DELAHUNTY: stated that Magee has got a ‘special place in my heart’ because ‘in one sentence’ you can find yourself disagreeing with him and then when he gets to the end you go ‘yeah’. Didn’t know whether she could ‘endorse’ all of Magee’s comments especially on structure planning and ‘proper strategic conversations’.  Said that the review is an important strategic document that should help residents ‘shape’ the community. Said that some councillors think that ‘we should be doing what other councils are doing’ like ‘going down the path of structure planning’. So ‘perhaps if these had been done some time ago’ then ‘we would have had the discussion about’ the strategic vision and maybe the same issues with VCAT but ‘with more influence and the greater ability to more strategically manage the outcomes’.  This is ‘what structure planning does’ even though it might ‘still have ambiguities in it when it comes to appeal rights’ that ‘sort of conversation with the public is very important to have’.  

Gave an example of a planning application for East St. Kilda where it is a very ‘small block’ surrounded by 5 and 6 storey buildings ‘all around it’. But at the ‘other end of the municipality’ the same planning rules exist – such as in Bentleigh and when an application comes in ‘you are standing in a quarter acre vegie patch’. ‘It just feels like such a different part of the world’. So in order to ‘properly’ define these neighbourhoods and ‘how they should grow’ and ‘how we manage the rate of change is an incredibly important piece of work’ and ‘it should have been done by council a long time ago’Said that she isn’t ‘having a go’ at others but that ‘we thought we had the right policies in place’ but ‘you always need to check whether you’re doing things in the best manner’. Thought that ‘we were a little left behind’ in this. Said that the Minister ‘is right to point out that we have some inconsistencies’ compared to other councils and that ‘it is right for us to come up with this work plan’. Thought it was proper to set aside ‘time’ and money in order ‘to have this conversation with residents to develop structure plans’

COMMENT

Some slack can admittedly be granted to Delahunty given that she has inherited the decisions of previous councils and was elected in 2012. However, her above comments also deserve some major criticism.

  • Is Delahunty hedging her bets? – ie on the one hand admitting council’s slackness in not achieving anything for years and years, but then on the other hand, excusing this inaction by claiming they thought they had got the policies ‘right’. All one needs to consider is the constant complaints about VCAT and it is obvious that the so called policies were not ‘right’.
  • Delahunty has publicly stated that she ‘lost the argument’ on community consultation on the new zones and that she is glad she lost the argument! In other words, this is condoning the decision to exclude the public. Now we get the motherhood statements of how important it is to have community consultation. Sounds a little like Magee we suggest – inconsistent and opportunistic.
  • Delahunty voted for this draft review, yet there is barely a word about the time lag of the work plan, nor any of the other recommendations. As for ‘setting aside money’ that won’t be until the next budget so more delay. Surely if someone votes for something the least that residents should expect is an insight into the rationale of why, or why not, the recommendations are acceptable?
  • Delahunty has also not been averse to voting for plenty of developments. Here is a list of her voting patterns. Many of these motions to grant permits were moved or seconded by Delahunty –

15-19 VICKERY STREET, BENTLEIGH – 4 storey, 47 units

670-672 CENTRE ROAD & 51 BROWNS ROAD BENTLEIGH EAST – 67 units

10 & 12 Bent Street BENTLEIGH – 35 units

9 & 9A Truganini Road, Carnegie – 20 units

23 Bent Street BENTLEIGH – 34 units

30-32 Ames Avenue CARNEGIE – 12 double storeys

1100 Dandenong Road CARNEGIE – 22 units

337-343 Balaclava Road CAULFIELD NORTH – 33 units

247-251 Neerim Road CARNEGIE – 48 units

143-147 Neerim Road GLEN HUNTLY – 32 units

817-819 Centre Road BENTLEIGH EAST – 26 units

629-631 Glen Huntly Road CAULFIELD – 15 units

1240-1248 Glen Huntly Road CARNEGIE – 6 storeys, 117 units

14-18 Bent Street BENTLEIGH – 55 units

339-341 Neerim Road & 19-21 Belsize Avenue CARNEGIE – 35 units

14-16 Elliott Avenue CARNEGIE – 21 units

495-501 Glen Huntly Road ELSTERNWICK – 7 storeys, 32 units

670-672 Centre Road BENTLEIGH EAST – 5 storeys, 50 units

168 Hotham Street ELSTERNWICK – 4 storeys, 67 units

29-33 Loranne Street BENTLEIGH – 42 units

22-26 Bent Street BENTLEIGH – 41 units

15-17 Belsize Avenue & 316-320 Neerim Road CARNEGIE – 52 units

150 Tucker Road BENTLEIGH – increase of dwellings form 13 to 20

401-407 Neerim Road Carnegie – 5 storey, 57 units

67-73 Poath Road MURRUMBEENA – 6 storeys, 30 units

 

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