Green Wedge boundaries to remain

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FRANKSTON’S Green Wedge management plan has been approved by council at their 14 October meeting.

In voting for the plan, councillors chose to reject a move to open up part of Green Wedge land in Carrum Downs to allow for the expansion of the industrial precinct. The amendment made to the plan read “that any reference to the potential expansion of the Carrum Downs industrial precinct is removed from the draft plan, including all recommendations to further investigate this potential.”

Cr Quinn McCormack said “the importance [of the Green Wedge] is paramount. It’s vital to protect and to retain the Green Wedge as a major health conservation, agricultural, economic, and recreational environment for future generations.”

“To suggest there are no alternatives for industrial use is unfortunately short sighted. If we use our Green Wedge land for industry now, what happens in the future when the same pressure comes before us? What do we do after we’ve used all of the breathing spaces,” she said.

Crs McCormack, Kris Bolam, Sandra Mayer, and Glenn Aitken voted to approve the amendments and Cr Michael O’Reilly voted against. Four councillors, Lillian O’Connor, Brian Cunial, Colin Hampton, and Steve Toms were absent.

The mayor Michael O’Reilly said “although I personally believe that a minor expansion of the Carrum Downs industrial precinct would have tremendously positive outcomes for industry and jobs in Frankston City, I understand the differing views of my fellow councillors and respect their right to voice their opinion and vote on matters that affect our community and environment.”

Ginevra Hosking, president of the lobby group Committee for Greater Frankston, was one of nine people who made a submission about the plan to council at their meeting. She slammed the decision to vote against an expansion of the industrial precinct.

“This will force companies that want to expand to leave our city and take jobs with them. Carrum Downs has become an irreplaceable hub for high-tech manufacturing and is now Frankston City’s most important jobs precinct with 8600 employees producing $3.65 billion in economic activity each year. It’s a third of Frankston’s economy and has more local jobs than Frankston’s CBD,” she said after the decision was handed down.

“While the council openly acknowledged there was a lack of industrial land in the municipality, it became clear during the councillors’ debate that this decision to constrain Carrum Downs was being made in the absence of any alternative employment land strategies.

“It is admirable of council to protect the green wedge. We fully support this principle. However, a more balanced view is required.”

The passed motion read that council will “ensure that the Green Wedge Management Plan does not reduce minimum lot sizes, and does not recommend or endorse any changes to the existing green wedge boundaries.”

Amendments approved by council to the Green Wedge management plan include:

  • An additional action in the draft plan for council to work with VicRoads to apply the appropriate land use zones to areas affected by the Peninsula Link Freeway. The timeframe for this action will be immediate as an amendment is currently being prepared by VicRoads.
  • Removal of any reference to the potential for reduced minimum lot sizes and recommendations for further investigation in to reducing land sizes within the within the green wedge from the draft.
  • That any reference to the potential for the land east and west of Stotts Lane to be developed or re-zoned for residential be removed from the draft plan, including all recommendations to further investigate this potential.
  • That the Skye Golf Driving Range & Golf Course not be nominated as a ‘public course’ and that this use is not nominated as a ‘non-economic activity’.

First published in the Frankston Times – 21 October 2019

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