Council Meeting 14 May

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An abbreviated version of last night’s Council meeting. Apologies in advance for any typos … time is of the essence today!

No apologies from any councillors. Minutes carried. Cr Nation declared COI in item 11.1.

Joint Letter – Unsafe section of Maribyrnong Road between the Maribyrnong River and the corner of Epsom Road, Ascot Vale

Cr Marshall moves the joint letter with 20 signatures requesting changes to Maribyrnong road, specifically reduction of speed limit, change traffic lights so that right turn arrow is red when pedestrian light is green, improve pedestrian signage, improve signage and marking at four tram stops and two bus stops. Motion carried to receive and refer matter to officers to report back to Council.

14 Walker Street, Moonee Ponds (Lot 1 on TP242796P) – Construction of six dwellings

Cr Marshall moves the officers’ recommendation. Cr Cusack seconds. No Qs. Cr Marshall says the boundary of the Activity Centre Zone has an impact. Carried unanimously.

21 Argyle Street, Moonee Ponds (Lot 96 on Plan of Subdivision 002250) – Construction of four dwellings

The Mayor calls twice for a motion. Cr Sipek moves the officers’ recommendation. Cr Byrne seconds. No Qs. Cr Sipek says the report speaks for itself.

Cr Byrne says she has spent time looking at the proposal given the level of density. She says the size of the block can absorb the size of the development and meets ResCode criteria – except possibly for neighbourhood character. She says there is a long planning history, and has increased from three to four dwellings. She is happy to listen to the ward councillor views on this.

Cr Nation is not overly comfortable with the proposal. He says that looking at it on paper – 4 dwellings on 800sqm is a tight fit. The surrounding properties have been slammed with development, he says. There is a stress on laneways, roads and parking in the area. He says he doesn’t think there are ground to rubber stamp another development. He says there are some noticeable levels of non-compliance against ResCode. He will vote against the motion on the floor.

Cr Marshall speaks against the motion. (Not sure why ward councillors have not put forward an alternative motion or refusal??)

Cr Cusack foreshadows an alternative motion, and concurs with other two ward councillors.

Cr Lawrence says this site has three street frontages. He says it appears to be strongly conditioned. Cr Gauci Maurici says she has considered what is in front of councillors. She thinks that the proposal would be supported at VCAT. Cr Sipek says the conditioning is a tool the planning department can use to make sure planning applications are compliant. He agrees that it would be approved at VCAT.

For: Sipek, Surace, Sharpe, Byrne, Gauci-Maurici, Lawrence

Against: Cusack, Marshall, Nation

Motion is carried.

Exclusion of 2 Curtis Street, Essendon from Amendments C200moon and C201moon

Cr Lawrence moves the officers’ recommendation. Cr Sipek seconds. No Qs.

Cr Lawrence says there is quite some history to the matter. The recent heritage study adopted in March 2019 included this property, and MVCC has applied for interim heritage to be applied to the properties in the study. MVCC has also asked for this property to be excluded.

Cr Sipek doesn’t speak. No other councillors speak.

For: Surace, Sipke, Nation, Marshall, Sharpe, Cusack, Gauci Maurici, Lawrence

Against: Byrne

Motion carried.

Update on VicRoads Children’s Crossing Supervisor Subsidy program

Cr Marshall moves the officers’ recommendation. Cr Nation seconds. No Qs.

Cr Marshall says there was a decision to cease funding for the crossing, and after a site visit and a commitment from state government to fund drop-off zones at FPS, it has been thought the

“It is a really quirky site and the traffic volumes are low,” but “it is an interesting conflict point.” She describes the kids running, parents not paying attention (!): “you’re a parent at this school, please drive safely,” she says. She says she understands why the school is concerned about the decision and the need to make decisions holistically.

Cr Nation supports the motion as it in in line with supporting kids walking to school. He says maintaining a supervisor at this site is money well spent. He says it needs to be assessed once the new traffic measures are brought in. He says it is a wise decision – to keep the crossing supervisor there until things change.

Cr Cusack supports the motion “reluctantly”. He says he was part of the original decision not to fund a supervisor. He says he “knows it extremely well” and has been walking there for 30 years. He says it is not a “pittance” that council is spending. He notes that one of the areas that has been turned into a drop off street is Lucknow St around the corner, where car parking has been lost. (????)

He says that Flemington St may make a difference. “People come down Padman Lane – which is very narrow… they come down there as a convenience thing” … “the reality is they need to think in another way… it is not a good place to have any cars … it should be walking only”.  (it is the access point to the school car park ….???!!! Oh boy).

Carried unanimously.

Moonee Ponds Activity Centre Special Rate and Charge Declaration

Cr Cusack moves the officers’ recommendation. Cr Nation seconds. Cr Nation says the traders’ association is working hard to continue to invigorate the shopping strip parking hard against online and shopping centre trends. Carried unanimously.

Financial Performance Report March 2019

Cr Surace moves. Cr Cusack seconds. Cr Surace encourages residents to have a look on line at the variations being made and the way the surplus is growing. Cr Cusack talks about MVCC’s success in advocacy for grants and the funds from open space contributions. Carried unanimously.

2018/19 Capital Works Program Update

Cr Sipek moves the officers’ recommendation. Cr Cusack seconds. Cr Sipek says councillors have had the report for some time and have taken things out and put things in and he is happy with the result.

Cr Cusack says there has been considerable amount of capital works including some rolled over from last year. He says MVCC is having to accommodate rising costs associated with a number of projects. He says these are laid out in the report. He says councillors must support officers in delivering capital works. MVCC has a lot of work in the pipeline, he says, and the officers are having to fit a lot into each year.

Cr Surace raises a point of clarification regarding the Strathnaver Rsve carpark. The CEO says it only relates to Stage One, lower level car park.

Carried unanimously.

Notices of Motion

Queen’s Park outdoor pool

Cr Nation leave the chamber due to his conflict of interest. Cr Marshall seeks a report on the possibility of extending the hours of Queens Park pool. Cr Byrne seconds. Carried unanimously.

Newmarket Bridge

Cr Marshall moves a second notice of motion regarding repeated truck collisions with the Newmarket bridge. Cr Cusack seconds. (Cr Nation is not back … perhaps no-one went to get him … or perhaps he left) but it is carried unanimously.

Cr Surace reports back from the Metropolitan Transport Forum.

The Mayor also reports back on an Aviation conference about Melbourne and Essendon Airports. She says the changes at Melbourne Airport will affect Essendon Airport and MVCC really needs to be on the front foot. The draft masterplan for Essendon Airport is coming to MVCC soon.

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