A DEADLINE is looming on a decision by Planning Minister Richard Wynne to save Kingston’s Green Wedge from future landfills and tips.
Council asked the Labor state government in May to approve a C143 planning amendment to rezone land outside the urban growth boundary – north of Kingston and Heatherton Rds – from a Special Use Zone allowing waste-related activities to a Green Wedge A Zone.
A VCAT hearing, due to be heard on 26 October, will determine whether the Alex Fraser Group will be able to extend a permit for its concrete crushing operations in Clarinda until 2038.
Councillors unanimously opposed the permit extension late last year and the firm decided to take its case to the independent tribunal (‘Plant not crushed, VCAT appeal looms’, The News 20/5/15).
Kingston mayor Cr Geoff Gledhill fears time is running out for the Planning Minister to make a decision before the VCAT hearing in October.
“The future of the Green Wedge is at stake and is poised on a knife-edge,” he said.
“With the Minister’s support we could see the Green Wedge preserved for public parks for generations to come. Without his support this won’t be a Green Wedge, it will be an ugly waste hub for future generations.”
Rebecca Thistleton, a spokeswoman for Mr Wynne, said: “The Minister is aware of the time sensitivities around the Green Wedge case and will notify council of his decision accordingly.”
Cr Gledhill hoped the Planning Minister will make a positive decision soon to alleviate neighbouring residents concerns landfill operations can continue unabated in the Green Wedge.
“I’m still extremely hopeful that the Minister will support the C143 Amendment to protect Kingston’s Green Wedge, but we are at the 11th hour and time is running out.”