So says the Council report for one of tonight’s agenda items.
I’ve asked some questions of council today and have been left very confused about what exactly Moonee Valley is proposing with respect to begging and on-street charity “spruiking” and collecting.
I look forward to being enlightened as I sit at home tonight and watch the meeting via live streaming.
Opening: Yes – the meeting is open
Apologies: Cr Cusack and Cr Gauci Maurici have an approved Leave of Absence for this meeting.
Cr Gauci Maurici had a baby girl – Lucinda. Congrats! Happy news!
Confirmation of Minutes: Ordinary Meeting of Council held on Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Then there is a bizarre vote … to rectify the minutes? Cr Marshall seeks clarification.
Minutes are accepted … by vote … even though they don’t have to be.
Declarations of Conflict of Interest
Cr Sharpe has a COI re 9.5 and 9.11 due to workplace (footpath policy)
Cr Nation presents an award re the Ceremonial Rock Circle for which MVCC has received an award from Reconciliation Victoria and the VLGA
Petitions and Joint Letters None
Public Question Time Nope
9.1 7 Garnet Street, West Essendon (Lot 28 on LP2314 and Lot 1 on TP645476M) – Construction of four dwellings
Cr Byrne moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Surace seconds.
Cr Byrne says the application is extremely compliant and some objections were addressed through the conditions – including concerns about the roof-line. Amended plans addressed the roof-line. Objectors also expressed traffic concerns.
Cr Byrne mentions the overshadowing to one dwelling – although this wasn’t too contentious. “if we were to take this to VCAt, they would allow four dwellings … it’s as simple as that.”
Cr Surace agrees. “It is what it is” re the traffic.
9.2 Disability Services Tender
Cr Bryne moves an alternative motion.
That Council registers to become an NDIS provider, … continues to look for efficiencies … continues to support recipients of HACC … consult with service recipients re opportunities … communicates decision to become an NDIS provider.”
Cr Marshall seconds.
Cr Nation foreshadows a motion in the form of the officer’s recommendation.
Cr Byrne: “We are talking about some of the most vulnerable people in our municipality… unfortunately the funding and wait times of the NDIS have been questioned.”
“I’m not convinced the NDIS has been set up to enable councils to be service providers.” But, she says, “it would be absolutely horrible” for people for council not to be a provider and leave people waiting for a service provider to appear in the municipality.
“These people don’t need the extra worry.” “For people who want the same carer they have had for 20 years”, Cr Byrne will support that.
Cr Marshall says she acknowledges this is a difficult decision: “anyone who doesn’t understand that doesn’t understand the gravity of the decision”.
“It is incredibly difficult to predict how this will play out. We went out to tender and our expectations were not met.”
“What will it mean if we pull out and care is left to private providers?” especially if they are seeking profits that are not forthcoming. “People will turn around and ask of council what are you doing to fix that.”
“We have had advice regarding discrepancies between salaries for council staff” and non-council staff, which results in low turn over of staff, says Cr Marshall.
The motion calls for a review. Cr Marshall is told to finish up.
No one else speaks –
Motion failed – with no indication of who voted – as I was listening not watching.
Cr Nation moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Sharpe seconds.
Cr Nation says MVCC has gone out to tender and received feedback with concerns regarding the NDIS. “It is critical that we provide an ongoing and active service, … and it is important that we provide a safety net [through HACC].”
“40% of our most vulnerable clients will not be eligible for the NDIS” … “Council needs to be this safety net for individuals who will not be eligible.”
“Under the LG Act our role is clear. Being the safety net for our most vulnerable … ” is our role, he says.
Cr Sharpe says the NDIS is an overhaul of the previous system. People will be able to choose the provider that can suit their needs. “I’m confident this recommendation is the way to go.”
Cr Byrne says she hopes the people listening on line …
Cr Nation calls a point of order …
Cr Byrne says she is talking about the inferences made about councillors.
The Mayor asks her not to refer to what councillors might think.
Cr Marshall seeks a point of clarification: do the people who qualify for the NDIS …
The Mayor interrupts … asking for Cr Byrne to continue her clarification …
Cr Byrne refers back to Cr Marshall who clarifies that Council will service the people who are less vulnerable and will not be eligible for NDIS.
The officer won’t be drawn further.
Cr Byrne continues that she was referring to the people not being eligible for the NDIS as not being the most vulnerable. That was not the easiest to follow!
Cr Bryne argues passionately for council to continue to provide services as a provider: “we already have the staff; we already provide the services.” “One of the reasons we put it out for tender, was so continuity of staff was ensured.”
Cr Marshall speaks against the motion: “if it plays out that everyone goes off to private providers, then fantastic, but what we are doing is jumping into the abyss … I just cannot cross my fingers and hoe for the best.”
“It’s not clear to me why council should get out of this space.” “Is it financial?”
Cr Lawrence says “fear of change is quite normal”. “There will always be teething problems, but there will be improvements.” “We will end up going backwards.” “It’s about improving and making the service better.” “It’s a bi-partisan issue.”
Cr Nation closes: “we come from differing views… but to suggest that anyone would be sitting around these chambers suggesting that someone would want a person to go unwashed for three months …” (Cr Byrne must have referred to this…I will check).
Cr Marshall calls a point of order, but it is dismissed.
Cr Nation: “I’m not an expert…”
Cr Marshall interrupts and is asked to keep quiet.
Cr Nation says all crs are making decisions
FOR: Surace, Nation, Sharpe, Sipek, Lawrence
AGST: Bryne, Marshall
9.3 Activities and General Amenities Local Law 2018 – adoption
Cr Nation moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Lawrence seconds.
Cr Nation says the draft was moved in February. Four written submissions were received. “The bulk is updating the 2008 version … including asset protection, operation of drones, management of shopping trolleys, designated smoke free areas.”
Cr Nation says ‘soliciting gifts’, ‘spruiking’ and busking’ – he says they are not new laws (actually spruiking was not in the draft in February. It has been added since then).
He says that while ‘begging’ is referred to in the report it is not referred to in the local laws as this is a state law. He implies that people commenting on the laws have not read them. (He is wrong – at least in my case).
No one seems to asks for a clarification on any aspect of the laws, or why the report said that begging was being banned by the laws in Moonee Valley. I will write more on this later.
Cr Lawrence agrees.
9.4 Mobile Food Vehicle Policy – Adoption
Cr Sharpe moved the motion. Cr Lawrence seconds.
9.5 Draft Footpath Trading Policy
Cr Sharpe leaves.
Cr Lawrence moves. He says the policy “gets rid of the pests that we don’t really want” – referring to charity collectors.
Cr Nation says it is in its draft form. He invites those with views to provide feedback.
9.6 Draft Moonee Ponds Creek Chain of Ponds
Carried unanimously (I’ll add more later).
9.7 New Lease – Latitude Directions for Young People over part of the Flemington Community Centre
9.8 Farnham Street Neighbourhood Learning Centre Inc. – lease renewal
9.9 Response to Notice Of Motion No. 2018/07 – Park Run Course
9.10 Response to Notice of Motion No. 2017/04 On-street Charity Spruikers
Cr Nation moves. Cr Lawrence seconds.
Cr Nation moved the original motion. He says it is straight forward. “It’s a somewhat fine line to encourage community engagement and support, and discourage “chuggers”.
“Even with council issuing permits, there are loopholes with people being on contract payments.”
“The draft footpath policy has addressed this somewhat. The aim has never been to take away from the scouts or the real community collectors. We want our community to be buying the box of scout cookies and investing that money back into the municipality, not investing into someone’s wage that goes out of the municipality.”
“It is a draft”.
Seriously – they have nothing to say about the complete confusion this report has created???
9.11 Response to Notice of Motion No. 2017/22-Footpath Trading
Cr Sharpe leaves. Cr Lawrence moves. Cr Nation seconds.
Cr Lawrence says this is protection for residents from charitable organisations. This is a continuation of the previous motion, he says.
Cr Nation says the 2015 version was “black and white”. This policy seeks to redress this.
9.12 Report on Assemblies of Councillors
10.1 Notice Of Motion Report – CCTV Mobile Trailer
10.2 Notice Of Motion Report – Proposed Amendment of Civic Recognition Policy
12.1Possible Property Acquisitions