9.4 CENTRE RD KINDERGARTEN

Two hands went up – Tang’s & Magee. Esakoff declared that Tang’s hand went up first.

TANG: Moved that council don’t sell the Centre Rd kindergarten and that council supports extension of kinda places as required by the universal access report. Also to ‘develop new consultation with the community’. Also asked for rreport on population projections ‘for next 10 years and broken down by suburbs’. Lipshutz seconded.

Stated that he moved the motion because he was ‘concerned’ that it was ‘contrary to the direction that council has taken’….(ie Packer Park, Nina Reserve where no council land was sold). ‘thought they were good decisions…(the expansion of car park at Bailey reserve was) ‘not as good a decision’…..(This suggests) ‘that council take a service that it already provides ….and put it onto public open space at Centenary Park…(.admitted that the open space wasn’t used well there & compared this to Packer Park and the need for) a’ 50 year vision’. (Council has made this mistake before and he doesn’t want to make it now). Doesn’t think ‘the report is strategic…….is basically ignoring the policy position that council has taken….(Early years plan considered population and kindas, plus childcare) ‘and adopted an action plan’ to 2013. (If council is now considering a new plan then that’s okay or to cater for highest need that’s also okay) ‘I don’t think this proposal does any of those…..this proposal looks at an area of open public space….let’s put money into it…The results of community consultation would be almost overwhelming in favour of a new kindergarten (but if you asked any area if they wanted a new kindergarten you’d also get such positive results) ….’but I don’t think that’s a good reason’ (to support this)….(Concern is) ‘lack of strategic support for the project’. Urged councillors to ‘consider this in the light of recently adopted and supported plans’…

LIPSHUTZ: Supported Tang and claimed that there is a need for plans ‘you don’t simply go out pick a site and plot something there….what you do is you have to have a plan and work out where the need lies…..(council has got a plan and this) ‘demonstrated very clearly that McKinnon….were the areas that needed kindergartens….(if you ask people about kindergartens anywhere they would always say yes they want it in their area)….’that’s not the reason why you do it….you do it because there’s a need for it….(question is planning for the future and maybe Centre rd won’t be appropriate) ‘but that’s in the future’….right now we do have a plan that says McKinnon Carnegie’ (is most important)…(Argument about open space not being used so much. the answer is to) ‘develop it so it can be used….you’re going to have a much smaller kindergarten and the need is not there…..we need money (in lots of areas)…you can’t simply come along and say dot dot dot and put kindergartens there….that’s not our responsibility….try to enhance what we have got….

MAGEE: ‘I believe (this is an) opportunity to listen to your community…we don’t as a council identify projects very well….we’ve got in our city 1501 kindergarten places….(and 12 vacancies)….1500 people moving into melbourne every week….we could very easily be in a position in 12 months with 30, 40,50, 60 kids not being (allocated a place)….East Bentleigh is probably your entry point (to getting into Glen Eira because of housing costs)…we have an enormous amount of growth (2 primary schools and one has now 600 kids  compared to 7 years ago when it had 400. Explained the history of the park and how it was originally part of Moorabbin and when the amalgamation came plans were shelved) ‘that land is still sitting vacant, that land is still sitting waiting’….’Centre Rd kindergarten is on a very busy road (with 6 car parking spots and to pikc up kids have to walk 300 metres. As councillors not just getting reports and ‘saying that’s our policy…(or saying) ‘at the moment the need is McKinnon. Of course the need is McKinnon…(but ten years ago it probably wasn’t)…’we need to have vision to look forward….we can’t just say at the moment there is 12 vacancies (and we’re doing well)…’we’re not doing well’….I would like to see 50 vacancies or a 100 vacancies…(not good enough for someone to stand up and say it’s not needed. 6 years ago it wasn’t needed but now it is)….‘we need to plan for childcare in the city of Glen eira…and we don’t have one (plan)…’we have no long term strategic plan’…..somone has to stand up and start saying (that)….(should be looking at) ‘where are we going to be in 5 years, where are we going to be in 10 years’….(to say it’s not needed, etc is just wrng) ‘and shows no forethought….we need to have visions…and we need to stand up and say so’.

PILLING: Supported Magee and stated that as councillors they needed to have ‘vision’ and support what the community needs.’there’s a growing need’, taken about 8 or 9 months to get to council….whole lot of resistance, I understand….’take a proactive role in representing our community….there are a lot of needs …

HYAMS: Closing centre rd and moving to Centenary Park, then council ‘would be getting a better site arguably….and $300,000 to $400,000…..could be 16 more places than we have now….Centre Rd (is registered for 25 kids, but can be developed since the playground area is large, so to move would be to) move it to an area that has fewer places….need to sell council property and take public open space….(Spoke about kinda in Brady Rd so this would be)’duplicating’ (services)….’put one where there isn’t one’…’will run out, run low on cash reserves…so another major capital works (would be put on hold)…Crs Magee and Pilling have disparaged process and I think (process is ‘quite important’…(mentioned the Auditor general’s report about capital works and how well Glen Eira rated….’there’s no point in planning ahead if we’re just gong to introduce these wildcat works…really what is the point of doing a strategic resource plan….the budget…if we decide we don’t need the supporting evidence at all…there are right ways of doing things and there are wrong ways of doing things…the right way of doing things is the way we have been doing it….doing it like this just sets a very dangerous precedent….where any councillor who decides they want any (thing will start pushing for it)…‘without any supporting evidence at all’….I would be amazed if anyone who knows anything about governments would suggest that this is the way to go about it’. MAGEE INTERJECTED HERE SAYING THAT ‘LIVING THERE FOR 25 YEARS IS ENOUGH…… Esakoff ‘Thank you Cr. Magee’.

PENHALLURIACK: Unfortunate ‘that we didn’t have the alternative motion to debate….you chose Cr. Tang. HYAMS INTERJECTED WITH A POINT OF ORDER – ‘Madam mayor I think that’s an imputation on yourself. I saw Cr Tang’s hand (go up first). ESAKOFF: ‘I agree and uphold that point of order’ Claimed that Tang’s hand went up first. Penhalluriack tried to say something, but was cut short with ‘I’m speaking’ by Esakoff. Stated that Magee’s hand went up after Tang’s.

PENHALLURIACK; ‘no negative imputation was implied.I wasn’t arguing about whose hand went up first…..(said that if the alternative motion was given to councillors first then) ‘the debate would have been about real things…we don’t have a copy of (Tang’s motion) for a start….We have been given $500,000 ….for Julie coooper Pavilion (land behind has been car park for 50 years) ‘It would be ideal on economy of scale to build …adjointing the pavilion…cahngin rooms rooms,toilets,….

ESAKOFF: Agreed with Tang – ‘it is contrary to recent decisions….not within our strategic planning….alienation of public open space….pavilion will be redevloped …because of its functionality, or lack of…when redeveloped it is going to have a much larger footprint….it is going to take in that wasted space….we are going to be losing that space as part of the new footprint…. MAGEE INTERJECTED WITH ‘YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE HAVE YOU?’ Esakoff – ‘Excuse me Cr!’ I have been there. My word I have been there. More than once!’ MAGEE continued and started to say that Esakoff was talking about something that she….(probably didn’t know anything about?) Esakoff then told Magee to ‘stop interrupting’. Esakoff contiued – ’12 vacancies…expand mcKinnon which would provide us with a further 50 places….Centre rd has room for expansion…to make this change now would actually be a loss of places….Brady Rd is running and there may be some opportunity to expand there too…(agree with Hyams about Attonrey Generall’s’….in any decision making we need a solid business plan….we do not have it (for this)…we have to have that solid business plan and backup for those decisions that we make…and this does not have it.’

TANG; ‘I was speaking to the report in the agenda….I don’t think anything I’ve said was off what’s in the public agenda…I don’t know what his concerns are…sale of Centre rd kindergarten is listed on page 15……

PENAHALLURIACK: point of order in that Tang’s motion ‘didn’t mention any of this’…Esakoff asked on what grounds the point of order?
PENHALLURIACK: Tried to complete what he was saying but Esakoff said that this wasn’t a ‘right of reply’ and that she needed ‘to know the grounds of point of order’…..’Sorry, I’m listening to Cr. Tang explain where his comments are coming from and that is on the agenda item. I dismiss that point of order’.

TANG; Stated that he didn’t really understand Penhalluriack’s point of order but he’d clarify. Explained that last week he told 4 councillors that he wanted to move a motion after all councillors had got the report. That he received at 3.39 today the ‘printed alternate recommendation that was suggesting that council consult on the concept drawings’…’Everything I spoke to was contained in the report all councillors received at the same time…so i resent that criticism…Cr Pilling held a forum on the issue (of kindergartens)….issues were raised (about need in all sorts of suburbs)…’that was the community identifying issues …not looking at statistics…but looking at the raw belief and emotion….and I support that and that came through very strongly….there are emotions involved there are real people involved….and I don’t think it’s been demonstrated that those real people want to spend a million dollars in expanding a kindergarten on the Centenary Park site…(over MckInnon kinda, bentleigh hodgson) and I see no reason why we shouldn’t support that over this one….we should look at all of the community…and not just this one project….(council could have included this in all its plans)….’it didn’t. If council want to change that, that’s fine….we review policies all the time….we should have a vision (but dealing with one kindergarten isn’t a vision)….I agree that councillors should take a proactive role…..let’s be proactive and create a ten year plan using the projections….

MOTION CARRIED: Against – Magee, Pilling, Penhalluriack, Forge. Lipshutz, Hyams, Esakoff, Tang and Lobo voted for.