Yune Development’s 5-level apartment scheme at 1A Campbell Grove in Northcote was opposed by residents, refused by Darebin Council and rejected at VCAT last year.
The Age reports that the developer offered bribes to residents and council staff: “The offer in August last year from Kevin Li and Steven Zheng on behalf of Yune Development, was ‘conditional on your withdrawal of objection with VCAT [the appeals tribunal] to our proposal’.”
The Age reports:
“Darebin Council, the subject of a recent Ombudsman’s investigation over alleged dodgy planning, bribe offers and misuse of council resources and grants, appears to have taken no action over a similar inducement offer to one of its senior planners …
One council insider pointed to the Campbell Grove case as typical of the culture that had developed in recent years around planning at Darebin. ‘The expectation by developers that they get away with trying to buy planning approvals in Darebin is what the Ombudsman should have dealt with,’ said the senior council figure, who is disappointed by the lack of action after the Ombudsman probe …
Despite a year-long investigation of a litany of claims about conflicts of interest and inappropriate interference in planning at Darebin, both Ombudsman George Brouwer and the Napthine government chose not to table the findings from the Ombudsman inquiry or intervene at the troubled council.
Instead, as Fairfax Media reported on Saturday, Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell has written to the council requesting improvements to council transparency and accountability.”
Note: Yune Development is not related in any way to Action Group Australia.