Federal Member for Flinders, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, has confirmed his commitment to protecting and retaining the Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge for its major health, conservation, agricultural, economic and recreational benefits for future generations.
Speaking before addressing the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s Green Wedge Summit, Minister Hunt outlined his strong advocacy for Green Wedges, including those in the Mornington Peninsula Shire.
“The Green Wedge zones are not just a policy for me, they are a family legacy,” Minister Hunt said. “My late father was instrumental in implementing Green Wedge zones across Melbourne whilst he was a Minister in the State Government and I want to ensure that these are maintained.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council statistics from 2017 show that there are approximately 4,116 separate dwellings in the Green Wedge, with a 71.5% occupancy rate and an estimated resident population in the order of 8,519 people.
The most recent population of the greater Melbourne region is forecast to nearly double in the next 30 years, from 4.2 million to over 8 million people.
Minister Hunt acknowledged this projected growth required significant forward planning by local councils.
“Given these forecast increased pressures on Green Wedge areas, a pro-active approach is needed to manage these pressures appropriately and to ensure the scenic and natural qualities of these areas are not eroded over time.
“The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council should be congratulated on the development and release of the Draft Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge Management Plan today for community discussion.
“The successful protection and management of the Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge will depend on many partnerships and from local councils, and government agencies both State and Federal.
“Local community commitment and involvement from the people who live and work in the Green Wedge and the surrounding villages and towns will be central to ensuring the future of the Green Wedge and the quality of the environment we leave our children,” Minister Hunt said.