Setting the agenda

City of Melbourne councillors want to set the development agenda by hosting three forums a year for developers.

The proposal is one of 137 draft actions the council has released ahead of its budget considerations later in the year.

Cr Stephen Mayne says the proposal would wrest the initiative from the developer lobby.

“We want to control and influence the debate about developments, the quality of development and the planning rules in the city,” he said.

“Currently, we just respond to Property Council requests to speak at their conferences.”

“This will allow us to get on the front foot by hosting three forums in 2015-16 where we set the agenda and we invite them in and we show that we’re active in the debate.”

The draft action reads:  “Plan and run three developer forums to improve communication with the development industry and increase our contribution to public debate about planning and major development applications.”

The council has released the draft actions in the interests of increased public transparency and participation.

The council’s website says: “The City of Melbourne aspires to be one of the most transparent local governments in Australia and now community members have an even greater opportunity to have their say on our actions.”

“The Annual Plan and Budget process has changed this year to allow high-level actions planned for 2015–16 to be released ahead of the draft Annual Plan and Budget in May.”

“This allows the community more time to think about actions proposed for the coming financial year and to make submissions earlier than usual through the online form, letter and in person.”

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