Item 9.8 – Environmental Sustainability Measures

Sztrajt moved motion to accept ‘as printed’. Seconded by Esakoff.

SZTRAJT: began by saying that he requested the report and that he wanted to ‘ensure’ that those who are ‘building this new generation of houses’ are being ‘compliant’ with ‘our wishes’ and ‘cognisant’ of the requirements for sustainable energy sources and urban design. ‘What’s been fantastic’ is that officers reported back to him with ‘quite a large amount of detail’ about what the ‘State Government is intending’ to do. ‘Upset’ about the ‘lag time’ before the government does anything and council doesn’t have ‘any idea’ about what they will do. This means that until then, ‘we will have a significant number of developments’ that will only be ‘considering’ the ‘current guidelines’. ‘It would have been nice for Glen Eira to take the lead here’ but the ‘reality’ is that ‘for us to put forward’ any proposal ‘would in fact take just as long’ as ‘waiting for the State Government’. ‘It’s a little bit of a missed opportunity’ but ‘we simply don’t have enough time to tackle’ the issues. Council ‘has lead the way’ in ensuring that their facilities are as ‘environmentally friendly as they can be’. ‘It would have been very nice’ with all the development going on, to have something and he is ‘hoping’ that this now ‘happens across the state’. ‘It’s a shame that between now and then nothing can happen’ and he recognises the ‘purely logistic reasons why that is not possible’. Wants council to ‘revisit’ the issue once they know what the State Government is doing. Then council can decide ‘what is the right environmental’ outcome for Glen Eira and if the state government regulations ‘fall short of our standards’ then Council can move to strengthen them for the municipality.

ESAKOFF: agreed with Sztrajt but ‘given the time constraints’ she is happy to look at the government regulations when they come through and to see what council can do then to ‘bring it up to the standard that we would like it’ to be.

TAYLOR: is ‘very passionate’ about ‘enhancing’ the environment and the ‘Integrated Traffic Management’ plan can add further on carbon emissions. If council is going to tackle co2 emissions then they ‘have to be consistent’ across the board. She is ‘disappointed that we have to wait for the State Government’ but rather than proceeding ‘head long’ once the government comes up with its plan it will be ‘easier to implement’. But that doesn’t mean that ‘we can’t revise what we are doing here and now but subject to the State Government’.

MAGEE: stated that on his recent visit to Hanover (Germany) nobidy parks their cars in apartments. It is automatically parked ‘millimetres’ from each other and takes about 42 seconds for people to retrieve their cars. This is also more ‘environmentally friendly’ because ‘there’s no lighting down there’ so if it’s all mechanical there’s also no airconditioning and electricity costs are lower. Melbourne hasn’t seen this yet. There are also trains ‘every 2 minutes’. And ‘visitor car parking isn’t considered there’ because they ‘can fit them’. He wants to see ‘things like that coming through our planning schemes’.

SZTRAJT: said there are 2 options before councillors. One is to ‘ask officers’ to do the work on an amendment for which ‘there is clearly no benefit in us doing’

MOTION PUT AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

COMMENT

The most farcical aspect of the above ‘debate’ is that council has numerous times used the argument that ‘no, we can’t do that because the outcome could be worse’. Now we get the reverse – ie if the State Government amendments don’t come up to our (non-existent) standards, then we will introduce more stringent ones! On what basis does Sztrajt, Esakoff and Taylor believe that the minister will allow more stringent rules that limit developer’s options or cost them more? And what if council suddenly has a ‘born again’ conversion after the State Government’s announcements – how long will it take them to get things started? Another two years? Three years?

Clearly this is a council which has no standards, no objectives on the environment and no will to act in an environmentally responsible fashion for the benefit of the entire community. The only benefit is for developers. If it were otherwise then council would act immediately on amending its schedules to the zones by increasing the permeability requirement across the board as well as increasing the open space requirements across the board. Introducing a minimum lot size subdivision would also be of great benefit. There is absolutely no reason why these changes cannot be done now.

PS: As for ‘progress’ in Glen Eira, we recommend that readers have a read of one of our previous posts on Environmental Sustainability Measures. The refrain since at least 2008 has been the same! – https://gleneira.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/how-green-is-my-council/

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