A review of the delegated permit process is due. It is important for councillors to have a process whereby they are kept up to date about planning processes, developments and permits and the qualifications of those making those decisions. For over ten years now, Ballarat Council has often appointed planning managers with too few formal planning qualifications and heritage advisors with few qualifications in architecture and building. Managers can influence or override the decisions of their qualified planners without the councillors knowing. This is a recipe for corruption and inconsistent decisions. Will Councillors have the time to read the reports made by qualified planners regarding a planning decision or will they too make inconsistent calls?
Understanding what heritage Ballarat Council wants to protect is extremely important and how to protect it is essential. The Historic Urban Lanscscape approach has identified the huge priority of Ballarat's residents to protect and enhance our heritage, but it doesn't protect anything. It is Planning controls, like Heritage Overlays that protect Ballarat's heritage and money for that process has been diverted to HUL. The proposed Heritage Gaps study will take around 10 years before 500 places are protected with a HO because the proposed budget is for only 50 places a year. Time to budget to properly protect our heritage.
Lorraine Huddle, Soldiers Hill.
Have your say: Scroll down to write your thoughts on Ballarat's heritage debate
NOT THEIR JOB
It is interesting the councillors are trying to get more oversight and decision making in the day to day operations of the City of Ballarat. I am of the view that they are like the board of any organisation and they appoint a CEO and hold that person accountable to the day to day operation of the city. The councillors are there to set the strategic direction and for due diligence.
Ross Pilkington, Buninyong.
WE CAN ALL DO MORE
Patrick Hockey's letter is tough on the Ballarat Council but right to be concerned about tackling climate change Ballarat Council is one of the 96 councils around Australia to have recognised the climate emergency and is also a member of the Climate Council's Cities Power Partnership purchasing 100% renewable energy. He could also have highlighted the role residents can play in reducing their own emissions. Search online for 'carbon offset' and you can offset their home and have trees planted on their behalf. Thanks to Patrick for keeping us on track.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn.
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