By CAM LUCADOU-WELLS
PLANNING Minister Richard Wynne has stated he has no “appetite” to support Greater Dandenong’s desire for more than 400 hectares in Keysborough and Bangholme to be removed from the green wedge.
On 23 November, Greater Dandenong councillors passed a hastily convened motion to rezone Keysborough Golf Club’s course at Hutton Road and a parcel bordered by Harwood and Frankston-Dandenong roads, EastLink and flood-prone Eumemmering Creek in Bangholme.
The final say, however, lies with a seemingly steadfast State Government.
A spokesperson for Mr Wynne told Star News that the government’s position was “clear”.
“We are committed to maintaining and strengthening the integrity of Victoria’s green wedges.
“We have no intention or appetite to change the urban growth boundary.”
Councillor Matthew Kirwan, the only dissenting councillor, accused the council of “ramming through” the motion without public consultation or warning.
The motion was not listed on the meeting’s agenda, much like when the council made the decision to submit for the 337-hectare Bangholme parcel’s inclusion in the urban growth boundary in 2011.
“I think it’s been rammed through because the basis for, particularly, the Bangholme precinct doesn’t stack up,” Cr Kirwan said.
“If you have something that doesn’t have a good justification you try to avoid having scrutiny on it.”
Cr Kirwan said the flood-prone Bangholme parcel had attracted opposition from Frankston council, Melbourne Water and Willow Lodge’s residents as well as being recently knocked back by a state planning panel.
For it to be rezoned as an employment precinct would risk displacing Willow Lodge’s 600 residents, he said.
He intends to introduce a rescission motion against the proposal on 14 December.
In justifying the move, Cr Jim Memeti said the parcel was opposite Jayco’s headquarters, with already “industrial at the back … (and) at the front”.
Property developer Intrapac, which has banked land in the parcel and made a failed submission for its rezoning in the past, stated that it was not making a new submission.
Intrapac is also a partner in Keysborough Golf Club’s proposed sell-off of its 76-hectare golf course for a housing development in exchange for a new course and training facility in Pillars Road.
The deal is hoped to net the club $40 million.
Club captain Darrell Swindells said the council realised the move would be of great community benefit.
“We are seriously putting up a project which we think will enhance Greater Dandenong.”