PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT AMENDMENT (RECOGNISING OBJECTORS) BILL 2015

27 May 2015

Mr WYNNE (Minister for Planning) tabled the following statement in accordance with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006:

In accordance with section 28 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, (the ‘charter’), I make this statement of compatibility with respect to the Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015.

In my opinion, the Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015, as introduced to the Legislative Assembly, is compatible with human rights as set out in the charter. I base my opinion on the reasons outlined in this statement.

Overview
The bill amends the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to require responsible authorities and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal) to, where appropriate, have regard to the number of objectors to a permit application in considering whether the proposed use or development may have a significant social effect.

Human rights issues

The right to participate in the conduct of public affairs, as set out in section 18 of the charter, is relevant.

Section 18(1) of the charter provides that every person in Victoria has a right, and is to have the opportunity, without discrimination, to participate in the conduct of public affairs. Public affairs includes legislative processes such as the planning permit process established by the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The bill promotes public participation and consideration of objections in the planning permit process by expressly requiring responsible authorities and the tribunal to, where appropriate, have regard to the number of objectors in assessing whether a proposed use or development may have a significant social effect.

Hon. Richard Wynne, MP
Minister for Planning