Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From the Chamber Council Meeting Tues 1st Sept

It was a long meeting on Tuesday night encompassing a wide range of issues.
Here is a summary of some of the items-full minutes are available on council site- under links

First of all I would like to wish Cr Nick Staikos best wishes for the future. In the wake of legislation that will come in to effect soon that prevents Crs working for State MPs ,Cr. Staikos stated his intentions to resign from council. Nick has been a strong advocate for his community in the Tucker Ward and has worked hard in many areas particularly Aged Care services and campaigned tirelessly for the GE Sports and Aquatic Centre(GESAC) to be built.His very high primary vote at last years election is testament to this.

Planning Application Decisions-

The four storey development for 21 units at 40 Koornang Rd Carnegie was approved. I felt this was the correct decision. This site is close to public transport and the local shopping strip and is where more intensive , sustainable developments are better located. There are certainly existing traffic congestion problems near the site at the cnr of Koornang rd and Arawatta st that need to be better managed.

The decision to grant a permit for two four storey apartment buildings at 7-13 Dudley st E Caulfield was again were based on the suitability of this site and its close proximty to public transport and the Monash University campus.

Planning Scheme Review-
Glen Eira is required is required to review its Planning Scheme by June 2010.

This is an important and timely project that will include a review of GE's Muncipal Strategic Statement to provide improved guidence for residents , planner and developers. There will also be a review of all council town planning policies.

The items 8.6, 8.7 and 8.8 all deal with this issue in detail including a proposal to replace existing Significant Character Areas(SCA) with stronger protection thru a Neighborhood Character Overlay(NCO).

I was concerned that there was not enough community engagement and input throughout this review and moved an admendment to include the conducting of community meetings/forums in this process.

This item was included in the agenda to answer and present the council position on financial assertions raised by an advertisement placed by the Glen Eira Community Association in the Leader newspaper the previous week.

I would encourage a good read thru of this item.

What was contentious was the personal nature of parts of this item- parts 3.2 and the paragraph
on top of page 55.

Cr. Hyams to his credit moved an amendment that would withdraw both these parts.

While this amendment was commendable, I felt this whole item was unnecessary and an inappropriate way of answering community concerns and also was being used as a platform to denigerate anyone who questioned council policy.

I voted accordingly, along with Cr Penhalluriack, against the admendment and the item.
I spoke of the need for this council to change its outlook from a sometimes confrontational stance to a far more concilliatory one.


  1. Totally suppport your position on item 8.15 Neil. It was an unnecessarily heavy-handed response from council.

    What I'd like to know is why it was on the agenda at all. Do you know whether it was the CEO's sole iniatiative or was it at the request of any of the councillors?

  2. Neil, I would like to congratulate you and Frank Penhalluriack for the stance both of you took on several vital issues that you outline in your report. Planning and MSS involves the entire community and it is therefore incumbent on council to ensure that 'consultation' actually means consultation - as comprehensive, detailed, and informative as possible. You are both also to be commended for your refusal to allow personal attacks, and information that was procured in a most questionable manner, to go unchallenged.

  3. thanks Glenhuntly- there was general support from crs for an agenda item to present the councils response to this advertisement.

  4. But did you as councillors

    1. Have any input into this agenda item?

    2. did you actually see it before it became an agenda item?

    3. Or were you simply told 'council must do something in order to respond' and left it all in the hands of the administration to work out the 'fine details'?

    4, Did anyone protest at its final inclusion in the agenda?

  5. I don't see why this item was ever put on the agencda of a council meeting. Will council respond to any and all ads taken out in the local rag this way? How ridiculous.

    And why is the personal denigrating stuff still there? Did the call to remove this slander fail?

  6. thanks anom from sept 4-

    Admin prepared the detail of the agenda item after receiving general support from crs for an item to present the councils position in response to the advert.

    This was done at relatively short notice which left little time before it became a public agenda item to examine or 'protest'.

  7. This example clearly illustrates how impotent councillors really are. If the majority of councillors felt that the personal attacks were extraneous to the debate, then why didn't they insist that it not be included in the agenda in the first place? Don't councillors get copies of agendas before they are placed online, or available to the public? The end result of this farce is that the offensive material still remains in the public domain via the minutes - the discussion surrounding it is however unavailable for public consumption. The remedy of course is simple: agendas must be set with councillor approval and proceedings of meetings must be webcast or at least the audio files available online.

  8. Bottom line.....The Machiavellian rule of thumb worked....opps sorry about that, but its in the Agenda now and by definition must remain in the Minutes. It will be interesting to see if ALL Councillors with their varying degrees of morality are satisfied that the Leader of the Administration arm of Council working with this method. 3.2 was set to "embarrass" a detractor of the Council, but it says much about the man himself, the tools he used to achieve that. A draft consultation document from a community group that was 'confidential' until it was selectively published in part by the very person who had previously insisted on its withdrawal from the Group's committee members, at great personal distress of its President!.

    Is such a man suitable to be in charge of a great number of staff, personal and confidential information, and an advisor to the the Councillors?

    Perhaps there is talent out there to be tapped that comes with all the skill and intelligence required of the job - together with integrity! Let's hope ALL Councillors see the value of advertising the position of a most important post in Glen Eira Council.

    "You cannot have a little integrity or a lot of integrity. There is no sliding scale for integrity. You either have it, or you don't"

  9. I have read 8.15 and I fail to see how any of the information is denegrating. Also failing to defend Council to me shows weakness. We all know Frank and Don are close and he should have withdrawn rather then voted.

  10. Hello Anon, All you say has a ring of truth about it, as we speak Glen Eira is have a Local Law 2009 review. Issues like the one you have highlighted can be put forward and hopefully good ideas may be adopted and the procedures for the setting of the Agenda and meeting procedures may change, as they are all set down under the Councils Local Law. The Councils is have a public Local Law meeting soon it advertised on the GE website.
    I think it would be good if folks like yourself came along with relevant issues like the one above and made the night worthwhile.
    We will be it attendance to raise some similar issues.

  11. M Walsh spends a great deal of time espousing her requirements concerning integrity and gives an incomprehensible example without any shred of evidence. I question her integrity. Show us evidence or you have no integrity.

  12. Interesting comment by the last Anon about M Walsh. Reads a lot like the Concerned Resident on Mary's Glen Eira Residents Opinion blog. CR is all the time asking for evidence from Mary and accusing her of lack of integrity if she does not. But when Mary does produce plenty of evidence CR simply refuses to accept it and continues to argue its own merry way regardless. I suggest that Anon and/or CR devotion to whatever the Administration/Council is doing makes him/her blind to see the spin,untruth and statistics being used against Council questioners and detractors.