We urge all residents to read the following very, very carefully since we believe it encapsulates everything that is wrong with Glen Eira City Council.

REQUEST FOR REPORT

Crs Delahunty/Magee
That a report be prepared to determine the best methods to engage with the community surrounding the Caulfield Racecourse in light of impending developments which will impact their amenity. That the report recommend ways to involve the community in helping to shape the future of their area be that through structure planning or another
method used by other councils.

DELAHUNTY: said that this is largely a response to residents and “road works currently going on in the area” and this has ‘raised some residents’ concerns about what our future plans are’ for traffic, and the protection of amenity in the area and infrastructure ‘projects that might be going ahead’ especially because of the ‘population inflow into that area’. Said that she thought council could be ‘innovative’ in how they tried to ‘engage the community in planning’ and that council could ask people what they ‘thought they need’. ‘Some have called this a structure plan’ whilst others just a ‘consultative process’. Said that ‘we do need a platform of advocacy’ and that council needs to ‘understand what residents in that area want’ and it’s important to ‘engage them in conversation because they are facing some changes’. On the 19th July Matthew Guy talked about Stonnington needing to have structure plans (ie in relation to the supreme court decision on Orrong Rd development) and that they lost at ‘vcat because they didn’t have any control’. Admitted that ‘we’re not facing the same challenges’. Whatever Glen Eira decides to call it (‘structure plans’ or ‘advocacy plan’)  she’s ‘asking for officers’ guidance on that’. Hoped that councillors could see that this is about ‘residents who are facing an uncertain future’ in an area where open space hasn’t improved and ‘in an area’ where ‘traffic flow’ and maybe ‘calming measures’ and ‘actually planning for the future’ is needed. She’s therefore seeking ‘guidance’ on the ‘methods’, measures and community views.

MAGEE: did not say anything – “I have nothing further to add’.

LIPSHUTZ: asked Akehurst about the current status of the area

AKEHURST: started off by saying that the ‘history of this area goes back many years’ and there’s the C60 which provides the ‘broad scope’ for ‘what development takes place’. Said that ‘in some ways’ a structure plan does provide a ‘picture of what the future might be’ but that the ‘future’ of the area is ‘very well known’ because ‘the detailed footprint of buildings is known’ as well as ‘the area for office’. ‘The number of dwellings is known’. Then stated that ‘what is not known is matters of detail’ and that will be known once the Development Plan is submitted for approval and before approval is given ‘that development plan goes out to the community for comment and consultation’ and that should happen ‘early in the new year’. People can comment ‘but I have to say it’s limited comment’ because ‘there is a degree of certainty’ that ‘has been locked in’ with the acceptance of the C60. Said that residents’ comments can only go to council and not VCAT because ‘that’s not available’. Claimed that ‘the reason for that is that the opportunity’ to talk about ‘the scale of development has come and gone’.

OKOTEL: asked about the need for ‘this report’

AKEHURST: said it was hard for him to ‘comment on that’ but there might be positives in ‘getting the community to understand what they can comment on’ and what they ‘can’t make a comment on’ and that ‘when the development plan goes out it was always intended that that would happen’. Said that they ‘already have presentations ready to go’ and that these presentations could answer ‘those sorts of questions’ that would crop up for residents. So he thought that there probably ‘is some value in informing the community of what their rights are’.

DELAHUNTY: reiterated that there is ‘value’ for residents and for councillors ‘getting advice’ and for council to be ‘engaging in a conversation’ with residents. Admitted that she doesn’t ‘live in that area’ but if she did she might be ‘feeling a litle bit frightened’ or ‘a little bit wary of what’s coming ahead’. So she would like her ‘representatives’ to ask for her ‘opinion on what’s coming ahead’ and for council to establish a ‘platform of advocacy’ for people’s needs. Council won’t know ‘what people want until we ask them’. Said that ‘we’ don’t ‘have experience on what traffic will be like’ and therefore they need to ask people in order to ‘get ahead’ fo the upcoming issues.

MOTION PUT: Motion carried. ESAKOFF VOTED AGAINST. Delahunty called for a division.

COMMENT

There may be some ‘excuses’ for both Delahunty and Magee. The former was not on council when the C60 was rammed through by the gang. Magee was not a member of the gang’s Special Committee. Having said that, the appalling hypocrisy (if not straight out treachery) of this council is writ large in the discussion on this request for a report. When council did basically nothing in terms of investigating traffic, infrastructure, etc. at the time of the C60, and the environmental impacts this would have on the entire region, it is now a bit rich for these kinds of ‘studies’ to be undertaken. And when residents weren’t listened to in 2011, why should they have any confidence that their views will be listened to now? And what can residents suggest anyway? The die is cast and it’s once again a tale of too little too late – as always intended we maintain.

We must also admit our disgust upon hearing Akehurst admit that council has ‘presentations ready to go’ on the MRC stitched up Development Plan. What an absolute betrayal of all residents. No presentation, much less information, and god forbid, ‘consultation’ over the Residential Zones, but now, at the behest of the MRC no doubt, Council has worked its little butt off and done their hatchet work. Akehurst’s statements should also be seen for what they are – utterly misleading and probably intentional. He knows very well that if the development plan comes within cooee of the Incorporated Plan then this lot of compliant, sycophantic councillors will pass anything. The contractors have already admitted that the C60 will not be 1200 units, but over 1500. They have already announced that commercial and retail space is close to double that originally stated. As for height – well, dear readers, your guesses are as good as ours.

The entire C60 process was a sham and an atrocity right from the start. It sounds as if this will continue!

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