October 20, 2014


State Member for Ballarat East, Geoff Howard today joined Buninyong residents who were angry and insulted by Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s comments that it was now up to the City of Ballarat if it wanted to restore lower density zoning in Buninyong.

“After creating a planning mess that puts at risk the charm and amenity of Buninyong, Matthew Guy has now abandoned the community,” Mr Howard said.

“It’s insulting to have a Minister who refuses to be accountable for changes he forced through himself, against the wishes of council and the community to now be saying you’re on your own.

“Residents have every right to feel betrayed by the Napthine Government, who are determined to sell-out local residential amenity in favor of developers.

“This ‘as of right’ change gives developers carte blanche to buy, develop, sell and subdivide residential lots down to 300 sqm with no reference to the character of the local neighbourhood.

“900 square meter lots can now be divided into three sub-blocks without going to council.  The first residents will know about it is when the bulldozer turns up.

“The Liberal candidate, who has supported these changes from the beginning, continues to have his head in the sand by ignoring the wishes of the Buninyong community and defending the indefensible.

“The Napthine Government have bungled this from the beginning and it’s unacceptable that they’re seeking to sweep this under the carpet until after the election.

“If they can’t even acknowledge the problem, how can the community trust them to fix it?”

Key Facts

Since  1993 the Shire of Buninyong Outline Development Plan (ODP) has regulated planning decisions in the Buninyong village. Restricting Lot sizes to 800sqm.

R1Z zones applied for 12 months from the 1st of July 2013 also reflected the minimum 800sqm Lot size.

Matthew Guy and Ben Taylor welcomed Amendment C177, which flagged 300sqm Lot sizes on September 17 2014.

Amendment C177 and Lot sizes of 300sqm in Buninyong came into effect when gazetted on 9th October 2014.