O’Brien tackles absurd housing permit ruling
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has urged the Andrews Labor Government to address bureaucratic interference that has ended a family’s house plans in South Gippsland.
Mr O’Brien has sought government intervention after a constituent was denied a housing permit for a block in Toora because the access road might flood once in 100 years.
Mr O’Brien is acting on behalf of Toora North resident Paul Hurst who was granted a dwelling permit by South Gippsland Shire two years ago but the permit was challenged in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) based on flood modelling.
VCAT upheld the appeal and rejected the permit because of the risk of flooding on an access road to the property once in a century.
Mr O’Brien says the intervention of the WGCMA defies common sense.
“I fully understand that the WGCMA has a role to play in limiting development in flood affected areas but this just doesn’t pass the pub test.
“To suggest that someone shouldn’t be allowed to build a house on a block where there are no other planning restrictions because a small part of the access road might be covered by flood waters for 10 hours in 100 years is ridiculous.
“This is an example of bureaucracy gone mad and needs to be addressed by the Andrews Labor Government.”
South Gippsland Shire will not reconsider a permit application given the ruling by VCAT.
“There are restrictions on house permits for small lots in the farming zone and that is for good reason – to protect good farming land from being broken up and developed for houses.
“But to suggest that this small six acre block cannot have a house on it because there might be a flood once every hundred years which could threaten the safety of emergency services workers or residents is taking risk management to absurd levels.
“There needs to be an appropriate level of risk considered in such decisions and the Government should be limiting the power of agencies such as the WGCMA to object in these cases.”
Mr O’Brien has written to the Minister for Planning seeking resolution of the issue.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien with Toora North resident Paul Hurst on the stretch of Lamont Road that is considered a flood risk by State Government authorities.