A $10,000 FINE and an order to pay $10,000 in costs to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council was an expensive lesson in planning protocols for Portsea resident Lindsay Fox last week.
This came after one of the trucking magnate’s private companies pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to comply with the council’s planning scheme at Dromana Magistrates’ Court.
Photographs of a 4600 square metre area of foreshore outside the Fox property show it had been levelled and irrigated turf laid without shire approval and that protected native plants and grasses had been removed.
The area is covered by overlays requiring a permit to remove, destroy or lop any vegetation.
The mayor Cr David Gill said landowners intending to clear areas of vegetation should first consult the shire’s planning department to get the all-clear.
“It’s not a difficult process and then they would know what they need a permit for,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter who the offender is, we will act for the Mornington Peninsula Shire.”
The mayor said the council “doesn’t have a good reputation for enforcement and compliance” but that “if we can continue to get results that reputation will improve”.