New site approved for Eastern
13 Sep 2012
Yarra Ranges Council last night overwhelmingly approved development plans for The Eastern Golf Club’s (EGC) proposed new site at Yering in the Yarra Valley. Seven (7) Councillors voted in favour of the application, with only two (2) voting against.
Supporting Councillors spoke positively and highlighted the benefits the proposal would bring to the entire region including significant environmental improvements. National and International tourism opportunities were also highlighted through the addition of a world class Greg Norman designed golf course, further enhancing the region’s reputation to rival that of the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsula’s.
The Club proposes to invest $49 million building the new facility, creating hundreds of jobs during construction and an additional 35 permanent jobs upon completion. The 600 acre site with gentle rolling hills will have an 11 hectare wetland system created and 400,000 plantings with 95% indigenous species. The golf course will see the implementation of a 30m riparian buffer to the Yarra River and use over 150 mega litres of Class B recycled water that is currently disposed of into Olinda Creek that in turn flows into the Yarra River.
Central to the addressing environmental matters, the Club completed an extensive quantitative human health and ecological risk assessment as part of the application, believed to be an Australian first for the golf industry. This assessment was subjected to incredible rigour of review by Melbourne Water with peer reviews conducted by Australia’s leading consultants and academics as well as arguably the worlds leading academic on pesticides.
Club General Manager, Benjamin Telley said “This is obviously a great outcome for the Club, but also it represents a great achievement for environmental planning and environmental management as we believe a new benchmark has been set”. The Club hopes other developments in the future will choose to follow suit.
The proposal only received one formal objection from a developer, Bill Boerkamp who’s case appeared only to be based on planning issues previously unsupported by VCAT.
A late objection was received from Anthony Amis of Friends of the Earth, although it appeared based little on any facts or evidence. Mr Telley said “for Mr Amis to suggest that we would likely use pesticides other than those approved, is completely inappropriate and a cheap scare tactic that demonstrates a complete lack of respect to the intelligence of the broader community and to the authorities involved in assessing planning applications.” Mr Telley added “It is unfortunate that Friends of the Earth sought not to understand the work that has been undertaken and to be informed despite repeated offers by the Club”.
The Eastern Golf Club, voted 2011 ‘Club of the Year’ by Clubs Victoria, will wait to see whether the decision is appealed at VCAT before commencing construction.
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