The lack of open space in Glen Eira has been known for years. It is high on the list of resident priorities for some dramatic change in council’s approach – for instance, the purchase of new open space. The claim to counter this is that Glen Eira is highly ‘urbanised’ and purchasing land is very expensive. Yes, land is expensive and council did raise the developer levy to 5.7%, (only after years of collecting a pittance). Objectors in 2014 argued that even this new levy was insufficient to meet the needs of the existing and future population. Now there is an officer’s report on whether council should seek to raise the levy even further. The recommendations read:

That Council:

Σ notes the report

Σ requests that a report update be prepared following the release of the 2016 ABS Census data

The report claims that the Census data will be released in ‘early 2017’. Another porky by Council. We prefer to rely on what the Australian Bureau of Statistics(ABS) tell us and not what features in officer reports. Here’s the ABS version:

census

Thus nothing will be done for at least a year, and then another year to go through the amendment process, consultation process, possible planning panel review, and then awaiting the Minister’s rubber stamping.

Further, we see absolutely no reason why council needs to wait. All of the relevant statistics should be available right now to council. They should know precisely:

  • The number of new dwellings built
  • The location of these new dwellings
  • The number of permits granted
  • What areas these permits are in
  • If council and the consultants relied on Profile.id prognostications in 2013/2014, then they can rely on the updated figures right now!

In 2014 it was obvious that council’s and the consultants’ prognostications were inadequate given the zones and the inundation of planning permits. It is our firm belief that if council had done its work properly back in 2013/2014, then the open space levy would not now be an issue. If a correct levy was sought, then residents would now have plenty of more open space, instead of a decline per individual as is happening. Contrary to what is currently claimed by the ‘consultants’, their report, based on the statistics provided by council was totally inadequate and inaccurate. At the time of the planning panel, objectors highlighted this again and again. For example:

  • The claim was that Caulfield Village would still only be 1100-1200 units, when the Development Plan for 2046 units had already been rubber stamped and would near completion by 2026
  • Virginia Estate was ignored
  • Countless amendment rezoning to Mixed Use were ignored
  • Council’s estimate of only 5.22 hectares being redeveloped in the space of 14 years in Carnegie had already seen this number exceeded in the space of a single year and the same was true for the other activity centres. How on earth council could claim that only 5 hectares is available from 3.8 square km and over a third zoned for ‘growth’ is beyond us!
  • Council’s ‘estimate’ of existing public open space was and is, literally a joke, since they had changed the ‘definition’ of open space and of course included car parks within this calculation.

There is absolutely no excuse waiting another year before an increase is even attempted. This of course fits right into the philosophy of this council – do nothing if you can help it!

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