Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ewaste - huge turnout at first collection day

Last Sunday ,the 26th Feb ,at the Glen Eira town hall car park, council ran the first of three ewaste collection days where TVs, computers and the like could be dropped off and disposed responsibly to be almost completely recycled- see prev postings.

Am pleased to report that approx 50 tonnes was disposed via over 1100 cars(ironically another interesting side-issue here) well above last years amount of 30 tonnes.

All ewaste disposed responsibly here is less that would have ended up on nature strips and in landfill - a great example of the community endorsing with their actions good environmental initiatives.

The next collection day is scheduled for-

Moorleigh Community Village
Saturday 24th March

Biodiversity Forum announced

The first community forum on biodiversity will be held on

Wednesday 14th March
Caulfield Cup Room
Glen Eira Town Hall

Biodiversity - what it means in our municipality and what our community would like to see achieved in this important area have been constant themes in the annual Environment forums.

Due to the complexity of this issue it was felt that a forum solely devoted to this would allow the community the best opportunity to engage in helping the formation of new initiatives and policy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Glen Eira reforms continued

Here are a range of reforms primarily on council meeting procedures that I am presently advocating for -

- introduce a public question time along reasonable guidelines at the beginning of each council meeting, currently only written questions allowed.

- introduce notice of motion provisions as outlined in previous postings

- abolish Ward grants currently at $5k pa per ward spent at Crs discresion - these are seldom used and are a hangover from a previous era.

- publish on Glen Eira homepage recordings of council meetings

- also publish VCAT record on website with link to all VCAT decisions so residents, developers and objectors can see council's record on planning disputes.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Glen Eira reforms - relocation of council meetings

Along with a series of council meeting reforms that I will continue to advocate for I feel there is also a strong case for an alternative facilty in the town hall to be used for normal council meetings like the format used for Yarra Ranges above.

The present court-room like chamber with its heiracheal seating arrangements might have reflected local govt one hundred years ago but now is totally out of kilter with a modern progressive council seeking to engage with the community and encourage attendance at meetings.

The traditional chamber could still be used for ceremonial aspects like the Mayoral and new Councillor inaugurations or for showing visitors where councils used to operate many years ago!

From a practical and symbolic view this reform is much needed.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Elwood Floods Forum - Monday March 26th

With the recent aniversary of the February 2011 floods the following community forum -details below from webpage listed in links-organised by the local environment group LIVE is very timely .

I have accepted an invitation to speak as a Glen Eira councillor - with the vast majority of run-off coming from our muncipality this is an increasingly important issue and one that was raised at last Thursday's community plan forum in Ormond.

The Elwood Floods Forum will be held as follows:

7pm-9pm Monday 26 March 2012
Phoenix Theatre, Elwood College,
101 Glen Huntly Road, Elwood

In February 2011 Elwood was devastated by a flood. It was called a 1 in 500 year flood. However if you actually look at the records, there was a similar flood in February 1989, and another in the 1960's. The records show that there is a major flood in Elwood, about once every 20 years.

Many questions spring to mind:

■Is the 1 in 500 year flood really a 1 in 20 year flood?
■Will major floods become more frequent?
■When floods do occur, will they be worse, and do more damage?
■Can something be done about the floods?
■Who is responsible for taking action, and what are they doing?
■What are the responsibilities of Council, State and Federal Government and Melbourne Water?
■If the next flood struck tomorrow, are people prepared?
■Are homes adequately insured? Are insurance premiums now prohibitively expensive?
■If you can't return to your home where can you go?

LIVE is organising the Elwood Floods Forum to ask these questions of people in positions of responsibility. We are not seeking to blame anyone for the floods, or the damage they do. We just want to understand the current situation, and to discuss practical responses with those who have the power to do something.

Speakers are:

Felicity Browning and Meni Christofakis - Elwood residents flooded in 2010 will speak of their experience.Audience members who were flooded will be invited to tell of their experiences.

Then the following speakers will have 5 minutes each to respond:

■Rachel Powning, Mayor of the City of Port Phillip
■Martin Foley MP, State Labor Member for Albert Park
■We hope that the State Government Minister Water, Peter Walsh, will speak.
■Adam Bandt MP, Federal Greens Member for Melbourne
■Rufus Coffield-Feith, Elwood Resident and Australian Youth Climate Coalition co-president
■David Spratt, Climate Change Expert, co-Author of Climate Code Red
Questions and debate: The audience will be invited to ask questions.

Also present will be experts on Flood Insurance, Real Estate, Flood Prevention, Emergency Services, Melbourne Water, Local Councils and State Government representatives. These people will be introduced at the commencement of the forum and will be asked to respond to questions appropriate to their roles

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rosstown Community forums coming up

Every five years Councils are required to adopt a Community Plan which identifies and outlines the priorities, issues and direction that each municipality will work to over this time period.

The present plan in Glen Eira is from 2008-13. I would to have preferred that the plan be consulted and formulated in the first half of 2013, that is at the end of the time not 3/4 thru. This would have allowed the full data from the recent census (not yet available) to be used and a new councillor group post election in have input. I wasn't in the majority here.

Saying that the following community consultation forums are still very important in providing residents with the opportunity to have input into the Glen Eira Community plan.

Thursday 16 February 2012 - Glen Huntly, McKinnon and Ormond residents
Ormond Senior Citizens Centre
2 Newham Grove, Ormond

Wednesday 22 February 2012 - Carnegie and Murrumbeena residents
Carnegie Library and Community Centre – Boyd Room
7 Shepparson Avenue, Carnegie

Other forums covering all wards are listed in the council homepage - see links

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Attendance election for Glen Eira

At last Tuesday's night meeting Councillors voted for an attendance election to be conducted in Glen Eira at the local government elections to be held on October 27th this year -see previous posting.

I fully supported this position as it will provide the best process for the community to elect a new Councillor group for the next term.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ewaste collection days announced

The following three ewaste collection days will be held in the first half of this year. There was a great response to the collection days held last year with approx 80 tonnes of electronic waste including computers and TVs being almost completely recycled instead of otherwise going to landfill.

Collection days across Glen Eira will be:

Sunday 26 February — 8am–4pm
Glen Eira Town Hall, corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield

Saturday 24 March — 8am–4pm
Moorleigh Community Village, 90–92 Bignell Road, Bentleigh East

Sunday 20 May — 8am–4pm
Carnegie Swim Centre, Moira Avenue, Carnegie