Planning minister reverses Ventnor zoning decision

The Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has reversed his decision to rezone farming land for residential development at Ventnor on Phillip Island.

The Bass Coast Council initially refused to rezone a 24 hectare block of land near the coast for residential development.

But Mr Guy overturned the decision saying the rezoning would make housing more affordable.

Facing a community protest, Mr Guy rang the Bass Coast Mayor, Veronica Dowman, this morning to tell her he has changed his mind.

Councillor Dowman says it was a frank conversation and Mr Guy had listened to the council's argument.

"I congratulate the Maintain Our Boundaries Community group," she said.

"I congratulate all the people on Phillip Island and in the Bass Coast, the councillors and our council officers for this campaign and also I congratulate the minister."

Mr Guy says he has listened to the community and the council and has angrily denied his change of position represents a policy back flip.

"So if a politician listens to the community and changes their point of view, that is called a back flip," he said on ABC Local Radio.

"But if we go in and make a decision, you say that's arrogant. So which one do you say a minister is actually allowed to do?"

Mr Guy says the council has agreed to free up land for more housing in what is the fastest growing regional council in Victoria.



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