Protesters fight plans for 2000 houses at Spring Creek

SAY NO: More than 100 people protest a planned development at Spring Creek valley.

By Luke Voogt

More than 100 Surf Coast residents donned red on Tuesday to protest a planned 2000-house development at Spring Creek valley.

The protesters urged both major parties to block the development by pulling back Torquay’s town boundaries to Duffields Rd.

Local residents feared the development threatened their lifestyle, Greater Torquay Alliance’s Damien Cole said.

“It’s a short term economic gain at the cost of a very beautiful part of our community,” the independent candidate for South Barwon said.

Labor recently adopted a new “position” to pull the boundary back to Duffields Rd, effectively scrapping the 2000-home development.

But Labor will only commit to the new boundary after further consultation with Torquay residents, which Mr Cole described as needless.

“The community have always opposed it,” he said.

“We’ve stood strong against it for the best part of a decade.”

He feared for the area, stretching about 1km west of Duffields Rd, after previous consultation had fallen “on deaf ears”.

Tuesday’s protest resembles a rally in 2009, when 3000 residents protested the development in red clothing.

Surf Coast Shire, which originally earmarked the area for development, received more than 2800 objections to the plan.

In 2010 Labor Planning Minister Justin Madden expanded Torquay’s town boundary and in 2014 his Liberal successor Matthew Guy issued a planning approval for the development.

Earlier this year Labor and then the coalition pledged stronger planning laws for the area, including height restrictions.

Labor candidate for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman announced his party’s new position last Tuesday.

But incumbent Liberal MP Andrew Katos in October accused Labor of having no intention of repealing the boundary.

Scrapping the development could lead to legal challenges totalling $100 million from developers who had already purchased land there, he warned.

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