Sunday, September 25, 2011

Community Market - Saturday 8th October

Every three months there is a great community market held at;

Uniting Church
Murrumbeena rd Murrumbeena
Saturday 8th October
9am to 2pm -

Plenty of local crafts and produce to sample and enjoy!

All details can be found at the link section- market murumbeena - bottom right.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Refugee policies - race to the bottom by major parties

Normally I haven't commented on Federal issues on this blog - However the past few days have seen extraordinary disappointing policies from both major parties directed at some of the most vunerable people in our region- asylum seekers.

In a low-brow race to attract a certain percentage of swinging voters in marginal seats both Labor and the Liberals in my view have sold out on their respective previous histories of advocating strongly for human rights and protection for those fleeing war and tyranny.

Listening to Malcolm Fraser's crtitical commentry tonight I lament the depths the Liberals have now succumbed on this issue - Equally my grandfather a friend of John Cain snr and a prominent trade unionist who battled thru the great depression would shudder to think what Federal Labor has now become.

Like many I became active in the Greens after the 2001 Tampa incident. That decision is certainly vindicated by these recent events.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Council Childcare fees - report requested

At tonight's (Tuesday) Council meeting I requested a report on childcare fees detailing the following information-

a/ childcare fees currently charged and 2012 fee schedule for all childcare service providers in Glen Eira

b/ childcare fees currently charged and 2012 fee schedule for all surrounding Councils

c/ rankings of Glen Eira's childcare fees currently charged and our 2012 fee schedule against both the above criteria.

In the June budget Council passed the full increase of new staff ratios in 2012 onto parents.
As outlined in previous postings I spoke of the concern that our Council's fees next year will place us at the higher end of the market and not in the middle range as has been the case previously.

This may also be placing our local families in an increasingly more difficult situation in being able to afford and access council's childcare services.

I will look forward to recieving the reports findings

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Progressive Policies this term in Glen Eira

With local government elections due in October 2012 thought it a good time to reflect on some of the new initiatives/policies that have been highlights of this term so far and that have been featured in previous postings. They all have strong environmental, economic and community features.

Bicycling Strategy - first strategy in a decade - fully funded ($2m) and implemented over the next 3/4 years-will improve and enhance amnenity and safety for all forms of transport.

Bin Downsizing - by reducing to a predominantly 120 litre rubbish bin our council has moved from having one of the worst diversion to landfill rates to a median range across the metro area- the very sucessfull uptake of this scheme has also significantly increased our recycling and green waste rates. With landfill state charges skyrocketing this change has saved GE in the order of $300k pa.

Carbon Reduction Plan - first ever plan -draft currently out for community comment.

Childcare - first time funds ($1.6m) in over a decade allocated for new facilities- to replace existing centre at Elsternwick and sorely needed with the lack of childcare in the area.

Caulfield Racecourse - for the first time in agreement with the MRC a public park and amenities is being developed in the centre of the course- whilst acknowledging there are shortcomings,this is still a significant improvement.

Ewaste - first time this problem has been recognised and addressed with three successful collection days held over the past year and further actions listed in the ESS (Environmental Sustainability Strategy) for this year.

Energy Efficiency - for the first time an energy audit was conducted on six major council sites resulting in measures fully implemented that increased efficiency by upto 30% and reduced costs.

Tree Protection Register - first time tree protection on private property endorsed-register guidelines being developed at present.

Streetlighting - $2m allocated over next two years for changeover to energy efficient T5 globes across whole municipality; will reduce council's emissions by upto 14%. On current rising electricity costs- a payback period of 6/7 years is envisaged.

Sustainable Transport Strategy- first time a strategy has been developed-moves focus away from cars and importantly includes a walking strategy component. This is a very timely with traffic congestion an ever increasing problem.

All these initiatives I feel will be of great benefit to our communities especially in the years ahead and the whole Councillor group deserve credit for supporting these important changes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Environment Forum held last Wednesday

The Glen Eira Community Environment forum an annual event was held last Wednesday night at the Town Hall.

Whilst the numbers in attendance were slightly less than in previous years the interest, expertise and passion was as high as ever!

Five broad themes were canvassed and discussed with valuable input from all present.
They were greenhouse emissions, waste management, biodiversity, water conservation and community education.
The issues surrounding these important aspects were highlighted and prioritised.

The feeling amongst many of those present was that Glen Eira is making significant progress compared to several years ago and that the level of discussion and input from the community is now more highly recognised and valued.

One of new initiatives will be a forum solely on biodiversity scheduled for early 2012.

All the suggestions and priorities raised at the forum will be assessed by the environment committee for possible recommendation to Council as part of next years Environmental Sustainabilty Strategy (ESS).