Highton Mental Health Facility Using Exemptions to Planning Permits


Member for Western Victoria Region used a Constituency Question in Parliament to ask the Minister for Planning ‘why he believed local communities should be denied consultation prior to construction of facilities that may have the potential to alter the character and nature of their neighbourhood.’

Mrs McArthur said planning amendments made by the Andrews’ Government last October provided community care accommodation facilities with exemption from planning permit requirements.

These amendments have directly impacted the Highton residents who rightly feel excluded from the normal planning process.

She said she wasn’t questioning the merits of the Haven Foundation or any other commendable organisations in Victoria who provide accommodation and support services for people living with mental illnesses. She thanked them for their work and efforts at improving the lives of people with mental illness.

However preserving the character and security of local communities is also of utmost importance, she added.

Mrs McArthur said ‘the exemptions introduced last year do disadvantage local communities by denying them access to the normal planning consultation process afforded all other private and commercial developments.’

8 June 2019