It was disappointing to hear Member for Mildura Peter Crisp’s comments in Parliament last week, critical of the council’s planning permit processes and the speed at which applications are processed, particularly around the subdividing of land.
I don’t believe Mr Crisp’s comments accurately reflect the situation regarding the processing of applications.
The council processes about 600 planning permit applications each year, and about 100 of those are for subdivisions.
Based on Victorian Government figures, our timeframes for processing those 600 applications are in line with the regional city average.
Planning permit reports issued by the Victorian Government show that for the current calendar year, council processed 67 per cent of applications within the 60-day statutory timeframe, marginally below the 69 per cent regional city average.
In terms of VicSmart (planning assessment) applications, council’s processing time is significantly better than the regional city average.
Council processed 98 per cent of VicSmart applications within the 10-day statutory timeframe compared to 86 per cent for regional cities.
In relation to subdivisions, once a subdivision has been approved, the timeline for this land to be available on the market is up to the developer, which is out of council’s control and can be up to five years.
The council has completed work to allow for future development of land in key growth areas.
There is a large amount of land that has been zoned and has service infrastructure in place to allow for further development.
Growth in development (residential, business, farming and tourism) does not improve the financial viability of local government.
An increase in the number of ratepayers spreads the rates across more properties, but the total amount of rates raised is the same.
Mildura Rural City Council chief executive officer