Rob Maclellan

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Robert Roy Cameron "Rob" Maclellan AM (born 8 March 1934) is a former Australian politician. He was a Liberal member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, representing the seats of Gippsland West (1970–76), Berwick (1976–92) and Pakenham (1992–2002). He was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from 1982 to 1985.

Background[edit]

Maclellan was born in Melbourne to businessman Roy James Maclellan and Amy Catherine McMicking. He attended Melbourne Grammar School and received a Bachelor of Law from Melbourne University in 1966. He has also studied history at La Trobe University. He worked in the Victorian Attorney-General's department before teaching at Sunshine and Northcote High Schools, finally becoming a farmer at San Remo jointly with his brother.

Maclellan married Beverley Merrill Bonwick on 22 June 1963; they have three children. He still lives in San Remo. [1][1]

Political Career[edit]

In 1970, Maclellan was elected as the Liberal member for Gippsland West in the Victorian Legislative Assembly. He moved to Berwick in 1976 when Gippsland West was abolished, and in that year became Minister of Labour and Industry and Minister of Consumer Affairs. He rose to Minister for Transport in 1982, and following Labor's victory in that year's election became Deputy Leader of the Opposition, a position he held until 1985. He was Shadow Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands during that time, but stepped down from the front bench in 1985. He returned in 1989 as Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Police and Emergency Services. He then held the Small Business (1990–91) and Planning (1991–92) shadow portfolios.

Maclellan became Minister for Planning when Jeff Kennett won office for the Liberals in 1992. In 1992 he moved to the short-lived Pakenham. Local Government was added to his portfolio in 1996, but at Labor's victory in 1999 he resigned from the front bench. He retired in 2002.[1]

Maclellan was an integral part of Kennett's programme to boost Victoria's economy through government actions. He was opposed to local control of planning matters deemed to be of strategic importance of the economic growth of the State. He argued “devolution of State planning powers to a large number of municipal councils... resulted in an overemphasis on local aspects of planning and development at a cost to the wider community”.[2] He instituted the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPPs) that were integrated into all Victorian planning schemes.[3] Stephen Rowley in Crikey.com says of his role as Planning Minster "Maclellan was notoriously and unapologetically interventionist, and despite the ultimate fate of the Kennett government, his “can-do” attitude mostly benefited him politically."[4]

Recognition[edit]

Member of the Order of Australia (AM), 2005, "For service to the Victorian Parliament, particularly in the areas of planning and transport, and to the community."[5]

Controversy[edit]

In late 2011, Maclellan was identified as having made several personal requests to the sitting Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy to support rezoning of farmland in Ventnor, Phillip Island, that a family friend needed to make a possible housing development viable. The media regarded the interventions as inappropriate. Guy authorised the rezoning but it was later retracted after pressure from other Liberal Party members and the public.[6]

References[edit]

Parliament of Victoria
Preceded by
Leslie Cochrane
Member for Gippsland West
1970–1976
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Berwick
1976–1992
Succeeded by
Robert Dean
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Pakenham
1992–2002
Succeeded by
Seat abolished