Council voices frustration at premature planning decision

Published on 03 July 2018

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The Minister for Planning has recently approved an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) process for the Hillview Quarries in Dromana. Council is extremely disappointed with this premature decision.

The proponent should lodge a planning permit application with the Shire as the Responsible Authority to ensure all matters pertinent to the operation of a quarry are considered at the local government level. 

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Bryan Payne wrote a letter to the Minister for Planning earlier this year about the matter.

“We are very frustrated with this result. Council is concerned the Minister for Planning has not committed to fully consulting with the local community and is not following proper planning processes”.

“We wrote to the Minister to request that he decline the EES referral and direct Hillview Quarries to lodge a planning permit application with the Shire,” Cr Payne continued.

“If permits are granted, the changes will be detrimental to local biodiversity and the Shire’s values under Green Wedge Management Plan.

“The proposal requires a cut 190m deep into the side of Arthur’s Seat, with very little regard to flora and fauna, landscape, landslide and any other inhabitants of the southern peninsula – it is not acceptable and is significantly alarming. 

“Council, together with our community, work very hard to have our voices heard. As the local authority, it is our responsibility to assess changes made to our local townships”.

The matter has also been referred to the Federal government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Seawinds Ward Councillors Antonella Celi, Simon Brooks and Frank Martin, along with Red Hill Ward Councillor David Gill strongly encourage the local community to voice their concerns around this development by visiting: epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/referralslist/

Further details around the EES process will be communicated when the State government notifies Council about the next steps, which are likely to include a consultation plan and establishment of a Technical Reference Group.