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Process improvements, strong sector advocacy and

positive collaboration with stakeholders were highlights

in the complex area of planning.




The MAV continued to be an

active participant in the

Development Assessment Forum

(DAF), which aims to reduce

compliance burdens and enable

more flexible regulatory systems.

Projects undertaken in 2006/07

provided useful input to many of

the process improvement

projects involving local

government. These included:

· Objective Rules and Tests,

which examines methodology

for the development and

application of objective rules

and tests for permit

assessment against local

government planning policy.

· Track Based Assessment,

which analyses and creates

guidelines for development

‘tracks’ for applications in

each jurisdiction

· Benchmarking, which provides

each state and territory with

indications of the best practice

options available, and

· Electronic Development

Assessment, a national

communication protocol to

facilitate the electronic

processing of development


The e-Planning project was

finalised in early 2007, with

delivery of a five-year strategy,

the e-Planning Roadmap, which

will guide future development

of planning systems in Victoria.

Agreement was reached to

enter a Memorandum of

Understanding with the

Department of Sustainability

and Environment for the

implementation of the

e-Planning Roadmap, which

resulted in a successful $1.2

million budget bid to enable the

extension of the electronic

planning applications system to

handle all planning application

types. Funding was also

provided to the MAV to support

councils with the implementation

of ‘Cutting Red Tape’ projects,

including e-Planning. Progress

was made in improving

integration with other local

government e-services projects

such as the NeDA project

and EasyBiz.




MAV CEO Rob Spence

continued as a Board Member

of the Growth Areas Authority

(GAA), which worked with the

six interface councils that cover

Melbourne’s five growth areas

on Growth Area Framework

Plans and Precinct Structure

Plans, and explored ways to

reduce the administrative burden

of growth area development.

Councils continued to be

concerned by pressure for urban

use in the green wedge areas

that encircle Melbourne, and

the MAV sought to build

relationships with staff of the

GAA to progress this ongoing

issue. The MAV also worked

with the GAA on the Creating

Liveable New Communities

project, which aims to provide

planning guidance for

developers and councils.

The provision for the state to

collect developer contribution

charges to bring forward state

infrastructure and services in

growth areas did not progress

as quickly as was originally

envisaged and work will

continue on resolving this issue.


The MAV successfully lobbied

the State Government to provide

technical and financial

assistance for councils in

implementing the new Victorian

Aboriginal heritage protection

framework. The assistance

included funding for mapping

of culturally sensitive areas, an

implementation officer located

in the MAV, training for council

officers, advisory information

and advice from Aboriginal

Affairs Victoria. The MAV was

also pleased to see that many

of the matters raised in its

submission were adopted by

the State Government, notably

the change to the transitional

arrangements, which ensured

that all permit applications

lodged at the commencement

of the scheme, but not yet

determined, were not affected

by the new regime. In the

post-settlement heritage area,

the MAV was invited by

Heritage Victoria to participate

in the Reference Panel for

the Framework of Historic

Themes project.


The MAV participated in a

collaborative process between

the State Government and local

governments to develop housing

statements and implementation

plans that support strategic

planning work across

metropolitan Melbourne. In

conjunction with the Department

for Victorian Communities, the

MAV developed a suite of

standard ‘low cost/no cost’

accessible housing measures to

encourage a consistent approach

by councils. The MAV continued

to advocate for the integration of

sustainability assessment into

councils’ planning approvals

processes, and worked with the

Building Commissioner to

explore issues facing the sector

and identify strategies to improve

working relationships between

local government and the

Commission. As a participant

in the Planning and Building

Approvals Issues Forum, the MAV

joined other sector associations,

state government departments

and industry bodies to deal

with the complex range of

government instruments that

oversee housing for older people.



The MAV participated in the

Ministerial Working Group on

Local Policy and facilitated input

by a number of councils to that

group. The MAV achieved a

significant shift through

broadening the terms of

reference of the group to look

at the Victoria Planning

Provisions and to discuss the

contribution by the Department

of Sustainability and the

Environment (DSE) to the policy

development process.

Discussions covered how policy

objectives are supported by the

tools or controls available and

how well the policy development

and permit assessment process

resolves tension between state

and local policy objectives.

The group agreed on a

framework for improved clarity

about the role in planning of

local government, the Victorian

Civil Appeals Tribunal, Panels

Victoria and regional and head

offices of DSE.



The MAV appointed a new

Melbourne 2030 (M2030)

Liaison Officer and continued

to convene the M2030

Reference Group. This year

also saw the continuation of

the successful MAV VicUrban

business breakfast series for

local government CEOs, the

announcement of the inaugural

winner of the Proposition 3047

design competition and a follow-

up workshop for local councils,

and completion of the MAV

green wedge research report.

As part of the first five-year

Melbourne 2030 review, the

MAV prepared an issues paper

identifying local government

implementation issues and

strategies to resolve them.

The MAV call for interstate and

international experts to

undertake a critique of

implementation as part of the

M2030 review led to the

inclusion of Vancouver planning

expert Dr Anne McAfee on the

audit expert group. The MAV

also provided input to a Retail

Policy Review announced by

the Minister for Planning.




The MAV was well prepared to

advocate members’ planning

interests in the State election

campaign in November 2006,

having developed a

comprehensive planning position

statement that was reflected in

the MAV’s Call to Parties

document. This work led to

increased funds being made

available to support a number

of key council initiatives such

as rural planning and Cutting

Red Tape activities.

applications, covering the

entire process.
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