Council Meeting 26 June 2018

Tree pic

Image: Rose Iser

Opening: Mayor opens with Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners

Apologies: No apologies

Confirmation of Minutes: Ordinary Meeting of Council held on Tuesday, 12 June 2018

No objection. Minutes confirmed.

Declarations of Conflict of Interest

Cr Nation has an indirect 12.1 conflicting duty.

Cr Marshall seeks leave – but can’t hear dates and no vote. But Mayor returns to this later – carried unanimously.

Presentations nope

Petitions and Joint Letters 

Cr Lawrence has a petition from 35 residents in Wickham Grove re street treatments.

Public Question Time

Two questions:

  1. From Ms Perez: Q: re the safety of cycling and pedestrians. Will Council advocate for safety? Ans: Council has been advocating strongly for cycling in Buckley St, but have been advised the principal bike network will be removed from Buckley St to Shamrock St. Council is continuing to advocate for pedestrian access to be improved.
  2. From Ms Perez Q: re Crs now declaring political party membership, is there any intention to have Crs also declare close relationships with politicians? Ans: No.
  3. Mr C Q:  What was subject matter of meeting on [26] April between councillors and local member Danny Pearson? Ans: It was regarding a parcel of land adjacent to Ascot Vale station.
  4. Mr C Q: Does Council think it is inappropriate for a councillor to meet in this way with the local MP where the local MP is the councillor’s spouse? Ans: No, Council does not think it is inappropriate.

Reports by Mayors and Councillors

Cr Byrne moves with an amendment to her report – didn’t attend an event, and had a meeting with local MP Ben Carroll. Cr Surace seconds. Carried unanimously.

76 Fenton Street, Ascot Vale – Construction of four dwellings

Cr Cusack moves an alternative motion to refuse a permit based on neighbourhood character, urban design, side and rear set-backs, daylight to existing windows, overshadowing, overlooking, unreasonable amenity impacts, and will exacerbate parking and traffic.

Cr Marshall seconds.

Cr Cusack says the development on Fenton St is out of character, and that the building on the west has serious issues with respect to overshadowing. He doesn’t think the amendments to the plans rectify all of the issues. He says there will be issues when buses use Hockey Lane, and there will be an overflow of visitors using the public parking opposite.

Cr Marshall says there has been development in the area. She says there is need to focus on what the dwellings look like. she says it looks like it has been designed to impact on the adjacent property and it would have a devastating impact on the neighbouring property. “In my view, it will be a visual intrusion on the neighbourhood.”

“I can’t see as a matter of practicality how that access point is going to work.”

“I think this is an application that doesn’t deserve our support.”

Cr Nation support the refusal as well. He says it is “generous to say this property has frontage to Hockey Lane”. “A more reasonable outcome would be to have three down the block and have vehicle access from Fenton St”. “This is quite an easy one to refuse.”

Cr Cusack says there are significant issues on the traffic parking (I’ll check that out when I head off to hockey training at 7:30pm – I joined last week 🙂

Carried unanimously.

It will be interesting to see how this fares at VCAT if that’s where it ends up.

35 Eglinton Street, Moonee Ponds – Construction of two dwellings

Cr Nation moves officers’ recommendation. Cr Cusack seconds.

Cr Nation acknowledges concerns of objectors, but says it is well within height guidelines. “It would be completely pointless to reject this and end up at VCAT.”

“We need to acknowledge the planning scheme.”

Cr Cusack says he is not wowed by the whole development, but it is highly compliant and works within the streetscape. “It would be a pointless exercise trying to take this to VCAT to have this knocked off.”

Cr Marshall says “I don’t love this … but noting the amended plans and the conditions” on balance it is something we need to support.

FOR: All except Cr Lawrence

Cr Sharpe says the agenda has been updated and the Council Plan is not next. But it turns out it is.

Council Plan 2017-2021 (Annual Review)

Cr Surace moves officer’s recommendation. She says it is procedural.

Cr Cusack seconds and doesn’t add any more.

No one else speaks.

Carried unanimously.

Budget 2018/2019

“It’s the Budget councillors I need a motion” says the Mayor as no one offers to move the motion.

Cr Sharpe moves. Much planning has been given to the “next ten, twenty odd years.”

“I’m pleased to see that we have certainly spread our funding out across the municipality.”

“I must thank the submitters who presented a couple of weeks ago.” “Some submissions are being worked through operationally.”

“Lots of big ticket items.”

Cr Byrne says she spoke in depth on the budget when it went out for consultation. She also mentions the $13K for the toy library. “We’re adopting the long term capital works plan.”

“It’s a $155M budget.”

Cr Cusack proposes an amendment to add a dot point six noting that the LTCWP is the document underpinning all future capital works decisions. “This is an important reference because it has implications for items we are going to debate further along tonight. the point of putting it in the budget motion is to ensure that any decision we are making is anchored within the budget.”

“If there are changes down the track, it is referenced back to this motion.”

Cr Surace endorses what Cr Cusack has said, but also says it provides the opportunity for Council to consider submissions that are to be considered later in the year.

FOR: All except Lawrence

So this becomes the substantive motion.

Cr Lawrence says he applauds the council officers for the work that has gone into the budget and the overall impact of it is very good. However, he is concerned about the “big, big ticket items” and their impact in the future.

Have we asked the overall community whether they want to spend $50M on a EKLC revamp. Do we want to spend $30M more on a highball stadium in East Keilor? And the $20M Flemington Hub.

“That to me is a lot of money for a small council in an inner urban area … It is an amount of debt we will have to repay.” He is talking about $50,000 per week of interest.

“Where will this be regenerated back to council? I still have not seen any figures showing me how the $100M will be …”

The Mayor says he has had a briefing on how it will be repaid.

Cr Lawrence he has not been told how the money will be raised. he says MVCC currently owes nothing on borrowings – but it will go up to 39% in a few years, as borrowings against rate revenue. he is greatly concerned. “We do need facilities, but we have to be prudent.”

Cr Marshall says “we are measured by our capital works program”. “Most councils are underspent.” “Do I want to spend $50M on EKLC? No, but that’s what it costs.” She says otherwise, it will have to close.

“If they need facilities, there is a cost that goes along with that. That is the reality we are faced with. While it’s fine to say we don’t want to spend that, you have to come up with another plan.”

“We note with the arts submission that was made, that will be able to be caught up in the operational budget.”

Cr Cusack speaks. “As far as the Flemington Community Centre goes, we knows it’s vital, but it’s not just for the people who live on the estate … it will be a major community facility.” He says the EKLC will be a useless hole in the ground unless money is spent on it. “People tell me that a cultural centre down in Flemington is dead money. … Well give me a break folks.  … Everything is around the digital world and that’s what the hub in Flemington can do.”

Cr Nation says council has done work over the past 12 months for the 22 year capital works plan: “This is a long term plan that looks at … I think council should be commended for that document and residents should be comfortable knowing that we are not just splashing cash but we have a strategic plan …

The Mayor says “we are responding to our community”. The Mayor and Cr Cusack spoke of $8M spent on the Clocktower centre years ago as an example of forward thinking.

The Mayor says a local real estate agent has funded the stop watches, and the state government has just announced funding the intersection of Mt Road and Shamrock St.

“We have had record grants coming in from state and federal governments.”

For: All except Cr Lawrence

Changes to the Budget and LTCWP from the draft include:

  • moving Fairbairn and Maribyrnong Park pavilions  to short term delivery in the LTCWP (in line with MV2040)
  • allocating the unspent funds 2017/18 community grants of $20,000 to the Trieste Social Club
  • allocating $13,000 to the Moonee Valley Toy Library for the Avondale Heights branch
  • including investigating opportunities to fit out facilities for performing Arts in Council’s operating budget (Yay! – although much more to be done to provide for the Arts in MV).
  • $800,000 for temporary change facilities at Fairbairn and Maribyrnong Parks.

My notes: Some variations have been made as a result of submissions, although not all submissions appear to have been responded to – including the request from PEGS for additional traffic safety signage in Fletcher St (notes this parent of PEGS Middle School students).

MV2040 Final Strategy and update of the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme

Cr Marshall moves the motion with the deletion of point 8:

“8. Requests officers to present Council’s support for Amendment C195 to the
Moonee Valley Planning Scheme to any independent Planning Panel

Cr Marshall says she has advocated for MV’s neighbourhoods to be treated differently. It has been a two year process. “It is the most comprehensively consulted on document. There has been no strategy that has had this level of consultation.”

“It is such a wonderful change.”

“Under legislation we are required to review our planning scheme regularly – that is what we are doing here … there was repetition with the state planing … which were unnecessary.”

“It’s really pleasing the way it has been drafted.” “It is put out on exhibition if the Minister approves…” Unresolved submissions go to a panel.

“2040 seems like it’s a long way away, but it’s actually not.” “It’s pragmatic.”

“This is how we are going to make sure you still love and enjoy your neighbourhood.”

Cr Gauci Maurici says “now we can get on with the doing”. She says every thing links together. “We’ve consulted extensively with the community.”

“There’s a long term strategic vision for our city.”

“This is us sitting back and thinking about what we are going to deliver for the community.”

“It is a really exciting time for our council and our city.”

Cr Lawrence says “there is a lot of froth and bubble” but he is excited about the clear direction for planning that has been lacking and is in MV2040.

Cr Surace says this has come together through this community. “we’re here to represent them.”

Cr Cusack says “we don’t live in a static world”. “If we didn’t have 2040, how is this council ever going to respond” to the Airport rail link and transport. “better to have a bad plan than no plan at all … and I’m not saying for one minute 2040 is a bad plan.”

We’ve got to be able to move with it and change with it.”

Cr Byrne says she’s excited about working for the future generations. “This document is underpinning the future.” “These are the things we’re planning on delivering.”

“It’s so great to think about what our city is going to look like in 2040.”

Everything will align with this document. “It means more outcomes. It’s a great direction for us to be heading in and I’m really excited.”

The Mayor says “Rome wasn’t built in a day and Henry Ford didn’t build a car in a week” … “this is research, this is what the community wants.”

“It will be changed in the future. This is not really a Bible, it is more like a guideline. This has been the work of many many councils.”

Carried unanimously.

MV2040 Action Plan: Community Facilities

Cr Marshall moves a motion that removes a description of the Flemington Community Hub on page 25 which prescribes the form of the Flemington Community Hub which is about to undergo consultation.

Cr Marshall says there was one external submission (mine). She says the plan is based on council data.

“What this is about is providing a bit of plan … I’m expecting this to be done in my neighbourhood …”

“This is a broad vision … bones will be put on the projects as we go along.”

Cr Gauci Maurici says the plan supersedes 13 other plans and emphasises multi-use facilities.

No one else speaks.

Carried unanimously.

Aged Care Services at Moonee Valley City Council

Cr Marshall moves a motion for Council to continue its services. (I’ll have to get the full motion from the minutes). Cr Cusack seconds.

Cr Marshall says “we face a choice here”. “The market has failed people. … If we turn our back now, in this state of flux” the consequences are unknown.

“I’m sick of our discussions about the provision of services being reduced to a dollar figure.”


Cr Sharpe says she is supporting Cr Marshall as aged care is a vital service. “I feel it would be completely premature to get out of a service so valued by our community…”

She says the emphasis on “ageing in place” has been lost.

“I would feel totally ashamed to get out of aged care tonight.”

Cr Gauci Maurici says the demographics are expected to result in more older people in the community.

The Mayor talks about a “nebulous vortex” of conundrums and stones changing underneath our feet.

Carried unanimously. Clapping.

Streetscape Improvement Costing Framework 2018

Cr Lawrence moves. Cr Marshall seconds.

Carried unanimously.

Development Contributions Plan 2018

Cr Marshall moves the recommendation with deletion of point 6:

Requests officers to present Council’s support for Amendment C190 to the
Moonee Valley Planning Scheme to any independent Planning Panel required.

Carried unanimously.

Interim and Permanent Heritage Controls – 89 Glass Street, Essendon

Cr Sharpe moves. Cr Gauci Maurici seconds.

Cr Sharpe says she is always happy to have a house in Essendon protected by an overlay. It was flagged in the 2014 study and Cr Sharpe she is concerned when Council is playing catch up.

Carried unanimously.

Councillor Expenses and Reimbursement Policy

Deferred until August. No one speaks or explains…

Carried unanimously.

Confidential Reports – East Keilor Leisure Centre Redevelopment – Early Procurement Program


That’s the meeting folks.

One thought on “Council Meeting 26 June 2018

  1. R thanks again for your effort.
    we dont get this in local paper or anywhere really.
    Council could do it. But it wouldnt be as good. Maybe they could give you a retainer for getting the word out. And so I dream on in to the night.

    Liked by 1 person

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