29 May 2019
To the great surprise and concern of my community, on 23 March the Minister for Planning rezoned the former Highett gas and fuel land as residential growth zone schedule 2.
This will allow for the immediate construction of 26-metre-high, nine-storey residential apartment blocks.
With 70 per cent of Victoria’s population growth being squeezed into established suburbs, Pennydale Resident Action Group president Derek Screen is correct in noting that putting more people in the same amount of space that we already have is an inadequate policy approach.
I am not here to condemn the minister but rather to emphasise what long-term Moorabbin resident Dr Robyn Cochrane has conveyed to me, which is that: The government has an opportunity to work in collaboration with existing Highett organisations to create versatile and sustainable community infrastructure and open spaces.
The preservation of this 6.3-hectare site for the community, including sporting fields, open space and additional train station parking, is the right thing to do.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set aside this public land for community use rather than private high-rise development.
I invite the minister to revise his original decision and instead preserve the vast majority of this land for our community.
It is my sincere hope that the Minister for Planning will understand the mistake that has been made and join with me and my community in building a future for Highett that is high quality and not high density.