“Social distancing” is the problem.

Most people won’t keep their distance. I have been in a few public places in the last few days and haven’t witnessed any discernible difference in people’s behaviour.

That is why the “social distancing” policy is mostly ineffectual because:

  • it’s seen as rude to deliberately distance yourselves from others, particularly in a social setting.
  • personal risk of the virus won’t hit home to many people until someone they know has the virus.

Unfortunately, shut-down is the only next step worth taking. This removes places that people can come together and transmit the virus.

Masks are the new fashion.

I wear a mask whenever I come within two metres of another person. If you come within two metres of another person, you should be wearing a mask.

People are infectious with the virus for four days before symptoms appear. The most common transmission occurs not from surfaces or hands, but from breathing. It surprises me that more in my local community are not wearing masks – in other countries, it is default behaviour to wear a mask even if you have no symptoms. Given that there are now projections for 50,000 to die in Australia, you could save a life by wearing a mask.

A four day incubation period with no symptoms. Act as if you have the virus.

Coronavirus and social media

The way that news is propagated to the public has changed.

Before social media

Before social media, important government announcements in Australia were efficiently transmitted via:

  • two newspapers in each city; and
  • five television channels in each city.

The situation now

Now, a large proportion of the public’s primary source of news is via social media channels. News-related posts are mixed in amongst posts about cats and selfies.

This makes it more difficult during crisis situations for government to communicate a consistent message to the public. There is no consistent timing for social media posts to appear in a user’s feed, so it can happen that news stories can be out of sequence in a user’s news feed, resulting in misinformation and confusion.

What needs to happen?

In future, government should legislate so that in a crisis:

  • Government posts are mandated as highest priority across the main social media used in Australia; and
  • Mandated SMS text messaging should be used for official government information.

Coronavirus in Australia should be contained

My inexpert guess is that Coronavirus infections will be contained within the next 6 months.

The basis is the following:

  • Australia is a sparsely populated country. It is one of the least densely populated countries. Therefore people coming close enough to each other to be infected is less likely.
  • Australia is an island and can more easily control its borders.
  • Australia has a strong health system to support virus testing and remediation of the infected.
  • Australians are well informed of hygiene, and infection mitigation.
  • The virus does not cope well in the hotter temperatures in Australia.

The risk

The ongoing risk is mass infection triggered by a single event, example as follows:

An infected individual attends a mass event. The infected individual comes into enough sustained contact to infect a large number of people. The whereabouts of this large number of infected people are untraceable after the event.

If this single event occurs, then all bets are off and contagion will be much more widespread.

The consequences

The most likely consequence for most of the public in Australia will not be health-related. The effects will be damage to the economy due to loss of confidence; disruption in international trade; less international tourists due to restrictions; and a shortage of some goods.

Disclaimer
Personal opinion only. The infection rates of the coronavirus are impossible to predict accurately and most affected by the public’s actions.

What does a local councillor do?

I still find it is not commonly known what exactly a local councillor does, and that there are quite a few misconceptions by the public. I will try to explain as simply as possible:

A councillor is a member of a “board of directors”

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Chief Ex…
councillors
counc…
 appoints 
 appoints 
day-to-day
council staff and operations
day-to-day…
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  • Councillors provide input and give final approval to council policies.
  • Councillors provide input and give final approval to the whole of the council’s annual budget.

A councillor represents the community

  • Councillors are elected by the public and are expected to listen to residents’ feedback and any issues that a resident may have with something about the council.
  • Councillors provide input and give final approval to the whole of the council’s annual budget.
  • Councillors can attend local events and community group functions.

How much does a councillor get paid?

A councillor in a metropolitan council gets paid around $30,000 per year.

How many hours a week does a councillor work?

  • There is generally one important council meeting per week that goes for around four hours. Councillors should have read the agenda papers prior to the council meeting.
  • In elected positions, there is no “boss” as such. Councillors are expected to do a good job otherwise they will be voted out at the next election.
  • Some councillors also working a full-time job so have to fit councillor duties around their full-time job.
  • Generally, I find that on average councillors work from 6 to 10 hours per week, depending on what is happening, and the circumstances of the individual councillor.

Planning application flowchart

I’ve put together a draft guide on the council planning process. Please don’t hold me to the complete accuracy of it. I’ve just done it to try to explain the quite complex process when residents object to a planning application.

1 objection
1 objection
2 or 3
objections
2 or 3…
4 or more
objections
4 or more…
How many objections?
How many objections?
Decision made by council planning department
Decision made by council planning…
decision to approve
decision to approve
decision to refuse
decision to refuse
Decision made at public council meeting by elected councillors
Decision made at public council meet…
Recommendation made by council planning department
Recommendation made by council plann…
Meeting between applicant and objectors
Meeting between applicant and object…
residential
residential
non-residential
non-residential
Type of application?
Type of application?
Yes
Yes
Decision appealed by objectors?
Decision appealed by objectors?
Yes
Yes
Decision appealed by applicant?
Decision appealed by applicant?
Victorian Civil Appeals Tribunal
(VCAT)
Victorian Civil Appeals Tribunal…
Final decision
Final decision
Yes
Yes
Decision appealed by applicant?
Decision appealed by applicant?
Application received
Application received
Advertise the application:
newspapers
letterbox drop
Advertise the application:…
Council receives objections
Council receives objections
Council receives objections
Council receives objections
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Postal vs attendance voting


Postal voting

All voters receive a ballot paper through the mail. They are required to complete the declaration and return their vote through the mail.

  • Easier for mobility-impaired voters.
  • Easier for multicultural English-challenged voters. They have day rather than minutes to seek advice and help from family and friends
  • Increased window to vote. Some voters forget to return their voting papers.
  • More likelihood of “dummy” candidates being used to direct preferences to main candidates. This has been mitigated somewhat by candidate preference lists no longer included in the vote pack.
  • Public perception that votes are easier to manipulate than attendance elections.

Attendance voting

All voters are required to attend a polling booth on the election data. Other options are early voting (aka pre-poll), or voters can apply for a postal vote.

  • More likely to be person-to-person contact. Candidate might be at polling booth (note that there are around 9 voting booths per ward).
  • Local schools can run fundraising BBQs on election day, colloquially known as democracy sausage.
  • More difficult for genuine grass-roots community candidates to run a campaign. Newer candidates find it hard to staff around 7 polling booths from 8am to 6pm on polling day.
  • Some voters feel intimidated by having to “run the gauntlet” of people handing them how-to-vote cards outside the polling booth.
  • Waste of paper. A lot of paper is used for candidates’ how-to-vote cards.
  • Voters have to stand in queues on a Saturday.
  • Voters generally make a quick decision after receiving how-to-vote cards from candidates.
  • Bad weather.

References

Greater Dandenong attendance vote to cost more than $200,000

Election information


Note
The information presented on this website does not represent a final position. All viewpoints will be considered up to the point where a final decision is made.

Keep clear markings

I received this response from VicRoads regarding generally how Keep Clear markings are implemented:

It should be noted that ‘Keep Clear’ markings are primarily used to minimise delays to through traffic on arterial roads caused by vehicles queuing to turn right onto a side road. Where right-turning vehicles are able to wait safely in a dedicated turning lane, as is this case, they do not obstruct the flow of through traffic and hence Keep Clear is not considered necessary at this location. These markings are not intended to enable motorists from side roads to turn into the main road.

Council meeting 25 November 2019

Dandenong Civic Centre
Disclaimer
These are brief notes from the council meeting taken by myself quickly, are my interpretation, and not an official record of the council meeting.

Mayor Cr Jim Memeti thanked Cr Angela Long for her service. Her service to the indigenous community, community groups. Cr Memeti thanked Angela’s husband, Barry for his support of Angela.

Petitions and Joint Letters

Cr Kirwan asked about the petition regarding the trail network.

The officer said that officers had made contact with the lead petitioner. Council will be considering a number of projects from the plan, alongside road reconstruction. The officer said that council should continue its advocacy to Victorian Government for a funding contribution. The officer said that the 20/21 council budget may contain items relating to the plan.

Town Planning Application – No. 5 Riverend Road, Bangholme (Planning Application No. PLN19/0462)

Cr Angela Long moved an alternate motion. Cr Long summarised that the alternate is to grant the permit with different conditions (see details in meeting minutes). Cr Long thanked councillors for their unanimous support. Cr Long said that this is a water park, it provides a safe environment for families. It also has disability friendly equipment and activities.

Town Planning Application – No. 41 Imagine Way (formally known as 16 Jayco Drive) Dandenong South (Planning Application No. PLN17/0424.02)

Cr Brown questioned why this permit is only 6 times a year and not more frequent?

The officer replied that only 6 times a year was applied for.

Question time – public

The CEO read the question:

What are the development plans for the Sandown Park car park are? The questioner said that there are currently pools of water in the existing carpark. The questioner wanted further details on the plans for the car park. There is some information on the VicTrack website.

The relevant officer replied that there is currently a planning application regarding an upgrade of Sandown Station car park with 484 car spaces. In addition, it proposed a new car park on Lightwood Rd of 116 car spaces. They will include lighting, signage, CCTV and internal pathways. Expected to be completed by June 2020.

Planning Scheme Amendment – C223 Realignment of Urban Floodway Zone and Industrial 1 Zone Boundaries 1626-1638 Centre Road, Springvale

Cr Kirwan asked for a summary including flood risk assessment.

The officer said that the Minister for Planning for a rezoning of land from an industrial zone to urban floodway zone. This has occurred Melbourne Water data regarding potential flooding.

Public Car Share Policy

This is a new policy.

Cr Kirwan said that car sharing is when people can rent cars for a limited period, usually booked with a smartphone app or online. Example car providers are GoGet and FlexiCar. This reduced congestion due to fewer cars needing to be parked on-street. It reduces emissions as the cars are more likely to be zero-emission. Currently, share cars have the greatest demand around hotels and apartment buildings. Dandenong activity centre.

Angst about on-street parking and traffic. Inefficient use of space.

Public Electric Vehicle Charging Policy

This is a new policy.

Cr Dark asked whether CGD will absorb costs for the conversion. Cr Dark asked about cost modelling. The officer said that modelling hasn’t been done. The officer said that the first few examples will provide a guide on this.

Cr Dark asked what a regular car space costs the council. The officer said that this could be provided at some time.

Cr Kirwan said that the policy covers a number of areas. Cr Kirwan says that the actual implementation will need to be handled through the budget process. Cr Kirwan thanks the officers for their work.

Options for Improving Safety and Residential Amenity in the Vicinity of Dandenong North Primary School

Cr Kirwan said that the report may be frustrating to residents, as it says that we don’t need much action regarding this. Cr Kirwan said a large number of households replied to the survey. Cr Kirwan respects the officers’ recommendation that no extra infrastructure is required at this time.

Community Environment Centre – Implementation Report

Cr Kirwan said that this has been a long discussion, but it has arrived at a feasible endpoint. The conclusion that all came to was the same. A dedicated environment centre would have just been preaching to the converted. The recommendation to construct a mobile trailer is a more affordable and effective option that will reach a much broader audience. Cr Kirwan thanked council staff and the sustainability environment committee

Cr Dark queried the students from Shanghai request to visit CGD and how it will be handled. The officer said we will look into it.

Cr Dark queried the correspondence from the Dandenong Market customer. The officer said that they will report back.

Notice of Motion No. 74 – Noble Park Community Centre

Cr Dark asked for an amendment to change the date for the report to February 2020. The officer agreed with this.

Cr Dark thanked colleagues. Cr Dark said due to media coverage, audits that he believes that we need to see if all options are being considered and that other centres may be similarly affected. Stemming from this report, Cr Dark said that other centres could benefit from advice.

Reports from councillors/delegates and councillors’ questions

Cr Chea

Cr Chea attended Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce fundraiser to support children in Cambodia.

Cr Kirwan

Homelessness

Social housing and homelessness. Greater Dandenong has the highest homelessness in the state. Cr Kirwan gave some statistics regarding this. Cr Kirwan asked what is planned in the homelessness policy area?

The officer replied that quite a bit had happened in the last 12 months, and listed many events that council had contributed to. Council has now advocated for an increase in NewStart allowance. In 2020, council will send a request with rates notices to ask for assistance to homeless people. The officer replied that council will have programs to increase community awareness of homelessness.

Waste

Cr Kirwan asked a question regarding waste. The City of Wyndham Council found that migrants are confused by recycling and created an information campaign. Some community leaders volunteered to have their bin audited to get feedback. One point of feedback was that the community leaders were placing items in the recycling in plastic bags, which is not conducive to recycling. The officer said that council will make contact with City of Wyndham Council to find out about their program and see how it could apply to Greater Dandenong City Council.

Cr Kirwan also said that similar multicultural councils have more waste education officers than we do. The officer said that the Greater Dandenong City Council program is done jointly with our waste contractors and inspections are done by casual hire staff. Council also targets multi-dwelling sites for education programs. While we may have less waste education officers, our program is broader.

Cr Kirwan asked for some data on this to compare us to Monash and Casey.

Cr Kirwan asked about extending the hours at Dandenong and Springvale libraries, particularly extending the hours to open earlier on Sunday mornings. Also the possibility of opening on Saturday and Sunday nights. Cr Kirwan asked when the report will come to councillors, and when the results of the consultation will be known. Cr Kirwan asked how will we determine the demand for extended hours. The officer said that based on community feedback, the options have been costed and will be brought to councillors. The officer said that the libraries after dark will be starting, sponsored by gambling awareness, and this will mean that libraries will be open some nights at 10pm.

Cr Long

Cr Long listed events attended, road safety meeting, zipping classic race day meeting Sandown, sustainability awards, walk against family violence, 100th anniversary of Dandenong High School.

Cr Melhem

Cr Melhem asked about the resurfacing of Dorset road, Outlook Drive. When will it get done? The officer said that he will get back to Cr Melhem.

Cr Melhem said that there have been a lot of roadworks. Cr Melhem questioned the method – why are only short sections of road done at at time. The officer said that pothole assessment, or that contractors are only done for larger works.

Cr Sampey

Cr Sampey attended Malesi Club, Disability advisory committee, and a fundraiser for William Angliss hospital.

Cr Sampey asked about kerbing and channelling and protection bonds. She mentioned a particular applicant was required to grow grass on a small area, and council was holding the bond back because of this. The officer said that he will look into it.

Cr Tan

Attended sustainability awards in Dandenong, good to see that our community is on the right track; with Cr long the walk against family violence; SE community links AGM,

Springvale and District Historical Society AGM. Cr Tan asked about whether entrants to the new Springvale library will be required to have a working with children card.

Sichuan temple Sunday school concern. Dancing, keep culture.

SEMVAC multicultural concert that raised funds for the bushfire appeal.

Question: dumped rubbish on road. What is our strategy to reduce dumped rubbish on the road? The officer replied that this is one of the biggest issues. The officer replied that he will email councillors regarding the strategy.

Cr Dark

Cr Dark said that he’s been quite busy. Attended Alex Wilkie Reserve sustainability centre opening and Springvale Steamers (been there for 40 years). Said that Springvale Steamers was really busy. Attended Victorian Interfaith Network annual meeting coming together in Springvale. It was 30 years since GD Interfaith established. Attended Victorian Afghan Football Academy dinner, their event brings 10,000 people from across Australia. Cr Dark asked whether CGD could give them some financial assistance. Attended sustainability awards night, companies using solar,

Cr Dark asked about Kennett St, Noble Park and a resident has requested some play equipment to be installed there. The officer replied that there are no plans at this stage. The officer said it would require a budget bid.

Cr Dark asked about capital bids in Paperbark ward. Cr Dark said that many projects are sitting in the design phase, and wanted to know when contracts or tenders would be brought in? The officer said that he can inform Cr Dark about the status of the individual projects.

Cr Dark asked about shopping trolleys. Cr Dark said that there seems to be a spike in dumped trolleys, people are chaining them together. Cr Dark asked whether council could impound the trolleys and then charge the supermarkets a fee to get the trolleys back. The officer said that shopping centres had been spoken to by

Cr Long said in Ecuador, you cannot physically take the shopping trolleys out of the supermarket.

Cr Dark said the Dandenong bypass, there are problems with people turning and it’s been on the Somerfield facebook page. The officer said he will take it on notice.

Mayor Cr Memeti

Attended SICMAA AGM, Be Ha president; congratulate staff re Alex Wilkie sustainability centre, the sun came out, staff were prepared. Cr Memeti said that Cr Brown was there. Cr Dark went to see the Springvale Steamers.

Cr Memeti attended Victorian Interfaith conference at Springvale City Hall.

Cr Memeti attended the screening in Harmony Square with Tariq Khan performing.

Cr Memeti attended the Afghan Football Association dinner. 34 teams, women’s teams, over 35s teams, over 5 days at Tatterson Park.

CGD Sustainability Award night. CGD is leading the way, thanked the staff.

Cr Memeti attended the 100 year anniversary of Dandenong High. Cleeland High and Doveton High merged. Good to have guest speaker, Taylor Jackson, Dandenong boy, Anne street, he saw school as a safe haven. Wanted to become prime minister. became a policeman. Dandenong High helped him to become a good person. Became state member for Bayswater. Cr Memeti said there were many, many stories like this stemming from the great environment at Dandenong High. In 2017 council funding a short film about the history of Dandenong High.

Springvale Historical Society – good bunch of people, work tirelessly, and they will be moving into the library, Very very passionate about history and the community. They were asking questions about their move.

Further information

Council meeting 9 September 2019

Dandenong Civic Centre
Disclaimer
These are brief notes from the council meeting taken by myself quickly, are my interpretation, and not an official record of the council meeting.

Chair: Cr Youhorn Chea

Petitions and Joint Letters

Cr Tim Dark asked about a petition calling to re-establish the EasterNats at Sandown Racecourse. Cr Dark asked if there had been any prior conversations regarding this. The officer replied that the petition is noted by council, but would require a planning application, and then all the elements of the application would be assessed fully. The officer believes that there is no interest from the landowner in re-establishing the permit for this, and the officer believes the same view would be held by Victoria Police.

Cr Matthew Kirwan asked the other two petitions to be explained.

First petition:
The officer said one petition regarded a 50 metre pool at a new aquatic facility in Dandenong (the “new Oasis”), and that the petitions would be taken into account before finalisation of the aquatic strategy.

Second petition:
Wal Turner Reserve Masterplan: the officer said that council staff had consultations with the school and cricket club. There was some confusion as early plans were circulated, which were not the plans meant to be exhibited. The consultation period has finished, and all submissions and feedback are being assessed.

Town Planning Application
77 Clow Street, Dandenong

Cr Kirwan asked for a summary of objections, and responses to objections, to the application.

The officer replied that the applicant is applying for an additional storage room. Three objections were received about anti-social behaviour, congestion and car parking. The officer response to the objections can be found in the agenda papers. The building will have a maximum of 10 occupants. Boarding houses are a legitimate form of housing. Diverse forms of housing need to be supplied to meet community needs. The use is proposed in an existing building. There was a consultative meeting regarding the objections, but the objections remained unchanged. Anti-social behaviour risks are not a planning consideration. Evidence shows only one complaint about an untidy site – no recorded complaints about anti-social behaviour. The proposal complies with car parking provisions. The addition of one building is unlikely to have a detrimental impact. Rooming houses alleviate the homelessness problem. The application is recommended by officers for a permit.

Town Planning Application
No. 1/55-67 Frankston-Dandenong Road, Dandenong South

Application is for permit for an advertising sign.

The officer said that objections primarily relate the overshadowing of solar panels. The sign is not over the airspace of any other property boundary. VicRoads had no objection to the application. Council’s buildings department indicated no structural problems with the sign, and a certificate has been provided by the applicant. A gutter system will manage water flow.

VCAT said to the previous application that the proposed impact of the sign is acceptable.

If VCAT refused the application, council officers would move immediately to remove the sign. Council would probably lose at VCAT if the council refused the sign. The application meets all planning requirements.

Cr Sean O’Reilly asked about potential noise pollution from rain striking the sign, and how this is assessed in the planning process. The officer replied that there is no way of measuring natural elements such as noise due to weather and that this is not a planning consideration. Where noise is actually generated by the site, then guidelines can be put in place.

Town Planning Application
No. 1 The Glade, Dandenong

Cr Kirwan said that there some objectors are in the public gallery. Cr Kirwan asked the officer for a summary of the application, and the officers’ response to the objectors’ grounds about parking and noise. Cr Kirwan said the objectors had pointed out the narrowness of this particular street.

The officer said there were six objections. The officer said that the application complies with ResCode (Victorian Government planning provisions) and complies with existing neighbourhood character. The officer said that the size of the site was substantial. The officer said that there was no unacceptable overlooking. The officer said that as the subject site was located south-east, that it complies with planning guidelines. The development will not generate any more noise than normal.

Cr Kirwan said that although it is compliant to Victorian Government requirements, what was the assessment of traffic engineers, due to the street being particularly narrow? The officer provided details from the planning report and said that the application complied.

Annual Financial Statements and
June 2019 Financial Report

Cr Kirwan asked officers for a summary of this report and the following report.

The officer replied that the reports are prepared in accordance with Australian Financial standards. There was an overall deficit, however this is only an accounting result.

The second report is a management report and focus on variances to budget. This report reported a surplus to be taken to the mid year budget review.

Proposed Policy – Order of Precedence/Hosting Dignitaries

Cr O’Reilly asked whether the Mayor is the first citizen of the municipality. The CEO explained that the Mayor is the primary representative of council, and this is reflected in the proposed order of preference.

Community Response Grants Policy Review

Cr Kirwan asked for a summary of the review and key changes. The officer replied that the reviewed policy is informed by many inputs, including benchmarking against other councils’ policies. The review looked at increased funding, and supporting new and emerging community groups.

Cr Sampey asked about why the dollar amount caps for particular types of activities were not explictly stated in the policy. The officer replied that this had been moved to the policy guidelines, so that they can be more flexibly altered as time goes on, without having to be voted on at a council meeting.

Cr Kirwan asked about dollar amount caps for particular types of activities, and whether council was being overly generous to individuals. Cr Kirwan asked whether the caps would come to a council meeting. The officer replied that the caps will reflect with what has been discussed with councillors. The officer detailed the cap amounts for the different activities.

Cr Sampey asked that if we have a higher maximum level, then won’t the money go more quickly?

List of Registered Correspondence to Mayor and Councillors

Cr Dark said a Keysborough resident spoke about a residence at Piccadilly Crescent and that there was loud noise. Cr Dark was their any enforcement action about this?

Cr Dark said there was a unsightly property in Whitworth Ave, and asked for the officer to arrange investigation.

Reports from councillors/delegates and councillors’ questions

Cr Sean O’Reilly

Cr O’Reilly raised a question about library fees. Some libraries had scrapped late fees to encourage library usage. What did the officer think of this idea?

Cr Matthew Kirwan

Cr Kirwan visited Sagasco, and said that land, at the Spring Valley Reserve, gas is being collected.

Cr Kirwan attended the Art Advisory Board.

Cr Kirwan attended the South East Council’s Climate Alliance meeting at Safety Beach.

Cr Kirwan attended the Audit Advisory Committee.

On 6 September Cr Kirwan attended Cultural 21 Lab. Cultural 21 Lab is part of the cultural and sustainable cities program. It is about sustainability in governance. The results will be published and will inform future council policies around culture.

Cr Kirwan is excited about the progression of the Keysborough South Community Hub.

Cr Kirwan asked if there is any progress on a library in the Keysborough area? The officer replied that the study will be finalised by the end of the financial year.

Cr Kirwan said that two homeless people in Clow St near Robinson St and Lonsdale St. Is council going to have a homelessness action plan, like other councils? Why not? Cr Kirwan said that Greater Dandenong has the worst homeless problem in Victoria, and one of the worst for street sleeping. The officer replied that council does have a homelessness protocol, developed for Greater Dandenong. Under the Community Safety Advisory committee, a committee on homelessness has been set up.

Cr Kirwan spoke about criminal incidents in Dandenong. Cr Kirwan listed some examples. Cr Kirwan asked about insights into crime data – what are local police doing, are the offenders new people, or people released from juvenile detention? Are there changes in social conditions that are contributing to crime? Are the offenders from Dandenong, or are their suburbs that they hail from outside our local area? Is this related to the issues in the inner west that Cr Kirwan has been raising in the past? Will there be a drop in session regarding this?

The officer replied that the CEO and himself met with Victoria Police, Ben Carroll MP and Gabrielle Williams MP. Victoria Police advised of a decrease in crime, however one-off events tend to attract a high amount of media attention. A number of arrests have been made. Regarding the traders in Thomas St – no shops have been closed and it is business as usual. A meeting has been arranged with ward councillors and police. There will be a community safety night. There is no definitive explanation for criminal and anti-social behaviour. Victoria Police say that many offenders are not necessarily from Greater Dandenong, but generally from the south-east of Melbourne.

Cr Kirwan said that are the lower crime figures from the past? The officer replied that VicPol are saying that crime is down, and that he can provide the evidence base for this. Cr Kirwan said that when you look at the detail in the figures, it is not as good.

Cr Kirwan asked about the timeframe for the art project in Hemmings Street, Dandenong. The officer replied.

Dalgety St Reserve

Cr Kirwan asked about the Dalgety St Reserve and about the decision of Melbourne Water to sell land parcels. Cr Kirwan said that Melbourne Water sold land to other councils at public park rates rather than residential rates. What is the possibility of having a parcel sold to this council at public park rates? The officer replied that the Minister suggested that council re engage with Melbourne Water about this. The officer replied that he will update councillors when news is available.

Cr Kirwan asked whether the option of purchasing at a public park rate has been put to Melbourne Water? The officer replied that this has been done, and Melbourne Water said that this was not an option at this stage.

The officer replied that the Victorian Government has been active in the green wedge planning space and council is also engaged in future planning.

Cr Kirwan said that the Sandbelt Open Space development plan is relevant to the upcoming solar farm application. Will the council prepare a submission to the Sandbelt Open Space development plan? The officer replied that council has not yet been given an opportunity, but will now have an opportunity like other councils, to contribute discussion to the Sandbelt Open Space development plan .

The Glade

Cr Kirwan asked about the The Glade precinct, and said that while individual applications may be compliant to the planning scheme, the cumulative impact of several planning applications over time can be significant. Cr Kirwan asked whether it is possible to consider special planning rules for the Glade precinct. The officer replied that there is not strategic justification for such a small area of 16 properties to be singled out and be in a different planning zone.

Cr Kirwan asked in terms of a parking overlay option, how would this be against a strategic planning outcome? The officer replied that parking should not be applied in a patchwork across

Cr Zaynoun Melhem

Cr Melhem said a resident told him over Facebook she didn’t get a response from a letter to a council meeting. Cr Melhem asked for officers to follow this up and asked that he be copied into the response.

Cr Melhem also said a resident was driving past the old ambulance station in David St, Dandenong. Cr Melhem asked whether council could acquire the building?

Cr Melhem asked about whether the playground in Kreigel Way, Tirhatuan Park is owned by the council? The officer replied it is owned by Parks Victoria.

Cr Melhem asked about the response to the Future of Parks consultation. The officer replied that the consultation responses were being consolidated. Cr Melhem asked whether council met with local stakeholders including sporting clubs and schools. The officer replied that these local stakeholders were met with. Cr Melhem asked for the timeframe for the consultation will be communicated back to the public? The officer replied that this will be done as soon as possible.

Cr Maria Sampey

Cr Sampey said she wasn’t aware of the cutoff date for the Future of Parks submissions? The officer replied that some late submissions will be incorporated if practically possible. Cr Sampey said that some residents asked for the consultations at times that better suited working people. The officer replied that the cutoff date was widely advertised, and that one of the consultations was on Fathers’ Day so that there were many people on the reserve that participated in the consultation. The officer replied that there won’t be another drop-in session, but if residents wanted to make a submission they would be accommodated where possible. Cr Sampey said that on the reserve during the drop-in consultation, people were busy playing sport and many didn’t live in the area. Cr Sampey said that local residents should be given priority, rather than people that come in to Greater Dandenong just to play sport. The officer replied that council wants to get views from non-local residents as well, and that their views are still valuable. The officer said that Greater Dandenong residents would like to be taken into account when there’s consultations in other municipalities. Cr Sampey said that many local residents are concerned about noise and anti-social aspects of parks and sports.

Cr Sampey watched 60 Minutes and saw the program on glyphosate. Cr Sampey asked whether the council is still using glyphosate? The officer said that glyphosate (known as Roundup) is still used by council, and that councillors will be informed forthwith of details. Cr Sampey raised concerns about council being sued due to glyphosate danger.

Cr Sampey raised her concerns about community buses. Cr Sampey said that the buses only accommodate nine people, and that spots on the buses are quite hard to get. Cr Sampey said what is council doing to increase capacity of the buses? Cr Sampey said we’ve while council had public transport forums – what about the people that can’t get a seat on a council community bus? Cr Sampey said she attended the transport forum, and the decision was the clubs would make decisions about who can be on the buses. Cr Sampey said that council spends a lot of money on sports, but older residents that have paid rates all their life can’t get seats on the council community bus. Cr Sampey asked whether more seats would become available? The officer said that new buses were purchased, and that he will come back to council with further information.

Cr Sampey said that Friday 20 September will the Seniors Multicultural Dance at Springvale Town Hall and that it’s $12 a ticket, bring your own food and drink.

Cr Tim Dark

Cr Dark said he’s been busy and that there had been quite a few business events. Cr Dark attended the SEMMA – South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance AGM at the Australian Synchrotron, and asked that council write to many of the businesses that had achieved milestones. The businesses spoke about opportunities they had received due to infrastructure projects. Cr Dark mentioned some of the highlights and awards won. Cr Dark said it was great to see many Greater Dandenong businesses win awards.

Cr Dark asked about the line markings on Corrigan Road. The officer replied that the review is still underway, and that it will be a shorter time period than normal before the review is completed.

Cr Dark asked about the Small Business Friendly Council (SBFC) initiative deals, where councils can join a charter about expediting business application processes? Cr Dark asked the officer whether Greater Dandneong could join the charter? The officer replied that some meetings had been held with the organisation regarding the charter, and further information would be forthcoming.

Cr Dark asked about the meeting regarding businesses accessing the eurozone and the Netherlands. The officer replied that he will enquire as to the outcomes and feedback.

Cr Dark said that he attended Keysborough Auskick awards. The said that the juniors are newly established, and that the club has gone from strength to strength. Cr Dark asked for council to write to the President to congratulate him on his work, and also congratulate him on his lifetime achievement.

Cr Dark attended an art event, where the kids were designing work based on other artwork. Cr Dark asked whether council could exhibit some of this artwork. The officer asked the group to send him an email, he will then follow this up.

Cr Dark mentioned the Rowville Eagles, and said that this club is working its way up the ladder.

Cr Sophie Tan

Cr Tan announced that on 6 September she attended the Sustainable City Awards, and Greater Dandenong won the litter prevention award for the Living Rivers education program. Cr Tan congratulated council staff on their efforts.

Cr Tan said that a few residents had contacted her about vegetables being sold on the footpath at Multicultural Place in Springvale. Cr Tan mentioned health concerns. The officer replied that some elderly people are selling vegetables, and as soon as officers approach, they tend to run off with their food. Many times the offenders can’t speak English. The officer said that local laws and parking officers are monitoring the situation, and are trying multiple strategies to let the offenders know that their actions are illegal. The officer said that consistent and persistent enforcement will assist. The officer said that the offenders are generally warned in the first instance, but if their behaviour persists they will be fined.

Cr Tan said she represented the Mayor at the new $10 million manufacturing facility, Fine Food Holdings, at Fox Drive, Dandenong South. They are exporting across the world. Cr Tan asked the Mayor to write to the company to congratulate them on their success.

Cr Tan attended AusKick and presentation night in Keysborough. 220 people. Great to see our young people active.

Cr Tan attended a fundraiser, Dandenong District Maths Games at Keysborough Primary School. Big event. Year 4 to Year 6.

Cr Melhem acknowledged that the team beat Hallam and won a premiership. The team are excited about council’s plans for new facilities.

Cr Youhorn Chea

Cr Chea attended on 5 September, the Kingston Aged Care on Clarke Rd, Springvale South . This aged care home has over 100 beds.

Cr Chea asked about the car park on Hillcrest Avenue.

Cr Chea asked about the timeline for Stage 1 and 2 of the Springvale Boulevard Project. The officer replied that when Stage 1 was put out, the tender submissions were not enough to proceed. The officer said that it is difficult to get VicRoads approval, and has communicated to VicRoads to help expedite approval. The current planned commencement date is early 2020.

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