Council’s Public Forum – 18 September

Kinder pic

Image: Strathmore Heights Kindergarten Facebook page

Council have their regular Public Forum tonight and I’ve gone along to see what issues are burning in the municipality.

Only Crs Cusack, Gauci Maurici, Byrne, Marshall and Sharpe are present. (Crs Nation, Lawrence, Surace and Sipek are absent).

After the Indigenous Acknowledgement, there are four presentations on notice:

Simon re 47 Fisher Pde, Ascot Vale

The presenter is acting for owners of 47 Fisher Pde for which there was a planning permit that lapsed. The issue seems to be that there is a portion of the land in a public acquisition overlay. The owner is unable to find a reason for the PAO, or the background to the boundary of the PAO. The PAO was only raised as a concern recently. The owner is now speaking about his family’s plan to build a home on the water-front.

Cr Marshall asks whether a s. 173 could deal with maintaining pedestrian access. The setback is 15m. The advocate says the PAO is an “arbitrary yellow line”.

Kerry re The Ascot Lot 

The Ascot Lot is a food truck park in Mt Rd. The first issue is the operational management plan and the proximity of the live music to local residents living behind the block. The music is playing in a galvanised tin shed four metres from houses. The impact is in Warwick St and Mascoma St.

The Second point is that the venue of the live music was not meant to be so close to the rear fence. The permit also seems to say “any live music will be that of an acoustic vocalist on the odd occasion”. Kerry says it is always amplified music.

Kerry says the venue hosts Drag Bingo, Tipsy Trivia at loud volumes.

We are then played some recordings of the sound  … although the Deputy Mayor moves things along … the sound from inside the house is also played.

“You can’t have doors are windows open and can’t entertain outside any longer,” says Kerry.

Kerry says the focus of the venue appears to be changing to a outdoor drinking venue that has an impact on residents. She says breaches have been regularly investigated.

The CEO asks whether the issue has been raised with the Planning Department. Cr Marshall also says there has been a lengthy email and that councillors feel there have been some disingenuous promises from operators.

Cr Cusack says he “put his head on the block” to get this going and he is “really quite cross” this has got to this position. He says Council is failing in this space.

Michelle from Strathmore Heights Kindergraten

Michelle presents pictures of “our gorgeous kinder”. She says the massive yard has chooks, a mosaic and lovely grounds located around parklands. The teachers take the children on nature walks and learn about the environment. The location is central to the community which is bounded by the freeway and the airport. She says it is a gathering place for the local community. “It’s a true village feel and is something that should be protected.”

“The local community has been through a lot.” They have fought numerous battles regarding zoning for primary and secondary schools. And now the kinder is on the cards for closure.

Michelle says the Council has a policy for investing in children.

The planned location of the new proposed kindergarten is about an hour walk from the existing site – to which families currently walk.

The demand for kindergarten will increase given the rates of birth in the area. Michelle says it does not make sense for Council to close this kinder.

The building condition is questioned. Michelle says the Plan A is to keep the centre open. Another plan (if the building is not safe), would be to create a new kinder in the local area – either at Boeing Reserve or Nursery Corner.

“It is the only essential service” in Strathmore Heights.

The Deputy Mayor says there is a building report coming. The officer says there have been some delays getting the building reports – but he understands they will be coming tomorrow. A report will be provided to the Council and the community will get a copy of the building report.

Cr Cusack says “we can only act on evidence”.

Questions without notice – two questions

Mr Jones from Milleara Rd, East Keilor asks about the trees and whether an officer has been to trim his tree. The Deputy Mayor asks him to speak with an officer.

Ms Mumford from Strathmore asks about VicRoads’ offer regarding the sale of Strathaird Street land. She says the CEO advised her that Council would not be further considering VicRoads’ offer because it hadn’t changed. She refers to the two Council resolutions unanimously passed last year. She says neither of the resolutions gave authority to the CEO to negotiate a lower price for the land.

The CEO says there has been no negotiation with VicRoads. “I’ve not had an offer from VicRoads”, he says. “The resolution was about me negotiating with VicRoads to gift the land,” he says.

Ms Mumford says that she would like a Notice of Motion.

Cr Cusack says the developers contribution has been made across the whole of the municipality and it is allocated where there is a specific need for open space.

Another two residents add to the discussion about the importance of the land for the residents.

Cr Cusack says “facts of life is part of this as well”.

The Deputy Mayor says there is a Council resolution still standing, and that residents can email councillors.

She closes the meeting.

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