Urban Renewal Authority Victoria Amendment Bill

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise to speak on the amendments to the Urban Renewal Authority Victoria Amendment (Development Victoria) Bill 2016. We have two amendments from the other place. They were put forward by the Greens — by Ms Dunn, the Victorian Greens planning spokesperson — and we have an amendment to those now put forward in the lower house by the opposition. The main part of the Greens amendments is to essentially ensure that Development Victoria consult with local government before entering in an agreement, and I see that the opposition amendment seeks that that agreement cannot be entered into without the consent of the municipal council.

Essentially I see that as giving a veto power over the agreement. We feel that that is a step too far, a bridge too far. We feel that we have come to a reasonable midpoint in terms of this particular issue. We feel that in giving the local government, the municipal council, essentially a veto over such an agreement could mean that worthy projects could be stopped and prevented for unworthy or unjust motivations, so we will not be supporting the opposition's amendment.

What we have aimed to do is trigger a consultation process. Whilst I am very sympathetic, there have been some severe deficiencies in the approach by this and the previous government — in fact in all successive governments, I would say, over the last decade or so — to community consultation in regard to these matters. Ideally we would like to see the local government as a referral authority for Development Victoria applications as the best process or the best way of handling this particular issue, but it would be outside the scope of this bill to put that forward. What we have tried to do is find a midpoint and a way to ensure that the view of local governments — and we in the Greens are very passionate about local government as a level of government, and we are passionate about advocating for them — on planning and urban design are heard.

The other Greens amendments were essentially to provide reporting requirements on Development Victoria to provide clarity around the detail on value creation and the capture of individual projects and to provide further information on the finances of each project. The Greens will be supporting the amendments from the other place, but we will not be supporting the opposition's amendments in this instance.