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Guy Fawkes Cape Paterson

Press Release 12th May 2011
Cape Paterson Residents & Ratepayers Association

Cape Paterson community members are outraged at Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s 11-May-2011 announcement that he has resurrected and approved the lapsed Ecovillage housing development which was rejected last year by both an Independent Planning Panel and Bass Coast Shire Council.

In so doing, the Minister, at the request of developer Brendan Condon, has chosen to ignore an eight-year strategic planning process, the wishes of the community and the recommendations of an Independent Planning Panel. Simultaneously he has also approved a massive expansion of Cape Paterson to the north.

The outcomes of this irresponsible decision for our community include:

Town Boundaries: The size of our small town will now triple. Over the last eight years the conflict and confusion between strategically setting town boundaries vs extending them to suit the Ecovillage developer has led to this massive expansion which no-one in the community wants. Even the Planning Panel, after carefully considering population growth, rejected this expansion.

Why didn’t the Minister take his Panel’s professional advice?

Planning Process: The resurrected Ecovillage housing development (Amendment Bass Coast C119) is significantly different from the one which was rejected (C53) last year.  Despite these significant changes, both the Council and local community have been denied any opportunity to review C119.

Why didn’t the Minister ensure C119 followed a proper process of review and consultation?

Implementation Problems: The Minister has abused his power by making this decision but will not bear the consequences for his actions. Bass Coast Shire will bear those consequences ... but have been denied the necessary powers that the Panel Report clearly identified, including:

  • Our concern is that these (section 173 agreements) cannot be enforced except by beneficiaries or parties to agreements and are therefore not readily enforceable by the Council or other third parties.” (§5.10 p199); and,
  • any on-site development could proceed without a permit if it was ‘generally in accordance’ with the Comprehensive Development Plan and the “... CDP, itself... remains... a rather vague concept ... (and so the) Panel is concerned that ‘generally in accordance’ with a broad concept leaves considerable room to depart from expressed intents. This is simply unacceptable when a regime which excludes any further third party involvement and review is also proposed to be put in place.”(§5.16 p209)

Why didn’t the Minister take the Planning Panel’s considered advice and ensure the Council had the tools to do the job?

Implications: This abuse of the strategic planning process is of particular concern given it:

  • completely undermines the integrity of the State government planning processes, policies and strategies;
  • sends a clear message to community members that giving your time to ‘community consultation’ processes, or making submissions to a Panel, is a ‘waste of time’;
  • makes a mockery of employing recognised planning experts to advise the Minister; and,
  • sends a clear message to all developers that they should bypass Council and local communities and lobby the Minister directly.

This decision also means that the State Government’s oft-stated policies of ‘transparency' and 'handing planning decision-making back to local Council' is a myth.

Our concern is not just for our own local community. The signs are ominous for communities and Councils state-wide.  The leopards might be younger but the spots are the same.

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To contact a representative about this matter, please send an e-mail by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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To amuse you ...


Whale Watch

There are many whales seen in our area but few sightings are formally recorded - so there is no evidence of these. So, if you see a whale, please:

- Take a photo and/or note the fin and tail shape, plus any markings

- Note the time/day/location

Then e-mail this info to our local Whale Watcher by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Our Hoodies

    Hooded PloversWe have two valuable Hooded Plover breeding sites at Undertow Bay and 2nd Surf Beach.  Hoodies are endangered species with breeding success currently very low.  To protect them you must:

      - Read and follow signage

      - Only observe them from a distance of 80-100m

      - Keep your dog on a lead and well away from the birds.

          To find out more about our Hoodies, click here