Saturday, 23/08/13 Nicola Rivers, The Age Letters
The question Victorians should be asking about the Ventnor saga is how could the Planning Minister get into this mess in the first place?
The answer is our planning system, which gives the minister almost unlimited discretion to approve or refuse whatever development he likes.
Successive governments have used this extraordinary power to abuse the planning process, override well-considered local council decisions, ignore local communities and to favour those who favour them. We have planning laws for a reason – so that decisions about where and how we build and conserve are properly thought out, with input from those affected and consideration of the local environment.
It's time to end this abuse by removing ministerial discretion from the Planning Act.
Nicola Rivers, law reform director, Environment Defenders Office, Carlton