Thursday, 23 August 2018
Isaacs Electorate: Dingley Village
Dingley Village is a fantastic community, situated in the heart of south-east Melbourne's green wedge. It is a thriving suburb with a village-style sense of community. A large part of the attraction of Dingley Village is its open space. It's blessed with parkland and large tracts of green, open space. That's the reason thousands of Dingley Village families have chosen to make it their home.
This open space is now under threat, with a development application lodged with the City of Kingston to redevelop the former Peninsula Kingswood Golf Course into around 800 residential dwellings. In the 2016 census, Dingley Village recorded just over 3,700 dwellings. This proposed development would increase the number of houses in Dingley Village by over 20 per cent. There's an important planning point that needs to be made here, that affects much of the special use and green-wedge-zoned land in Melbourne's south-east, which the great electorate of Isaacs covers much of. The point is this: special-use zoned land, which includes many golf clubs in Melbourne, were zoned this way to ensure open space for their nearby communities. Developers should not assume that when they buy special-use-zoned land it will be rezoned to residential and, in particular, to mid- and high-density planning simply because they bought it. That is not how planning should work.
I stand with the Dingley Village community in opposing this proposed development, and will continue to fight to protect their open space. Dingley Village has limited public transport options as it is; an extra 800 dwellings would further clog already congested local roads and rob a community of the very open space that attracted them to Dingley Village in the first place.
I'm not antidevelopment, but Melbourne's development must be sustainable and be in designated growth areas, not sprawling across valued areas of open space where public transport is limited. The proposed development of Kingswood golf course would not benefit the community it hopes to build in. It damages its environment and it does not add value with community infrastructure, such as schools or sporting fields.
I'd like to pay tribute to the Save Kingswood Group's Michael Benjamin, Simone Hardham and Kevin Poulter, who have given countless hours in support of their community. I know; I've met with them and seen them at the last two Dingley Village Farmers' Markets, where both I and the Save Kingswood Group had stalls.
Large-scale developments can make or break a community. It's important to get it right, and the currently proposed development of the Kingswood golf course is not even close.