CFMR CLAIMS COUNCIL THREATENS TO SUE ITS OWN RATEPAYERS
THE Committee for miners Rest claims that the Ballarat City Council has effectively threatened to sue the ratepayers of Miners Rest because they had the temerity to try and protect their legal rights by lodging VCAT application. They have been warned to withdraw or else!” a spokesperson for the Committee for Miners Rest said. This disgraceful action is being taken against a group passionate residents who have been selling sausages and bread rolls on Saturday mornings to generate funds to stand up for what they believe is right against the financial might of the Council and the State Government.
“This is a gross betrayal of the city’s ratepayers and an improper use of the city’s funds” the spokesperson added, “they’ve already spent over a quarter of a million dollars on a panel hearing, treating their ratepayers as the opposition against their legal team in what amounted to a Star Chamber – how on earth can Council think this is value for ratepayers money?”
The people of Miners Rest have said adamantly and often they do not want the saleyards in their township and want to know what’s behind the utter intransigence of the Council, the Minister and the local State Government Members, in ignoring 4.5% of the ratepayers of Ballarat.
“The Minister’s office knew a VCAT application had been lodged yet still went ahead during the Christmas break and approved the rezoning, it’s incomprehensible”, the group’s spokesperson said.
“As well, we have written endless letters, asked so many questions, and the Council hasn’t even had the courtesy of formally responding to one of them in writing.
“The Mayor made a point of saying on the ABC radio that the opponents of the saleyards had been polite and respectful throughout – it’s a great pity the Council hasn’t returned such good manners. They’ve scoffed at our efforts and treated us with nothing but contempt and are continuing to do so by this unethical action”, the resident said. “The Council can use all the intimidatory tactics they like, we’re not going to just sit down and take it”.
City Council Reply
Ballarat saleyards zone approved
THE City of Ballarat has been notified the Victorian Minister for Planning has approved a formal planning scheme amendment application for a saleyards development, south west of Miners Rest.
The Central Victoria Livestock Exchange will be located between the Sunraysia Highway and the Western Freeway. The approval was today published in the Victorian Government Gazette. RLX Investment Company Pty Ltd and its operating agent Regional
Infrastructure Pty Ltd (RIPL) lodged the planning scheme amendment application to rezone land to the Special Use Zone with targeted development controls for the site.
Before construction can begin, the applicant is required to submit documentation to the Victorian Government and the City of Ballarat for approval. The Environment Protection Authority is also required to consider an Independent Planning Panel’s report that confirmed the suitability of the site.
In August 2014, Ballarat City Council received the application for Amendment C185 to the Ballarat Planning Scheme and an EPA Works Approval Application (Service Order: 1001580).
In December 2014, council resolved to put the application out for public comment and started the formal Planning Scheme Amendment.
A total of 184 submissions were received from the community.
In April 2015, council resolved to refer the submissions to an independent Planning Panel Hearing for consideration.
The panel hearing took place for 10 days during June and July, 2015. Three independent landuse, planning and environment experts heard
submissions from the City of Ballarat, submitters and the applicant.
Expert evidence was presented in relation to a variety of areas including odour, noise, visual impact, water and traffic management. In September 2015, the panel confirmed the suitability of the site.
At a Special Meeting of Ballarat City Council in October, 2015, a majority of councillors voted in favour of the proposed development. The amendment was then submitted to the Victorian Minister for Planning for final approval. The existing saleyards site at Latrobe Street in Ballarat will continue to operate until the new facility at Miners Rest is operational. RIPL has been operating the existing saleyards as a private entity since May 2010.