Letter to the editor: We need land for jobs
Frankston Times 29 October 2019
JUST four Frankston councillors shut down the possibility of more industrial jobs in our city when they voted to not research expanding Carrum Downs Industrial Estate (CDIE).
They blocked investigation into rezoning land next to EastLink for industry. The estate has just 20 vacant blocks left. The move will restrict growth of Frankston’s economic engine room, a precinct employing 8600 people, many in advanced manufacturing businesses, and generating $3.65 billion annually, one-third of Frankston’s economy.
Council planners and consultants recommended more research – not rezoning, but a report to inform future decisions about finding land for employment. During the councillors’ debate, no other viable employment land options were put forward.
Ironically, the rejection came just days after Premier Daniel Andrews opened stage one of Chisholm Institute’s Frankston campus revamp, which will see it become the region’s premier training hub for high-tech trades.
Stage one includes two levels of “real-world trade sites” for students doing courses in plumbing, construction, electrical, and electro-technology from certificate to degree level qualifications.
The CDIE rejection begs the question: where will these trade school graduates find work? Not in Frankston – because the council has effectively placed a “house full” sign at our only internationally competitive jobs precinct.
Not expanding CDIE is short-sighted and will damage our economy. It is possible to have quality green wedges and local high-tech industrial jobs. We just need a council that is visionary enough to see that job creation is vital to ensure continued prosperity and liveability; a council that plans adequately for the future. One that does not repeat the mistakes of the past, like the decisions that saw many high-profile businesses exit Frankston’s CBD.
It’s our responsibility to leave the next generation with a stronger Frankston economy, an internationally competitive industrial sector, and local jobs they can be proud of.
Ginevra Hosking, CEO Committee for Greater Frankston
Green wedge boundries to remain
Bayside Times, 21 October 2019, Brodie Cowburn
FRANKSTON’S Green Wedge management plan has been approved by council at their 14 October meeting.
In voting for the plan, councillors chose to reject a move to open up part of Green Wedge land in Carrum Downs to allow for the expansion of the industrial precinct. The amendment made to the plan read “that any reference to the potential expansion of the Carrum Downs industrial precinct is removed from the draft plan, including all recommendations to further investigate this potential.”
Cr Quinn McCormack said “the importance [of the Green Wedge] is paramount. It’s vital to protect and to retain the Green Wedge as a major health conservation, agricultural, economic, and recreational environment for future generations.”
“To suggest there are no alternatives for industrial use is unfortunately short sighted. If we use our Green Wedge land for industry now, what happens in the future when the same pressure comes before us? What do we do after we’ve used all of the breathing spaces,” she said.
Crs McCormack, Kris Bolam, Sandra Mayer, and Glenn Aitken voted to approve the amendments and Cr Michael O’Reilly voted against. Four councillors, Lillian O’Connor, Brian Cunial, Colin Hampton, and Steve Toms were absent.
The mayor Michael O’Reilly said “although I personally believe that a minor expansion of the Carrum Downs industrial precinct would have tremendously positive outcomes for industry and jobs in Frankston City, I understand the differing views of my fellow councillors and respect their right to voice their opinion and vote on matters that affect our community and environment.”
Ginevra Hosking, president of the lobby group Committee for Greater Frankston, was one of nine people who made a submission about the plan to council at their meeting. She slammed the decision to vote against an expansion of the industrial precinct.
“This will force companies that want to expand to leave our city and take jobs with them. Carrum Downs has become an irreplaceable hub for high-tech manufacturing and is now Frankston City’s most important jobs precinct with 8600 employees producing $3.65 billion in economic activity each year. It’s a third of Frankston’s economy and has more local jobs than Frankston’s CBD,” she said after the decision was handed down.
“While the council openly acknowledged there was a lack of industrial land in the municipality, it became clear during the councillors’ debate that this decision to constrain Carrum Downs was being made in the absence of any alternative employment land strategies.
“It is admirable of council to protect the green wedge. We fully support this principle. However, a more balanced view is required.”
The passed motion read that council will “ensure that the Green Wedge Management Plan does not reduce minimum lot sizes, and does not recommend or endorse any changes to the existing green wedge boundaries.”
Amendments approved by council to the Green Wedge management plan include:
- An additional action in the draft plan for council to work with VicRoads to apply the appropriate land use zones to areas affected by the Peninsula Link Freeway. The timeframe for this action will be immediate as an amendment is currently being prepared by VicRoads.
- Removal of any reference to the potential for reduced minimum lot sizes and recommendations for further investigation in to reducing land sizes within the within the green wedge from the draft.
- That any reference to the potential for the land east and west of Stotts Lane to be developed or re-zoned for residential be removed from the draft plan, including all recommendations to further investigate this potential.
- That the Skye Golf Driving Range & Golf Course not be nominated as a ‘public course’ and that this use is not nominated as a ‘non-economic activity’.
First published in the Frankston Times – 21 October 2019