The blog is trying something new.
The agenda for Council meetings is revealed on the Friday before the meeting (today).
To assist residents, here’s a synopsis of what’s on the agenda.
I don’t know everything about every issue (really??!), and haven’t had time to read all 169 pages of the agenda, but I’ve tried to highlight controversial matters, or issues people might like to be aware of.
Let me know if you find it helpful.
9.1 30-32 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds (Lot 1 on TP 340369N and Lot 1 on TP 387755T) – Partial demolition, external alteration, external painting and construction and carrying out of works for a multi-storey building within a Heritage Overlay (HO233), use of the land for dwellings and a reduction to the car parking requirement
Council officers are recommending a permit be granted for this application on the site of a “two storey brick inter-war building, formerly the Returned Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Imperial League of Australia Essendon Branch (c1920-21), which is identified within Schedule 233 of the Heritage Overlay,” and is next door to the medical centre on Holmes Rd.
The application has been reduced from five storeys to four storeys.
The front part of the building, and the original windows, will be preserved earning the support of Council’s heritage advisor. The built form is fairly bulky and uninspiring, but it is in an Activity Centre and the 13.9m is within the 14m preferred height.
9.2 184 Maribyrnong Road, Moonee Ponds (Lot 1 on Title Plan 232844M) – Construction of four dwellings
This application is quite rude. It proposes four town houses on a smallish block (450sqm) outside of an Activity Centre, although on a tramline, and within a Garden Suburban 3 precinct. There were 18 objections.
The proposal does not comply with ResCode with respect to Building Height, Walls on Boundaries, Landscaping or Storage. And it is an ugly, heavy design that, in my view, is completely out of character with the abutting residential character.
The proposal abuts a property with an exemplary subdivision creating two double storey homes. This proposal will severely impact these homes and is out of place in this Moonee Ponds neighbourhood.
9.3 Melbourne Airport Rail Link
For some time, and for some unknown reason, MVCC has been intent on advocating for an Airport rail link to use the Flemington Spur line that branches off from the Craigieburn line at Elm St in Flemington.
I used to live in Elm St and during the racing season, I would listen to the constant hum of trains idling on the spur line waiting for an opportunity to enter the heavily used Craigieburn line.
No doubt there are now more services on the Craigieburn line, or there should be! So I’m perplexed as to why MVCC believes it is wise for a frequent Airport Rail Link (which we all support!!) to make use of the spur line.
No transport agency or state government has supported this proposal – because of the impact on the Craigieburn line and because trains will have to sit and wait at the Newmarket station junction impacting the quality of the service from the Airport.
Council officers are recommending Council write to Ministers supporting a rail link to the Airport (in light of the $5Bn promise recently made by the federal government).
The recommendation supports the use of the Flemington Spur, but then also rejects the use of the Craigieburn line. This makes no sense, because the Flemington Spur uses the Craigieburn line for the heavily congested stops of Newmarket, Kensington and North Melbourne. I recall making exactly these comments in 2008 – ten years ago!
I find this proposal so very strange. I welcome enlightenment. I assume it is connected to the development potential of the VRC site near Langs Rd and wonder if MVCC is doing the VRC’s bidding.
9.4 Flemington Housing Renewal Project – Planning Scheme Amendment Update
This is a topic about which much has been written by ‘the Blog’. The Council recommendation and report is fairly cursory:
The officers write that C177 – the Minister’s Amendment for the estate development – is largely consistent with Council’s submission – except for the differential car-parking overlay.
I beg to differ. At the hearing, MVCC put forward significant proposals that were not adopted by the Minister particularly with respect to affordable housing, open space and community facilities.
And the officer’s report misses the point that the Minister’s Amendment also contains significant departures from the Advisory Committee’s recommendations.
I’ll have to go through the four pages of comparisons between the DHHS proposal, the MVCC position, the Committee’s response and the Minister’s approval.
There will also be an EOI for a proposed Reference Group for consultation on Debneys Park and the proposed Community Hub. I think wide consultation is more appropriate than an exclusive reference group on an area of such wide community importance.
9.5 Land Acquisition Policy
This seems quite brief and straight forward. I can’t see any obvious problems – but have only looked at it very quickly.
9.6 Open Space Master Plans (Clifton Park and Draft Montgomery Park and Bradshaw Street Reserve)
I don’t know enough about the Clifton Park, Montgomery or Bradshaw Reserve facilities to know whether these Master Plans align with community needs.
I do know that MV2040 does not refer to improvements to the Clifton park Community Sports Pavilion and only refers to improvements to open space, but maybe this is just unclear:
The report indicates:
“Funding for the open space improvement aspects of the Master Plans and $5.5m for the Clifton park Community Sports Pavilion have been allocated through the long term Capital Works Program. The long term Capital Works Program also includes $430,000 for the Montgomery park Integrated Early Years Centre (MV2040 notes this cost to explore opportunities for expansion). A timetable for expenditure of all elements within all Master Plans will be prepared and presented to Council as part of the 2019/20 budget.”
I’m a bit confused by the future allocations to Bradshaw Reserve and Montgomery Park as there don’t appear to be any funds in the next 22 years for Bradshaw Reserve – although it is really hard to find items in the long term capital works plan – and while there is projected expenditure on an Early Years Learning Centre at Montgomery Park, I can’t seem to locate funds for the Master Plan. Again, it’s hard to find, so it may, or may not, be there.
9.7 Moonee Valley City Council Highball Stadium Feasibility
This report is about the development of a Highball Stadium in Moonee Valley with 12 indoor courts – obviously at considerable cost.
A consultant’s report has been received with a recommendation for six indoor courts at Quinn Grove to complement the $50M East Keilor Leisure Centre.
There’s $30M in the long-term budget for a Highball Stadium. Guess we should all be moving to East Keilor.
9.8 Fairbairn Precinct Sports Court Development
This recommendation is to demolish 11 of the courts at the Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre and build 16 fresh courts for both netball and tennis using the $3M from Council and the state government.
9.9 Response to Notice of Motion 2017/20: Moonee Valley as a Smart City
Smart Cities – anyone who has seen the Smart Cities episode of Utopia will be equally amused. But the officers’ recommendation seems quite straight forward (to anyone who doesn’t know much about technology!).
Anyone who does know a thing or two about cyber-security and free wi-fi might have other views. And ‘number plate recognition cameras’ in place of someone checking a number plate on a database, does make me wonder.
9.10 Response to Notice of Motion 2017/21: Council’s role in the provision of Electric Car Charging Units in Activity Centres
This report says we don’t need charging points for electric cars because there are so few of them in Australia. Hmmm. Maybe there are so few of them because there are no electric charging points…
Good to know there are now 20 electric vehicles in the MVCC fleet. Hope they don’t have to recharge before they make it home.
9.11 Report on Audit Committee
Nothing extraordinary to see here.
9.12 Report on Assemblies of Councillors – March to May 2018
This is a repeat of the report that went to Council last meeting but was deferred because of a formatting problem with content cut off.
Notices of Motion
10.1 Notice of Motion No. 2018/12 – Disclosure of Political Party Membership
This motion makes a lot of sense, except that the Councillor who has brought the motion voted against this at the February meeting.
At the February meeting, after protracted debate, the additional clause for a notice of motion on ‘transparency’ was lost:
So – confusing.
For the record, ‘the Blog’ (ie Rose Iser) was a member of the Greens from 2006-2013 and briefly a member of the ALP in 2014 while working for Jennifer Kanis MP. And she doesn’t intend to ever sign up to a political party again!
12.1 Report on Land Acquisition Committee
I’m hoping this is with respect to 177A Mt Alexander Rd, which is currently under contract, but will have to be patient. If it is, please buy the land. It is an important site for Flemington and MAC communities.