A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will undo the damage of Matthew Guy’s botched rezoning of Spring Creek by giving the community a say over the town’s boundaries as part our plan to stop over-development.

Former Planning Minister Matthew Guy and the Liberals gave developers in the region open slather, when he unilaterally expanded Torquay’s boundaries – against the wishes of the community – to absorb Geelong’s massive growth with sprawling estates to benefit his developer mates.

We believe that the sprawl and over development on the Surf Coast has gone too far, so Labor will declare the Surf Coast a Distinctive Area and Landscape under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to give the community a say over height controls and town boundaries with a Statement of Planning Policy.

Labor’s position is that the new town boundary for Torquay should begin at Duffields Road.

However, unlike the Liberals, we will listen to the community and ensure that their views are put front and centre in the consultation process. When Matthew Guy was the Planning Minister, he overruled the local council and imposed the rezoning of Spring Creek on the community. 

We believe the consultation process will result in a reduction in the size of the town boundaries because locals have told us that Torquay is getting too big, and we are committed to listening and acting on their views.

The ultimate decision on town boundaries will be finalised after extensive community consultation through the Statement of Planning Policy process – this is will end the push by developers to expand these towns and ruin the lifestyle locals enjoy.

The Statement of Planning Policy will be developed within the first year of a re-elected Labor Government in consultation with local councils and residents. The Spring Creek Structure Plan prepared by the Council was rejected because it failed to provide for a new school and would have sacrificed too many of the rare native trees in the area. It will now be placed on hold pending the final outcome of the community consultation over town boundaries.

Once the area is declared a Distinctive Area and Landscape any attempt to change town boundaries must be agreed by Parliament, protecting local communities from the kind of inappropriate sprawl and secret deals with developers that flourished under the Liberals.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“We will give Surf Coast communities the say over their town boundaries that was denied to them by Matthew Guy when he unilaterally rezoned land on Torquay’s fringes.”

“These new town boundaries and planning protections will be enshrined in law – that means locals will be protected from the kind of overnight deals with developers that flourished under Matthew Guy and the Liberals.”

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman

“I will always stand up for the community against greedy developers and their Liberal mates who want to turn the Surf Coast into the Gold Coast.”

“Only Labor will put people before developers and give the community a say on whether development should stop at Duffields Road.”