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Councils welcome step away from rates exemption

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Victorian councils are relieved today after the State Government confirmed the rates exemption for social and affordable housing is ‘off the table for good – it will not proceed under a re-elected Andrews Labor Government.’

The rates exemption wasn’t thought through. It did not consider the impacts on council service delivery and it punished our most disadvantaged communities simply because they have the most state-owned social housing.

The Local Government Sector, led by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) maintains its support for increased social and affordable housing across Victoria.

It is vital that social and affordable housing proposals do not come at the expense of proper community planning processes. Secret deals, questionable consultation, and horse trading for reforms are not part of good government in the 21st Century.

While the State Government and property industry bicker about their levels of consultation, one thing is indisputable: local communities – through the MAV and councils – were deliberately cast aside in this consultation on the social and affordable housing bill and in the planning reform process more generally.

Significant planning reform is still very much overdue.  It would be a shame to see the opportunity for genuine reform of the State planning system torpedoed by the failure of one bill.

The MAV stands ready to work with the State Government on planning reform and we call on them to engage early, openly and comprehensively with all stakeholders to enable everyone’s meaningful input into the reforms.

Cr David Clark
MAV President

For further information, contact the MAV Strategic Communications team on (03) 9667 5590.