Category Archives: Governance

Governance

Caulfield South, Bentleigh & Carnegie – need your help

GERA has received the below, self-explanatory email from the SAVE GLEN EIRA residents group. GERA works closely with SGE and supports their request for residents to show their support for these areas currently experiencing a “development siege”.

What happens in these locations will inevitably flow on to all other suburbs of the municipality if residents don’t act now.

Drafted responses to Council (together with Council contact details) are included in the below – so asking for a show of support is not a big ask.

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Dear All, 

Whilst we’re in a prolonged lock down, much is happening around Glen Eira. There are many decisions that Council will be voting on in the next few weeks. Whilst certain suburbs are impacted greatly, residents from across Glen Eira have the opportunity to give their support. Our councillors’ preparedness  to listen to residents is highly correlated with the number of letters received.

 We would appreciate your input.

 Caulfield South. Action needed this week

 Caulfield South is a Neighbourhood Activity Centre which, in the Glen Eira City Plan (2020) has designated height limits of 5 storeys for buildings in commercial zones. This document is not a planning document, and VCAT will view highly the fact that there are no height limits for proposed buildings in commercial zones of Neighbourhood Centres

 There are 5 hearings scheduled at VCAT:  

Glen Eira Council has not provided external legal representation for any of these hearings. The residents have been left to fight the developers’ proposals on their own.  

If these proposals proceed, the impact on this Neighbour Centre will be dramatic and disastrous. Caulfield South is not a Major Activity Centre. 

 Attached is a proforma letter written by CS-RAID (Caulfield South Residents Against Inappropriate Development), requesting Glen Eira Councillors to review their stance on these hearings and provide legal assistance for the residents.

 Draft Amendment C184: Carnegie & Bentleigh. Action needed this week 

This amendment proposes changes to the Glen Eira Planning Scheme for Carnegie & Bentleigh. 

There is massive change for the residents in these suburbs. And without proper consultation and the difficulty in accessing meaning in the bundle of documents connected with this amendment: the rezoning of areas, the introduction of new zones, the discretionary height limits, the lack of new open space and the loss of public land: it is not surprising that many are left confused and frightened. 

The Amendment C184 brings considerable change for the residents. The residents do not feel as though they have been able to put their views to Council, nor to have an input into how their neighbourhood will develop.

Imagine a resident currently living in NRZ1 (2 storeys) who now finds that they will be living in GRZ5 (3 storeys) when the Amendment C184 is passed.

 Attached is a proforma letter that you may wish to send to Councillors and the CEO in support of the residents of Carnegie and Bentleigh.  

Closing date of submission is this Friday August 27 2020. Submission is online:  www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/AmendmentC184 ; or direct to Glen Eira Council attention City Futures, https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au

This is the time for Glen Eira residents to help each other. Please find some time to send off a letter or two to Council. 

Regards,

Bernadette

 Footnote:

The Amendment C184 letter included above is a overall letter – a more detailed response specific to Bentleigh and Carnegie is available on the SGE’s website.

 

If you wish to comment on or ask a question on this posting please do so on FaceBook

GO AHEAD FOR COUNCIL ELECTIONS – 24th October, 2020

As a result of the currently decreasing COVID-19 infections, the State Government (State Medical Officer and Minister for Local Government) has given the go-ahead for Victoria’s Local Council Elections to proceed as planned – via postal voting with a closing date of 24th October, 2020. 

The official campaign being from 22nd September (candidate nomination date) to 24th October (election day). 

 

 As

  • Planning and Council’s role in Planning will yet again be a highly contentious election issue in October and
  • COVID-19 restrictions* will dramatically change the usual electioneering practices – instead of the candidates coming the electorate, the electorate will need to seek the candidates in the virtual world (social media and on-line community forums) to ensure making an informed vote.

the forum presents a rare opportunity for residents to “ASK THEM ANYTHING” about Planning and Council’s view of it’s role in Victoria’s Planning Processes – a good start when later deciding who to vote for in the Council Elections.

 The on-line forum format includes

  • a short overview of Council’s role in planning
  • a short discussion on key themes from what audience members are interested in hearing more about (presumably based on questions lodged during registration)
  • live questions from the audience

To attend the Zoom Forum you must register – FORUM REGISTRATION

GERA again encourages all residents to register for tomorrow’s (Thursday 20/8/2020) ON-LINE PLANNING FORUM.

 

Footnote:

State Government Council Electioneering Guideline during COVID-19 restrictions

Stage 4 Restrictions (currently to mid-September) – candidates in metropolitan Melbourne would effectively be banned from campaigning outside their homes, including doorknocking, leafleting, attending campaign events and advertising on billboards and posters, for as long as stage four restrictions remain.

Stage 3 Restrictions (if stage four restrictions are lifted mid-September) – prevent candidates convening or attending meetings in open spaces or private residences, door-knocking and attending community events. However, they would be allowed to drop election material into people’s letterboxes, hand out leaflets and advertise on posters and billboards

 

If you wish to comment on or ask a question on this posting please do so on FaceBook

Successful Livestreaming/Webcasting of Council Meeting (19/12/2017)

Good job on the livestreaming/webcast.

Some teething problems (eg. sound in gallery vs. sound on web) but overall great step forward.

Re items of interest

  • Items 9.2 & 9.3 Developments at 3 Rigby and 3 Newman Ave, Carnegie. Approved with additional conditions.  Most significant condition – removal of 2nd storey on unit 4 of both developments.
  • Item 9.4 233-47 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick 13 storey development – refused.

 

Livestreaming/Webcasting of Council Meetings commences tonight (19/12/2017)

Livestreaming/Webcasting details are on Council’s website.

Details on how to access are “a bit light on”,  as near as we can work out clicking on “Ordinary Meeting” should access the Livestreaming/Webcast window.

We congratulate Council’s emergence into the 21st Century and assuming all goes well (ie. no teething troubles) recommend residents watch the meeting.

Of particular interest tonight are

  • Agenda Item 9.4 re a 13 storey development in 233-47 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick. The development comprises ground floor offices/retail below 117 residential units (predominantly 2 bedrooms) over basement parking and a reduction in parking provisions.  The Officer’s Report recommends approval of 12 storeys (a reduction of 1 storey) comprising up to 111 residential units.

The site is located in Urban Renewal Area in the Draft Elsternwick Structure Plans – Urban Renewal Areas have a recommended height limit of 6-8 stories which may be increased to 12 stories if “community benefit” applies to the development.  “Community Benefit” is not discussed in Officer’s Report.

Those watching, from the comfort of home or the less comfortable gallery, should find the Councillor discussions and decisions on the above items provide considerable insight into each Councillors views on Glen Eira’s future development.

The Agenda for tonight’s meeting may be downloaded from Council’s website.

A NEW COUNCIL

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UPDATE

As a result of tonight’s Special Council Meeting the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2017 are

  • Mayor – Mary Delahunty, unanimously elected
  • Deputy Mayor – Jim Magee, unanimously elected.

GERA joins with the newly sworn in Councillors in congratulating Mary Delahunty and Jim Magee.

Speeches by Councillors and Mary Delahunty, as Mayor, showed that all recognised the magnitude of the work ahead of them over the next 4 years.  Additionally, they felt the current Council could, and would, work cohesively with Council officers and the community, to proactively “kick goals for the community”.

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Tonight the new Council meets for the first time and elect the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.  With 5 new Councillors elected, a number of comments downplaying the significance of the election results are appearing on various social media sites – GERA believes the results speak for themselves and reflect the residents’ assessment of Council’s performance.

  • The soon to be formed new Council will comprise a majority of new Councillors. This outcome being achieved under Postal Voting – a voting system widely believed to favour current incumbents.  The 5 newly election Councillors being Anthony Athanasopoulos, Clare Davey, Joel Silver, Dan Sztrajt and Nina Taylor.
  • The incumbent Mayor (Neil Pilling) was not re-elected.
  • Only one of 4 returning Councillors (Cr. Mary Delahunty) increased her first preference margin, the 3 others (Esakoff, Hyams and Magee) received much reduced first preference margins

The election results send a clear message to Council – the residents want change.

GERA again congratulates the newly elected and the returning Councillors.  There are many challenges to be faced, particularly in the areas of governance and planning, to bring Glen Eira in line with contemporary standards and practices.  The results reflect the community’s desire for change and that election promises will be held to.

GERA also congratulates those not elected and the community for delivering a strong message for change.  Community participation and engagement with Council is essential in ensuring

  • that Council’s focus remains on addressing the major governance and planning issues, and
  • that appropriate consideration is given to residents views/suggestions when decisions are being made or when strategies and policies are developed.

If readers appreciated the 3 “Meet the Candidates” election forums presented by GERA, consider joining us.

With 5 new Councillors and a new CEO sustained community involvement is key to ensuring the change momentum continues.

2016 COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS

GERA congratulates the following election candidates who have been elected to the 2016-2020 Glen Eira City Council.

CAMDEN

  • Mary Delahunty
  • Joel Silver
  • Dan Sztrajt

ROSSTOWN

  • Anthony Athanasopoulos
  • Clare Davey
  • Margaret Esakoff

TUCKER

  • Jamie Hyams
  • Jim Magee
  • Nina Taylor

Full election results to be published later

COMMUNITY FORUMS UPDATE

26/10/2016 PREDICTED OUTCOME – 2016 Council Elections

Lots of speculation on the election results – definite results will not be known until Saturday, 29/10/2016, when the actual count occurs.

Despite the huge mathematical exercise involved in the distribution of preferences, any who has watched the tally results in State and Federal Elections will be aware that there are politically astute, mathematical geniuses out there who are often able to accurately predict election outcomes based on minimal information.

As far the 2016 Council Election goes, the same thing is happening.   The most credible predictions GERA has received are

Camden – Mary Delahunty re-elected, with Karen Hermann and Joel Silver likely to occupy the remaining two positions.

Rosstown – Margaret Esakoff re-elected, with Anthony Athanasopolous, Jane Karslake and Neil Pilling vying for the remaining two positions.

Tucker – Jamie Hyams re-elected, with Rodney Andonoplous, Neil Brewster and Nina Taylor vying for the remaining two positions.

How accurate these predictions are will not be known until after Saturday, 29/10/2016. If accurate it means 5-6 current incumbents will not be returning.

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Following on from our 3 well attended community forums and with the election deadline rapidly approaching (make sure you post your vote in time for it to be postmarked before 6.00 p.m. tomorrow – Friday, 21/10/2016) many “panicking” residents are seeking input on the candidates.

While GERA does not endorse any candidates, we urge residents to review their ballot packs and pass on the feedback we received from residents who attended the forums.

Rosstown Forum – 5/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Rosstown Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Anthony Athanasopoulos (Independent)
  • David Box (Labor)
  • Cr. Kelvin Ho (Liberal)*
  • Don Dunstan (Liberal)
  • Shan Jayaweera (Independent)
  • Jane Karslake (Labor)
  • Con Zois (Independent)

*Cr. Kelvin Ho, appointed after resignation of Cr. Karina Okotel, 5 months in office

Did not attend

  •  Asher Cooper
  •  Clare Davey (Greens)
  •  Cr. Margaret Esakoff (Independent)*
  •  Cr. Neil Pilling (Independent)* Late Apology
  •  Sunny Malichetti

*Cr. Margaret Esakoff, 13 consecutive years in office and Cr. Neil Pilling, 8 consecutive years in office and current Mayor.  Given that both are seeking re-election for a further 4 years, their “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Athony Athanasopoulos, David Box, Shan Jayawera and Jane Karslake identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Tucker Forum – 9/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Tucker Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Neil Brewster (Independent)
  •  Phil De’Ath (Liberal)
  •  Cr. Oscar Lobo* (Labor)
  •  Jeff Mackie (Independent)
  •  Cr. Jim Magee (Independent)
  •  Michael Searle (Independent)
  •  Nina Taylor (Labor)

*Cr. Oscar Lobo, appointed after resignation of Cr. Nick Staikos, 7 consecutive years in office  and Cr. Jim Magee, 8 consecutive years in office

Did not attend

  • Rodney Andonopoulos (Labor) – Apology
  • Joshua Bonney – Apology
  • Anne Marie Cade
  • Donna Elliott
  • Cr. Jamie Hyams*
  • Michael Karlik
  •  Karina Okotel

*Cr. Jamie Hyams, 10 non consecutive years in office (2003-5, 2008-2016).  Given that he is seeking re-election for a further 4 years, his “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Neil Brewster, Jeff Mackie, Michael Searle and Nina Taylor identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

 Camden – 13/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Camden Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  • Cr. Mary Delahunty (Labor)
  • Ian Fayman
  • Karen Hermann (Independent)
  • Rebecca Pinskier (Labour)
  • Joel Silver (Liberal)
  • Cr. Thomas Sounness (Green)*
  • Dan Sztrajt (Independent)

*Both Crs. Mary Delahunty and Tomas Sounness have served 4 years in office.

Residents Feedback

Mary Delahunty, Karen Hermann, Thomas Sounness and Dan Sztrajt identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Election Results

To allow for mail delivery times, counting of votes will occur on 29th October, 2016.

  

 

Authorised by:  B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda, Vic. 3181

UPDATE – COMMUNITY FORUMS for the 2106 GLEN EIRA COUNCIL ELECTIONS

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Attached are the, by Ward,  2016 Glen Eira Council Election Candidates’ Statements which have been submitted by the Candidates for inclusion in the Council Election Ballot Pack that will be mailed to residents, listed on the Council electoral roll, from 4–6 October.

Your completed ballot papers must be in the mail or hand-delivered to the election office by 6.00 pm on Friday 21 October.

  • Camden – comprising Elsternwick, Caulfield, Caulfield East, North & South and St. Kilda East
  • Rosstown – comprising Carnegie, Glen Huntly, Murrumbeena and Ormond
  • Tucker – comprising McKinnon, Bentleigh and Bentleigh East

Since scant media attention is paid to Council elections,

  • candidates are limited in getting their message across (flyers and posters are not cheap).   In addition, there’s only so much information that can be included in Ballot Pack Statements or election flyers/posters, and only so much door knocking that can be achieved when there’s approximately 30,000 residences in each ward.
  • it is difficult for residents to obtain information when they are dependent on limited one-on-one contact (if any) with candidates, periodic letter boxed flyers and “all at once” ballot pack statements which tend to merge into one another.

Another aspect to consider is that it’s generally believed that postal elections vs. attendance elections, tends to favour the re-election of incumbents rather than the election of new candidates.   Scant media attention, difficulty in presenting and receiving information, combined with a need to make a choice within a short time frame creates an environment which leads voters to select “known names” rather than “unknowns”.  In this regard, obviously current Councillors have an advantage.  During their time in office, they have received mentions and/or been photographed in the local media and the “Glen Eira News”.  On the other hand new candidates are basically starting from scratch.  Time consuming though it is, we urge resident to carefully review all candidates (credentials and platforms) before deciding their vote.

As per GERA’s previous posting we remind readers that to assist residents to make an informed vote in this month’s Council Election, GERA is holding a Community Forum in each of Glen Eira’s three wards.  The issues facing Glen Eira are significant, perennial and increasingly adversely impact all residents and all zones.

Forum details, the first to be held this coming Wednesday ( 5/10),  are as follows

Rosstown Ward Forum

  • Wednesday, 5th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • Koornang Uniting Church, 117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena

Tucker Ward Forum

  • Sunday, 9th October, 2016
  • 1.30 p.m. for 2.00 start
  • Bentleigh Club, 33 Yawla Street, Bentleigh

Camden Ward Forum

  • Thursday, 13th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • John’s Uniting Church, 567 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

 GERA urges all residents to attend to ensure that they cast an informed vote.

 FORUM  FAQ’s

 While distributing our “Meet the Candidates” Community Forum flyers a number of residents have sought additional information.  To ensure the information is provided to all, these Questions and Answers are summarised below

What is a “stooge” and how can they be identified?

 A “stooge” or “dummy” is a registered candidate who is not a genuine candidate but rather a candidate whose purpose is to distract or “trick” unwary voters into voting for them so that their preferences can be re-directed to some other candidate.    The distraction or “trick” being provided by various means, eg identification with ethnicity/cultural groups or associations with sporting clubs or other interest groups

They can usually be identified by how prominently they (the stooge) make themselves known to the broader community during their campaign and their distribution of preferences (usually distributed to a much higher profiled candidate).

Why are the Forums being held much earlier (5/10, 9/10 & 13/10) than the election date (22/10)?

 The 2016 Council Elections will be undertaken by postal voting (as opposed to attendance voting).   A common feature of postal voting is that voters complete and return their vote within a week or two of receiving the ballot pack (it’s like ensuring you qualify to the pay on time discount except, in this case, it’s vote early to avoid a possible fine).

Council Election Ballot Packs will be mailed out this week and hence the Forums have been timed to coincide with the receipt of ballot packs and allow for the postal voting pattern.

As an FYI – although most completed ballots are expected to be received, by the Returning Office, in the week of 17-22nd October,  the votes will not be “extracted” and counted until the 22nd.   Additionally, to allow for the receipt and inclusion of votes (postmarked earlier than 6.00 p.m. on 21st October) in the “count”, final election results may not be known for a few days.

What’s the Forum format?

The Forum format will be “Town Hall” style:

  • A brief welcome and an introduction to GERA, the Forum Moderator and Council Candidates.
  • Council Candidates will have an 2-3 minute opportunity to present their election campaign views and strategies
  • Residents will have a 2 minute opportunity to ask questions of candidates (specific candidates or all candidates). Candidate responses will also be time restricted (2-3 mins.) to ensure that all attendees’ questions are asked and responded to.
  • After the close of the Forum, light refreshments and an opportunity for informal discussion between Candidates and Residents will be provided.

Authorised by:  B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda, Vic. 3181

How will you decide your vote in October’s Council Elections?

ballot-boxjpgMEET THE CANDIDATES

COMMUNITY FORUMS

 Discuss the issues with the Candidates

 The forums, presented by the Glen Eira Residents’ Association, are a unique opportunity for

  • candidates (current incumbents and new candidates) to
    • present their policies to a broad cross section of the Glen Eira community, and
    • respond to questions from multiple residents in a Q&A session and “post forum” one on one sessions
  • residents to
    • listen to and question multiple candidates at one time, and
    • gain an understanding of other residents “take” on the issues

The issues confronting Glen Eira are substantial

  • Also as per the results of the recent Planning Scheme Review, directed by the Minister for Planning, Glen Eira has
    • Significant town planning issues exist across the Municipality. For example,
      • Camden – delayed structure planning and no height controls proposed
      • Rosstown – structure planning and proposed height controls limited to Carnegie Activity Centre only.
      • Tucker – the major East Village development (20.2 ha) formerly known as the smaller (12.3 ha) Virginia Park development
    • The least per capita open space in Metro Melbourne
    • No significant Tree Register or Tree Protection Policy
    • Out dated Heritage Protection
    • Inadequate Neighbourhood Character Protection

 HOW WILL YOU DECIDE YOUR VOTE?

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If you want the best leadership?

  Then

  Attend your Ward’s Forum

    Listen, Discuss, Compare

Cast an informed vote on 22nd October, 2016

 

Forum Details are:

Moderator:     Newton Gatoff

 Rosstown Ward Forum

  • Wednesday, 5th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • Koornang Uniting Church, 117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena

Tucker Ward Forum

  • Sunday, 9th October, 2016
  • 1.30 p.m. for 2.00 start
  • Bentleigh Club, 33 Yawla Street, Bentleigh

Camden Ward Forum

  • Thursday, 13th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • St. John’s Uniting Church, 567 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

Forum Admission:   Gold Coin Donation

 

Not sure of your Ward?

 ward-map

 

Authorised by:   B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda 3181

THE “REAL” 2013 INCREASE IN OPEN SPACE

Those of you who have been following our previous posts on the 2013 Draft Open Space Strategy will be aware that GERA has been requesting details of the strategy’s reported 11.9 ha (119,000 sqm) increase in Glen Eira’s Open Space from that reported in the 1998 Strategy.  GERA’s initial (3/12/2014) and follow-up requests do not stem from a desire to  “nitpick” but rather a belief that the practice of “good governance” (and its principles of openness, transparency and accountability) requires advising the community when a change of definitions has occurred and providing an analysis of the impact of the definitional changes when presenting documents to the community.  The significance of Glen Eira’s well documented lack of open space* and the community’s long held and well expressed governance concerns adds emphasis to this requirement in this instance.

GERA received the requested details (ie. the 1998 Open Space Strategy’s Working Paper C – Public Open Space Inventory and Inventory of Buildings within Open Space Areas last Friday (7/2/2014) and has undertaken Council’s recommended D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) comparison/reconciliation.

The comparison/reconciliation results are very disconcerting due to the disparity of the results;  area differences are recorded for most parks (whatever the size) and those differences are often contrary to expectations.  The statement that “From these definitions it can be deduced that the 1998 strategy did not include Council leased facilities such as tennis courts, bowls clubs and croquet, etc.”  indicates a reasonable expectation of area increases in those parks with such facilities and a zero area change to  those parks without such facilities.  Yet surprisingly, and inexplicably, this is not necessarily the case.  For example, Bailey Reserve records an area decrease of 1.37 ha or 13,700 sqm, Duncan McKinnon Reserve records an area decrease of 0.27 ha or 2,700 sqm, and the Glen Rigney Memorial Reserve has doubled in area – 1998 0.03 ha or 300 sqm to 0.06 or 600 sqm in 2013.  There are numerous other such discrepancies. 

Such unexplained anomalies raise many questions re the detailed knowledge and management of Glen Eira’s extremely valuable open space assets and the validity of the data presented in both strategies.  While doubts may be readily cast on of the 1998 Strategy,  doing so legitimately raises additional questions related to the time elapsed (16 years) to identify the 1998 “errors” and the validity of park master plans (all based on the 1998 strategy and which Council indicates are strictly adhered to, eg. the recent controversial Caulfield Park tree removal).

With reference to our earlier posting querying the 11.9 ha (119,000 sqm) increase, please note the following results recorded in GERA’s comparative analysis of the 1998 and 2013 surveys

  • Mallanbool Reserve (2.21 ha or 22,100 sqm) was not included in the 1998 survey and is a valid addition to Glen Eira’s open space in the 2013 Strategy.
  • Even without detailed data,  a rough calculation that factors into the 11.9 ha (119,000 sqm) increase
    • the unexplained reduction in the Bailey (1.37 ha) and Duncan McKinnon Reserves (0.27) and East Boundary Road Reserve (2.46 ha), and
    • the addition of Mallanbool Reserve (2.21 ha), Booran Road Reservoir (1.7 ha) and Packer Park (1.99 ha**).

indicates that most of the net 11.9 ha increase is attributable to “definitional change” and  highlights the governance aspect raised above.

It also highlights GERA’s comment, included in our  submission to the 2013 Draft Open Space Strategy  that Council’s exclusion of the Centre of the Caulfield Racecourse on the grounds of “restricted public access” is fundamentally flawed when the “definitional change” allows for the inclusion of leased facilities that cumulatively approach the Centre in size yet have more restrictions to public access than does the Centre.

**  the reported increase in Packer Park (1.99 ha, 19,900 sqm) includes the purchase of two house lots and the previously leased bowls club that Council proposed to sell to raise funding for the purchase and rehabilitation of the 2 house lots.  Generously assuming that the house lots comprised 0.4 ha (4,000 sqm), the remaining 1.5 ha (10,500 sqm) of the 1.99 ha increase constituted Council owned and leased land and as such is considered to be a definitional change.  Under the revised definition of open space, had the  Bowls Club remained it would have been included in the 2013 Strategy.  Council’s rehabilitation works changed public accessibility rather than the area’s definition status.

Packer Park labelled picture T

GERA believes that, as mentioned in our previous posting, in the 16 years since 1998 little has been achieved with regards to increasing Glen Eira open space and that which has been achieved has been primarily the result of government grants and which have not been augmented by Council actively seeking purchasing opportunities.  In the past 16 years, open space acquisitions (ie. “real” rather than definitional) have been limited to the

  • Mallanbool Reserve (2.21 ha, 22,100 sqm) – Crown land (State), management rights granted to Council
  • Booran Road Reservoir (1.73 ha, 17,300 sqm) – Crown land (State), management rights granted to Council in 2010 – rehabilitation works scheduled to commence in 2015/2016.
  • 2 Packer Park house lots of unknown area (assumed to be 0.4 ha or 4000 sqm – refer above) purchased in 2011 ($1.911m).

This limited achievement comes despite residents continually expressed open space long term goals, a rapidly rising population and Council statements recognising Glen Eira’s need for increased open space and promises of active acquisition (via purchase and government grants).  The 1998 strategy’s “suggested” expenditure of the developers open space contributions as 50% split between acquisition and existing park improvements has been ignored.  Aside from the Packer Park house lots, open space contribution ($12.8m for the period 2003/4 to 2011/12) has been spent on capital works in, or maintenance of, existing parkland.  This is an imbalance that needs to be rectified.

GERA re-iterates the points made in our 2013 Open Space Strategy Submission (insert link)

  • Increased frequency of Open Space Strategy reviews
  • Open Space Contributions to be held in reserve for the purchase and rehabilitation of the purchased additional parkland.
  • Regular reporting of open space contributions – revenue received and expenditures
  • Ensure that the current maximum open space contribution rate of 5% of unimproved land value to applied to all multi unit developments within Glen Eira as a priority.
  • Council should join with other Councils currently advocating to the State Government for higher open space contribution rates to apply to Commercial and Mixed Use Zones (currently exempt from open space contributions)

In addition GERA also advocates that, in line with good governance practices, Council advises the community when definitions change and provides an analysis of the impact the changes.

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Footnote:

* Glen Eira has the least per capita open space ratio in Metropolitan Melbourne which, at 1.4 ha per 1000 population, is approximately half of the average ratio for Metro Melbourne.