Friday, October 16, 2009

From the Chamber Tues 13 Oct - Council votes not to sell public land

There were several important items on last weeks council meeting agenda - The full minutes are available on the Glen Eira council website - click on under links.

Firstly Cr. Oscar Lobo was sworn in and warmly welcomed as the new councillor for Tucker Ward to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Nick Staikos.

Oscar has a financial and banking background, is well known in the Bentleigh area and has had a long involvement with several community groups.

Packer Park - decision on disused former site of Mckinnon Bowls Club
As most readers will be aware in August council announced a proposal to sell this land which is adjacent to Packer Park for a two storey development to be built. This sale would fund the acquisition of 112 and 118 Oakleigh Rd , two properties that are surrounded on three sides by the park.

This proposal went out for public consultation, with a community meeting held in late Aug and many submissions received . The overall position expressed from the community was that whilst the acquisition of the Oakleigh rd properties was supported this shouldnt be linked to the sale of the bowling green site and this land should not be sold but kept as parkland or for other community uses

All nine councillors voted for a motion endorsing this view.

I spoke of the importance of fully consulting with the community in deciding on the future use of this land.


  1. One can only hope that the decision not to sell the bowling green becomes a precursor for many more such decisions - that is, the refusal to sell off any park land in the municipality. I also hope that this decision also sends a clear message to the bureaucrats that their proposals need to be not only well thought out first, but that there is the necessity to gauge public opinion from the beginning - not at the end of a process. It would also behove these bean counters to realise that hyperbole and euphemisms no longer work on an alert and increasingly aware community who will not put up with pathetic spin such as 'improving packer park'!!!

  2. Well-done Councillors on the Parker Park outcome.

    This outcome to keep the land for much needed public use, and not to sell, could not have been envisage even a year ago. What a difference a few new Councillors can make to the mix.

    Firstly keeping the land near Nina Court in Tucker Ward and now the keeping of the old bowls club site in Rosstown Ward.

    Maybe it also shows just how out of step the bureaucrats are with local sentiment, when they continually try to pull stunts like this. Lets hope the message gets through.

    Thousands of residents, present and for generations to come will appreciate these two decisions.

    Truly a wise and thoughtful decision that can be built on.

    The purchase of 118 Oakleigh Rd should be carried through, and the use of that property as a Kindergarten, fully renovated of course to be energy neutral as well as being visually integrated into the surrounding landscape, this would be a wonderful vision worthy of community support.

    I am sure Commonwealth and State Government Grant could be sought to assist with this development, if the will of the bureaucrats is there.

    We can do wonderful things working together with care and vision.

    Lets do it for our local kids.

  3. Neil, congratulations on having the courage of your convictions in voicing your dissent as to the tone of the response(s) to certain public questions. It is indeed high time that councillors did not simply sit back and accept all the garbage that is trotted out in their name. If councillors are to govern, then they should also be the guardians of what is true, what is acceptable behaviour, and what is accurate. Neil, my heartfelt thanks for getting the ball rolling!

  4. While I am absolutely estactic that the 9 councillors have listened to the community and taken this stand, I must admit I also have to wonder why I should be so happy that councillors are actually doing their job (i.e. listening to the community and taking a stand).

    But I certainly don't wish this passing thought to at all detract from the win our councillors achieved over the Packer Park issue.

    Can we have more of the same please?