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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Council halts work on service station

The City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) has ordered Milemaker Petroleum to stop work on the site of its proposed service station at the Jetty Road roundabout.
Just a few weeks ago .....

The council has given overall planning permission for the proposed service station, but it has yet to approve several details of its construction, including drainage, waste management and road works. The council has received plans from Milemaker concerning these issues, but has yet to approve them. Until it does, Milemaker can undertake "site preparation", but nothing more.

The council has judged that Milemaker's work to date on the site constitutes more than "site preparation" - instead, it has "changed the topography of the land". This is considered to be a 'development' of the site and, as such, is not allowed. Consequently, the council has ordered Milemaker Petroleum to stop work on the site and is liaising with them on those issues of detail.

DCSCA and VCAT - latest news.
VCAT has ruled that DCSCA's application to overturn the council's planning permission for the service station was “misconceived”. Consequently, DCSCA representatives didn't have a chance to present their arguments and describe the level of local unrest about the service station. Milemaker Petroleum has indicated that it intends to make a claim for costs. VCAT will provide a timetable for Milemaker to make a formal submission for costs and for DCSCA to reply, but as of 23 April, nothing has been received.

DCSCA is trying to obtain some free legal assistance around the issue of costs; we will also seek letters of support from appropriate individuals and organisations.

DCSCA's continuing role.
DCSCA continues to try to be the voice of the community. It is trying to obtain the best outcome on the following issues: -
a) Protect the nearby dam by requesting groundwater pollution monitoring
b) Ensure that the council's Engineering Dept. knows of the community's concern about the safety – especially for cyclists and pedestrians – of the entry and exit points of the site.
c) Ensure that the construction process minimises disruption and inconvenience to nearby residents and disruption to traffic at this busy intersection.
d) Ensure that Milemaker keeps it commitment (in its application for planning permission) to re-plant and landscape the site

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Once again: the case against the service station

When the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association Inc. (DCSCA) issued its Media Release concerning support by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a third service station in Drysdale, it attached a summary (below) of its opposition to the proposed service station.
Site of the proposed service station, from Jetty Rd. roundabout looking north
Why did DCSCA oppose a Service Station at this location?

During the process DCSCA progressively formed the view that: -
1.     The City of Greater Geelong's (CoGG) notification process did not notify the community adequately, so the vast majority of residents remained unaware of the proposal, hence denying them the opportunity to comment.
2.     The proposal is inappropriate in a Rural Living Zone and contrary to CoGG's own Structure Plan for Drysdale & Clifton Springs.
3.     It would spoil the rural ambience of the entry into the Drysdale & Clifton Springs township.
4.     It would increase congestion on a major traffic hub that is vital to the north Bellarine and is congested significantly already.
5.     There were ingress/egress traffic safety issues as, at busy times, there would be queues of traffic and reduced visibility in the region of the crest of hill.
6.     It would seriously compromise the safety of cyclists. This was of major concern to DCSCA as the proposed service station is located on the Principal Bicycle Network (PBN) and is on a commuter route to three nearby schools.
7.     The Bellarine would suffer traffic disruption for months on end during the construction phase.
8.     It was inappropriate so close to a private dam.

Subsequent to a front-page newspaper item in October 2014, DCSCA formed the further views that: -
1.     Most people had been unaware of the proposal and now there was significant opposition within the community.
2.     There were legitimate planning concerns. A critical examination of the State and Local Planning Policy Frameworks showed that the proposal did not comply with several clauses.
3.     There is a classified 200 metre “sensitive zone” around underground petroleum storage systems (UPSSs). The nearby private dam is part of a designated watercourse (Scarborough Creek) and is only about 70 m away from where UPSSs will be installed. DCSCA considered that this had serious implication with respect to the State Environment Protection Policy (Groundwaters of Victoria).
4.     The local community wanted an independent review by VCAT and considered that DCSCA was the appropriate body to lodge such an application.

The DCSCA Committee,  April 2015.

VCAT supports 3rd service station in Drysdale

The Victorian Civil and Adminstrative Tribunal (VCAT) has supported an application by Caltex franchisee Milermaker Petroleum to build a service station at the junction of Jetty Road and High Street, Drysdale.
The site of the proposed service station, looking north from the Jetty Rd. roundabout
Following VCAT's announcement, the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association Inc. (DCSCA) issued the following Media Release.

MEDIA  RELEASE re VCAT ruling April 2015 - Jetty Rd. Service Station
Issued by the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association. 9 April 2015

Local non-profit organisation, Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association, accepts VCAT's ruling, but wishes to express its profound disappointment with the Council procedure which has permitted the service station at 331-334 Jetty Rd., Drysdale to go ahead.

After unsuccessfully attempting to stop the permit being granted at Council hearings in 2014, DCSCA submitted an appeal to VCAT to have the permit for the service station, granted by the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) last August, cancelled or amended. Its grounds for the appeal were that the location was destructive to the rural amenity of the entrance to our townships, and more importantly, that it put motorists, cyclists and the environment at risk.

DCSCA was supported by Environment Minister Lisa Neville, Bellarine Catchment Network chief Matt Crawley, and hundreds of local residents.

The Association did not receive the chance to put its case to a full hearing, as, owing to the unavoidable lateness of its appeal, and lack of financial resources, it faced insurmountable legal hurdles.

DCSCA wishes to state that its motives were, from the outset, the safety and well-being of the community it represents. It responded to significant public opposition to the service station and sought to act honestly and correctly at all times. It now faces the possibility of unspecified legal costs being awarded against it.

As a result, DCSCA is not able to take further legal action.

DCSCA wishes to thank all the members of the Drysdale and Clifton Springs community who have supported it throughout this saga, now in its third year, and also to express its solidarity with residents living near the site, whose amenity, property value and quality of life have been compromised so severely.

For more details and information on this and other matters of interest to the community, please email DCSCA Secretary Neil McGuinness at

For more information on why DCSCA appealed to VCAT, visit