The image above comes from Council’s summary of community responses to the Bentleigh ‘shopping strip’ online survey. According to the ‘facts’ presented here we are meant to believe that 65% of respondents are in favour of ‘private development’ (whatever that means!) – but with some constraints on height and ‘character’. Please note that of the valid 248 comments included in the document, the claim that 65% are ‘supportive’ does indeed represent an entire work of fiction. What is most disappointing about this report is:

  • The failure to acknowledge the countless comments that specifically referred to overdevelopment in the various side streets of Bentleigh – ie the damage done via the zones
  • The exclusive emphases on the ‘survey’ comments rather than the opinions expressed via the forum PLUS the apparent ‘editing’ of the forum comments themselves – ie not every comment made online is included in the resulting ‘summary’. Here is one example of what’s been omitted – The critical and major issue is the urgent implementation of height and appropriate building form controls. Interim measures are required immediately to ensure a planned future for the shopping precinct. The inappropriate and unplanned overdevelopment must be stopped now to ensure that structure planning results in long term plan
  • The total inconsistency in the reporting across all suburbs. Surely a report on community responses to one issue should include identical categories in the respective pie charts?
  • Could this possibly be another example of ‘community consultation’ designed to ‘endorse’ the decisions that have already been made behind closed doors?

Presented below are the pages that are council’s version of the online forum comments plus another graphic displaying what has been happening south of Centre Road Bentleigh since the introduction of the zones!

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