Council meeting 9 September 2019

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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Further information