Wednesday, July 1, 2009

from the chamber - COUNCIL MEETING 30 JUNE

While this was a meeting dominated by endorsing the budget and community plan there was also several other interesting items- here are some thoughts and comments-full minutes are on glen eira link -

Was especially pleased that there was a unaminous vote to retain the reserve near Nina Crt which borders South Rd and not sell off this well loved open space- as we all know this is a premium in GE! Cr.Magee deserves credit for his work on this.

The large development planned for the cnr of Glenhuntly and Orrong Rds incorporating Safeway was not supported chiefly because of concerns re height - three of seven level towers and traffic congestion- a more moderate proposal in the order of 4/5 storeys was deemed more suitable and I supported this refusal.
Likewise for two developments in Murrumbeena. 487 Neerim Rd has had several applications over the past few years but by a close 5- 4 vote it was considered to be still an over-development for the site which borders Riley Reserve.

2009/10 BUDGET -
Many councillors spoke in glowing tribute that this budget heralded a new 'clean and green' Glen Eira which was óver the top' but certainly there are positive initiatives in this area.

Grafitti will be addressed on a wide scale for the first time with $210K allocated for a full cleanup of GE and funds available for subsequent follow-up actions.

Greenpower uptake on council assets to be increased from 5% to 15%
-this will cost approx $30-$40K extra per year

$260K to be spent on energy efficiency measures to bring about a 20% energy reduction on six key council sites - the bringing forward of this program
to doubling expenditure in the first year was well supported by councillors and well initiated by Cr. Tang

Increased uptake of the drought resistant grasses program- this year there will be six ovals converted instead of three- Whilst water usage is high in the first year of establishment thereafter the grounds can survive well with a good playing surface in our increasing rain-deficient environment

Whilst these are all good steps forward of which I have certainly been advocating strongly for, most are modest measures as practised by many councils-and GE is encouragingly catching up on. It can be a challenge being in a conservative council!

The largest extra budget item was for GESAC of which I have spoken out of my concerns re the cost of this facility($45m) previously. In this years budget there is $14m allocated for construction costs.

CARNEGIE POOL- $200k is allocated to maintain the facility and keep it open while GESAC is being built- With no funds provided for in the Strategic Resources Plan (SRP) for a future new facility, I am concerned about the fate of this pool once GESAC is built and will continue to advocate on this issue.


  1. Well done councillors on not selling our open space. The CEO seems bo be totally obsessed with selling our public open space, maybe he increases his chances of getting his 10% bonus for coming in under budget. Whilst fleecing us of our open space.

    If the CEO's is that out of touch with the councillors and residents it's time for him to move on.

  2. Wasn't it a Coles site? not Safeway - in Orrong Road which may still happen it VCAT is involved.

  3. It makes financial sense that Glen Eira Council will not sustain the second pool once GESAC is up and running.

    I think residents are deluding themselves if they think there is the remotest chance that Carnegie will survive unless there is another Councillor Jim Magee clone, prepared to put in the years of hard work to prevent its closure. Realistically can two pools be sustained for 123,000 residents?

    The Administration have prepared residents by making no long term provision for maintenance, but at least on Crown Land it can revert to open space and not be sold off!!

  4. Carnegie Pool is definitely doomed. But what has not been canvassed in any shape or form is whether residents want to retain 2 pools, or if the creation of GESAC is enough to compensate for the closure of the Carnegie site. Unless there is an indepth 'consultation' process on this point, it appears that the original intention of the administration to have only one pool in glen eira is a fait accompli! When Carnegie closes, this will be another example of council's failure to fully consult with the community.

  5. Consultation is not enough. People usually vote with their feet. Attendance at Carnegie pool is what will or will not save this pool from its demise! However, there is a relationship between attendance and pool's features and quality. If the pool is not upgraded it will not be supported as well.That is the issue to press your Councillors. What annoys me is that the outcome of the Recreation Study was driven by the administration just like many other investigations. When will the Councillors be determining the Terms of Referece of any investigations? And ensure that community views are taken into consideration from the start!

  6. You are right Mary, it was a Coles development at Orrong Rd.

  7. You would have to be very naive to think the Carnegie pool will continue to operate once GESAC opens. Council are avoiding making any sort of commitment on this - but as soon as GESAC opens there will be an excuse found to close Carnegie - it is leaking, it cannot be repaired, attendance has fallen, etc. Council will claim they have no choice and it is the responsible thing to do.
    Wouldn't it be a a refreshing change if council was honest with he community and acknowledged this up front.

  8. I will certainly be pushing council to be upfront and open about the future of Carnegie pool with the community, whilst at the same time strongly advocating for having a pool there.

  9. What about the Recreation Centre in Maple St South Caulfield? I believe it is used by 100,000 people a year.