Tuesday 6 June 2016

There is a Special Council meeting at 6pm tonight to consider the submissions to the budget and Council plan, and submissions to Councillor allowances.

Present: Cr Nation, Cr Sipek, Cr Marshall, Cr Cusack, Cr Sharpe, Cr Lawrence, Cr Gauci-Maurici, Cr Byrne

Apologies: None (Cr Surace on leave)

Welcome and acknowledgement of traditional custodians.

Deputy Mayor Nation is chairing proceedings tonight and recites the Councillor creed … which includes the concepts “fair”, “equitable”, “respect”, “intelligent”, “informed”, “serving local community”.

Declarations of Conflict of Interest: None

Consideration of Submissions – Proposed Budget 2017-18

There were seven submissions to the Draft Budget and four of the submitters have asked to present their case to Councillors tonight.

“Tonight is about listening to the feedback of the community”, says Cr Nation. He explains Councillors cannot pre-empt their budget decision to be made on 27 June.

  1. Natale K –  makes the first submission about accessibility: no provisions for tactile surfaces, new bus shelters, signage.  No Councillor asks any questions.

2. Damien Zamit – speaks about the emptiness of the parks on Riviera Rd, Avondale Heights – which he says has amazing views of the city, including the fireworks on New Years Eve.  Cr Sipek asks a question – although I missed it – the microphones aren’t quite as effective tonight.

3. Essendon Primary School – an EOI was submitted for shared facilities fund through Victorian Building Authority; have not yet been notified; but thought it was valuable to make the case to Council about the need for re-surfacing of the netball courts at the school. Principal, Christine Nash, speaks about how the school opens the courts to community groups for training on weekday evenings and at the weekend. Cr Byrne asks about whether they are used for competition and sports other than netball. Ms Nash says training only at this stage, could be used for basketball.  Cr Lawrence asks about numbers of people – numbers are unclear. Cr Sipek asks about the hall being hired out at weekends.  The answer is yes.

4. Moonee Ponds Traders Association – represents 560 traders to make the case for a five year, $5M upgrade to Puckle St, Mt Road and Hall St.  A survey undertaken by the Traders revealed that most people felt the area needed rejuvenation. The Traders Association is feeling rejuvenated itself and wants to partner with Council. Cr Marshall asks what the number one priority would be – the answer given is revitalisation of the street-scape including the wintry deciduous trees, banners… but more is needed including car-parks being given up for eating areas. Cr Cusack comments that ‘partnership’ is a key part of the planning. The presenter says it’s about implementation at this stage – not more planning for planning’s sake. Cr Lawrence asks about the $5M figure – the presenter says this is the overall figure and there is a need to implement the plans.

Motion to note all submissions carried unanimously.

Consideration of Submissions – Draft Council Plan 2017-21

First submission is Dr Gregory from Women’s Health West who recommends that Council highlight the health indicators within the Council Plan including actions on equity and violence against women. She also calls for better integration between strategies and actions, and a Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan. Measurable gender-equity indicators are also called for. (Beeper goes off, but extension of time). No questions from Councillors.

CoHealth is next up and Cr Byrne realises she has a conflict of interest and departs. Health and Wellbeing stakeholders made a submission to the Council Plan. The stakeholders commend the broad themes in the Council Plan, but caution against the loss of the priority of health and wellbeing, and asks Councillors to keep health and wellbeing at the forefront of decision making. How do the social determinants of health inform the plan?  How will stakeholders continue to be included in implementing the plan? eg. an advisory group?  (Beeper goes off – it’s quite a loud beeper). He is happy to take questions, but no councillors have questions.

No more submitters requested to be heard.  There were quite a few more submissions and these can be read on the MVCC website.  They include submissions about: –

  • walkability,
  • accessibility of swimming pools for families and lap-swimmers,
  • incorporation of strategies for LGBTIQ inclusivity in the Valley, and
  • some amendments re early years planning.

Motion moved to accept the submissions. Carried unanimously.

Consideration of Submissions – Councillor and Mayoral Allowances

The Council has resolved to receive the maximum allowances for council of the Valley’s size: $94K for the Mayor and $29K for Councillors (plus 9.5% Super).

No requests were received to speak to the motion. So moved to refer the issue to 27 June.

Meeting is concluded.

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