Hume City Council is disappointed in the Victorian Government’s decision to refer the Western Avenue rezoning and development proposal through the Department of Transport and Planning’s Development Facilitation Program.
This has effectively taken the decision for the future use and development of the site out of Council’s control – a true hit to local democracy and local decision making.
Council’s position on developing the site has not changed: we remain firmly opposed to the proposed development for several reasons.
The revised proposal would see large parts of the Western Avenue land rezoned to facilitate new industrial and commercial development.
While Council supports the development and growth of business in Hume City – we don’t believe this is the right location for it.
The revised proposal would see:
All of the developable land within the proposal rezoned for industrial development – there would be no residential development under the proposal.
The Minister for Planning becomes the Planning Authority for the amendment and the Responsible Authority to issue/enforce permits.
The potential for the project to be assessed more quickly by the Development Facilitation Program (DFP) within the Victorian Government, taking any decision for the use and development of the land off Council.
The proposal that has been put forward is similar to the former proposal for the land considered by Council, although it now only relates to the MAB land on Western Avenue, not the adjoining land on Wright St.
What is the community’s position on this issue?
We heard our community loud and clear when we consulted on a similar proposal back in 2022. The community’s preference was for a solution that provided community benefit to our residents long-term, including using the land to complement our natural assets, the Moonee Ponds Creek and the wider creek environs.
We also acknowledge the community’s concerns around Hume City carrying an “unfair pollution burden” that may be exacerbated by an increase in industrial development in the area.
What is Council’s position?
We firmly believe that local decisions should be made by the locals. It’s disappointing to see this decision taken out of our hands.
We are committed to ensuring the voices of our proud Westmeadows community are heard at all stages of this project.
While Hume City Council is no longer the leader or decision maker of this project, we encourage residents to actively share their feedback on the proposal.
Following the consultation period, the Planning Minister may decide to refer this matter to the Priority Projects Standing Advisory Committee for advice and recommendations.
How can you get involved?
Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Joseph Haweil:
“This decision is a massive hit to local democracy – we are all concerned that the voices of our local Westmeadows residents may not be adequately heard during this process”
“Hume City Council will continue advocating for a ‘fair go’ for our community to ensure that any proposed industrial development will not come at the expense of residents wellbeing"