Stop the War on Cars

Call for review of Melbourne’ Bicycle Network

Community activist and Lord Mayor Candidate Anthony van der Craats (The Light on the Hill Team) has called for a review of the La Trobe Street ‘closed lane’ bicycle path and the banning of bicycles along the Yarra Promenade..

La Trobe Street and the Bicycle Network planning and its rollout has been a complete disaster with the City Council spending 10’s of millions of dollars engineering congestion.’

Council has to restore two lanes of traffic along La Trobe Street to get traffic flowing again.  To do this it either has to remove the existing bike path or remove the adjacent car parking along La Trobe Street.

Outside peak hour less than 20 bicycles use Latrobe Street per hour.

Engineering Services in Melbourne has declined significantly over the last eight years.  The Council is no longer managing traffic instead it is Engineering congestion

Mr van der Craats said that the Copenhagen closed bike lanes have not improved safety and that disabled, elderly and family computers Safety has been placed at risk as a result.

There are better alternatives that cost much less and are better for all users.  Swanston Street is a good example. The Northern end of Swanston Street has a painted line delineation that allows bicycles to travel outside the ‘car dooring zone’, it works, whilst the Southern end between Queensberry Street and Victoria Street is a commuters nightmare.

Similar problems exist with the St Kilda bike lane opposite the Art Galley.

Disabled computers visiting the Art Galley or Gardens can not park safely and as a result are being discriminated against.  For the cost of the 330 metre St Kilda Road strip the Council could have installed a safer more user friendly ‘line delineated’ bike path all the way along St Kilda Road to the Junction.

Yarra River Promenade an accident waiting to happen

Mr van der Craats has also called for bicycles to be banned from the Yarra Promenade as they are a risk to pedestrian and public safety. It is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs and the Council will be held responsible.

Six months ago the Yarra North Bank walkway was not designated a shared bike path. Now, without consultation, signs have mysteriously appeared and speeding cyclist have turned it into a cyclist speedway.

Council must review and rethink its policy. Other road users needs and consideration must be taken into account.

The Council failed to consult other users most notably Disability advocates, the RACV and motorcycle users all who have been severely impacted on by a poorly design bicycle network.  The Council only consulted bicycle users and held meetings in coffee shops. Alternative designs and solutions had not been properly considered.

It is time to STOP THE WAR ON CARS and to properly manage Melbourne’s road network.

The City of Melbourne Planning Scheme is in tatters. A fire brigade without a hose or a truck

The City of Melbourne has failed its first major test before the Victorian Civil Appeals Tribunal with the advice given to Council by officers proven to be false and the Council left dumfounded and embarrassed by not paying due and proper attention to this issue well before now

Recent Ministerial changes to the State Planing Scheme made by Matthew Guy have resulted in the City of Melbourne no longer able to control development within the city boundaries instead we have a free for all where the market is allowed to rage unchecked and out of control

The decision of VCAT to grant a planning permit for the establishment of a licenced cafe and restaurant at 157-159 Domain Road, South Yarra. – PERMIT APPLICATION NO. TP-2012-388 had demonstrated that the Council Strategic Statement is worthless.

Recent amendments to the Victorian Planning Scheme have resulted in licenced premises (Taverns, Pubs Restaurants and Pokie venues) which fall under the board definition of Retail Premises, no longer requiring a planning permit for use in a Commercial 1 Zone. (CZ1).  The City of Melbourne and a host of other inner city municipalities have been caught out by the changes which have a detrimental impact on inner city residential amenity.

A commercial business premises now has an “as of right’ use to establish a night club. Tavern. Bar or licenced restaurant within a CZ1 zone without a planning permit regulating its use.

The recommendation to remove licened premises from the definition of Retail premises, if adopted and implemented. would subject all licenced premises to a proper planning process and help restore public confidence.

The City of Melbourne needs to consider a Supreme Court challenge of the ruling of the Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT)

The proposed development in Domian Road undermines the terms and provisions of the Melbourne Planning Scheme

Clause 21.08, “Economic Development”. states: There is a need to support the provision of local shops to serve the residential and working communities in local centres. A proliferation of eating and entertainment uses should not undermine the character and range of services offered in these local centres.

A stated objective under the Melbourne Planning Scheme is to support the Central City and local retail uses. A related strategy is: Ensure that a proliferation of eating and entertainment establishments in local centres does not undermine the viability of their convenience retailing

The South Yarra Domain Road precinct is listed as area of stability with minimal potential for new development, and notes that residential amenity to date has been maintained and the area’s historic character and features have been preserved

The Melbourne Strategic Statement aims to ensure Domain Road shopping area maintains its role for convenience shopping, neighbourhood facilities and as a neighbourhood focus

The City of Melbourne policy framework identifies the Domain Road shopping area as one of the municipality’s local centres. Policy seeks to have this centre maintain its role for convenience shopping and as a neighbourhood focus. Policy also seeks to ensure that a proliferation of eating and entertainment establishments does not undermine the viability of the centre’s convenience retailing

A significant difficulty in implementing this strategy is the fact that the use of the land for a restaurant is no longer subject to a planning permit, given the Commercial 1 zoning of the land. Under the provisions of the previously existing Business 1 zoning, there existed the ability to specify in the Schedule land upon which a restaurant use could not be established without a permit. The Council had not nominated any land within the municipality in the Schedule. With the change of zone, the ability to include this requirement has disappeared.

As no permit is required for the use, it is difficult to understand how the strategy relating to the ‘proliferation’ of eating establishments can be implemented in a land use sense. The regulatory tools necessary to give effect to the Council’s aspirations for this centre, as expressed in this specific strategy, do not form part of the suite of controls which apply in this case.

The granting of the permit pursuant to the revised planning scheme undermines public confidence in the administration and implementation of planning with-in the City of Melbourne

Changes to the Planning Scheme required to wind back the Guy amendments

The City of Melbourne need to as a matter of urgency review the current zoning of the Domain Road, South Yarra precinct with the view of having it rezoned as a “Mixed Use” Zone in which case licenced premises and restaurants and taverns can once again be subject to proper planning controls

– The Melbourne South Yarra Group has invited the Labor Candidate or the State seat of Melbourne Neil Pharaoh to address residents concerns on planning within the City of Melbourne at its Annual General Meetings scheduled for March 2014

Engineering and Planning Disaster for the Domain

The City of Melbourne Engineering Services and Planning continue to demonstrate their incometance.

VCAT had overturned the City Council refusal to grant a planning permit to 157-159 Domain Road

Domain Road retail precinct is supposed to service tegh need of the local residential community yet it is under pressure by developers who which to push out local retail and establish restaurants. night clubs and cafes.   The proposed development on Domain Road, where the former post office and news agent were located, is for three story building with cafe on the ground floor and two restaurants, one on each floor above the cafe, The proposed developed is expected to generate demand for over 160 car parking spots

Engineering Services Manager, Geoff Robinson, recommended that car parking provisions be waived for the development, A proposal that was overturned by the elected council,  There is barley a car park free in the area as it is, let alone the ability to meet demand imposed by the new development.  Surveys undertaken by residents on a Friday night showed their was 7 car parking spots available on Birwood Avenue  some 3-400 meters from the Domain site.

How Engineering Services came up with this recommendation is anyone’s guess.  The recommendation by Engineering Services to waive car parking influenced the VCAT determination.

Questions are being asked about the integrity of the City’s Engineering Services branch.

Adding to residents s the recent changes to teh Planning Scheme that re-classified the Domain Road precinct from Business one zone to Commercial one Zone.  Under the new Zone a licenced premises does not need a planning permit for its use. 

Geoff Lawler, Director of Planning was oblivious to the impact of the changes until questions were raised by residents.   It has been proven that the changes are having a negative impact as VCAT decision granting a planning was based on the new planning zone changes undermines the objectives of the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

The only saving grace is that the project as it stands is economically not viable.  The owner hoes to attract in excess of $800,000 per year in rent. Something that is highly unlikely to see a return for any investor   There are a number of conditions on the planning permit that impact on its use most notably the above ground restaurants can only sell alcohol between 5PM and 11,30PM

The maximum noise level as measured from the center of the external court and balconies can not be allowed to exceed 3Db nor will the be allowed to serve drinks on the footpath  no restaurant or cafe could remain viable under these conditions let alone command such a high rent.  The owner will without doubt be back seeking a review and remove of these constrictions. But this time they will  not be incumbered with issues of use and planning thanks to the State Governments planning scheme revisions and the failure of the City of Melbourne to object to the reclassification of this precinct to Commercial one zone.

City should be bigger – Kennett and Proust opposed by Doyle

Calls for a Greater City of Melbourne supported by Melbourne former CEO Elizabeth Proust and Jeff Kennett yet rejected by Robert Doyle

In an article published in the Age newspaper, that skims across the issue, both Elizabeth Proust and Jeff Kennett called for Melbourne to expand

Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, desperate to hang on to his power base threatened violence by stating he would violently oppose the move.

Jeff Kennett former,Victorian Premier 1992 to 1999 who Robert Doyle as the State member for Malvern served under, would not be drawn into outlining boundaries said the City of Melbourne should be bigger.

Jeff Kennett was responsible for the reduction in the size of the City of Melbourne back in 1993 when the City lost a sizable part of its former boundaries to the North.  Mergers of other inner city coucnils took place leaving Melbourne a small shell of what it should be.

Prior to winning office Jeff Kennett opportunistically opposed moves by Labor’s Cain Government to merge Local Councils, only to embark on such a reform soon after taking office

There have been many pushes and recommendations for a Greater Melbourne which would put the City on par with cities such as London and Brisbane.

Melbourne should as a minimum take in the City of Port Philip and the former City of Prahran to the South of the Yarra with the possibility of including the City of Yarra to the North East.

Robert Doyle lives in the neigbouring City of Port Phillip and served as the Member of Malvern before losing the leadership of the State Parliamentary Liberal Party to Denis Napthine. He later resigned from State Parliament and stood for the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Office in 2008 and again in 2012.  He has served since in a lack luster sugar coated local government position milking his status as Lord Mayor of the Borough of Melbourne socializing with the likes of Boris Johnston Mayor of the Greater City of London. Doyle, who campaigned on a short lived “No Junkets” policy is desperate to cling on to the perks of office, International travel and the Lord Mayors Limousine .

Call to slash Melbourne’s ‘inefficient’ councils

 Source The Age

Melbourne must slash its local councils from 31 to just one if it is to plan services and large-scale infrastructure effectively, a former CEO of the City of Melbourne and aide to premier Jeff Kennett says.

And Australia should cut its levels of government to just two – national and regional – rather than the current three tiers.

”Our federation and the sheer number and layers of organisations that involve themselves in decision making … slows us down,” said Elizabeth Proust delivering the Planning Institute’s annual Kemsley Oration, the industry’s key annual address, late last year.

Mr Kennett on Thursday did not support Ms Proust’s call for one Melbourne council, but backed a dramatic expansion of Melbourne City Council’s boundaries.

”I think it would be a natural reform for the future,” Mr Kennett said, although he said he ”would not stipulate … how many neighbouring councils [Melbourne] should absorb”. He said council amalgamations by his government in 1994 were ”the right thing to do”, and it would be worth reviewing the numbers of councils.

But Ms Proust said the amalgamations ”did not go far enough” as too many councils were ”too small to be effective or efficient”.

Ms Proust was chief executive of the City of Melbourne from 1990 to 1995, and then secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

During the tumultuous Kennett era, councils in Victoria were slashed from 210 to 79. ”That number is still too large,” she said. ”As is the number of 31 councils which cover Melbourne” because Melbourne’s size and scale demand city-wide vision and governance.

Melbourne will grow from 4.25 million people to 6.5 million by 2050, according to the Napthine government strategy.

Jude Munro, a former CEO of the Brisbane City Council, backed Ms Proust’s call. Brisbane is the country’s largest council, covering more than 1.1 million residents and running the city’s buses, ferries and its water infrastructure.

Ms Munro headed Moreland Council and the old St Kilda Council in Melbourne in the 1990s. She said creating a greater Melbourne council made sense, but said the mayor would become ”a real competitor to the Premier of Victoria”.

Lord mayor Robert Doyle said he would be ”violently opposed” to one greater Melbourne council, with the city’s CBD model working well. ”It works for Brisbane, but I don’t think it would work for a Sydney or Melbourne,” he said. ”You lose a bit if you try and be all things to all people.’

The Planning Institute’s Victorian president, Brett Davis, also cautioned that a merger of more councils was simplistic and might not address the city’s real governance challenges.

The City Council’s failure to plan for Melbourne

It is often said that the City Council should be given back its planning powers? But should it?  The Council should not be judge jury and legislator.

The Council should be the administrator and have planning authority to determine the strategic plans for a city but it should not the the decider or interpreter of the planning scheme.  May councils do not have the skill or professionalism to determine what is good and what is bad.  Any limitation and restrictions should be spelt out in the planning scheme. A scheme which the City Council should have limited control over.

The Council should be an advocate on a planning decision but not the judge. To this extent the idea of decisions being made by professional planning authorities is a good one.  But the authority MUST consider and interpret the planning scheme in force correctly.  It the scheme is failing to address issues of broad community concern then it should be amended and the deciding body must reflect on those controls.

All too often we see the City Council itself ignore their won rules and guidelines like the time when Steven Mayne, Deputy Chair for the Planning portfolio ties to circumvent and ignore height limits that have been in force in the city for decades.  Planning on the run at a whim must be avoided at all costs

More often than not we also see the City Council pt up a pretense to fight an application when in fact they do not oppose it but do so for a variety of reasons one being community political pressure.

Ron Adams and Geoff Lawler are classic examples of administrators that ignore the planning scheme when it suits them.  The City Council has failed to incorporate policies designed it protect Melbourne Victorian Verandahs with Rob Adams actively seeking to allow balconies projecting over the foot path destroying the historic street scrapes.  his is an area where the City Council has absolute control as the building projects over public space,

Concerned at the loss of heritage and the impact it has on the Victorian Street Scape the City of Melbourne commissioned, be it reluctantly a document on Lygon Street verandahs. A policy that has been forgotten and not included in the latest planning review.

Anther example of slight of hand is the failure of the City Council, Geoff Lawler in particular to act to protect the amenity in Domain Rd. South Yarra.  The changes in State planning  that have been forced on the City Council means that the Domain Road precinct has now been classified as a Commercial One Zone (C1Z)  “Upgraded: from a Business one zone (B1Z).  The new C1Z planning zones come with an as of right use for licensed premises where the former planning

The Domain Rd precinct was designed to facilitate the needs to the adjoining residential precinct.but over the years the amenity of this precinct has been allowed to deteriorate, with the Council doing noting to protect its use and development.   Under the old planning scheme licensed premises needed a planning permit.  Under the new C1Z scheme retail premises no longer need a planning permit ad has a as of right use.  Licensed premises falls under the definition of retail premises and such such they too do not need a planning permit.  Night clubs tavern and the like where restricted before the amendment now they can be established without the need to even apply for a planning permit

Clem Newton Brown has been called on to act and to have licensed premises removed from the definition of retail premises. Something that Clem has failed to act on,  His inability to represent the local residents is an issue that is of considerable concern and one that has not gone unnoticed.  Residents in South Yarra have indicated they will campaign against him should he not address this issue

But it is not just Clem’s issue, The City of Melbourne also has responsibility for this issue and they have done nothing. Geoff :Lawler was oblivious of the changes which effect not only South Yarra but North Melbourne, Carlton, East Melbourne and a host of other prec9incts that now fall under the provision of the new planning zones.

The City Council has placed in the too hard basket planning South of the Yarra, .South Bank has no provision for servicing residential amenity and South Yarra is in decline. It is just not of any interest to the City Planners who are looking to be engaged in newer more challenging developments such as Docklands and the Fisherman’s bend precincts.  South Yarra dd not even get a mention in the City Council’s five year plan and budget.

I would not hold my breath thinking that the ALP will address these issues either.  They have been  absent form the community debate for decades and have done nothing.  

Underutilised, Poor Urban Design and Planning South of the Yarra

The Age has published two articles by Jason Dowling and Clay Lucas that highlight problems with City of Melbourne planning and urban design.  Issues that the the City has failed to tackle.

Ask any resident in South bank or South Yarra and they will tell you that the lack of basic amenity and infrastructure is the main drawback of inner city living south of the Yarra 

There is no central focus for daily shopping in South Bank   The City Council has allowed the Domain Road precinct to deteriorate to the point where it no longer fulfills its intended use. 

Most notably is the lack of quality delicatessens or small supermarkets.   There are numerous seven elevens and a few small convenience stores that provide milk and basics.  Residents of South Bank and South Yarra are forced to either travel to South Melbourne or Prahran to buy daily produce South Bank lacks a residential amenity commercial precinct or square.  What business there are cater for the office workers not residents. This lack of amenity and planning has an impost and cost on inner city living.

The decline in Domain Road and other inner city residential commercial precincts are expected to further deteriorate as a result of inactivity and failure to act in behalf of the City Council. The changes to planning schemes introduced by the Minister in July 2013 will only exacerbate the decline further .  The shift from Business 1 zones to Commercial 1 zones will remove controls over planning and development designed to inner city residential development.

It comes as no surprise that the article in the Age reports that up to 8% of houses surveyed are empty.

The CIty Council has wiped its hands freom responsibility to plan or develop South of the Yarra.  the recent budget and 4 year plan has no projects or expenditure spent on South of the Yarra.  The Council Urban design team and planners have abandond this poart of teh city for the new precincts and new projects. Projects such as Docklands and Gishermans Bend that are also doomed to fail in the same way as South bank has.  As long as property hold and increase their value the Council will ontinue ti hide in the shadow of inactivity and complacently and Inner City remain captive to the car as a node of transport.  Eff9rts by the City Council to lock down the city by exempting developers from car p0arking requirements without a fee will not help.   Money collected from a car0-parking levy could and should be used to encourage more development of amenity and supporting residential use.

Rob Adams and Geoff Lawler and the City Urban Design and Planning departments turning a blind eye and ignoring the problems will not make it any better.  Part of the problem is the organisational disconnect between the two departments.

Engineering Congestion: Public Confidence in the slow lane

Public Confidence in the City of Melbourne Traffic Engineering is at an all time low.

Councillor Oake who chairs the Transport portfolio has placed the needs and interests of cyclist ahead of the needs of the City as a whole.

Melbourne City Council’s latest proposal in its war against cars is to reduce the inner city speed limit to 30Km per hour but refuses to apply a 10KM speed limit on cyclists.

A proposal put forward by the City Council bicycle forum chaired by Greens; Councillor Cathy Oake has proposed  further measure to cause congestion within the City of Melbourne.Councillor.

Whilst the City Council claim they have consulted widely the fact is most of the consultation was meeting with select interest groups with the Council officers meetings with Cyclists and the Cyclist lobby groups in coffee shop style meetings.

Council refused to publish Public Submissions unless $25 FOI application fee paid

The City Council has refused to make public copies of submissions relied on in the formation of the City Council’s transport strategy plan. Only executive summary is available. Requests to make copies of all submissions freely available were rejected by the Lord Mayor with Council staff stating that in order to obtain copies of submissions members of the public would have to make an FOI application. 

Public review of Bicycle Lanes rejected

In August this year the City Council rjected a proposal put forward by Crs Foster and Watts to undertake a review of the City Councils’ bicycle network including the La Trobe Street Copenhargen style Bicycle lane  the City Council claiming that the La Trobe Street lane was a success and that they needed to push ahead and continue implementing the City’s transport strategy. The City Council voted agsainst the motion for a review, gagging public debate.

Motorcyclist complain on Safety issues.

In June this year the City Council was forced to defer the adoption of the City Council’s Pedestrian, Cyclist and Motorcyclist Road Safety Plan when Motorcyclist complained that that they were not consulated

The City Council engineers met with representqaives of the Motorcyclist community who are vulnerable road users and in doing so gavce a number of undertaking to consider fuirther the needs of motorcyclist in the City Council’s transport plan. The Council undrtook to develope a Motorcycle Strategy plan  and include motorcyclists needs in the formation and review of future planning reviews.

The Council has yet to deliver on its promises. 

Last month’s Council meeting failed to list Motorcyclist in the Council’s review of the Princes Bridge Lane trial review.

Motorcyclist want the City Council to provide  and facilitate lane filtration, where motor cyclists can move to the front of the queue at intersections as is current afforded to cyclist.  They also want consideration to be given to the sharing of bicycle lanes where possible. Every time the City Council installs a bicycle lane motorcycle safety is ignored and placed at risk

Selective Consultation

The City Council failed to consult with Emergency service providers such as Ambulance Victoria., or the Metropolitan Firebridge in its Transport Safety plan.

Disabled groups were also not consulted along with a host of other road users and stakeholders.  The City Engineers have ignored concerns expressed by the RACV and other community groups

Questionable conduct: Report on Lord Mayor’s Harassment Claim – tabled but not distributed

The City of Melbourne tabled a report on the Coucnillor Conduct Panel’s determination of Cr Jackie Watts harasment claim made againt Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

Link: 6.7b Councillor Conduct Panel – tabling of determination and reasons for determination

The report was tabled by a motion moved Councillor Stephen Mayne and seconded by Deputy Lord Mayor, Susan Riley.

Cone of Silence amongst brothers and sisters

The Melbourne City Council refused to make copies of the report available to the media and members of the public in the public gallery.

Stephen Mayne refused to outline the finding of the report and the recommendations made which is required under law to be tabled at the Council meeting.

The extent of silence amongst Councillors was deafening as the motion was passed without debate or discussion.

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)

Call for all Licensed premises and Gaming venues to be subject to a full and proper planning process

Currently under Melbourne’s Planning Scheme “Licensed premises and Gaming Venues” are included in the blanket definition of Retail Premises under the Victorian Planning Scheme.

The definition of a Retail Premise includes Food and Drink premises (Hotels Taverns, licensed resturants) and Gaming venues (Poker machines). 
In 2006 the Labor State government subjected Gaming venues to the planning process and required them to obtain a planning permit by including Gaming venues in the definition of Retail Premises.
The current a Business 1 zone require Retail Premises to obtain planning permit.

On July 1,  Business 1, 2 and 5 zones will be rolled up into a new Commercial 1 zone and Retail Premises, apart from a sex shop, become an “As of right of use” will no longer require a permit. Gaming and other licensed venues will no not be subjected to proper planning control.

Local Council’s and the community will  be denied the right to object to the use and establishment of a gaming venue and other licensed premises that come under the umbrella of the definition of Retail Premises within the new Commercial zone.

Community groups are calling for an immediate change to address this issue

Residents of Melbourne South Yarra are effected mostly by this isssue and are fighting the establishment of a licensed restaurant/tavern in Domain Rd falls is within a Business 1 zone. On July 1 this zone will become a Commercial 1 zone  and with it they will no longer have the right to object to establihsment of a tavern or gaming venue in the new zone.

The City of Melbourne Gaming overlay will not apply as Retail premises (Including Taverns and Gaming venues) will no longer  be required to obtain a planning permit as a result of the new blanket exemptions.
A more responsible and preferable solution to planning would be to remove Gaming venues and other licensed premises  from the blanket definition of Retail premises and establish a new category “Licensed premise” (including Gaming venues) and subject all licensed premises to a proper and full planning process