NARRAWONG-based environmental group Friends of the Surry has failed in a bid to make the Victorian Government pay its legal costs.
The group claimed costs against Planning Minister Matthew Guy but has been notified that it failed on a legal technicality.
The group had applied for costs at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal late last year after the minister had introduced an amendment to the Glenelg Planning Scheme in relation to 11 lots at Narrawong and Allestree.
The minister’s action effectively ended an appeal at VCAT by the group against the minister’s notice of decision to issue planning permits to the owners of the 11 lots allowing them to build houses on the land.
The amendment, C93, was gazetted on October 4 last year and transferred the minister’s role as the responsible authority for the area back to the Glenelg Shire Council.
In her reasons for judgement, VCAT deputy president Helen Gibson said that in making the claim against the minister, the Friends group had not distinguished between the minister in his capacity as the responsible authority and his capacity as planning authority.
“Having regard to the substantive reasons given by the Friends for claiming costs, it is the actions of the minister as planning authority that the Friends is complaining about,” she said.
Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.