Residents meet local MPs

CBD residents spent an evening with their local state and federal MPs last month, and ticked off the usual list of issues.

The evening was hosted by Residents 3000 at the Kelvin Club on Thursday, June 2.
Planning is always a popular political subject, with the prevailing wisdom claiming that there is actually “no planning in planning”.

Federal MHR Adam Bandt and state MLA Ellen Sandell both spoke of their aspiration to insert local communities into planning decisions.

Mr Bandt said he was prepared to become involved in local matters, even though they were not federal issues and cited as an example becoming involved in protecting the community from asbestos dust during the demolition of the former Age building in Spencer St.

He said the current planning regime was “building buildings, but not building communities”.

Mr Bandt said the community should have more control over planning.

“If we are going to have higher density, then it needs to come with the community controlling it,” he said.

He said the Greens were advancing models based on neighbourhood development corporations where communities, councils and developers worked together.

He was critical of the Federal Government for tipping billions of dollars into city-shaping infrastructure in the absence of a cities policy. He said there were no policies in place to protect the liveability of cities.

Ms Sandell cited schools, housing, heritage, transport, short-stay apartments and political donations from developers as her major issues.

Homelessness was a major subject of questioning from the audience with both MPs saying more public housing was needed.

Ms Sandell had to be helped recall that Planning Scheme Amendment C270 related to central city planning controls.  She said she supported tighter plot ratios and apartment standards.

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