Annual and quarterly reports presented by Council are glowing endorsements of how well this council’s operations function. We are proudly told that phone calls are not only answered in nanoseconds, but that they are ‘resolved’ at first point of call. Wonderful stuff! What we’re not told is exactly how many satisfied customers are out there; nor how many of their issues are resolved to their complete satisfaction. Put simply, we and probably the majority of councillors in the majority of cases, never actually get to find out what residents might be complaining of, or congratulating Council about.

We intend to address this question. Over the past month we have received a number of comments (not published) that can only be called ‘complaints’. They range from complaints about service delivery, to graffiti, to perceived waste of ratepayers money. We believe that the community has a right to know exactly what residents like and dislike and how well their concerns are being attended to. Hence we’ve decided to set up what we’ve called ‘Bouquets & Brickbats’. A link is provided in our header. Simply click on the link and you may enter your complaint, praise, commentary – either anonymously if you so desire, or you may leave your name. We will then ensure that these comments are passed onto councillors. It then becomes their duty to ensure that not only are your issues seen to and fixed, but that the systems within which they operate are improved and accountable.

We no longer want to be told time and time again that residents are enraptured with how their money is spent. We want cold, hard, evidence that things can, and should be improved. So, we ask readers to alert their friends, neighbours, relatives and let us really know what you think about Glen Eira and its mandate to serve the people. Bouquets & Brickbats will thus be a public and accessible archive of Glen Eira’s failings and successes.

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13 Responses to “BOUQUETS & BRICKBATS – Your Stories and Issues”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Two of my friends have had the major misfortune of trying to deal with this council in the context of seeking home help. One friend is 28, the other is 61. Both have been diagnosed with cancer, both are currently undergoing debilitating treatment, both live alone, and both are in desperate need of assistance. They told me that when they rang council to apply for house-cleaning help, they were told they did not qualify because of age.
    I’ve since looked up the council website and here is what it says about home help for those people who are disabled, unwell, or in need of short term assistance –
    “A range of services are provided by Council to support frail older people and people with disabilities, and their carers, to live independently in the community. Services are provided when frailty, disability or illness prevent a person from undertaking the tasks of daily living for themselves. The range of services available includes home care, personal care, respite care, delivered meals, property maintenance, social support, community transport and senior citizens centres. Approximately 4,000 Glen Eira residents access community care services each year. (http://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/Page/page.asp?Page_Id=84&h=0)

    Nothing could be clearer than this. Do you therefore have to be 95 in order to qualify in Glen Eira? Nobody should be put through the trauma that these two individuals have been put through. If age is the defining criteria, then let this council come out and state it clearly and unequivocably. Don’t hide behind motherhood statements that in the end are nothing but blatant lies and deception.

    1. Therese Says:

      Dear Anon,
      I am a journalism student writing for the Glen Eira Voice and i find this issue rather alarming. I would like to look into this further so if you would like this issue brought to attention, please contact me on my email address (therese_allaoui@hotmail.com)and perhaps explain what happened and whether it is still an issue? The council may feel compelled to do something with a little media attention. If you have any questions prior to contacting me, please feel free to contact Monash University’s journalism department and verify both my enrolment and involvement in the publication. If Glen Eira can spend 45 million dollars on a POOL, they should be able to spend a bit on disability and aged care!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I feel very sorry for your two friends. The problem is widespread throughout Australia in that the Commonwealth Government inadequatly funds the Home and Community Care schemes of most Councils.I know for a fact that given a free reign resident would require tens of millions of dollars of HACC funding, money all Councils don’t have. The first thing you are taught in Economics is Scarcity of Resources. Councils cannot help these people until the Commonwealth provides adequate funding.Shame on our Feds.

    1. Anonymous Says:

      You’ve entirely missed my point! Why the dissembling and lies that are on the website – why can’t council simply tell the truth and avoid needless anguish for people? Further, the treatment and inquisition that both had to go through at council hands, including the suggestion that family members should come in and clean, is reprehensible. If these people had assistance in the first place, they would never have called council. As for federal responsibility – that won’t wash either. It is council who decides how much money to allocate to what. If the need is there, then it is their responsibility to allocate accordingly and to be flexible in such allocations.

  3. gleneira Says:

    Correction: the following post was submitted under ‘Why We’re Here’. We hope that our reader does not mind since we felt it was more appropriate to be placed under ‘Residents’ Corner’.

    The full comment stated:

    Our Caring Council – Huge Rent Increases for Council’s Social Housing Residents

    Councils lack of support for its residents who are most vulnerable is evidenced in recent notification to its social housing tenants of a rent increase from $270 per fortnight to $390 per fortnight – a huge $60 per week increase in rent. This is fact!

    This increase is being charged to those who can least afford it. The tenants of these independent living units have no assets and live on full aged pensions or disability pensions. Where will they find another $60 per week from to pay this? Residents are not happy and complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

    Why would Glen Eira council make this decision? What is the benefit?

    The decision flies in the face of supporting older people as they age. It flies in the face of State government policy in the just released Ageing in Victoria Plan which acknowledges the huge issue of housing for older people stating “Accessible and affordable housing will be critical as our population ages….. an adequate supply of suitable housing allowing older people to live comfortably and safely within their communities will become more important as Victoria’s population ages.”

    What does our council do? It makes housing less affordable and places vulnerable older people and people with disabilities in a more tenuous and stressful position!

    This issue cannot be left for the tenants to fight on their own! Council talks about advocacy and support for older residents in its Draft Ageing Strategy and increasing rents by such a huge amount shows that the words in the strategy are meaningless like so many other strategic documents produced by this council.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    How would the average ratepayer enjoy a 10 to 20% rate increase in order to fund demand on HACC. Are you saying we either have a huge rate increase or you substantially reduce Council funding on other programs. We could sell off a few parks or perhaps stop recycling. HACC originally was fully Federally funded and gradually with the aging of the Community demand has increased yet Federal funding has been reduced.


  5. IDEAS FOR A BETTER GLEN EIRA

    · For a fabulous billion dollar regional shopping, recreational and cultural centre at the Caulfield Railway Station transport hub – easily accessible by rail, tram and bus. Reduce taxes by avoiding needless duplication of such facilities elsewhere.

    · To open up and facilitate use of our $2 billion recreational and racing reserve.

    · To establish a National Public Lobby to balance the influence of paid lobbyists and give the public the best chance of ensuring election promises are kept after an election.

    · For long overdue access to Melbourne Airport on a Met ticket – train or tram.

    · To better use our infrastructure – develop two cities by our Bay – Melbourne and Geelong – Save $billions by linking the Port Phillip Heads and use the existing road and rail system around the Bay both ways at peak hour – intense inner-city residential development is unnecessary. Save carbon emissions through faster traffic flows.

    · To deliver a leafy and more valuable Caulfield electorate by planting canopy trees over our roads.

    · To apply existing federal funding, obtained by Peter Brohier and his committees, to bring huge benefits through a new equitable interstate inter- capital transport corridor offering a well-justified Federal solution to current rail crossing congestion.

    PETER BROHIER

    LAWYER & LOBBYIST WITH A TRACK RECORD OF DELIVERY & VERY AFFORDABLE VISION

    VISIT: nationalpubliclobby.maptag.com.au

    Authorised & printed by
    Peter Brohier, 143 Kooyong Road, Nth. Caulfield


  6. STATE ELECTION

    Comments or questions are welcome regarding this draft handbill.

    Also will the other candidates support the follwing initiatives?

    Also to the Administrator of this site.
    Suggest a separate secion on the site for the State election.

    PETER BROHIER – INDEPENDENT FOR CAULFIELD

    EQUITY THAT CAN COST US ALMOST NOTHING brohier.maptag.com.au

    FIX THE CAUSE OF UNNECESSARY DEVELOPMENT To better use our infrastructure – develop two cities by Port Phillip Bay – Melbourne and Geelong – save $billions by linking the Port Phillip Heads and use the existing road and rail system around the Bay more effectively, both ways at peak hour – intense inner-suburban residential development can be unnecessary as development can be spread over two cities. Reduce carbon emissions by faster travel – without needing to implement the whole of the largely unfunded $37 billion Victorian Transport Plan.

    REMOVE GLEN EIRA’S RAIL CROSSINGS & BENEFIT FROM EXISTING BASS STRAIT FEDERAL FUNDING To apply existing resources and uncapped federal funding, obtained by Peter Brohier and his National Sea Highway Committee, to bring huge benefits to Victoria through application of a more effective and equitable interstate inter-capital transport corridor, including a well-justified Federally funded solution to Melbourne’s traffic congestion. Remove rail crossings in Glen Eira as part of upgrade of rail over this inter-capital city link outside of confined Infrastructure, Australia priorities.

    MAKE CAULFIELD MORE LEAFY AND VALUABLE To deliver a leafy and more valuable Glen Eira by planting canopy trees over our major roads.

    EXPERIENCE A FABULOUS NEW SHOPPING, SPORTING AND CULTURAL PRECINCT To establish a new fabulous billion dollar inner-city regional shopping, recreational and cultural centre at the Caulfield Railway Station transport hub – easily accessible by rail, tram and bus from many parts of Melbourne. Reduce our taxes by avoiding needless duplication of similar facilities elsewhere.

    VIEW & USE A NEW BILLION DOLLAR PARK To replace the corrugated iron Caulfield Racecourse fences and open up and facilitate substantial use of our Caulfield $2 billion recreational and racing crown land reserve. This can reduce rate increases, will substantially increase our open space and offer exceptional visibility of the Reserve.
    ENJOY CHEAP ACCESS TO THE AIRPORT For long overdue access to Melbourne Airport by tram on a Met ticket – a 6 km tram link from Airport West can be very cheap to build and can be delivered now. A fast rail may take more than a decade and may not be available on a Met ticket.

    ENSURE ELECTION PROMISES ARE KEPT Join a National Public Lobby and balance the influence of paid lobbyists – give the public the best chance of ensuring election promises are kept after an election – make our democracy work much more effectively. see nationalpubliclobby.maptag.com.au

    PETER BROHIER – LAWYER & LOBBYIST –
    VISION THAT DELIVERS

    Authorised and published and printed by Peter Brohier 143 Kooyong Road, Nth. Caulfield Victoria M

  7. flathead Says:

    yES mR Bohier these ideas are all excellent to recoup some of the unpaid rent from the Victorian Amateur Turf Club and the Melbourne Raceing Club which have seems to have disappeared over the years for the use of the whole area of 54 hectares for almost a whole century. It would also seem to me since Melbourne is now growing at such a great rate in all directions we must call on population strategists to bring a halt to normal migration (refugees can still come). Other applicants for Australia could be offered residence in places where we can fit them… Melbourne is too crowded for efficiency and needs more dams for reliable water!! Immediate studies of a ferry network could be researched as another way of alleviating the transport crisis which is clogging our city just as European cities have suffered since the 1870s. Many if those who travel to destinations on the Frankston line by train could travel directly there by ferry.
    Links to the west could be also considered and across bay routes could be investigated. Today motorists spent 30 minutess trying to cross Princes Highway “travelling” south at 5.00pm also council needs to study whether lights at the new shopping complex are too generous to those shoppers and in fact interfere with other north south traffic disproportunately when in fact they could be timed to perform best in peak hours if they operated in a manner linked to the railway gates opening and closing.

  8. Anon Says:

    Congrats to have this Bouquets & Brickbats site. My bouquets goes to Cr Penhalliurack and Cr Forge for fighting for what they bekieve in and representing their community that voted for them. Brickbats to Cr Tang, who is more concerned about his career in law rather than doing the right thing by the residents as a Trustee of the Caulfield Racecourse. I think he should resign forthwith from being a Trustee and a Councillor.

  9. Save our Heritage Says:

    HERITAGE DOWN THE TOILET

    Fancying myself as a bit of a history buff I have done some research on the proposed Planning Scheme Amendment C83 which relates to the removal of Heritage Overlay HO114 from 466 Hawthorn Street and 2A and 2B Seaview Street. On reading this amendment one gets the impression that building demolition and high density multi level redevelopment has already been approved.

    The C83 Explanatory note states
    • “The removal of Heritage Overlay HO 114 will have no environmental impacts on the subject or surrounding properties. The amendment will have positive social and economic effects as it will remove a restrictive overlay and allow for the potential for more intense development on the land. The subject sites are located in a Housing Diversity Area”.
    • “Council has formed the view that this property is not worthy of
    heritage protection in the planning scheme and should be removed”

    Both very strong statements and both totally unsubstantiated.

    So, dig a bit deeper to Council Minutes and in the 31st August, 2010 minutes (Section 9.5).
    • Council’s opinion of “not worthy of heritage protection” is diametrically opposed to the rate payer funded recent Heritage Advisors report . These minutes state that both past and current Heritage Advisors “In my opinion, all three apartments should be included in the Heritage Overlay. In fact, the rear two apartments are perhaps slightly more intact than the front apartment, as tapestry brick embellishments remain unpainted (these have been over-painted on the front apartment).I would agree (with the Statement of Significance) that this apartment block, clearly influenced by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, is unusual in the context of this municipality, and even beyond, and I think individual protection of the site is warranted…. While a number of features that are listed in the Citation have been removed from the property, it is the actual building that is the most significant structure on the property and is the most important element to retain”.
    This is very much a case of don’t like the experts report, then ignore it.
    • The Heritage Overlay requires Council Approval for external modifications (building façade), no approval is required for internal modfications.
    • That, without any substation, Council changed the wording of the recommendation from “to rectify an anomaly (error) in
    the schedule to Heritage Overlay HO114 to include 2A and 2B
    Sea View Street” to become “ to remove HO 114 from the map and schedule of the Heritage Overlay of the Glen Eira Planning Scheme as it applies to 466 Hawthorn Road, 2A and 2B Seaview Street, Caulfield South.”

    In reading the 31st August minutes one can’t help wondering which developer has acquired interests (in full awareness of the Heritage Overlay) in all three apartments and been dealing with Council.

    I have also inspected the building, it is well maintained and is extremely attractive. Heritage Victoria’s website (which includes a picture of the building) states it is “a large Inter War apartment development after the style of Frank Lloyd Wright with deep overhanging eaves with angled fascias and shallow tiled hipped roof. Characteristic emphasis being given to the corners by recessing them at the eaves line and setting them against vertical piers. The strength of the design turns on the treatment of the horizontal and vertical elements, emphasis to the forms being given by the use of stuccoed and tapestry brick surfaces, some since over painted, leadlight windows, semi-circular balconettes and elevated terraces with rebated tapestry brick courses creating horizontal shadow lines. The cement balusters have been given geometric treatment in the front also characteristic of the Wright School. Integrity: High
    Condition: Sound, garages at the rear appear not to be in use”

    Contrary to the view expressed in the 31st August minutes of “Proposed development around the property in the Housing Diversity Area (Tram corridor) will detract and demean any perceived value in terms of the character of the building” I argue that proposed development around the property will only add to the perceived value of the building. Such an attractive and architecturally detailed building will become even more significant when it is surrounded by box life modern high density buildings.

    I urge fellow bloggers to oppose the removal of Heritage Overlay (HO114).

  10. Ros Gold Says:

    I would like to congratulate Glen Eira Council for finally listening to its residents who went to GEC environment/waste management meetings over the last couple of years. Finally a stand alone “Waste Services Guide” delivered separately to each letter box Well Done! It has just about everything you need to know about Recycling, Green Waste, Composting, Donating Goods, Hard Waste, Disposal options etc. It is a 2 Year guide so please read and put it on your fridge for continuous reference. The only 2 problems I have are
    1. TV’s and electrical appliances that are collected in Hard Rubbish collection still go to landfill. Please take these items to Boroondara Transfer Recycling Station near Camberwell Junction instead of leaving TV’s on your nature strip. Federal Government is moving at snails pace in addressing this environmental disaster but in the mean time read page 13 and 15 for details of disposing them.
    2. Mulch is not mentioned in the whole booklet. Council Service Centre advises that if you leave bundled branches for collection Council will deliver some mulch to your nature strip only if requested.

    The “Waste Services Guide” is so much better than previous years efforts and this resident congratulates Council. But residents please respond if you see any further omissions than the above 2 items.

    R Gold


  11. Delegation to the Minister:
    On November 14 a delegation meet with the Minister for Local Government (your member Jeanette Powell) to discuss the plight of the ratepayers relative to inputs to local government.

    The thrust of the discussion was to be about how ratepayers are disadvantaged when compared with Municipal Association of Victoria and Victorian Local Government Association and other high profile peak bodies.

    Our intent was to solicit her help in how to get more ratepayer input into key documents like The local Government Act, and to stress the point that we are all volunteers competing against high profile organizations that have lots of $$$ from councils while we are significantly disadvantaged and without any professional staff and our voice is marginalized as a result.

    After meeting with the minister, I felt like I had been blasted with the Ghostbuster Proton Pack and needed a shower.

    Had I not taken my dog tranquilizers prior to the meeting I would have left Parliament house and laid on a tram track waiting for a tram to end my misery.

    It was a humbling experience to visit with a minister who has no empathy at all for the plight of the ratepayer and was too busy spinning how great she was doing to actually listen.

    However a snitch at Parliament House told us that the government fears inputs from an organized group who represents ratepayers as the changes to LGA1989 would have to be monumental.

    So the State government, like our local government, marginalizes ratepayers and community groups.

    Every time we tried to make a point she would say that our recourse was at the ballot box to vote in who we wanted and get rid of those not doing our bidding in local government.

    It is obvious that she has little grasp of the real world in this instance and with this in mind it is more important than ever to address this issue.

    So I am soliciting your support to use our power at the voting box and to make sure she is “unelected”.

    Would appreciate any links to other ratepayer organizations I could contact.s.

    If you would like a copy of the slide presentation that we wanted to make (sidelined, of course) I can provide it to you.

    Cheers, Joe Lenzo; OAA, OADH, OASP:
    Mornpenshire.elected2012
    “demanding, nurturing, and realizing
    transparency, accountability and democracy”
    Mornpenshire.elected2012@gmail.com 0430.450.657

    http://mornpenshireelected2012.net/

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