Bass Coast Shire Council would like to clarify incorrect claims made in relation to the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO), also known as Amendment C82 (The Advertiser, 2/07/14, p1).
Fact 1 – C82 is not set to bypass Council
The proposed Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (Planning Scheme Amendment C82) cannot, and will not, bypass council.
Council has a statutory responsibility to make decisions in relation to the proposed amendment.
As part of that statutory responsibility, council will consider all submissions received at its meeting to be held July 16.
This is an opportunity for council to formally consider the submissions received and determine its position regarding those submissions and next steps in relation to Amendment C82.
Council’s decision/s at this meeting will inform its submission to the Planning Panel.
Following the Planning Panel process, council is required to make a decision in relation to the amendment.
Fact 2 – Council did not decide at its meeting in August 2013 to refer all submissions direct to a State Government appointed Planning Panel
In anticipation of a Planning Panel being required, council resolved, at its meeting held in August 2013, to request the appointment of a Planning Panel if it was needed.
The reason that council made a decision to request the appointment of a panel in August 2013 was to ensure it met statutory requirements in relation to the timing of such a request and to ensure the amendment process could run efficiently – that decision was not intended to (nor did it) diminish the council’s decision-making role and responsibility in respect of the proposed amendment.
Fact 3 – The process from here
On July 16 council will formally consider all submissions received in relation to the proposed amendment.
Decisions made at this meeting will form the basis of council’s own submission to the Planning Panel.
On August 18 the Planning Panel Directions Hearing will be held.
This is a procedural meeting to discuss process, timetabling, and to explain the Panel process to submitters.
On October 6 (approximately) the Planning Panel will commence hearings to consider submissions – all submitters will have the opportunity to present to the panel.
At the end of November (approximately) the Planning Panel will issue a report that will make recommendations to council regarding the proposed amendment.
In early 2015 (approximately) council will formally consider the recommendations of the panel and make a decision in relation to the amendment.
Options for council include:
• Accept the panel’s recommendations
• Accept some of the panel’s recommendations with changes
• Reject the panel’s recommendations
By mid 2015 (approximately) council must seek the Minister for Planning’s approval of council’s decision regarding Amendment C82.
Fact 4 – A Planning Panel must be appointed if submissions are received and not resolved.
If there had been no submissions to the amendment, or the issues had been resolved, there would have been no need to request A Planning Panel.
However, it was clear when the amendment was being prepared that there would be submissions, and therefore a panel would be required.
In September 2012, new timeframes for the Planning Scheme Amendment process were introduced by the Minister for Planning which require councils to request an Independent Planning Panel to consider submissions within 40 business days of the closing date for submissions.
This provides very little time for council to consider all of the submissions and make an informed decision as to whether to send the amendment to a panel.
It is for these reasons the resolution was sought early in the process so that a panel could be requested in time, while still allowing an opportunity for council to consider a position that will be presented to the panel based on the submissions received.
In summary, the council decision making is not being bypassed.
Council will consider submissions, and the future of the amendment in July, and again following receipt of the panel report, which is expected to be received in mid-November.
No decisions have been made regarding the issues and concerns raised by residents.
Submissions will be considered by council in July, the panel in October, and again by council in early 2015, after the panel report has been received.
Cr Neil Rankine, Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor