Farming: Council plan to speed up Miners Rest saleyards process

The Ballarat Council wants the approval process for the proposed saleyards at Miners Rest sped up. PICTURE: Kate Healy
The Ballarat Council wants the approval process for the proposed saleyards at Miners Rest sped up. PICTURE: Kate Healy

THE planning process for the proposed saleyards at Miners Rest will be streamlined under a Ballarat City Council plan to get the project moving.

The council is considering a proposal for Ballarat Saleyards manager Regional Infrastructure to submit its re-zoning and planning applications for assessment at the same time.

Regional Infrastructure has until September 1 to submit its planning application.

General manager city strategy Natalie Reiter said combining the two applications might reduce the passage through the council from 12 months to as little as four.

“Our general approach is to do a planning scheme prior to a permit application. You get the zone in place and then get an application for the development. This brings those together so you get the zoning and planning together at the same time.

“The concern about splitting the process is you might get the first part done and then the second part falls over. Usually people prefer to do one step at a time. If they are not going to get the zoning, they won’t have to go to the expense of a planning application.”

In addition to the rezoning and planning approvals, an environmental works approval application will need to be lodged with the Environment Protection Authority.

While combining the processes will make things move more quickly, Ms Reiter insists it will not be at the expense of community consultation.

She said community groups wishing to comment on the proposed saleyards would still have every opportunity to present their case to the council.

“Palisades (which operates Regional Infrastructure) is undertaking consultation at present. When the council receives application for zoning and planning, then the council will undertake another round of consultation,” Ms Reiter said.

“It would then likely go to panel because there is likely to be an objection. All parties, including groups like No Miners Rest Saleyards will have a panel hearing. Then the panel will write a report which comes back to the council for consideration. Groups can make a representation to a council meeting.

“The council will then forward a report to the planning minister for authorisation.”