NEW Planning Minister Richard Wynne has given the first indication that Kingston’s Green Wedge will not be opened up to residential development under a Labor state government.
Kingston Council is pressing ahead with a proposal to rezone land between Kingston and Heatherton roads and Lower Dandenong Rd and on the eastern side of Tootal Rd in Dingley Village to a Rural Living Zone.
Councillors narrowly voted five-four late last year to order a report from consultants Meinhardt’s to investigate the option at a cost of $164,000 to ratepayers. Any such plan would have to be approved by the state government.
Mr Wynne told The News: “It’s up to the Kingston Council to determine how they choose to spend ratepayer funds but this government’s position is clear: we are committed to maintaining and strengthening the integrity of Victoria’s Green Wedges, and legislating for a permanent urban growth boundary.”
Mr Wynne’s comments also seem to put a block on a contentious bid by Mentone Grammar to have its Keysborough playing fields removed from the urban growth boundary.
The News revealed last year that the elite private school made a submission – kept confidential by council at the time – to Planisphere asking council to consider the request.
Planisphere recommended the playing fields remain within Kingston’s Green Wedge but councillors subsequently narrowly voted to investigate the possibility of removing the sports fields from the Green Wedge.
Mr Wynne said the Green Wedges “are the result of careful long term planning to preserve the liveability of Melbourne”.
“The government made clear commitments to the protection of Melbourne’s Green Wedges and the locking down of the urban growth boundary in its planning policy document, Keeping It Liveable. I am committed to preserving our open spaces for future generations and protecting productive farmland and jobs in the horticultural and agricultural industries.”