Council Meeting 24 April

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 2.16.10 pm

Image: MVCC, MV2040 Strategy –

Residents are being asked to provide feedback on the Budget, the 22 year capital works plan – MV2040, the “green” plan for MV2040, heritage and the Timor Leste Friendship group. That’s a lot of reading for residents. I’ll post some summaries over the coming week to try to help.

I couldn’t make it to the meeting tonight – but here is a summary from the recording.

Opening Hello


Cr Cam Nation has requested leave of absence from 23 April to 29 April 2018 inclusive.

Moved Cr Cusack, seconded Cr Byrne. Carried unanimously.

Cr Andrea Surace has requested leave of absence from 24 April to 1 May 2018 inclusive.

Moved Cr Lawrence, seconded Cr G-M. Carried unanimously.

Confirmation of Minutes: Ordinary Meeting of Council held on Tuesday, 10 April 2018

No opposition to the minutes.

Declarations of Conflict of Interest Nope

Presentations None

Petitions and Joint Letters

Cr G-M has a petition signed by 12 residents of Mountain, McCracken and Hedderwick (?) Sts in Essendon asking for new variety of prescribed street tree.

Cr Byrne and Cr Marshall present part two of the netball petition with an additional 1139 signatures bringing the total number of signatures to 2639 to build a four court indoor multi-use court and and 24 outdoor lit competition compliant courts with supporting amenities.

Cr Sharpe presents a petition with seven signatures of Corio and Aberfeldie Sts, Moonee Ponds asking for changes to parking conditions to reduce congestion.

Public Question Time None

Reports by Mayor and Councillors: Written and verbal reports presented to the Council by the Mayor and Councillors

Cr G-M moves with a small amendment – she didn’t attend the function on 15 March re bees.

Carried unanimously.

9.1  49   Railway   Place   West,   Flemington  (Lot  1  TP689098V) – Demolish buildings, remove trees and construct buildings and works comprising five dwellings in a General Residential Zone and Heritage Overlay, with a reduction in visitor car parking requirements

Cr Marshall moves that the permit be refused on the following grounds:

  • neighbourhood character
  • heritage conservation
  • visual bulk, scale and layout
  • urban design
  • streetscape
  • height, site coverage, safety, landscaping, setbacks, walls on boundaries, overlooking, noise impacts, dwelling entry, solar access to open space, design detail, front fences, site services
  • unsympathetic built form with unreasonable impact on neighbours
  • traffic

Cr Cusack seconds.

Cr Marshall says the application was originally for five triple storey buildings – has been reduced to four. It is not within an activity centre. Some amendments were made after the consultation meeting, but the application only meets with 50 per cent of the applicable standards. She understands the efforts of officers to propose conditions to meet the standards, but Cr marshall says this is more of a redesign of the application.

Cr Marshall says the bulk and scale of the application is out of keeping with the heritage nature of the rest of the area. She says it looks like “the back end of the Titanic” (possibly stealing from Cr Cusack).

The heritage advice was to remove at least one dwelling. She asks colleagues to refuse the application.

Cr Cusack adds that the the application is some distance from public transport (which isn’t quite the case given it is on a train line – and has a bus nearby)  but his point is more that it is not in an Activity Centre. He also points out that ResCode talks about “a max not a minimum”. He says any development that comes with as many as 15 areas of concern means that things are being “taken right to the edge”. “The spirit of ResCode is to find a balance not to stretch it.” He says the heritage of the area is important.

Carried unanimously.

9.2 Proposed Budget 2018/19

Cr Byrne moves the recommendation. Cr Marshall seconds.

Cr Byrne says “this is the most exciting time of the year”. She says the budget seeks to balance competing demands for council services and infrastructure. The rate increase is 2.25 per cent – rates are capped by the state government. Fees and charges have been increased on average 4 – 6 per cent. Operating surplus $11.4M. A surplus of $5.9M is anticipated (excluding capital grants?).

Expenditure of $155.6M. Capital works $45.3M: inlcuding $1.1M for EKLC, $1.7M for Boeing Reserve Bseball, $1.6M for Ormond Park, Moonee Valley Aths track, $2.1M for netball Crts and $1.5M from State Govt = $3.6M for netball at Riverside Park, $6.1M for roads, $3.9M for open space, Flemington Community Hub, High Ball facility.

East Keilor Leisure Centre = additional $1.1M for design and development to facilitate tendering. Construction work will commence in 2019-20 financial year. $3M is coming from State Government.

Flemington Community Hub = an extremely exciting project.

Highball stadium = preliminary work for a stadium for basket-ballers and other sports. Hoping to deliver something before 2025 with location tbc.

Flemington CH and Highball projected to be developed in next 7 years.

Council is seeking community feedback until 25 May with hearing 5 June. Copies will be at the libraries and civic centre.

Cr Marshall says Council provides important services as one of its major responsibilities: Aged care, kindergartens, maternal child health services. Waste is an important service that is undergoing some change. Myrnong ward has money flagged for Union Rd and Pin Oak Crescent. $6M for open space. Cr Marshall is pleased money is now being spent on the items for which it has been set aside.

She speaks about sporting lights and female rowing facilities, and the Moonee Ponds car park with location tbc. Works in Queens Park for a new water treatment and harvesting system.

Cr Marshall speaks about the money finally going towards female sports (she’s absolutely right! I recall the issue being raised in 2008 … so it has taken ten years to get some real money behind netball. But finally there! Nice work on this one! 🙂

Cr Marshall speaks about the Flemington Community Hub with money in the budget to get a planning process underway. she says the community centre needs to be transformed to service the needs of disadvantaged residents as well as the broader community in Flemington/Travancore. She says it will be fabulous.

She says the capital works plan sets out capital works projects until 2040. She encourages people to put in submissions.

Cr Lawrence says he is grateful the budget is only in draft form – and he thanks the officers for their good work. He says council needs to be mindful of responsibility and sustainability. He says the interest payable on the borrowed funds over 7 years is ultimately upwards of $33M in interest alone. He says this is a high amount for any organisation and there is caution needed for high end investments. He says the projects are all commendable, but the interest bill is high. He asks what the return is on the investment – through the prism of a business perspective.

He says the budget does include some business promotion items – including the winter festival for Moonee Ponds when the trading in Moonee Ponds is at its poorest during June and July. he also mentions the reinvigoration of the Airport West shopping area. He commends the public wi-fi being trialled in North Essendon.

Cr Cusack says he is more than happy for the budget to go out for community consultation. He says the research into the financial planning has been thorough. He says the officers have rejected doing all three big projects at the one time as too risky. He says the proposal to do the three projects over seven years is at the bottom end of medium risk.

Cr Cusack says the budget is underpinned by MV2040 (although this hasn’t yet been voted on…?). He says the budget is also responsive to the diversity of need in the municipality – including sport for women. Cr Cusack notes the population growth of Melbourne, and the need for the budget to address a range of issues for social justice. He mentions $150,000 for Flemington (so I may have misheard Cr Byrne above).

Cr Sharpe mentions spending in Buckley Ward – parking at Stathnaver Rse, works at a number of parks, the resurfacing of the Aths track, and the relocation of the Settlers Cottage to Woodlands Park.

Cr G-M speaks about roads and rubbish – $13M on rubbish and a large spend on roads. This year’s budget doesn’t propose any borrowing. She says it is a sensible and practical plan. She says there is work to have the MV2040 embedded in the Planning Scheme. (This is significant and should be followed up – this will lock in MV2040). She says it is a proposal only and people should provide feedback if they can.

Mayor Sipek says Council is embarking on a large program for capital projects.

Cr Byrne thanks Cr Lawrence for mentioning the interest. She says Council has no debt and the budget doesn’t take into account any funding from state or federal funding. She reiterates that council has been still and static and that many facilities need renewing.

For: Sharpe, Marshall, Sipek, Byrne, Cusack, Gauci-Maurici

Agst: Lawrence

9.3 MV2040 Draft Strategy

Cr G-M moves the motion. Cr Marshall seconds.

Cr G-M says she is very excited to be putting out the MV2040 strategy which sets the policy direction for the next 20 years in MVCC. The emphasis is on 20minute neighbourhoods with facilities to allow citizens to be healthy and live happy lives.

She says the long-term planning allows us to plan for the next 22 years. (I’m very interested in the ‘green’ aims of a plan for the next 22 years when energy and climate change issues will be increasing).

She asks people to provide feedback.

Cr Marshall says the previous long term strategic plan was deficient and that MVCC needs a long term strategic vision that reflects on the changes to the municipality. She says the population growth is what it is and that MVCC cannot influence birth or immigration policies so must accommodate and plan for population growth.

She favours the neighbourhood approach – 13 neighbourhoods. She says the process of consultation has been extensive, and the draft is now out for further consultation. She says people can see the snapshot versions and see what is planned for their neighbourhood, and let Council know if anything has been missed.

She says there is a clear process for implementing MV2040 – and to be part of the planning scheme.

Cr Cusack says MVCC has made many mistakes and done things ad hoc until now. He says not many other councils have done this sort of planning with the people of Moonee Valley – and that many people have participated in activities related to consultation (which doesn’t explain the picture of the Flemington Hub that NOONE HAS BEEN CONSULTED ON!!).

He says the main driver is to make Moonee Valley a healthy place – and that this is what the community have said they need. He acknowledges that there is a need to be nimble especially to respond digital technologies.

He wants everyone in the community to read this and provide feedback.

Cr Byrne thanks the staff for their work. The Mayor reiterates thanks to the staff for their “outstanding work” and “great leadership”.

Cr Sharpe recognises the need for long-term planning, but is wary that setting a plan for 22 years. She says she is not sure the community has had a chance to look into the detail of the document. She reserves her views until after receiving feedback.

(I’m not sure what the consultation plan is for getting feedback from the community? On this and the budget???).

Cr Lawrence suggests residents ask whether the plan is dealing with the daily issues of parking and traffic. He wants residents to interrogate the detail of the document.

Cr G-M thanks her colleagues, and the staff. She is very excited about planning ahead for the next 20 years.

Carried unanimously.

9.4 MV 2040 green action plans – carbon, urban forest, water and waste

Cr Marshall moves. Cr G-M seconds.

Cr Marshall says the people of MV have a fair bit of reading to do and she hopes the people of MV do the reading! (I still need to look up the consultation plans – how will people get accessible versions of all these plans so they can provide feedback??)

Cr Marshall says that people of MV regardless of their political persuasion acknowledge the importance of environmental consciousness.

The plans include:

  • all sports fields irrigated by alternative water sources
  • zero net carbon emissions by 2040
  • power all council’s operations by 100 per cent renewable energy
  • waste and resources – she says council has been on the front foot of single use plastics
  • making sure 90 per cent of household waste does not end up in land fill – focusing on reducing waste
  • improving recycling and organic waste collections – providing the opportunity for people living in apartments have ways of getting food waste out of land-fill
  • urban forest plan and tree management plan – increasing the tree canopy cover to 30 per cent – including tree planting in activity centres.

Cr G-M says people have provided feedback through the MV2040 that they want to live in a healthy and green city. This is the plan to achieve this and people can provide feedback.

Cr Cusack also speaks.

Carried unanimously.

9.5 Advocacy Strategy 2018 – 2021

Cr Marshall moves. Cr Cusack seconds.

Cr Marshall says she has been very critical about the way MVCC has done advocacy – doing it poorly and with little success. She says MVCC has been unsophisticated in its advocacy without using data etc. She says this plan align MVCC with other levels of government in its advocacy approach.

She says the strategy sets out a range of priorities including Flemington Hub, the tree canopy and half a dozen others. She says advocacy is successful when Council is realistic and focused.

She says this is about how we focus our advocacy in the lead up to elections. She says the old way hasn’t worked – ranting and raving and throwing things out there hoping we hit a target.

Cr Cusack says the council has done more to move MVCC along than in many years. He says it is a reforming council. He says that having an advocacy plan that is not about shooting for the stars on anything we feel like, but having a plan ready. He says there is a clear plan re transport – especially MP junction and the Maribyrnong bridge.

Mayor Sipek says the council has had a good advocacy strategy but have only now hit the targets.

Cr Marshall says it wasn’t directed at this council but directed at how we have gone about advocacy for a long time. At times it feels like we’ve been on the back foot. It will need to be a moving document. It is pleasing to Cr Marshall that Council is shifting.

Carried unanimously.

9.6 Heritage Study 2018 – Post-war

Cr Sharpe moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Lawrence seconds.

Cr Sharpe says she is passionate about retaining heritage, and that council hopes residents will provide further information about their properties to help fill gaps in knowledge.

Cr Lawrence says heritage retention is important.

Cr Marshall speaks in support of the motion and says this council has done more on heritage than previous councils.

Carried unanimously.

9.7 East Timor Friendship City Review

Cr Cusack moves. Cr Marshall seconds.

(Sorry I couldn’t capture this important discussion). Cr Cusack prefers option two.

Carried unanimously.

9.8 Response to NoM 2017/23 – Skateboard Park at Fanny Street Reserve

Cr Cusack moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Marshall seconds.

Cr Cusack says he was approached by young people to improve the park. There is a small BMX track. They wanted to attach something to the track. The recommendation talks about a skate-able path and way-finding signage to get to Boeing Reserve. He says this is unrealistic for 9 year olds. They don’t use the skate parks that are too far away. They were hoping for something a bit more local.

Cr Cusack says the budget in the future might find ways to evidence a need for something in the area. He says he won’t drop this one. (We’ve just heard a lot about consulting residents and encouraging people to have a say – and it sounds like some nine year olds who have tried to says what they would like in their neighbourhood are going to be disappointed for now…).

Cr Marshall says it’s good that some works are being done, but that density is increasing and providing a variety of options for young people is important.

Carried unanimously.

Notices of Motion Nil

Urgent Business 

Cr Byrne moves that the acting CEO prepare a report detailing a live viewing of the first match (?) of FIFA World Cup possibly at the Centreway.

Motion to consider the matter as urgent is carried unanimously.

Cr G-M seconds the substantive motion (after Cr Sharpe points out there is no seconder).

Cr Lawrence says there might be scope to look at major women’s sporting events as well.

Cr Cusack suggests the back of the Flemington Community Centre as the interest in soccer in Flemington is high. He says Australia is in “the group of death” against France and two other strong teams.

(Sounds like a great idea – but is it in MV2040!!! Not being too flippant – just wondering how this spontaneous idea, and ideas like the Fanny Park issue, fit into the 22 year plan for everything!!??).

Carried unanimously.

The Mayor reports on the AFL scores and some swimming results of a 13 year old resident.

Confidential Reports: Aged Care Services in Moonee Valley

Close of Meeting


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