On 12 September AIDA committee members Charlotte Allen, Lecki Ord and Ian Godfrey met with the Minister for Planning, Dick Wynne and his advisors. We had written to him with our concerns that recent State-wide changes to the provisions for streamlined planning permits, known as “VicSmart” permits, would limit the community’s ability to participate in planning decisions and may over time lead to a deterioration of local character along our coast. VicSmart permits must be issued within 10 days, and while being limited in scope to relatively common and “minor” developments, i.e. up to $500,000 in value, they do not include any provision for public advertising or notice, do not allow public objections and do not allow any public appeals to VCAT.We felt that the meeting was productive, and our proposal that arrangements were required for public evaluation of the longer-term effects of VicSmart, was we think positively received. Regarding AIDA’s expectations of the increased extent of use of VicSmart planning permits in Aireys Inlet to Eastern View we were assured that the effect of many of the unusual number of Planning Scheme overlays in our area and along much of the Great Ocean Road, under which the VicSmart provisions do not currently apply, will effectively over-ride the use of VicSmart in most cases, and the current planning protections and community input in our area will remain.