Monthly Archives: May 2012

Don’t Call it the Underwood Review

sunstorm

The first instalment of the long-awaited Underwood Review of the Victorian planning system (which we’re supposed to call the “Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee”) was released on Friday and makes for interesting reading. The full report is here, and the government’s response is here.

The paper is structured partly as a review and partly as discussion paper: at certain points it’s making quite specific recommendations, at other points it’s just kicking ideas around. This is actually one of its strengths: it certainly gives a sense that the Committee was legitimately interested in hearing people’s views. There is a much more genuine sense of community engagement in this paper than in, say, the previous government’s review of the Planning & Environment Act. To glance through the submissions received by the Committee (on the DPCD website here) is to get a sense of what an achievement that was. Extracting value from those submissions – most of which are either disgruntled objectors saying the system is too developer-friendly, or industry objections saying the system is too objector-friendly – is no mean feat. (For what it’s worth my submission – which I was flattered to see the Committee quote at a couple of points – is here).

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