Wednesday, October 28, 2009


When we start relying on very strict conditions

The Premier symbolises the great big hole that his team have dug by rejoicing in the fact that a very unpopular development in the Docklands will be controlled by "very, very strict conditions" .
His mate Mr Robinson is also happy to recommend the cul de sac that is planning Victoria 2009 - 40 more people will be employed as policeman - the growth area of modern planning .
The premiers legacy in planning will not be in giving more people the great job that is planning in the public interest . The tools of freedom of a simple yes or No. No robinson is offering the opportunity to run bigger and bigger compliance divisions. People who train in the School of Mere Description and qualify in the grand art of paperwork checklist checking .
This compliance led recovery to planning is not a solution and will go down in history as the biggest distraction and threat to , what was once our great, appeals system .
Its about as brilliant and sustainable as agreeing to a permit for multiple marriage partners because you've listed very , very strict conditions .
Sound leaders say NO and teach their staff how to do the same.
Young planners should be taught that if you have to write too restrictive conditions you prbably should say NO .
Maddens clearly not training his team very well .
The planning system needs MORE people who can say NO when they need to . You know the planning system is failing when it celebrates ( as the premier did today ) the very very strict conditions argument . Growing a a bigger compliance division is about as sustainable as employing nannies and bouncers to save you saying No in your own home .

The Premier seeks a high degree of consistency but doesn't see that there isn't one in the current way his government works . Infact good planning is anything but conformist -thats one big reason why our planning system is in disarray .

Planning should be largely about saying Yes or No and giving the hard pressed applicants the freedom that is associated with that .

Unable to say No ( esp at the right time) our leaders hide behind anything that looks like a decision ( incl policy frameworks).

Worse still, the grand vision of our forefathers that the planning system would provide advice grows increasingly dim under the weight of a whole lot of paper policies and the means they provide to avoid making actual decisions by a growing myriad of irresponsible authorities .

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