December 20, 2017
A GROUP of south east Melbourne councils, including Kingston Council, wants family violence and “alcohol-related harm” taken into account when considering applications for new liquor stores.
Members of the South-East Melbourne Council Group – Mornington Peninsula, Frankston, Kingston, Casey, Cardinia, Greater Dandenong – have been joined by Maroondah and Knox in seeking the necessary changes to the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
The councils are lobbying Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne under the South-East Melbourne Council Group umbrella for increased planning powers to control “packaged liquor outlets”.
If their efforts are supported, liquor shops will have to provide social impact statements along with their planning applications.
Under current planning laws “potential harm” caused by the proliferation of liquor outlets does not present a strong enough reason to refuse a permit.
The councils want the planning rules changed so they can force liquor outlets into shopping centres (“where they are accessible but not convenient”) and discourage them opening “in areas of highest social disadvantage”, near schools or health services which provide drug, alcohol or mental health treatment.