In what can only be interpreted as a real slap in the face to community, 4 councillors last night showed exactly how hypocrisy reigns supreme in Glen Eira. For all the talk of ‘listening to the community’ and the absolute waste of public funds on ‘consultation’ year after year after year, it is the secret, behind the scenes ‘negotiations’ that matter far more than what ratepayers want. As Pilling so disingenuously stated ‘consultation is only part’ of decision making despite the fact that in September 2013 he had extolled the virtues and the binding nature of ‘consultation’ when he moved the motion to ‘restore’ the conservatory saying at the time that the motion ‘was justified by the consultation’.

The conservatory will be destroyed thanks to the votes of Lipshutz, Pilling, Esakoff and Delahunty – the latter seconding the Lipshutz motion. Hyams and Okotel were absent. Camden ward voters should note that this decision was supported by 2 out of their 3 representatives! Sounness, Magee and Lobo voted against the motion.

The hypocrisy mentioned above is made all the more apparent when we turn to our archives and highlight the sad history of the conservatory ‘debates’ over the years. Yes, individuals may alter their positions but certainly not for a paltry $200,000 and not when the community has spoken again and again about what they want done. This issue we believe is far more about integrity than money! As we’ve said, millions of dollars in budget blow-outs occur (ie Duncan MacKinnon, Booran Road Reservoir; car parks at GESAC) and no doubt will continue to occur. We therefore invite readers to peruse previous comments made by these four councillors at different times and ask themselves whether or not they are truly the voice of the people?

OCTOBER 2011

Pilling – sooner ‘we get back to restoring the facility the cheaper it will be’…

MAY 2013

Lipshutz – ‘There’s no suggestion’ that the place would be ‘demolished’…….‘it’s for the community to decide’.

Delahunty – important that community has input to get this ‘right’ but the question is what’s ‘right’. It’s always been her ‘ethos’ that the role of a councillor is to ‘represent’ and there are strong views about this issue and community groups such as Friends of Caulfield Park ‘can inform us’ and ‘own this process’ as to what it will look like down the track and not ‘spend the community’s money’ on what mightn’t ‘be the end result’. Said that previous consultation wasn’t about concepts and ‘possibly didn’t ask the right questions’ nor ‘broad enough’. Thus she thought that ‘we have to take the lead’ and tell people ‘these are the options’ and ‘hoped’ that community groups ‘take hold of this’. They should ‘inform us’ and ‘help us deliver’ the outcomes. Previous survey ‘only heard from 312 people’ and that’s ‘possibly not enough’ and wanted a ‘more ringing endorsement’ about what to do. ‘Will cop’ that this (ie consultation) has been ‘done before’ but ‘let this be the last time’.

Pilling: Said that the last resolution was to fix up the conservatory and ‘protect’ it and that this motion just ‘delays that’.

SEPTEMBER 2013

Delahunty – ‘that’s the process, that’s how it should happen’ that people are asked. ‘I really want to see the community involved in this’ so that in ‘ten years time’ if it comes up again. Wanted community groups to put forward their ‘great ideas’ and that it ‘encourages interaction’. ‘It’s a very clear outcome now’.

Pilling – acknowledged that there were divergent views from councillors but they were motivated by the desire to use ‘the conservatory better’ and ‘this has been justified by the consultation’. Ultimately ‘this is a win for everyone’.

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