Planning Disputes Loom Large Over Upcoming Australian Election

A variety of controversial planning policies and high-profile development projects in Melbourne have led to widespread resident frustration, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. Could planning issues change the city's larger political equation?

A series of developments fueled in part by a booming population has vaulted planning onto the political agenda in Melbourne, just in time for an important state election this November. The magnitude that these prominent conflicts will affect the city's political landscape cannot yet be determined, but increased attention has shed light on what many believe are apparent flaws in the state's planning administration process and policies.

Fed-up Melburnians from both the inner-city and suburbs are organizing campaigns to affect change in the development arena to fight a planning system that many claim lacks transparency and constantly pits policy implementation against political imperatives.

"Mary Drost, who heads up Planning Backlash - a coalition of 160 resident groups across the state focused on planning and development - says its members are intent on putting planning on the political agenda. 'There's a growing feeling in the community that we have got to take back control of what's happening in our city. There's no proper planning, it's simply developer driven,' she says."

Full Story: Planning may be poll issue

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