A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will permanently protect Phillip Island and the Bass Coast from over development, with planning protection enshrined in law.

People choose to make their home in the small communities along the Bass Coast to enjoy a laid-back
lifestyle – a lifestyle the Liberals tried to ruin by putting the interests of developers ahead of local residents.

Former Planning Minister Matthew Guy grossly expanded Cape Paterson’s town boundary and rezoned 24 hectares of pristine coastal farmland overnight for a housing estate at Ventnor, on Phillip Island, despite clear community and council opposition.

A re-elected Labor Government will make sure this can never happen again by declaring the Bass Coast a Distinctive Area and Landscape under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The declaration triggers a requirement for a Statement of Planning Policy, which will set strict height controls and tighten town boundaries to protect the environment, landscape and local lifestyle.

Under the Liberals, the town boundaries of Cowes and Cape Paterson were changed against the advice of independent planning panels. Under Labor, any attempt to expand town boundaries in the declared areas must be agreed to by the Parliament, protecting locals from the Liberals and their sneaky secret deals at kitchen tables.

The Statement will be developed within the first year of Government in consultation with the local council and residents who know their community best. The Bass Coast Council has asked for their area to be declared.

A re-elected Labor Government will also develop a new town plan to consolidate Cowes within its existing boundaries to stop over development and make sure the whole island is managed as a low growth area.

It has been revealed Mr Guy used $3.5 million of taxpayers’ money to avoid facing a judge to explain his role in the Ventnor scandal, admitting he would lose his job if he did.

Phillip Island and the Bass Coast have outstanding natural beauty and small-town lifestyle that Matthew Guy and the Liberals tried to destroy – only Labor will make sure it is permanently protected.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“The Liberals put the interests of developers first and tried to turn Phillip Island and the Bass Coast into the Gold Coast – given the chance they’ll do it again.”

"Only Labor will protect the lifestyle that locals on Phillip Island and the Bass Coast enjoy with permanent planning protection, enshrined in law.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“History will judge Matthew Guy’s intervention in Ventnor as one of the darkest days in the history of planning in this state.”