Lancefield resident Robert Green is struggling to deal with Macedon Ranges Shire Council chief executive Margot Stork's decision to ban him from all council offices

By Eden Hynninen

Lancefield’s Robert Green is shocked after being banned from entering Macedon Ranges Shire Council offices following an ongoing development issue.

On June 12, Mr Green received a letter from Macedon Ranges Shire Council signed by chief executive Margot Stork stating that he interacted with council staff disrespectfully in the reception area.

“I know that I didn’t, but it’s their word against mine. I was born in Lancefield and my family have been here since mid-1840s – I’ve never had any priors to this. I could get a criminal record,” Mr Green said.

“I am very aware that my behaviour has been watched for a long time, I would be foolish at any stage to act inappropriately.

“I believe they may have done this because I stood up for my community against this Development Planning Overlay and 173 agreements.”

In May, council approved Planning Scheme Amendment C117 to control and develop about 60 hectares of Lancefield land.

Council believed these sites that have multiple ownership are at “risk of ad-hoc development that does not respect the town’s characteristics”.

Mr Green said there has been no formal application for subdivision from property owners.

As reported previously in The Free Press, the approval could result in about 30 residents losing their third party rights, face property devaluation and extensive shared unknown and unchallengable infrastructure costs – including Mr Green’s property.

“All of the information regarding this decision have gone to the planning minister to be signed, but the information regarding the 173 agreement we have not seen or been given despite asking,” Mr Green said.

“If the minister signs this the consequences are that we may lose our existing rights and that we – or other people in the town – can’t reject or appeal anything that goes on in the development areas.

“It’ll be left to developers and council to decide what to do on the land and will also decide to portion out the costs to land owners. If they decide to do roadworks tomorrow we may have to cover that cost.”

Mr Green said he has no argument with the future or betterment of Lancefield but rather the lack of transparency from council.

“There’s nothing set in concrete. In March the councillor briefing notes said that their clear objective was to remove our third party rights so residents don’t go to VCAT,” he said.

“Even if I don’t agree to the agreement, when my property is handed on or I decide to sell, the property costs are then passed to my son or the next owner – they might have to walk away in debt.”

Mr Green said there were people living in Lancefield with numerous overlays on their property.

“There’s people living here that have seven overlays on their property, they might as well walk off their land,” he said.

Mr Green spoke about the pressures involved including family relationships, community commitments and work, but said he had a lot of support from friends in the community.

He said he had written to council and asked them to provide evidence of his alleged behaviour – he’s been advised that he will get a response in 10 working days.

In response to Mr Green’s ban from council, Ms Stork said it would be inappropriate for council to comment on individuals’ circumstances for privacy reasons.

She said options are always available for people to contact council directly and express any concerns regarding operational matters.

8 COMMENTS

    • I agree, he stands up for all locals, and it seems to be falling on deaf ears, I’d find it hard to believe that he would be disrespectful … I believe it’s an over reaction … I’d vote for him in a heart beat, Guy, … We need more people willing to long for our rights!

  1. The community is absolutely behind Robert. The council should be, given that they are supposed to be working for the community (using our money furthermore), supporting Robert and the locals who absolutely oppose this ******, shoddy behaviour.

  2. C’mon Macedon Ranges Shire Council you have to be kidding me! Robert Green’s family has been a part of the community for generations and way before you were even a sparkle in your dads eye! He has and always will be a community minded and respected by all the community and you have one (1) person who couldn’t be bothered with hearing Robert out and so decided it was easier to allege a stranger to them was rude and therefore should be banned than it was to do their bleeping job!!!????

    Show me the legislation that your decision is based upon and I will show you an unethical and professional misconduct claim against you!! Rectify this blunder quick smart as the Council is only the Council and you guys need your community to re-elect you in ……and guess what!!?? This community is behind Robert Green on this 110%!!

    Robert you have my support. Call me as I work in a law firm in the city and let’s talk soon!!

  3. Council at it again. You have my support Robert. All they do is look for ways to take more money off us home owners but we never get anything back. Be transparent. Fair is fair.

  4. I Thought council was there to help the community. Looks like NOT. On other issues i have taken up with council i was never helped. Macedon ranges needs to look at them selfs and help the community like they are meant to. Where are your rates going.

  5. Council CEO says there are always options open to contact the council but how does that help you if they won’t take your calls or respond to your emails. Talk is cheap.

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