2012 International Women’s Day Annual Breakfast
The Women’s Planning Network is celebrating International Women’s Day with a breakfast at Queen’s Hall, Parliament House, on Thursday 8 March from 7.30 am to 9 am with Planning Minister Matthew Guy as guest speaker. The 2012 Rising Star Scholarship, sponsored by SJB Planning, will also be announced.
Register on the Planning Institute of Australia website by 1 March.
PPARs report announced …. but not yet available
The release of the 20010/11 Planning Permit Activity report (PPARs) has been announced by Minister Guy and will be available on the Department of Planning and Community Development website shortly.
Highlights include an increase in the number and value of applications lodged; an almost 30 per cent increase in value of decisions made; and nearly 10 per cent more matters requiring notice, referral or further information. The cost and complexity of matters being considered appears to be increasing although median days for decisions only increased 4 per cent, and failure to determine appeals were largely unchanged... just like planning fees.
Melbourne I Dream – Housing Melbourne
Save the date – building on the MAV's successful petcha kutcha-styled Melbourne I Dream forum, we're continuing the debate with a second event “Housing Melbourne”, planned for the evening of 22 March. A panel of speakers will present their vision for how to meet Melbourne’s housing needs in an affordable and sustainable way, with industry and community support. More information will follow soon.
For the second consecutive year Australia has been designated as the second most unaffordable housing market in the world in the 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Study.
Are Melbourne's growth areas sustainable?
A reminder that the Sustainable Living Festival is on until the end of the week, and as part of the event, the Metropolitan Transport Forum has assembled a panel of experts including Professor Michael Buxton and Growth Areas Authority CEO Peter Seamer, to address the question: are Melbourne's growth areas sustainable?
The free event is from 4.00 to 6.30 pm on Wednesday 22 February at the Melbourne Town Hall. RSVP to email@example.com.
GAA, Plumbing, Building and Heritage positions vacant
Expressions of interest are being called for various board and statutory positions including:
Visit the Premier's website for further information.
- Heritage Council - history, planning law, property management and heritage
- Building and Plumbing Industry - Building Appeals Board, Building Practitioners Board, Building Advisory Council, Building Regulations Advisory Committee and Plumbing Industry Advisory Council
- Growth Areas Authority - Chair, Deputy and members.
Following changes to planning provisions to relax restrictions for bulky goods, Minister Guy has also announced an expanded CBD and capital city zone beyond the Hoddle Grid, Docklands and Southbank. To some extent this development trend is well advanced in all areas mentioned or the planning has commenced (E-Gate), except for Fishermans Bend.
Feedback to the Herald Sun article is divided, and the debate appears to presume that high density means high rise which means sky-scrapers. Minister Guy has said that “We want to hear Melburnians’ views about where high density housing is best located”, and that his comments were a prelude to consultation on the new Metropolitan Strategy.
The need to get more power to the CBD is also not without controversy:
MAV Rural Land Use Planning Forum – registrations open
The MAV, with DPCD support will hold its third Rural Land Use Planning Forum on Friday 9 March at the Windsor Hotel.
Councils have identified an officer and councillor as part of the forum, but it is also open to other senior land use planning staff and councillors to register to attend.
The forum provides an opportunity to talk directly with government and colleagues about rural land use planning issues, and will focus on how the regional growth plans are progressing, whether they are meeting council expectations, and how councils can get the best outcomes from this process.
The forum will also discuss the Rural Planning Flying Squad with DPCD, and have an update about the Bushfire Planning Provisions and review of declared areas and overlay maps.
For further information contact Gareth Hately on 9667 5596.
Costs to councils of different settlement patterns
The MAV commissioned SGS Economics and Planning to provide an understanding of the short, medium and longer term implications for councils of different development scenarios. The findings of the report are now available.
The report revealed that:
The MAV is currently working with Rural Councils Victoria to build on these findings and develop a modelling tool for councils to better understand the cost impacts of planning decisions on their budgets over the short, medium and longer term.
- infill development is less costly if located close to existing infrastructure and services with sufficient capacity. When the development necessitates additional infrastructure and services, costs to council increase significantly
- triple bottom line benefits of infill development are superior, with development providing opportunity for social interaction and improved access to services
- upfront (capital) cost of greenfield development is generally low when funded through a development contribution plan (DCP) or Section 173 Agreement
- upfront greenfield development costs are significantly less than operating, maintenance and renewal costs of assets, with construction costs approximating only 20 per cent of an asset's lifetime cost
- significant difficulties exist in applying a DCP, particularly for infill locations
- upfront costs for dispersed and ribbon development is considered low, providing infrastructure and service capacity is sufficient
- generally council charges to recoup costs do not reflect the actual costs to council
- there is a lack of academic literature in a rural and regional context and many councils don’t have readily accessible cost data associated with specific developments. Subsequently, councils have a limited ability to forecast future cost pressures.
For further information contact Gareth Hately on 9667 5596.
MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference
Save the date - The MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference will be held at the Wyndham Torquay Resort from 5 to 6 July. The planning and development of the conference is being supported by the MAV, DPCD, Rural Councils Victoria, Regional Cities Victoria, and the Peri Urban and Interface groups of councils. Further details will be released soon.
Marshalling the troops – a STEP planning seminar
Planning processes involve an average of 15 different functions within a council. So is it possible to effectively manage a planning process when you are so dependent on the inputs of other business units?
On Tuesday 27 March from 2 til 5 pm, this STEP planning seminar will explore the particular challenges facing planning units, highlight some useful best practices and give you tips and tools to help reinvent and manage your internal referrals and other interactions within council. Topics covered will include understanding the inputs and timing, working in teams – when and how, creating change and influencing people.
The workshop is open to all planning directors, managers, planners and planning administration staff. STEP planning members attend for free.
Annual Planning Process Improvement Forum – register now
Register now for this year’s MAV Planning Process Improvement Forum on Wednesday 4 April, starting at 9.30 am at Flemington Racecourse. The forum is designed to challenge prevailing thinking and encourage new ways to deliver planning services.
This year the forum will host John Cooney of Vanguard Consulting from the UK who will talk about transforming local government processes and share his experiences. The forum will also include presentations from three councils involved in the STEP program, plus three interactive sessions on getting quality applications in the door, managing a variable workload, and compliance hurdles.
The forum will be of value for practicing planners and also senior management and councillors wanting to know more about making improvements to planning services. The cost to attend the all-day forum is $120.00. All current participants in the STEP planning process improvement program will receive complimentary registrations.
For more details or to register, visit the MAV website.
Compliance with Building Permits
The MAV is working with DPCD, the Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group and Building Commission regarding the Auditor-General's report into Compliance with Building Permits.
Building permits regulate building works so that minimum building and safety standards are met. Undertaking building work without obtaining the necessary building permit is an offence. The Building Act 1993 sets out the legal framework for the regulation of construction of buildings, building standards and maintenance of specific building safety features in Victoria. All building work is required to comply with this Act, the Building Regulations 2006 and the Building Code of Australia (BCA) unless otherwise exempted.
The regulations set out specific requirements relating to building permits, building inspections, occupancy permits, regulatory enforcement and maintenance of buildings. The National Construction Code is a national uniform set of technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures.
The MAV has conducted an expression of interest for a consultant to deliver the STEP planning process improvement program. The EOI includes the audit and review component of the program, an event schedule, networking and program development. A key intention of the EOI and appointing a consultant is to increase participation in the program so that all councils are members.
The MAV met with the Planning Enforcement Officers Association (PEOA) to build a cooperative working relationship. The PEOA will participate in the Stronger Planning Enforcement Framework project about to commence with funding from Rural Councils Victoria.