Tania Maxwell MP has welcomed a long-awaited move by the state government to allow Campaspe Shire Council to take the next step towards opening more land for housing in Echuca West.
The council is now exhibiting across the shire a proposed amendment to its planning scheme that, once approved, would re-zone 615 hectares for urban growth and 5000 houses.
The Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party Member for Northern Victoria said she had questioned the Planning Minister in Parliament on June 24 about Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning delays preventing the council from consulting its communities about the draft amendment.
“Housing shortages in rural and regional Victoria are a very significant issue,” Ms Maxwell said.
“This is the case in almost all of the communities I represent across Northern Victoria, but it’s especially so in larger centres like Echuca with all its attractions and where Campaspe Shire’s population across the next 15 years is forecast to grow 11.4 per cent to almost 43,000 residents.
“I took the Campaspe council’s concern to Parliament and asked the Minister to expedite the Echuca West planning scheme amendment after I became aware that DELWP had taken six months to respond to the draft on which the council had worked in partnership with the Victorian Planning Authority for more than four years.
“It’s good to see the government has taken action so the council can now get on with the next step and community consultation.
“I spoke today with Campaspe mayor Chrissy Weller about this and congratulated the council on its vision and persistence.”