I’m not sure I’ll get to tonight’s Council meeting. The agenda looks pretty dry; it’s school holidays; I’ve a slight cold; and I’m still a bit dark at Council for their unsettling showing at the Flemington estate hearing over the past fortnight.
By way of update on the Flemington estate hearing: the formal proceedings finished last Thursday. The Committee will report to the Minister next month (October). We are waiting for DHHS and MVCC to circulate their draft Schedule to the DPO – with an indication of the points of agreement and difference. All submitters will then have an opportunity to respond to the draft Schedule (but no other aspects of the matter).
Just some observations (and reasons for being disgruntled with MVCC):
- Counsel for DHHS and MVCC (that is their legal representatives) did not attend the day of hearings at the Flemington Community Centre when residents of the estate addressed the Committee. Only one member of the DHHS team with oversight for the proposal was present, and only one Councillor from MVCC attended. It was a sitting week at Parliament, so no local MPs, and MLCs; nor Senators, nor other decision makers.
- Counsel for MVCC did not even attend on the final day to make final submissions. It was left to officers to give a brief verbal right of reply.
- Various documents were promised to residents and not delivered – including a mysterious draft Debneys Park Masterplan that was referred to in the MVCC submission, requested by residents, and yet we still haven’t seen a copy.
- The Schedule submitted by DHHS at the hearing (to be amended and recirculated) had a catch-all first clause allowing permits to be issued that are not in accordance with the Development Plan. DHHS said this was “standard”. I have not found any other DPO with a similar clause.
- The traffic figures presented somehow reduced the current parking to a ratio of 0.6 spaces per dwelling when my maths gets to 0.8 (740/918 = 0.8).
- I am still fuming about the presentation by MVCC of a plan for the estate and park that was completely contrary to the Council’s resolution and their own submission – with a whopping stadium in the middle of trees and bike path and blocking the park from the estate.
- And I am still astounded that MVCC would refuse to approve the rezoning of the land on which Debney Meadows PS is located to the correct zone for a school on the basis that it was not clear about DMPS’ future. It’s there now. It is a school. It should be zoned as a school. Council has no role in determining whether it will be a school in the future – this is a decision for the community and education department – not a local government that, frankly, has no jurisdiction over state education.
- Residents did the best job they could to present their views on the proposal – and challenge the flimsy and inconsistent evidence and arguments put forward by the joint proposers – DHHS and MVCC.
- The essence of MVCC’s submission was – ‘we support the proposal in principle, and we think DHHS should also pay for new community facilities and access to the train station’ – to which DHHS said “No”. Productive. Sounds like discussions over the past year have been going really well.
- I feel utterly let down by Council with respect to their representation of the 2000 residents living at the estate and the several thousand residents nearby.
- But I did learn about the history of the estate, thanks to one submitter, and about life on the estate thanks to the courageous residents who explained why they are hesitant about having 1600 extra residents on the estate (with at least 600 extra cars).
- And I made a lego model of the estate and identified where some new homes might be able to be built without overly compromising the amenity of existing residents.
- We wait.
And here is the agenda for tonight’s meeting.
1.Welcome, including the acknowledgement of the Traditional Custodians of this land and the recital of the Councillor Creed.
3. Confirmation of Minutes: Ordinary Meeting of Council held on Tuesday, 12 September 2017.
4. Declarations of Conflict of Interest
6. Petitions and Joint Letters
7. Public Question Time
8. Reports by Mayor and Councillors
9.1 1144-1154 Mt Alexander Road and 19 Winifred Street, Essendon
9.2 7 Overman Court, Essendon – Construction of 12 dwellings
9.3 100 Glass Street, Essendon -Construction of six dwellings and reduction in visitor parking requirements
9.4 123 Bradshaw Street, Essendon – Construction of three dwellings
9.5 MV2040 Visioning Paper
9.6 Open Space Master Plans
9.7 Thrive Strategy Update & Action Plan One Report Card
9.8 Community Funding Independent Review
9.9 Planning Scheme Amendment C182 – Heritage Overlay 62, 64, 66 and 68 Buckley Street, Essendon
9.10 Planning Scheme Amendments C185 & C186 – Interim and Permanent Heritage Controls for 5 Alma Street, Aberfeldie
9.11 Flemington and Union Road Special Rate & Charge
9.12 Niddrie Special Rate and Charge
9.13 Notices of Motion Quarterly Report
9.14 Independent Member Appointment to the Audit and Advisory Committee
Notices of Motion
10.1 Notice Of Motion No. 2017/24 – Leisure Centre Management
10.2 Notice Of Motion No. 2017/25 – Reinstatement of Roads
12.1 Major Community Facility Projects (EKLC, Niddrie Library & Highball Stadium)
Close of Meeting