The future of Kingston’s Green Wedge hangs in the balance
Kingston Council has called on the Victorian Planning Minister to safeguard the future of Kingston’s Green Wedge and reinforce the integrity of the Kingston Planning Scheme by putting an end to industrial waste facilities in this area.
Council has written to Minister Wynne requesting he ‘call in’ an application by the Alex Fraser Group for a 15-year extension of their Clarinda concrete crushing facility until 2038, which would open the door to a permanent stay at the site.
Kingston Mayor Georgina Oxley said the Minister has been a significant supporter of Melbourne’s Green Wedges and had strengthened protections for the area in 2015, following the development of the Kingston Green Wedge Management Plan and a detailed Planning Scheme Amendment.
“Protecting Green Wedges, which are the lungs of our city, has been a strong priority of Council and the Victorian Government and key to that is finally moving on industrial waste operations,” Cr Oxley said.
In 2015 the Minister stated: ‘The Andrews Labor Government believes in modern, state-of-the-art waste recovery and recycling facilities properly located in industrial areas, away from parklands and homes’.
“It’s clear that the Green Wedge is simply no place for an industrial waste site,” Cr Oxley said. “This is a view shared by our community, by Council and the Government and backed by very strong state and local planning policy.” “Council’s Planning Policies could not be clearer about the future of this area, and what is really at stake regarding this application is the credibility of the planning system”
“Alex Fraser were given eight years notice to find a new location, and still have until 2023 before their permit expires. The company should observe the Planning Scheme and focus on finding a suitable site in an industrial area for its long-term future. Because its future is not in the Green Wedge.”
Kingston Council has recently voted to reject two applications by company Alex Fraser to extend its industrial waste operations in Kingston’s Green Wedge. Alex Fraser had made two applications to Council:
- A Secondary Consent application which allows an organisation or individual to get written consent or make minor changes to plans directly to Council, without the need to notify the local residents and businesses. A Secondary Consent amendment does not require the plans to be advertised and prevents both objections and appeal rights at VCAT.
- A formal amendment under the Planning & Environment Act which received more than 900 objections. Alex Fraser has appealed this refusal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for review. If the application is not ‘called in’ by the Victorian Planning Minister the matter will instead be decided by VCAT.
“The safeguarding of Melbourne’s Green Wedges is far too important to be left to VCAT and we call on the Planning Minister to ‘call in’ the application and act in the best interests of the environment, our community and the integrity of the Planning system.”