Source: Australian Jewish News, 12th June 2013, Page 21

Time to Throw out Conservative councillors

A few weekends ago nearly 1500 locals gathered to support AJAX Senior Football Club when it recently played away at Princes Park in South Caulfield. Yet this club has been barred from home games at the ground by an unfair and unknown decision-making process wielded by the seemingly all powerful bureaucrats hidden in the halls of Glen Eira Town Hall.

Over a decade in politics I have observed with increasing bemusement the relative weakness of most elected councillors compared to the officials who seem to dominate Glen Eira Council. It must be said that the chief executive Andrew Newton of Glen Eira Council is polite and highly professional.

Many of the Glen Eira councillors are well-intentioned people but their conservative values dictated by the Liberal party have put them at odds with their community, have made them weak and they have not sought to bring much needed transparency to decision-making. New Councillor Mary Delahunty will make a difference.

Residents of Caulfield are fed up by the popular local footy club being barred from its local ground or by its over-development by a rapacious racing club fawned over by conservative councillors.

Sorry to say, however, the answer for Glen Eira residents fed up with overweening power of unelected professionals is more politics, not less.

Glen Eira voters must turf out the conservative councillors afraid to take on the bureaucrats.

Their replacements must run on an explicit program of asserting themselves over the civil servants of Glen Eira.

I am afraid that is the only way AJAX Senior Football will get to Princes Park, where so many of their boisterous local family and friends celebrated the opportunity for them to play in an “away” game.




Challenging council on ground allocation

Regarding Council allocation Mayor Hyams has not quite got it right/ Ajax could have got the Princes Park allocation and Old Haileybury could have stayed at McKinnon Reserve.

Alternatively, Old Haileybury could have been sent to GlenHuntly Oval and shared that ground with Caulfield Grammarians, where no junior Sunday games occur.

That way, no existing ground allocation would need to be cut. Glen Eira Council could have catered for the existing tenants and also catered for its real community club around Princes Park – AJAX FC where the junior play on a Sunday.

So as Councillor Hyams has advised in Council Minutes – that Old Haileybury has been moved due to the need to give the Mckinnon Reserve a rest. It is safe to assume that Old Haileybury will be moved back to its traditional home ground for 2014 opening the EOI (expression of interest) process for Princes Park?