Maverick City of Melbourne Councillor, Deputy chairman of the Council's Planning committee and MAV presidential candidate, Stephen Mayne was an embarrassment following criticism by State Minister of Planning, Matthew Guy, that Stephen Mayne failed to understand how Melbourne's Planning system works. Mathew Guy speaking to Radio 774 Jon Faine had to point out to Stephen Mayne that the Minister of Planning is the responsible planning authority for major projects in the city greater than 25,000 sq metres
The City Council rightly had lost planning control over major projects some 20 years ago. The Council retains the right of review and advocacy but is no longer judge, jury and prosecutor of planning.
Stephen Mayne, who was elected to the Council in November, admitted in his interview earlier with Jon Faine that he had no qualifications or expertise in planning and design. Stephen Mayne is the Council's deputy chairman of planning, the chairman is Cr. Ken Ong
In spite the fact that the City Council has known of the project months before Stephen Mayne's election Cr Mayne criticized the Minister for allowing only 14 days for the Council to respond to the application.
It's not as though the City Council lacks staff skills and expertise. The Council's urban planning and design department has a budget of 10's of millions of dollars and a host of highly paid experts at their disposal. They most certainly should be in a position to respond to the proposed planning application in a timely fashion.
The Minister has extended the time limit allocated to the City Council.