Delahunty moved to ‘note the report’ and added that council seeks information about the money that was paid by the MRC to the government and that this include ‘advice’ from the Valuer General about the ‘reasons’ for the landswap and the amount paid, when the money was received, how much and ‘the Department that received the funds’. She also asked for a ‘copy’ of documents that the then Minister Gavin Jennings spoke about in parliament at the time. If necessary, council should use FOI to get the information ‘if required’. Sounness seconded.

DELAHUNTY: Began by saying that the landswap was before her time but clearly something that’s grated on people. Said she was surprised that the money paid was so large when it was claimed to be ‘compensation’ for the ‘inequity of the swap itself’. She wanted to know more ‘about that money’ since the MRC’s last 3 annual reports writes about $8 million being set aside for the buying of land and this could be the buy out of private properties but also contain the money paid to the government. Therefore no one knows how much they actually paid and what they thought it was for. Hansard mentioned this several times in response to members asking questions. Said that David Davis was asking whether the swap was equitable and he referred to the panel he was chairman of and that he was ‘still uncomfortable’ about the Trust and land swap. Sue Pennicuik has also been a long time advocate and been a ‘great help’ for the community. She also asked ‘a lot of questions at the time’ from Gavin Jennings and wanted to ensure that the community could ‘derive’ some benefit. Jennings answered that the land would be valued, and that this then would be approved by ‘the Government Land Monitor’. This would ‘ensure’ that the government isn’t ‘disadvantaged’. Jennings then went on to say that the swap was contingent on the approval of these bodies and that there would be commercial rates paid for the land. The act was then passed. Delahunty then said if these assurances ‘were given’ but the public still doesn’t know the details such as ‘where the money went’ and ‘what it should have been used for’ so that when the vote was taken in parliament they voted on the assumption that things would happen, but none of this has happened. She ‘presumes’ that the money went into general revenue. Thought that ‘this money should come back to provide the community’ with the ‘equity it was supposed to deliver’. Said that council was ‘more than happy’ to move the depot to the Booran land site which ‘we never wanted in the first place’. Council would need to spend ‘residents’ money’ or ‘get residents’ money back’ from the landswap. Summed up by saying that want to restore Caulfield Park, and get the ‘best use’ out of the Booran site and for ‘the money that is owed to the community’ to be returned. Thought that 2012 was when the money was handed over and that it was intended for ‘the people of this community’. They want all the information to ‘inform the public debate’ and that people should know ‘where their money has got to’.

SOUNNESS: said the the whole issue including racecourse, c60 etc. can ‘fire up’ people and that the best option for getting to the bottom of things is to ‘follow the money’. Pennicuik tried this. Said there was ‘still a long path to go down’ and they’re trying to find ways to ‘move the depot’ and find ‘better array of services’. Good that council is trying to ‘achieve a better outcome’ for residents.

MAGEE: said this would be ‘win-win’ for everyone in that the depot would be moved, and that so far there ‘is no community benefit’ from the landswap and the money which was paid by the MRC. This money could be used to achieve this. Said that government’s job is to ‘assist the community’ and for Glen Eira with the least amount of open space, that the government should ‘give it to us’ (the money). SAid this was a ‘great opportunity’ to get a good result and ‘banging on forever’ about the landswap, trustees is useless. This is positive and they will ‘keep the pressure on’ both government and Southwick. Wanted everyone to ‘work together’ for a ‘community benefit’.

OKOTEL: reiterated that this was an ‘important issue’ and that Pilling had already met with government and that council would continue to ‘agitate’ on the issue.

HYAMS: said this was a ‘mess’ from the start and council wasn’t happy from day one but that both sides (Liberals and Labor) voted the landswap in. The Trust also voted for it and of the 3 council reps ONLY 2 VOTED AGAINST IT, which is ‘disappointing’. Council never wanted it and from the start they wanted a depot but the MRC said ‘no’ they didn’t want a depot and the department put it aside for ‘recreation’. Buildings also went which is ‘unfortunate’ because they ‘might have been useful’. Said that now government has given permission to put the depot there and that for once it’s ‘good to see that the MRC’ isn’t having it all it’s own way but, that council ‘needs the money’ for this to occur. Asked Delahunty what she ‘expects’ the ‘legally binding document’ to contain. Delahunty said ‘I don’t know’ and that this was mentioned in the actual debate in parliament but that she expects to find ‘some wording about the exchange’ and whether the money was to ‘come back to the community’.

DELAHUNTY: said it’s a mess and was ‘outside the control’ of council. But the ‘opportunity’ is now due to Media Release by Southwick where he claimed that he was ‘excited’ to be ‘able to reinvigorate’ Caulfield Park. With this there’s Hansard where Davis ‘sought assurances’. So ‘there’s no better time’ to get things done than ‘right now’. To succeed they ‘need to understand all the information’. All this can ‘put to rest some of the ill will’.

Delahunty then went on to say that the letter published in the agenda which was sent to Southwick ‘some time ago’ had as yet ‘not reached his office’. On Twitter, Southwick claims that he first saw it with the agenda.

MAGEE: asked that if council doesn’t get the money ‘can we still afford to do the landswap’?

NEWTON: according to the Strategic Resource Plan ‘there’s no money in any of the ten years to do this’ and the ‘only way you could do this is to lower the priority of some other projects’.

MAGEE: summed it up by asking ‘No money, no move’?

DELAHUNTY: answered and repeated ‘no money, no move’.

MOTION PUT AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.

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