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turboplanner

Airfields, Developers and Councils

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We've discussed many times the difficulty of saving an Airfield which is located close enough to an urban area to be more attractive as a residential or industrial development, and how certain Planning Terms are absolutely critical (because corruption can't break them down)

In most cases either a Council doesn't seem to value the airfield, or there is a clear attack by a developer.

 

IBAC (Victoria's Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission) is holding a three week hearing into alleged planning corruption in a Victorian Council.

The evidence has been stunning, particularly as to the amounts of money changing hands in some deals.

 

This is a summary by The Age today; you can go back to the stories day by day to see who gave what evidence.

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/breaking-bad-why-john-woodman-got-away-with-it-for-so-long-20191129-p53fjc.html

 

A lot of people had been deriding IBAC as a toothless tiger, and this Hearing is to collect as much evidence as possible relating to a specific Council, but the power-stroke is that IBAC will then hand over a Brief to the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP), just like the Police do; not so toothless.

 

I put this up for people to think about their airport, and how deeply they might have to go to get to the bottom of deals that don't seem to make sense.

 

We shouldn't discuss the specific details of this IBAC hearing, and it's bet not to re-post thenames of the people who have given evidence or been accused, because no one has been committed to trial let alone been found guilty, but if you know how big the scale can be you have a lot more options than to just rely on one person telling you your airfield will close.

 

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Edited by turboplanner
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Well done to the journalist's and management for backing them. Press freedom should be an issue at the next elections, no body or government should be above investigation.  

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4 minutes ago, Thruster88 said:

Press freedom should be an issue at the next elections, no body or government should be above investigation.

Watchit! Talk like that could start a revolution. Imagine the electors knowing what goes on behind closed doors, unlit car parks and other hidden spaces.

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Isn't that what is happening all over the world now? Revolution.

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This is more a less a summary of some of the highlights from the first IBAC investigation into land deals.

Some amazing admissions have been made, and even the Premier is having to admit to having dinner with the main subject of the inquiry on several occasions.  The process is that the evidence collected in this session will be going to the OPP for prosecutions.   The question is where is it going to go next.

 

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/pulp-fiction-film-noir-no-it-s-casey-council-and-it-s-all-too-real-20191206-p53ho8.html#comments

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keep us posted turbo

 

any other 100 hectare allotments close to Melbourne going for $ 100,000 ............... can you let us know please (that is if JCW and Co don't now about it)

 

QUOTE 'landowners enjoy from simply waiting for a council decision and the stroke of a minister’s pen. He has called for the introduction of a costly “licence”'

 

how would that licence work - at purchase how could a purchaser contribute to 'infrastructure' if it could was 20, 30, 40 years before it could be subdivided to create valuable land ?

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19 minutes ago, johnm said:

any other 100 hectare allotments close to Melbourne going for $ 100,000 

That was not for purchase of land, just for running his "team".  His profit was "millions"

The buyer, by changing its zoning from Industrial to Residential was looking at $100 million profit

19 minutes ago, johnm said:

QUOTE 'landowners enjoy from simply waiting for a council decision and the stroke of a minister’s pen. He has called for the introduction of a costly “licence”'

The farming land in Victoria is worth abour $6,000/acre, which allows profit to be made for fattening cattle.

The the Peri-Urban Green Zones it has been pushed up to around $120,000/acre by developers, so there's a problem for buyers who want to make a living.

What the developers are doing is finding ways to rezone the land residential or industrial.

If they can get is rezoned industrial the greenfield land overnight is valued at around $1.2 million an acre, so a tenfold profit from the stroke of a pen.

This would be roughly the situation with an airfield so you can see the attraction for owners and Coucils to have them rezoned and subdivided.

 

If the corruption can be taken out of the system these temptations are removed, the rural land values sink back down and the farms and airfields stay.

 

 

19 minutes ago, johnm said:

how would that licence work - at purchase how could a purchaser contribute to 'infrastructure' if it could was 20, 30, 40 years before it could be subdivided to create valuable land ?

That's just one Planners thought bubble.

For farmers and airfields, some type of blockage on rezoning is required.

We had always thought that a robust Planning Scheme was the answer, and I've spent decades campaigning on tighter regulations, but always found there was a Council who gave a developer the benefit of the doubt or VCAT who simply thought a huge recycling plant would be good for employment or a lawyer who said "it doesn't say we can't do it. And we would lose cases. Just recently a very experienced Planner answered one of my questions about tightening up wording with "but that's a political clause" and I realised there were two streams in the Planning Schemes, the Scheme, and the politically driven Policy in relation to the stream, so where there was a Policy issue it was a waste of time fighting it in VCAT, we needed to fight it at Government level. That revelation is very important for Airfield protection too. The first defence line has to be a massive response to Council when the first suggestion comes up, and a fight to the death to have the Councillors understand the importance of rejecting the application of the good old boys (and part of that is reading all the links from these journalistys over the past couple of weeks) then when it inevitably hits your Styates Civil Administrative Tribunal, where single words can be critical to success, ensuring at government level that the words which protect and Airfield in its zoning have been built into the current planning scheme, and not qietly slipped out to help a developer.

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It's rife with corruption and most Councils wouldn't think an airfield was an assett.  Essendon is a prime example of how people find loopholes to Avoid Planning controls. . Your flying needs are about the last thing they would consider unless you find a way to show it's votes and local jobs lost. That means filling a special Council meeting to the brim and having your facts right.. Nev

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7 minutes ago, facthunter said:

It's rife with corruption and most Councils wouldn't think an airfield was an assett.  Essendon is a prime example of how people find loopholes to Avoid Planning controls. . Your flying needs are about the last thing they would consider unless you find a way to show it's votes and local jobs lost. That means filling a special Council meeting to the brim and having your facts right.. Nev

Well interestingly the Moonee Valley Council has no control over that one because of the Zoning, but appears to be very unhappy with the way it's being developed. Fixing those 99 year lease agreement airports is a big task which has to be done at Commonwealth level.

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That is correct. The Council found they didn't have the authority WHEN the developers went around them.. The Federal Government did a bad job of  writing rules that ensured Aviation continued to be served after the airports were sold off.. Eg Bankstown (and everywhere else). You will never see houses and Car dealerships demolished to build airports or golf courses or Parks or swimming pools.  Everyone wants cheap flights to BALI but no one wants an airport near them..Nev

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All donations from these people should banned. also retiring politicians should not be allowed to work for them in any form after leaving politics.

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17 hours ago, facthunter said:

You will never see houses and Car dealerships demolished to build airports or golf courses or Parks or swimming pools.

Fast forward to 2035 and here's the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald:

RESIDENTS DEMAND INTRODUCTION OF CURFEW FOR NANCY BIRD WALTON AIRPORT

Residents in suburbs to the southwest of Sydney's Nancy Bird Walton Airport at Badgerys Creek are calling for the introduction of  a night curfew on flying operations at the airport claiming that aircraft noise destroys the peace of the area, promotes poor health, and devalues their properties. 

 

The airport was developed in the 2020's to relieve pressure on Sydney's aging Kingsford-Smith Airport on the shores of Botany Bay. The airport began operations in 2026 and the then State Government was promoting major aero-space development in the associated "aeropolis" which would provide business opportunities and employment for thousands. At the time the airport was under construction, the Government rezoned large rural areas to the southwest of the airport site for residential development.

 

Since 2025 several new suburbs have been created and the area's population has rapidly risen to nearly half a million people. Resident action groups are now calling on the State and Federal Governments to restrict activity at the airport with a view to improving the health of residents and the value of their investments in housing.

 

RELATED STORIES: [Residents blame poor planning for choked roads around Sydney's second airport] -  [Poor air quality in Sydney's Southwest is the result of housing over-development]

 

 

 

 

 

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That all sounds very familiar OME, and may well happen.

However, things are changing; about ten years ago the Victorian Government wanted to dredge Port Phillip Bay to allow deeper draft Post Panamax Ships to operate into the Port of Melbourne.  The Objectors were on a winning argument that this would allow high tides to scour out the beaches, ruining the tourist business, which produced significant income for State Businesses. The State hit back with a $500,000 EES submission which removed any chance of any provate objector being able to meet the short deadline and address and point, and the Channel was deepened.

 

Since then new laws for vital projects have come in, so it's harder for residents to block developments.

 

Melbourne Airport have just carried out modelling which showed that by rotating the main runways 90 degrees a small percentage of days per year will not be subject to delaying weather, so are now going to build two new runways to replace the single runway.

 

So the people who came to Tullamarine and built in the path of the runway will get a Christmas present, and the tens of thousands who did their research and built away from the dominant runway will now cop two runways and 24 hour flights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bet no-one knew about this Government review:

Review - National Airports Safeguarding Framework Implementation Link to web page

On 21 August 2019, the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group (NASAG) agreed to undertake a review of implementation of the National Airports Safeguarding Framework (NASF).

The Review is intended to consider implementation of the NASF across jurisdictions; and seeks submissions from all levels of government, industry and community stakeholders........

The NASF was agreed by Governments in 2012. It is a national land use planning framework that aims to improve community amenity and airport safety outcomes by ensuring aviation related issues are recognised as part of land use planning processes.

The NASF has implications for those people working in town planning, residential or commercial development, building construction or related industries, and the aviation industry.  It consists of a set of overarching principles with nine guidelines.

 

Sorry people the consultation closed on November 22 and I bet the only responses were from local government and their myriad sycophant organisations

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IBAC has closed its Hearings for 2019 into corruption by developers of council officials in the Planning process, but has generated enough evidence to open Hearings again in the New Year.

So far the focus has been on one developer and one Council, but what has been found here is likely to ensure other people from other Councils will be called in to give evidence under oath.

 

IBAC so far hasn't taken any action, but they are expected to provide briefs to the DPP on at least six officials.

 

However the dust kicked up has caused this - a meeting on New Year's Eve!

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/act-of-sheer-desperation-casey-councillors-to-vote-to-forfeit-their-planning-rights-20191228-p53nbv.html

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Sorry, I was locked out of finishing my post

 

What Post #17 means for people who own or control airfields, is that there's likely to be some precedent cases about developers corrupting the Planning system by manipulating Zoning from Rural (or Green Zones) to Industrial or from Industrial to Residential etc. which will encourage people under threat in other States.

 

Already there has been a substantial reaction from this IBAC Hearing, with one Council Mayor, Councillors and CEO declaring they are not corrupt and their actions have been different to Casey's, and another Council voting to investigate itself over any past dealings where there may have been doubts.

 

So airfields on the edge of towns or in areas where developers may see an opportunity for rezoning may well have a lot better survival possibilities going forward.

 

However, before any Court actions take place which might reverberate around the Country, one very important factor should be remembered. NEVER give up your Existing Use Rights to operate an airfield, despite the usual sweet talking Council strategy of getting you to participate in a consultation on what is best for the local airfield, because the results of that consultation will become the new Planning Scheme in which your Existing Rights (which was the reason for the "consultation").  Where the Council owns the airfield, the Council decides whether it wants to exercise Existing Use Rights, and in that case to need to make a submission to the Council planning Department to convice the Planning Officers to recommend that to the Council Meeting, and you have to speak to each Councillor and explain the real benefits so the Council over-rides any Officer recommendation to sell or rezone the Airfield, and then if the development itch is too great, you have to take it to your state Administrative Tribunal and put your case there.

 

 

Crime and Corruption Commissions/Commissioners around Australia

Qld

CCC

Crime & Corruption Commission

NSW

ICAC

Independent Commission Against Corruption

Vic

IBAC

Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission

Tas

 

Integrity Commission

SA

ICAC

Independent Commissioner Against Corruption

WA

CCC

Corruption & Crime Commission

ACT

 

Integrity Commission

NT

ICAC

Independent Commissioner Against Corruption

 

Commonwealth: A “National Integrity Commission Bill 2019” is going through Parliament.      

 

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5 hours ago, turboplanner said:

corruption by developers of council officials in the Planning process

The Wollongong experience should have been a wake up call to all those in the local government arena but most state governments seem to be reticent to oversee the local government sector (as creatures of state legislation) so corruption can be allowed to flourish without check. The various ICAC systems are too cumbersome and will only ever be used to get some state politicians neck off the chopping block (or perhaps on it!).

The far more insidious corruption is the prosecution of agendas by lower level employees who are adept at manipulating the systems that they manage. Quite often the motive is nothing more than what they see as a desirable outcome according to the internal group think - there is no personal gain - but someone pays the price of there decision. There are more swamps in local government that need to be drained than even President Trump could imagine.

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There's been quite a few Councils in VIC dismissed and replaced by administrators by the State Government over the years. .Nev

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9 minutes ago, facthunter said:

There's been quite a few Councils in VIC dismissed and replaced by administrators by the State Government over the years. .Nev

The difference this time round is that just when they think they can get back to their old tricks, the prosecutions will start, and in this case about six are expected to face prison; that's something new.

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On 08/12/2019 at 12:32 PM, turboplanner said:

That all sounds very familiar OME, and may well happen.

However, things are changing; about ten years ago the Victorian Government wanted to dredge Port Phillip Bay to allow deeper draft Post Panamax Ships to operate into the Port of Melbourne.  The Objectors were on a winning argument that this would allow high tides to scour out the beaches, ruining the tourist business, which produced significant income for State Businesses. The State hit back with a $500,000 EES submission which removed any chance of any provate objector being able to meet the short deadline and address and point, and the Channel was deepened.

 

Since then new laws for vital projects have come in, so it's harder for residents to block developments.

 

Melbourne Airport have just carried out modelling which showed that by rotating the main runways 90 degrees a small percentage of days per year will not be subject to delaying weather, so are now going to build two new runways to replace the single runway.

 

So the people who came to Tullamarine and built in the path of the runway will get a Christmas present, and the tens of thousands who did their research and built away from the dominant runway will now cop two runways and 24 hour flights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And

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35 minutes ago, walrus said:

And

As much as I'm moved by your sparing use of the English language, nothing has happened since I posted that.

Here's a link with some basic info, and I saw another one with extended maps showing the new flight paths, which I can try to find again if you want it.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-14/melbourne-airport-announces-third-runway-orientation/11702112

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