BALLARAT City Councillors will tomorrow vote on a proposed extension of their powers to ‘call in’ planning applications for consideration.
If adopted, the proposal would see planning applications considered by the full council when any two councillors wanted an application brought to the chamber for debate.
Under the current City of Ballarat Policy for Council Consideration of Planning Applications, two councillors from the ward where the application is based must call for it to be considered.
A notice of motion from South Ward councillor Joshua Morris proposes that an application may be ‘called in’ if any two councillors are “of the view that it should be determined by a council meeting”.
Cr Morris said he was optimistic the proposed expanded powers would be passed at tomorrow’s ordinary meeting of council.
“I am pushing for this change so that all councillors can have the opportunity to represent every resident of the City of Ballarat and have a say on every planning application they wish,” he said.
“I believe this is a commonsense change which will see good management and good governance of planning applications put to council.”
Cr Morris said no specific planning matter had caused him to seek the change, which he raised with his council colleagues last week.
“While I have not specifically discussed this with individual councillors, I raised it at the assembly last Wednesday and received nods of agreement,” he said.
Among other issues to be considered at the first meeting for 2013 is the naming of an entrance road to the Ballarat Aquatic Centre and Prince of Wales Park in Lake Gardens as Jubilee Drive, marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.