Council Officers mislead public

Serious concern that that the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle and  City of Melbourne Director of Planning Geoff Lawler has mislead the public in response to proposed changes to Melbourne Planning Scheme to be introduced on July 1.

Mr Lawler who failed to present a written report outlining the effect of proposed changes to the planning scheme has compromised the City of Melbourne in the process.

Clause 22.12 of the Melbourne Planning scheme  preamble states

This policy applies to applications for gaming premises in the Mixed Use Zone, Public Use Zone, Public Park and Recreational Zone, Business Zones and Industrial Zones and Docklands Zone. It is noted that gaming premises are prohibited in the Residential 1 Zone

On July 1, Business Zones 1, 2 and 5 will be transferred to new Commercial 1 zone

Under the revised planing  scheme to be introduced on July 1as amended by the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, Gaming venues will not longer require a planning permit  in the new Commercial 1 zone and will becomes an “as of right use” opening up the possible proliferation of gaming venues adjacent to residential precincts. Gaming venues come under the definition of Retail premises as defined under the the Victorian Planning Scheme.

Self appointed anti gambling advocate and Deputy Chairman of the Melbourne City Councils planning portfolio were oblivious to the impact of the proposed changes.  Councillor Mayne had previously given an undertaking to review the matter and present a report in June but to date has failed to fulfill this undertaking.

When asked where and when a report on impact of the the proposed changes will be presented to Council Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle rejected to notion or suggestion that the Council had given an undertaking to table a written report. Director of Planning Geoff Lawler, sought to deflected criticism of the Council not being informed or advising the public of the impact of the proposed changes.

It is understood that this issue was discussed in an unreported closed session Councillor forum.

Recordings of the City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee held on May 14 and June 4

Extract of Minutes FMC held on May 14
Anthony van der Craats, resident, asked the Committee a question in relation to the Minister for Planning’s recently announced changes to the Victorian Planning Scheme, which resulted in the abolition of Business 1 Zones and when will the City of Melbourne be undertaking a review of the schemes? (00:01:30 to 00:02:55 Recording of meeting)

In response to the question raised by Mr van der Craats, the Director City Planning and Infrastructure, Geoff Lawler advised that it is very early days as the rezoning has just been announced. He is currently beginning to understand the process and will bring the information to Councillors once it is fully known.  (00:02:56 to 00:03:40 Recording of meeting)

In response to a question raised by Anthony van der Craats, the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle advised that as per the previous discussion regarding the zoning changes at the beginning of the meeting the matter will be brought before Council, but cannot guarantee it will be at the June Council meeting.

Given the 1 July 2013 deadline the Council will be pressing to make sure this is as expeditious as possible  (01:06:30 to 01:08:04 Recording of meeting)

Stephen Mayne endorses new Commercial 1 planning zone Gaming Venues as of right use

Melbourne City Councillor and Deputy Chairman of the Planning portfolio has endorsed the proposed new planning regime and the “as of right use” “No permit required” Gaming venues and Taverns under the new Commercial 1 zones that will replace Business 1 zones

Under a current Business 1 zone Gaming venues and Taverns require a planing permit.  Under the new revised Commercial 1 zones Gaming venues and Taverns no longer require a planning permit

Stephen Mayne, who is known to campaign on concerns about the impact of gaming venues, has stood by complacently on his watch as Deputy Chairman of Planning and allowed the establishment of the new planning zones, which come into effect on July 1, 2013 to pass by without comment. 

The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle; Steven Mayne, Greens Councillors Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak and ALP member and Chairman of the Community Welfare portfolio, Richard Foster, stood silent and remained complacent and negligent by not calling for written a detailed report on the new planning changes in particular the new  Commercial 1 zones and their effect in Melbourne.

The changes to the planning scheme means that applications for use of premises as a gaming venue or tavern within a commercial 1 zone will not require a planing permit. Neighbouring inner city residents will not have any appeal rights and Councils will not be able to object or refuse the proposed use, instead the Council would have to rely on heritage overlays and built form permits to protect residential amenity.


Shown on the planning scheme map as B1Z, B2Z, B5Z or C1Z.
To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy
Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies.
To create vibrant mixed use commercial centres for retail, office, business, entertainment and community uses.
To provide for residential uses at densities complementary
to the role and scale of the commercial centre.
34.01-1 Table of uses
Section 1 – Permit not required

  • Retail premises (other than Shop)
  • Shop (other than Adult sex bookshop)

The defination of retail premises includes:

  • Food and drink premises
  • Gambling premises
  • Landscape gardening supplies
  • Manufacturing sales
  • Market
  • Motor vehicle, boat, or caravan sales
  • Postal agency
  • Primary produce
  • sales
  • Shop
  • Trade supplies

The defination of Food and drink premises includes:

Convenience restaurant

Take away food premises

Previously Business 1 zone (To be phased out on July 1) listed under


34.01-1 Section 1 – Permit not required

Food and drink premises (other than Hotel, Restaurant and Tavern)

34.01-2 Section 2 – Permit required

Retail premises (other than Betting agency, Food and drink premises, Postal agency, Shop, and Trade supplies)


Gambling with our future Planning

Gambling Awareness Week

In 1995, on 3LO Jon Faine’s program, I campaigned for Gaming venues to be subject to a planning permit.   Amusement Parlours required a planning permit but not gaming venues.

The Gaming industry was quick to reject and deflect the need for Gaming venues to require a planning permit.  At the time all you needed was a Fully Licensed venue and the approval of either the TAB or Tattersalls. 

11 years later in 2006 the Bracks/Brumby Government introduced a planning permit for gaming venues.  Whilst planning permits for gaming venues is now in place the system is still in need to review and more regulations and controls.  In 1995 you could turn a licensed restaurant into a gaming venue.  The same applies today.  Under the new planning system introduced by the Napthine Liberal Government Gaming venues an be established in the new “Commercial 1” zones an application for a change of use is all that is required.