Here is part of the record of the voting pattern from our 9 elected representatives since the introduction of the new zones. – ie September 2013 up to, and including the meeting of 19 May 2015. That is 20 months worth of decisions.

Please note that these are applications decided by a full council and does not include the multitude decided behind closed doors by the (anonymous) Delegated Planning Committee or the faceless ‘manager’. Further, according to planning permit Activity reports, 95% of decisions are made under delegation and not by councillors. That means that what is presented here is a minute fraction of all decisions and permits granted by Glen Eira Council.

Several trends are absolutely clear –

  • Generally speaking the higher the number of objections the more pressure councillors feel and hence the greater the chance that they will reject the application outright. This should be a clear message to residents – organise, agitate, and inform the community as to what is going on in various suburbs.
  • For those who are sceptical about the above, we’ve uploaded a conference paper which substantiates these claims.
  • The vast majority of applications coming before council were given the green light – by both officers and councillors. Only a handful went against officer recommendations and each garnered much publicity, complaints and objections (ie Penang Street, McKinnon; Mavho Street, Bentleigh)
  • Many of the decisions listed as ‘carried’ are a result of only one or two councillors voting against the motion – notably Lobo. The consistent performers in voting for development were Pilling, Lipshutz, Hyams, Sounness, Delahunty and Magee. Hence the majority of councillors still supported the officer’s recommendations.
  • In two instances, councillors granted a permit, only to have this refused by VCAT. For example, an Ames Avenue application was refused, but a new one, for one less dwelling has been resubmitted and approved at the last council meeting.
  • The total number of new units approved is literally staggering – even without the cave-ins over the Caulfield Village. Our count is for over 1800 new dwellings approved just by this group of councillors. Please remember that this figure represents only a small percentage of all decisions.
  • Please also note the number of applications which were passed UNANIMOUSLY. So much for all the concern, all the crocodile tears, all the hand wringing. If councillors were really that concerned then amendment after amendment would already have been rushed through. The truth of the matter is that the pro-development mentality of this administration is holding sway and councillors are generally going along for the ride.

The Unanimous Decisions

  • 149-153 NEERIM ROAD & 4 HINTON ROAD, GLEN HUNTLY17 double storeys
  • 2 MORTON AVENUE, CARNEGIE – Six storey building 40 dwellings
  • 674 CENTRE ROAD, BENTLEIGH EAST – 3 storey building,2 shops, 8 dwellings
  • 730A CENTRE ROAD BENTLEIGH EAST4 storey, 21 dwellings
  • 677-679 Centre Road BENTLEIGH EAST – 4 storey, 2 shops, 10 dwellings
  • 534-538 North Road ORMOND – 4 storey, 2 shops, 20 dwellings
  • 7 Ormond Road ORMOND – 3 storey, 15 dwellings
  • 115-125 Poath Road MURRUMBEENA – 4 storey, 2 offices, 33 dwellings
  • 15-17 Belsize Avenue & 316-320 Neerim Road CARNEGIE – 4 storey, 52 dwellings (vote was for 47 units – VCAT permitted up to 52 units)
  • 22-26 Bent Street BENTLEIGH4 storey, 36 dwellings
  • 1A Orrong Crescent and 632A Inkerman Road CAULFIELD NORTH – 3 storey, 3 shops, 16 dwellings

Some Other Significant Applications

  • Gordon Street (8 storey and 55 units) was rejected on a split vote. Those in favour were – Lipshutz, Delahunty, Sounness and Pilling
  • Loranne Street, Bentleigh – 4 storey, 28 units. Voting for – Lipshutz, Hyams, Pilling, Sounness, Esakoff, Delahunty, Magee
  • 24-26 Mavho Street BENTLEIGH – cut down to 3 storey; 25 dwellings. Voting for maximum proposed – Pilling

There are countless other decisions that have been passed – either unanimously, or with this mob’s usual tactic of lopping off one storey, and a handful of units. The result is VCAT and if the Planning Scheme does not have the necessary ‘tools’ to protect neighbourhoods, then there is no reason why the VCAT member should accept such minute tinkering by councillors!

There is overdevelopment. That is beyond argument. Yet Glen Eira Councillors have failed to set appropriate policy and have failed dismally to listen to residents’ demands for a comprehensive review of the Planning Scheme’s shortcomings and gaps. Until this has been initiated and acted upon by councillors, then residents can have very little faith that these 9 men and women are in fact fulfilling their statutary and ethical mandate to listen to the community and act in their best interests.

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