Labor change rules to silence community
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
The Andrews Labor Government plans to amend the local planning scheme to silence the community’s voice and input into the Mooroolbark and Lilydale Skyrail projects.
The Yarra Ranges Council, at its September meeting, reviewed the State Government’s plans to change the planning scheme which will remove all permit triggers for the Lilydale and Mooroolbark Skyrail projects.
This means that the Andrews Labor Government will take over significant parts of Mooroolbark and Lilydale, leaving local residents, businesses and Council with no say and no power to input, monitor or control construction.
Even worse, and contrary to its own State Planning Act, the Government will not hold any formal consultation with the community. A Planning Panel would usually be set up to hear and advise on submissions from the community. However, as the Yarra Ranges Council noted, this is clearly an attempt by the Andrews Labor Government not to allow the community or businesses to have any direct input into these projects.
In response to the Government’s attempt to ‘railroad’ the community the Yarra Ranges Council endorsed sending a submission to the Government outlining “key deficiencies” with the project, including:
• Lack of community consultation
• ‘Preparatory works’ without Council approvals
• Demolition of Mooroolbark Station - a 130 year heritage building
• Net loss of car parking at Lilydale Station
Comments attributable to Member for Evelyn, Bridget Vallence:
“The Andrews Labor Government wants to silence our community by changing the planning scheme to exclude local residents, businesses and Council from having any say or input into the Lilydale and Mooroolbark Skyrail projects.
“For years I’ve advocated these crossings be removed, but with genuine community consultation and construction that integrates infrastructure our community desperately needs along the rail corridor.
“Our community deserves a voice. I’ll keep fighting for duplication of the railway between Lilydale and Mooroolbark, more car parking at Lilydale station, and to fix the rail bridge and intersection at Hull and Mooroolbark Roads.”