At a Special Council Meeting on 31 December 2019, the City of Casey established a Section 86 Special Committee (Planning) and appointed Cr Rex Flannery as the Council delegate.
Expressions of interest are currently being accepted for 2 independent members to join the Special Committee and will be considered at Council’s Ordinary meeting on 21 January 2020. Independent committee members will be required to have relevant planning, governance and probity experience.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Susan Serey said the Special Committee established under the Local Government Act 1989 will have delegated decision-making authority under the Planning and Environment Act to deal with approximately 4 per cent of planning applications. The majority of other planning applications will continue to be decided by Council officers under delegated authority.
“This enables Council to fulfil its obligations as a responsible authority in a timely fashion, protects applicant and objector rights and protects the integrity of decisions being made whilst the IBAC investigations are underway,” said the Mayor.
“Councillors have continued to work diligently throughout the holiday break to provide assurance to our Casey community that accountability, serving and delivering outcomes is our primary focus for our community.
“The committee will operate with the authority to make decisions on behalf of Council in relation to the Planning and Environment Act. It will not replace our role as Councillors or take away the community’s voice. Residents will still be able to approach their Ward Councillors or Cr Flannery should they have concerns around specific planning applications, which will be provided to the Special Committee. The right to object to VCAT for applicants and objectors means no one’s voice or rights are silenced.
“We need to ensure that we are meeting our obligations around planning applications being considered in a timely matter and are being processed in the quickest possible way, which the Special Committee will allow us to do.”
It is anticipated that the Special Committee will meet monthly, commencing in February 2020. Meetings of the Special Committee would be open to the public.