Council meeting 23 July

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Opening and Reconciliation Statement

Apologies and Leave of Absence: Cr Cusack is running late.

Confirmation of Minutes: Ordinary Meeting of Council held on Tuesday, 09 July 2019 – carried.

Declarations of Conflict of Interest: Nope

Presentations: Nil.

Petitions and Joint Letters:

Cr Marshall presents a petition signed by 1537 people asking Council to save the property at 81 Charles St from demolition. Accepted.

Cr Byrne presents a petition from 17 primary school children regarding improvements to a park in Airport West to include equipment for primary school aged children. Accepted.

Public Question Time

Peter Robert asked two questions: the first about NBN and CityWest water works in Napier St. When will they be completed? Within the next three to four weeks.

Should there be DNA testing for animals to track offenders? The cost would be a barrier and may breach privacy rights.

Adam Ford asked two questions: why was Charles St Ascot vale not recommended for the precinct heritage gap study in 2017? The scope of the study was to assess areas for merit to be included. Charles St was not assessed as significant – except for 65 Charles St.

Given Charles St was removed from heritage protection – while Monash St has blanket protection. Is there any consistency regarding heritage protection in Moonee Valley? The guidelines for heritage assessments are set out in the Burra Charter and other documents. Applications from Council are consistent with these guidelines.

Reports 

17-19 Leake Street, Essendon – Construction of a multi-storey building
and a reduction to the car parking requirement

Cr Lawrence moves an alternative motion to refuse the permit (in a very croaky voice) so Cr Gauci Maurici reads the entire motion for him. The grounds for refusal include height, overdevelopment, waste, landscaping, urban design, dominant built form and will impact neighbouring amenity.

Cr Surace asks about whether new residents will have access to parking and visitor permits. The answer is that no permits will be provided as a condition. Cr Surace queries the reference to temporary parking permits. But the answer is inaudible (it may be during construction, but the answer can’t be heard on the recording.)

Cr Lawrence says the parking reductions will be problematic in Leake St which is a major shopping precinct. Cr Gauci Maurici says the amenity and accessibility of the area, as well as design and heritage concerns, means that she is pleased to support the refusal.

Cr Nation supports the refusal on the basis of height, but is not sure how parking is meant to be provided given there is not to be vehicle carriage way onto the front of the property and the rear access is limited. He says that in Activity Centres Council needs to waive some or all of the parking given Council’s parameters.

Cr Marshall says that some of the grounds are unlikely to be upheld at VCAT: “we never success on car parking at VCAT”. Council has said a four storey development is appropriate on this site. She says she is more concerned about the design and the balcony encroachments.

Cr Sipek says he can see both sides, but that the negatives outweigh the positives. He says there is community concern about the application. He also says that VCAT might have a difficulty with the car-parking.

Carried unanimously.

Municipal Parking Implementation Plan & Parking Permit Policy

Cr Marshall moves for this matter to be deferred until next meeting to seek additional information. Cr Surace seconds. Carried unanimously.

Response to petition: parking restrictions for Grace Street, Moonee Ponds

Cr Nation moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Sipek seconds. No questions.

Cr Nation says the report from Council grants the request from petitioners “in some form”. The petition was for parking restrictions to be implemented. The street is close to Moonee Ponds train station and is attractive to commuter parking. The proposal is for 2 hour parking on the west side of Grace St. Carried unanimously.

Healthy Ageing in Moonee Valley

Cr Cusack (who has arrived) moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Sipek seconds.

Cr Byrne asks whether there is a current waiting list for domestic assistance, personal care and respite care. The answer is that there are waiting lists, but the exact time is unknown.

Cr Cusack talks about safety, transport, isolation and other issues facing older residents. he says not all older people are grandparents.

Cr Byrne says she doesn’t really know where she sits on this as “things don’t quite add up”. She is concerned that there have been declines in delivery outputs, while promotion has increased, and there is a wait list. And money is being refunded to the government. “I don’t want to touch on staffing, but by reading the report and recommendation, there’s some significant issues, that we are paying back a significant amount of money and not delivering the services that we are saying we should be providing.” Cr Byrne says she agrees with Cr Cusack’s comments, but won’t be supporting the report given her concerns.

Cr Marshall asks a question – but can’t be heard b/c her microphone is not on. She asks about the meaning of “over-funding” in light of Cr Byrne’s comment about waiting lists. The officer’s comment is that there is over-demand in some areas, but not enough funding. Some areas there is demand, but not enough staff. “We are struggling to deliver the target services.”

Cr Marshall suggests an amendment to the motion to include commuting transport services. She asks whether that would cause an issue for officers: “including the need for funded community transport services”.

The change is to substitute the word “including” instead of “in particular” and removes the second part of the statement about over-funding for services for which Cr Byrne has established there is a waiting list. There seems to be some confusion about needs, demands, and matching this to funding. I have highlighted the phrase below.

That Council resolves to:

  1. Note the outcomes summarised in this report and reconfirms its intention to continue to invest in promotional and advocacy activities, despite output declines.
  2. Note that officers will continue to advocate to the Commonwealth to reallocate funding to better reflect the needs of the Moonee Valley Community, in particular the need for funded community transport services, in lieu of current over funding in high volume in home services such as Domestic Assistance, Personal Care and Community Meals).
  3. Note that Council has accepted an extension of funding for Commonwealth Home Support Programme services from July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
  4. Request a further report for consideration regarding the proposed Commonwealth Home Support Programme extension from June 2020 – June 2022.

Cr Byrne is concerned that money will be shifted from areas where there is a waiting list to community transport. Cr Marshall clarifies that where there is not a demand (eg no waiting list) for funds to be transferred to where there is a waiting list.

There is suggestion that the motion be amended further. The CEO says he is clear of the intention of the amendment. The amendment is carried unanimously.

The substantive motion is carried, with Cr Byrne against.

Signs in the Public Use Zone (180 Holmes Road Aberfeldie) and
Public Park and Recreation Zone

Cr Gauci Maurici moves the officer’s recommendation with an amendment to put a moratorium on the enforcement, except where there are safety concerns … and I missed exactly what she read.

Cr Gauci Maurici says there is a level of complexity and detail involved. The vast majority of clubs have signage as part of their sponsorship. But the legislation prohibits signs on open space. So the motion will set in train a process to it legal, but until the time that it does, signs will not be removed unless they are unsafe.

Cr Marshall says the zoning prohibits promotional signs. The motion starts a planning scheme amendment (as part of planning scheme Amendment currently underway???). She says this is a state-wide issue.

Cr Sipek says most of the signs are promoting local businesses. He is concerned about the unique nature of signage with respect to different sports – the size of the sign is not the only issue. Cr Lawrence says the signage is vital to the financial viability to clubs. Cr Nation says equity is important.

The motion is carried unanimously.

Land Acquisition Committee Charter Review

Cr Marshall moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Sipek seconds. No questions. Carried unanimously.

Capital Works Program Variations

Cr Surace moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Sipek seconds. Cr Nation asks about a line item on p.58 re the AVLC emergency works – was the money paid by an insurer? Or is it required to be paid from Council’s revenue? The answer is that the money referred to is Council funding. Additional funding of $500K was paid by insurer. Cr Nation checks the total cost was $1.2 million. This is correct, but the $500K is paid directly to the builder.

Cr Nation’s swimming business operates at Ascot Vale Leisure Centre. He was contacted for comment regarding any potential conflict of interest. He has responded that the agenda item related to emergency works arising from a collapsed sewer outside the facility on 2 March 2019, and that he was not required to declare a conflict of interest “as the works are reparation costs to return the facility to its usable state.” 

The motion is carried – with Cr Gauci Maurici against.

National General Assembly of Local Government 2019

Cr Lawrence moves. Cr Surace seconds.

Cr Cusack wishes to speak. He does, and mentions the need for capacity to dispose of incontinence pads in male toilets. Carried unanimously.

Assemblies of Councillors

Cr Gauci-Maurici mentions the public forums as a good opportunity to raise issues. She mantis that drinking in public places was discussed. Cr Nation clarifies that he does not go out drinking in parks every night …

Carried.

Notice of Motion No. 2019/19 – 81 Charles Street, Ascot Vale

Cr Marshall moves Council asks the CEO to investigate the inclusion of 81 Charles St as a place of heritage significance in the planning scheme. She says this is a difficult matter. She has questions about the process. She says there have been a number of properties that have popped up that have raised concerns.

Cr Nation says residents have extensive knowledge of heritage buildings that have been lost: “the heritage gap study does have gaps”. He asks when a report is likely to be returned? The planning director says that the assessment will be done as soon as possible – possibly a couple of weeks to get a report done.

Cr Nation thanks the petitioners.

Carried unanimously.

Notice of Motion No. 2019/20 – report additional addendum to its submission to the Essendon Fields Preliminary Master Plan 2019

Cr Lawrence moves a motion resulting from information about the East/West runway being replaced by a suggestion it will be a North/South runway at Tullamarine and the impacts this will have on the Essendon Airport plans, and putting plans for an Airport Environs Overlay on hold until clarifications are forthcoming.

Cr Gauci Maurici seconds the motion.

Cr Lawrence says plans for the E/W runway have been put on hold due to wind issues. The proposal for a N/S runway will have an impact on the proposed Airport Environs Overlay. Additional submissions are being permitted given this change.

Cr Gauci Maurici says there is need to better understand Melbourne Airport’s intent.

Cr Sipek asks whether Scott Ryan can be added to the people to contact. The Mayor says a formal amendment is required, but Cr Sipek withdraws.

Cr Nation says he is unsure given that Council approved a submission – in what format is the addendum presented? In dot points? A new report? Exactly in what format would this addendum be lodged?

An officer says the addendum can reference the motion and the original submission – which talks about the need to revise the contours in line with Melbourne Airport developments.

“In terms of the addendum, the addendum can reference the Council resolution and also build on our existing submission – in our existing submission we do reference the need to review the the contours based on the final development plan for the runway development, we can build on that, there was an expectation that we would review … we can build on that in the submission na din the covering letters to the various Ministers.”

Cr Nation says it is still hard to know what Council is moving. Should a report come back with the exact addendum that will be submitted?

Cr Marshall asks a point of clarification: what evidence and information have officers used to support the comments to the notice of motion. All she has seen is a one-liner in a media release? What other information is now available.

The Mayor says the question goes to officers’ opinions. The officer says the notice of motion is not inconsistent with the original submission given the original submission indicated that there would need to be a review once there is an adopted runway plan for Melbourne Airport.

Cr Marshall asks whether there has been any additional information other than the media reports?

“Not at this stage.” The officer says his understanding is that Melbourne Airport is currently investigating and considering options. He says this motion follows up on something that was flagged and highlighted in the original submission.

Cr Nation says he thinks it would be more beneficial for officers to wait for more information, and bring back a well considered and well supported addendum – something more than “a couple of dot points on a piece of paper”.

Cr Marshall says she is confused by the officer’s response – what exactly are we approving for submission here? Is it literally the three dot points? Given the very detailed report that was provided for our submission? “I don’t understand. What are we submitting?” “I just want to know?”

The Mayor says there is a motion before councillors and the officer has already responded.

“So it’s going to be the three dot points?” asks Cr Marshall.

The Mayor says “yes, as the officer stated earlier” – the answer has been provided by the officer.

“So it will be the three dot points … you said could which is different to will.”

The Mayor spoke to it earlier.

“So is that a yes?” asks Cr Marshall – the argument goes on.  “This is a valid point of clarification.” “What was the answer?”

The Mayor says the question has already been answered. She is not allowing further questions. “I believe the question has been answered.”

“How do you know if I am unclear?” asks Cr Marshall. “It wasn’t answered.”

“Please continue.” The Mayor asks if anyone else has anything to say.

Cr Cusack asks how Council manages the process of writing to various politicians and hearing back from them and then putting in place the information … “I am confused in that sense.” “If we don’t get anything from a Minster” other than a letter of receipt. “We’ve asked for some specific things – seeking a review… and further consultation. If those aren’t forth-coming, how do we get to put the addendum together.” He says he is trying to get the mechanics of the motion right.

Cr Cusack says he was seeking clarification – “I am concerned about how the motion will work, can we get some guidance from governance of the stepping out and developing a response here. I don’t know when these parts are going to come together.”

The Mayor is not sure what Cr Cusack wants to know.

Cr Cusack says “why would you bother putting in an addendum …” He says he will speak to the motion.

The Mayor asks him to continue to speak without turning his microphone off. “Continue speaking then, Cr Cusack.”

Cr Cusack says the  motion has several conflicting things in it.

The Mayor asks if anyone else would like to speak. Cr Lawrence closes – there is an interjection from a councillor – possibly Councillor Nation and then other voices – possibly Cr Marshall who continues to talk over the Mayor asking her to be quiet while Cr Lawrence closes.

He says the motion is juts about pointing out there has been a change in Melbourne Airport’s intentions. “We have to be proactive.”

For: Sure, Sipek, Marshall, Sharpe, Cusack, Gauci-Maurici, Lawrence

Agst: Byrne, Nation

Urgent Business

Delegates Reports

Cr Surace reports briefly on the Metropolitan Transport Forum and a recent discussion about strategy.

Close of Meeting to public

Confidential Reports: 203-211 Keilor Road, Essendon – Construction of a multi-storey building

 

 

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