David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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ACHIEVEMENT: The principle point of access for everyone on Melbourne's planning matters is a well designed website.

TARGET DATE: December 2004 PROGRESS: Some.

DESCRIPTION: A web based information library would allow not only info on title, past and current planning proposals, permits, valuations etc. to be accessed by everyone whether or not for a fee or periodic subscription, it would also allow expressions of interest to be recorded in an easily navigated data base and, even more important, prospective objections or observations about future developments to be recorded so that developers, other interested persons, and, not least, council planners could be forewarned and save a lot of time. An early notification procedure could also be incorporated.

Imagine if a developer could have his draft plans examined by all and sundry on the Internet (maybe at a terminal in a Council library) after already noting that resident A had a particular problem about overlooking and resident B was adamant about heritage. Then he could modify his plans when he had assurance that resident C would trade off his objections for a guarantee of easier access to his garage because a corner would be left unbuilt on, and so on.

Above all it would be an enormous time-saver with benefits all round as fewer people would need to make desperate catch-up efforts by appealing to VCAT and developers would have far less reason to use the 60 days rule against councils. I am sure a lot of people would be happy to contribute ideas and comments to the design of a really good website.

Some progress has been made with the development of i-Compass and i-Heritage, which provides online planning and heritage applications to be made and accessed.

FURTHER INFORMATION: This idea came from James Guest, a Melbourne City Council resident who has been active in advocating residents' rights in the face of developer proposals. The text above describing Planning Online is adapted from an e-mail James Guest sent to me on 16 February 2004.


Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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