Wednesday, 22 June 2022




Mr WYNNE (Richmond—Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing) (19:21): It will be a very serious presentation by me tonight.

A member: It is wonderful to see you.

Mr WYNNE: It is a joy to see the Speaker here with us tonight. The member for Croydon raised a matter for the Minister for Education seeking support for the refurbishment of a number of portables at the Yarra Road Primary School, and I will make sure the minister is aware of that request. The member for Tarneit raised a matter for the Minister for Small Business seeking that the minister come and meet with the small business community in her electorate to address mobile reception issues that she is having in the electorate, and indeed we have got a couple of these tonight so I will make sure the minister is aware of that. I will come back to the member for Ripon in a moment. The member for Mordialloc raised a matter for the Minister for Education seeking further advice in relation to the disability inclusion package and how it is rolling out in his electorate, and we will make sure that matter is brought to the minister’s attention. The member for Lowan raised a matter for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety in relation to the Coleraine-Edenhope Road seeking that the minister come and inspect the road. For reasons that I will not bore you with, member for Lowan, it was the place where my wife was born, Coleraine.

Ms Kealy: She must be an excellent woman.

Mr WYNNE: She is an excellent woman. Indeed she is. She puts up with me.

A member: And a patient woman.

Mr WYNNE: She is a very patient woman.

A member: She must have driven on those roads.

Mr WYNNE: She has. The member for Wendouree has raised a matter for the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers seeking an update on the rollout of the really crucial Foodbank hub in Ballarat, which of course is very, very crucial to many community members who are doing it tough. Food security is very, very fundamental, so I will make sure that is brought to the minister’s attention. The member for Mildura has raised a matter for the Minister for Ports and Freight seeking that the minister address the agriculture industry development plan, which effectively deals with questions around freight and rail more generally, as I have understood it, and I will make sure the minister is aware of the member for Mildura’s request. The member for Bass has raised a matter for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change seeking an update on addressing cost-of-living issues that her community is confronting, particularly with the extraordinary success of the power saving bonus, which from 1 July will be made available more broadly across the community. We should all make sure that members of our communities are on top of that.

The member for Evelyn has raised a matter for the Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy seeking Connecting Victoria funding for black spots in the Yarra Ranges region. Is that the funding stream?

Ms Vallence: Yes, to prioritise it.

Mr WYNNE: To prioritise it, yes. Through the Connecting Victoria funding, yes? That is what it is called? Good-o.

Ms Vallence: Yes. It is your government.

Mr WYNNE: Well, I do not know everything. I do my best. The member for Nepean—

A member interjected.

Mr WYNNE: Do you see the harassment? It is outrageous, Speaker.

Ms Staley: You have not even gotten to mine.

Mr WYNNE: I am coming to yours, do not worry. Are you on your phone again?

Ms Staley: No.

Mr WYNNE: Good. The member for Nepean has raised a matter for the minister—

A member: He has walked out on you.

Mr Brayne: I am here.

Mr WYNNE: He is over here.

A member: Not for much longer.

Mr WYNNE: Don’t worry about that. He will be here, I can assure you. He raised a matter for the Minister for Community Sport seeking an update on the sporting clubs program that is being delivered into his electorate, an excellent program that deals with many of the fundamental things like uniforms, the whole lot.

Now, are you ready? The member for Ripon—

Ms Staley interjected.

Mr WYNNE: Yes, I have got an answer for you. I have got an answer for you, don’t worry. This is actually quite a serious problem. Anytime I go out into regional Victoria this is the story that we get. You have got this unique situation of areas that are now booming with really significant population growth and big issues in terms of housing, as we know, and housing affordability more generally. The government is turning its mind to that very specific question of housing and affordable housing in regional Victoria. As the member knows, the Big Housing Build that we talked about today, she is doing very well out of that, as many members are, with the $5.3 billion that we are rolling out. But that is only one part of the equation. The other part of the equation is the development community themselves more generally, and they are now confronting what is quite a serious question of the ability of local governments to attract and retain both statutory and strategic planners, because this goes to both of those questions. Statutory planners sometimes have dual roles. It is not that common, but strategic planning is absolutely fundamental because you really have to look at the question of population and how you are going to manage it in a sustainable way and how you also address the potential conflict that there is between growth and agriculture. The intersect of that with those buffers, as we have seen in the past, can be very, very difficult.

We have regional hubs, as I am sure the member is aware. The regional hubs program is very successful, and we do want to reach out and continue to reach out to many municipalities that have been offered this and have worked with us in relation to dealing with their strategic planning issues but also the Victorian Planning Authority itself. As members know, we are out there right through regional Victoria but only coming in by invitation. This has to be a collaborative relationship between the council and the VPA to get this strategic—

Members interjecting.

Mr WYNNE: Is that it? That will do. All good there? Where was I? So then the VPA can continue to work with councils. The other thing that I think is going to be quite important is how you have twinning relationships between the bigger cities and some of the smaller municipalities—you know, the Bendigos, the Ballarats, the Geelongs—and seeing if you can twin up to get shared resources. I know the Minister for Local Government is exploring those issues.

For the member for Ripon, this is an important issue and one that we, I think collectively, have to address. It goes in many respects to the question of how you can continue to attract planners to come into regional Victoria and enjoy the beauty of what regional Victoria offers, including Coleraine. Speaker, my work is done until after the break.

The SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Minister. It has been enlightening. The house is now adjourned.

House adjourned 7.29 pm.