On 12 October 2015, the Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Act 2015 came into effect. The Act introduces a new decision-making consideration into the Planning and Environment Act 1987 that requires the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and responsible authorities to have regard to the number of objectors to a permit application in considering the social impacts a future development may have.
This means that when a gaming venue applies to their local council for a planning permit to increase the number of electronic gaming machines (EGMs) at their venue, the local council (the responsible authority) must consider how many objections are received by the community when considering how an increase in EGMs will impact the community.
In addition, when a decision by a local council to refuse a planning permit is appealed to VCAT, the tribunal must also have regard to the number of objections received.
Previously, VCAT had no mechanism to recognise the extent of community concerns about development proposals. This Bill means the community's voice will now be given consideration in EGM planning permit applications.
For further information read the Premier of Victoria's media release.