for inner Melbourne or has the populace been sweet talked by the Lord Mayor into accepting the demise of the QVM as we know it - and love it? And what are the traffic and transport implications for the CBD and inner Melbourne of this redevelopment?" (Submission from the Friends of Queen Victoria Market)

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