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Life just keeps getting sweeter for developers in Moreland says resident group

Is it any wonder that life has been getting sweeter for developers in pro development Moreland over recent years asked Mr Joe Perri on behalf of the Fawkner Residents Association? 


The Council has been obsessed with two objectives 1) removing or curtailing the rights and processes of residents to voice objection to development; and 2) assisting developers with initiatives that fast track their projects and maximise profit.


Commenting further, Joe Perri said, “I don’t believe Councillors really understand or appreciate the deeply one-sided, undemocratic nature of Council’s objection process that dissuades and gags community objection.  Furthermore, this distorted reality of minimal resident objections is used as an argument for the introduction of fast-track initiatives and ‘incentivising’ developers”.


“Compared to the commercial world, any business operating under similar practices would soon draw the attention of Consumer Affairs or a similar authority”.


When a new property development comes to a suburban street, only the immediate /direct neighbours receive a standard letter from Council to advise them that they can object.  Even though every other resident in the street will be impacted in some way.


For the other residents, all they get is a sign on the site (for as long as it remains upright) with even less information. 


The notification process doesn’t consider the academic, comprehension, multi-cultural circumstances of residents or even if they have access to Council’s website. 


Nor does it explain the potential impact on property values and quality of life matters such as street parking, services, safety, street scape, potential hazards, or even the number of additional rubbish bins that will clutter nature strips.


There’s nothing for those concerned about the environment, heat island effect and climate change i.e. how much ground cover will be lost, the impact of storm water run-off on nearby waterways, the cumulative loss of open space and the list goes on.


Even renters are unaware that they can object.   


If all this wasn’t enough to deter objections, residents don’t even get a help desk to assist them to challenge development in their street.


“In contrast, developers have the full resources of the Council’s planning department to help them meet the very minimum requirements for construction in order to squeeze every possible dollar from a building block”. 


“More recently, projects that don’t even meet statutory minimum carparking requirements are being supported by this most generous of Councils”.


Even pointing out to Council that anti-social development is occurring that’s alienating and discriminating against seniors, mobility challenged and families with disabled children is just brushed aside. 


Though being treated as such, the vast majority of the residents of Melbourne’s northern suburbs are not anti-progress or anti-development affirmed Joe Perri.  “Yet their basic human rights of which the ability to object are being disregarded and minimised by the very groups entrusted to ensure this doesn’t occur”. 


“Council’s objection process doesn’t pass the basic principles of care that even the most reviled corporates abide by today.  Scant resident rights have been horrendously eroded and relentlessly attacked via seemingly innocent / good for the community initiatives such as MITS, Design Excellence and just recently C190”, said Joe Perri. 


Joe Perri concluded by asking what has all this achieved? 


“Melbourne’s Most Liveable Suburbs Report was released in June and not one Moreland suburb made the Top Ten even though the winners were within the same geographic distance from the CBD as those within the municipality”.


“What really angered me was that Moreland has so many natural attributes that should have ensured the Top Ten list was awash with the representative suburbs from within the municipality – but not a single one was listed”.


“Instead of being a vibrant liveable municipality attracting businesses and families – Moreland has become a bucket into which high density development is inserted in order to extract that the maximum amount of stamp duty, taxes and rates.


“Life is definitely sweet and getting sweeter if you’re a developer in Moreland”.


Issued by the Fawkner Residents Association


Media enquiries:                 Mr. Joe Perri

                                                Mobile:          +61 412 112 545

                                                Email:             jperri@joeperri.com.au