The following was provided for the gallery at tonight’s council meeting –

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Delahunty began the meeting with some explanatory comments regarding the above sheet outlining  ‘Request to Address the Council’.

DELAHUNTY: started by saying that at the appropriate time in the meeting she would call for the suspension of standing orders, so that people in the gallery who had filled out the sheet could address council either with a question or a statement. Said that either she would answer the question or direct the question to the ‘most appropriate person’. There will be a 15 minute time limit. This is ‘trialing one method’ and could change depending on ‘how this goes’ but the aim is ‘greater public consultation’.

Delahunty then proceeded with the traditional oath, accepting previous minutes, reading of petition, etc.

When reporting on the Community Consultation Committee minutes, Hyams made the comment that what Delahunty is proposing is that her motion is ‘fine but that local law is sacrosanct’ and that her proposal goes ‘outside’ the law so he won’t be supporting the motion to suspend standing orders.

Delahunty then explained that if her motion to suspend standing orders is successful, that the questions asked by the gallery is different to the public questions process in that the question and answers won’t be minuted. Public questions will continue at the assigned agenda item (ie at the end of the public meeting). Delahunty then moved the motion to suspend standing orders. Seconded by Magee.

MOTION PUT – VOTING IN FAVOUR – TAYLOR, STRAJT, SILVER, MAGEE, DELAHUNTY, ATHANOSOPOULOS, DAVEY

VOTING AGAINST: HYAMS, ESAKOFF.

MOTION CARRIED.

1st question – asked about the Ormond development proposal and the construction of the platform for the development whether this ‘breached’ any council planning laws. If it didn’t breach any planning laws then under what authority was this done?

ANSWER: Delahunty referred this on to Torres who reported that the Minister for Planning ‘changed the town planning controls’ to ‘facilitate the removal’ of the crossing and to ‘facilitate the development of the railway station’. This meant that ‘no planning permission was required’ from council for these two things. ‘We understand that the deck is an intrinsic part of the redevelopment’ and therefore council has no authority over this since ‘it is a structural requirement’ for the trench and ‘didn’t need planning permission’.

2nd question – asked how council is going to stop this development.

ANSWER: Delahunty said that ‘vision’ that council and the community has for the streets will involve strong lobbying. Council does want to see the area ‘enlivened’ but acknowledged there would be concern over ‘what precedent is set’. Residents should be ‘assured’ that ‘we are determined to do some strategic work’ that residents can ‘tell us’ what your vision is for the area. The CEO then spoke about council’s ‘shopping strip initiative’ which would ‘help form our activity’ as a result of the planning scheme review. Torres also said that they’ve started the process to ‘help inform’ our ‘future activity strategy’ such as questions like ‘what do you like about your shopping centre’. This might seen a ‘simple question’ but is important for ‘creating a vision for the centre’.

3rd Question – whether council would consider working together with other councils to ‘enable a more cost effective delivery of services’.

ANSWER: Delahunty said this was a good point about the need for ‘developing partnerships’ and she’s in favour of it as is the CEO. Because of ratecapping this becomes inevitable and they will have to think ‘more collaboratively with our neighbours’. Hyams also said it’s a ‘good idea’.

4th question – will council provide a date for live streaming of meetings?

ANSWER: Delahunty said that she couldn’t provide a date but that it is definitely on the agenda. They are waiting on a report to come back to council. Magee spoke that he’s in favour but the heritage of the building was a consideration but he didn’t like just one camera focused on the mayor. Privacy issues also needed to be addressed.

Question 5 – whether council would change the order of business so that public questions aren’t at the end of meetings and that the time for questions be extended to 30 minutes?

ANSWER: Delahunty said they would look at this but it’s ‘set out in the local law’ which council can change.

Other questioners were invited to speak to councillors at end of meeting since the 15 minutes was up.

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