A very brief report on tonight’s council meeting. Delahunty was absent and Esakoff left the meeting around 9.30pm. The latter had requested leave of absence until early October.

PLANNING APPLICATIONS

No surprises here. Councillors followed their usual pattern of lopping of one floor from the 6/7 application, thereby making the height 5/6 storeys and reducing the number of apartments. Lobo was the only councillor to vote against the motion. For the first application of 4 storeys Esakoff moved that another condition be added – setback on top floor to be increased to 11.83 metres. However balconies could still intrude into the set back of up to 2.4 metres. Passed unanimously.

Childcare centre featured Lobo and Magee as the only councillors to vote against. Lipshutz trotted out the same old refrain of how this applicant had not been a very good neighbour in the past, but if he didn’t behave himself from now on and abide by all the conditions set down, then council would come down on him ‘like a ton of bricks’. Funny how often this same old argument crops up from Lipshutz AND HOW LITTLE ENFORCEMENT ACTION THIS COUNCIL EVER TAKES!

RACECOURSE & LETTERS

Neither Lipshutz nor Hyams declared a conflict of interest. Labor’s Lisa Neville copped a hiding for her equivocal response and council determined to keep ‘agitating’ so that the centre could be turned into a ‘sporting ground’!

VIRGINIA ESTATE

Only two speakers and Magee’s concern was with the involvement of Elizabeth Miller writing to council and the Minister’s alleged attempt to bypass consultation. He did not ‘care’ whether the entire precinct became commercial via an amendment as long as there was community input. More on this in the days ahead.

GISBORNE STREET/RIDDELL PARADE CONSULATION

Pilling showed his true Mayoral qualities here by not halting Lipshutz and then Hyams when, instead of speaking to the topic, both used the occasion to launch into personal attacks on the two objectors to the Open Space Levy Amendment. According to these councillors both objectors (who were named – a first for council) were ‘holding the community to ransom’. Pilling then had his own go by parroting what Hyams had said several council meetings ago – ie that the objections were motivated by ‘mistrust of council’. Much, much more on this in the coming days!

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