Sep 14

Mediation for 809 Wilson Report

The mediation for 809 Wilson Street was held on Thursday 13th September 2012 at 5pm. The most amazing thing about this mediation?

The developer didn’t even bother turning up… Yes unbelievable isn’t it.

Yep. The developer didn’t bother turning up, nor telling council officers who organised the whole thing, set the date, sent out letters to let objectors know, took RSVPs, booked the venue, prepared their notes, spent their evening etc. Though concern is high as South Ward Cr Ben Taylor and South Ward Candidate Joshua Morris were there, while South Ward Cr Des Hudson had sent his apologies.

To be fair, a mediation meeting is an informal process and its not compulsory for anyone to attend. It’s provided by our city to promote good outcomes in planning, to try to find some common ground between developers and residents. However it doesn’t stop those attending feeling slighted by the developers uncaring attitude, their unwillingness to enter dialogue with the very people who want to help make their development better, more acceptable, more in keeping with neighbourhood character.

A couple of objectors were pretty upset and walked out, they felt they had been disrespected by the developer, and who can blame them. They thought they would be able to appeal directly to the developers, they wanted a fair and equitable ear. They didn’t get it. It would also be fair to say that a Planning Advocate might be a better and fairer process.

However most objectors, numbering almost 20, remained to talk to the council officers about their concerns. And those who stayed felt heard, and were able to add concerns to their standing objections; specifically around issues relating to the incomplete, and in places, incorrect BIOSIS report that is required for this development. Other issues related to the Koala Overlay, Canadian State Forest and the need for its protection, neighbourhood character, the fact that the block allows access only from one point creating a huge fire risk in an area known for fire and flooding, drainage, the outcomes for Julien Lane and those adjoining it, sewerage, a potential playground and its impact… etc

It’s one to watch… are you watching? It’s not just about those who live beside this development, its about providing a green belt for the whole of Ballarat, protecting our environment and ensuring sustainable design in this delicate area.


  1. ingrid says:

    Great turn out, sounds very worthwhile – 20 objector residents and ratepayers meeting the council staff.
    Councillors and planning staff sometimes depend on the public ie: objectors, to raise points and ask for things to be looked at properly, before they act and challenge the developer.
    You would have made an impact on them by personally discussing the Koala Overlay, Canadian State Forest and green belts.
    Could a local green group or state wide group add their voice by writing a letter to council, they often have experts in their groups.

  2. Sofia says:

    it was good to see the numbers of concerned residents attend ‘mediation’. whilst I agree it was disappointing the developer was not present, he obviously has no intentions of respect for the neighborhood, his motive is maximum financial gain. Whilst it was great for council officers to listen to us, I hope that process carries some weight in the final decisions.

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