Monday, August 12, 2013

New Planning Zones announced for Glen Eira

Last week I attended a press conference where State Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced in Bentleigh that Glen Eira will become the first municipality in Melbourne to convert
to the new town planning zones.

This was achieved with virtually a complete translation of our existing zones into the new ones ie no boundary changes with the added benefit of mandatory height restrictions for the first time ever over approx 97% of the municipality.

This breaks down as such in area and height to the new zones:
Neighborhood Residential -approx 80%- max of 2 dwellings per lot, max 8m= 2storeys
Both areas below centred on public transport proximity add up to approx 17%
General Residential- along tramlines and smaller strips/shopping centres 10.5m efectively 3 storeys
Resdential Growth- around larger shopping stips/centres 13.5m effectively 4 storeys

The remaining approx 3% comes(also near PT) under the new Commercial zoning introduced on July 15th by the State govt with no height limits which was already the current case.

It is a very good outcome which I feel curtails the power and influence of VCAT and provides better surerity by focusing future development around our public transport nodes.

Extensive public consultation was undertaken in 2010 on the local planning scheme with the key improvements desired by the community being;
- height limits in residential areas
- the introduction of transition zones to better 'step down' the effects of development
- increasing % of pervious surface per site
- restricting development in the minimum change residential zone (now neighborhood residential)

It is very pleasing that these have all now been accomplished.

Full details on Council website home page including maps of zoning - see under links.

Monday, July 1, 2013

New funding for Sustainable Education activities

At the last Council meeting the following motion was passed which will result in an extra $145k pa of funding including for the first time in Glen Eira provision for a Sustainable Education Officer to be appointed.

That Council
a. Boost recycling education activities ($60,000 pa)
b. Support for Schools Environment Network and other community environment groups (up to $70,000 pa)
c. Investigate implementing additional community based sustainability programs($15,000)
d. Allow for the above activities in the 2013-2014 Budget
e. Increase advocacy activities to encourage the State government to undertake further school sustainability initiatives.

Crs Pilling/Delahunty
That the recommendation in the report be adopted with the following
“Part b to read, ‘Provide support for the Schools Environment Network and other community environment groups (up to $70,000pa) – this may include provision for a designated Sustainability Education Officer.”
and add:“(f) After the expiration of two years undertake a review of the results and benefits from the above funding arrangements.”

The MOTION was put and CARRIED unanimously.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Murrumbeena Park- new play and community area opens

Last week the fantastic new play and community area at Murrumbeena Park in Kangaroo Rd opened. Its a really great facility for young and old to enjoy. Over the long weekend I visited the site and was delighted to see many hundreds of children and their families visting the area. The flying fox was certainly a hit along with the many other challenges there.

This project was costed at almost $1 million with $250k being a State Govt grant. I was always supportive of this project believing it is money very well spent in providing quality community facilities for all ages.

There will be official opening in July but most importantly it is now open for all to enjoy!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Improving waste and recycling services

At tomorrow night's Council meeting agenda item 9.3 relates to a review of Council's free hard rubbish kerbside collection service. It also identifies future improvements/terms as recommended in the upcoming tender process.
The changes suggested especially in relation to ewaste are very welcome and I will be encouraging my collegues to support all the considerations and recommendations-Full details in item 9.3 on Council website - see under links.

From the agenda papers the review has found-
"There is high level of community satisfaction with Council’s Waste Management Services generally.Some people, however, would like Council to better address the issue of hard and illegal dumped rubbish on naturestrips.
The waste industry generally considers Council’s current method of hard rubbish collection best practice.
No other method of hard rubbish collection appears to provide a better deterrent to illegal rubbish dumping.

In retendering Council’s hard rubbish service, Council should consider:
o Options to increase recycling of hard and dumped rubbish
o Including ewaste recycling in the hard rubbish collection service
Recent changes to Federal Government legislation requires suppliers of electronic equipment to now fund the recycling of televisions and computers. These changes have reduced the cost of Council providing Ewaste collection days from about $120,000 to $55,000.
o Ways to increase proactive reporting of illegal dumped rubbish to reduce time
between dumping and removal
o Extending the hard rubbish collection service to working days over the
Christmas / New Year period.

That Council:
i. Continue with the current hard rubbish collection service method: on call,
presented on the naturestrip.
ii. Retender its Hard Rubbish Collection Service to
a. Include options for greater recycling of the rubbish as outlined in this paper
b. Include options for proactive reporting of dumped rubbish
c. Extend collection days to include all working days over the Christmas/New Year Period.
iii. Move to a kerbside collection of ewaste in 2013-14 ($120,000 already allowed in draft 2013-14 Budget for ewaste collection."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Draft budget and SRP 2013/14 - funds for increased public open space and Carnegie Pool

Last night Council's draft budget for 13/14 and the Strategic Resource Plan SRP (which allocated funds over a decade)were released.

There were many important highlights including from the draft budget

GESAC's popularity means that the sports and aquatic centre is budgeted to cover all its costs this financial year.This includes all the loan repayments and interest which is approx $3m per annum.

Duncan Mckinnon pavillion - $2.5m to complete
Centenary Park pavillion - $1.3m to begin with and $2m the following year to complete

Environmental Sustainability - $1.415m
- completion of energy saving streetlight changeover reducing Council's greenhouse emmissions
by upto 14%- $300k
- community energy audits for residents - $250k
- bicycle strategy- $100k less than other years mainly because most actions now complete
- solar panel trial on council properties incl pavillions - $115k
- drought tolerant grasses on sports grounds that greatly reduce water consumption - $600k

-from the draft SRP
- Booran Rd Reservoir converting to open space -$9.5m over two years from 2015-17
- Carnegie Pool -$5m for upgrading the facility over two years from 2017-19
- Public Open Space strategy -rolling funding increasing from $4m per year in 2017 upto $10.5m in 2023 to fund this strategy

From 1st July 2013 all Public Open Space contributions from new developments will be allocated to the aquisition or improvement of new not pre-existing open space.

Many of these items especially around Public Open Space herald very significant changes for the municipality.

Full details on Council website - view under links - Public submissions very welcome.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Federal Election 2013 - Rose Read Greens Candidate for Goldstein

Recently Rose Read was preselected as the the Greens Candidate for Goldstein in the upcoming Federal Election on September 14th.

Rose was a great candidate for Tucker ward in the recent Council elections and came close to being elected, coming a close fourth. She has extensive experience and understanding of our local communities and will be an excellent candidate as outlined in the details below.

Her expertise and input on Council's environment committee has been invaluable and I wish her all the best for the campaign-

Rose Read – Candidate for Goldstein
Mobile: 0409 132 338
Rose Read is an active community member and resident of Bentleigh. She is a representative on Council’s Environment Committee and works with local government and businesses across Melbourne to improve energy efficiency. She is also an experienced manager of services for children and families. Ms Read said ‘I love living in Bentleigh, where I raised my family and know the community well’. ‘We need a lively, engaged and healthy community for everyone,’ she said. She is standing as a Greens candidate for Council because she wants ‘to see a council that listens and works with community members to improve planning for people and the environment’. She is committed to ‘expanding childcare and kindergartens in the area; actively involving residents in neighbourhood planning and services; providing more open space, adventurous playgrounds and events for all ages; and ensuring better access to activities and services for older residents’.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pavillion progress at Duncan Mckinnon Reserve

Recently along with other Councillors I was provided with an on-site tour of the construction site of our current major capital project - the new pavillion at Duncan Mckinnon. This is a $9.5 million project that will deliver wonderful new modern facilities to the literally thousands of local children and families who play sport at our busiest recreational facility. There will also be a reconfiguration of the carpark to allow for safer traffic movements.

As one who competed on the track from the mid-seventies to now seeing family members participating in the netball competitions there, it is especially pleasing to see this progress.

The photos above show the construction is well advanced-with completion on track for the end of March next year and I will post regular updates-