Zaynoun, we remember you as a young boy (we understand this was probably both a blessing and a curse for you!), and we watched as you proudly followed in your father’s footsteps. Having seen how hard you worked for your local residents, representing local views and priorities – we absolutely know you didn’t take anything for granted. We have enjoyed standing with you in the Council Chamber and we acknowledge the strong relationships you have established both inside this building and in the communities you served.
Matthew, you recognised that participation is a key feature of a well-functioning community and you played a very strong advocacy role in creating a more inclusive and engaged city – determined to empower residents and community groups whilst highlighting and working towards addressing many human rights disparities.
Youhorn, during your 23 years on Council you acted as a great ambassador for the city. You openly shared the details of your journey of arriving and settling in Australia as a refugee. This honesty sparked an important ‘rethink’ in how we view social cohesion and helped us develop a respectful pathway forward for all people in our city to feel valued and accepted, and enjoy a genuine sense of belonging. I would now like to read the key points from your letter under seal.
The drafting of a Planning Scheme; State, Local and Municipal planning policies, as well as the determination of what land within a municipality gets which zonings, are all undertaken as part of a democratic process. This statement is not an invitation on the relative virtues or not of a democratic system (or our democratic system), it is simply a statement of fact. The Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme is an example of but one of many Planning Schemes state-wide which are part of this land use management and development process, which includes the rights to apply for the development of land in accordance with those democratically developed process, or to object to them through a fair process if one feels aggrieved at what is being proposed or approved.