Moved to accept by Esakoff and seconded by Sounness

ESAKOFF: said that council could only express its view on this since it came from the developer to the Minister and it’s the Minister’s decisions as ‘to whether he approves this or not’.  Council can’t abandon the amendment. Said that the over-riding document is the ‘incorporated plan’ and whether the applilcation would meet ‘the requirements of that’. On the various divergences (height) Esakoff said that ‘it’s usual practice to allow for that intrusion’ and for plant equipment ‘sometimes there is a height adjustment there’. Balcony intrustion are also ‘common practice’. Third request on the development plans is ‘simply’ a ‘trigger’ if outside the stipulations. The final change regarding sequencing of building is there to ‘allow flexibility’ within the ‘precinct boundaries’ and ‘that’s considered to have’ ‘no impact and is considered reasonable’. It’s not council’s role to ‘oppose’ the amendment, merely to ‘add some words’ especially about height in the Incorporated Plan and ‘this already applies’ so it’s just a matter of ‘repeating’ the stipulations.

SOUNNESS: thought that developers should have the opportunity for ‘minor’ ‘cosmetic changes’ to ‘facade’ and ‘structure’ of buildings. Admitted that the C60 is ‘contentious’ and ‘I had very little dealing with it’ and that he’s new and that there are ‘strong feelings’ about it. Said that it was ‘worthwhile’ for council to ‘provide helpful commentary’ and that he thought this was ‘quite reasonable’.


COMMENT: not for the first time does Sounness claim ‘innocence’ . That is, he wasn’t involved, he knows nothing. Whilst true, we do not believe that after serving on council for a year that this excuse carries weight any longer. Surely it is not too difficult to ask for previous reports? previous decisions? previous background on all matters? Surely when making decisions for the future of the municipality it is incumbent on councillors to ensure they have a good grasp on what has occurred and why. We note that no councillor and certainly nothing in the officer’s report even came close to justifying why something is earmarked as ‘reasonable’ and why, oh why, not one iota of real information as to what these ‘intrusions’ might mean has been provided. It is council once again acting blindly, or willingly, and making decisions based on no upfront evidence.


Moved by Esakoff and seconded by Pilling

ESAKOFF: said it’s not a ‘simple’ decision because there were ’11 for and 11 against’ the proposal to remove the trees. The ‘best outcome’ is a ‘compromise’ and that’ what she’s looking for. Said that most people against removal of the ‘very old’ cypress ‘hedge’ were concerned about the traffic on Koornang Rd and noise. Said that her proposal would provide something like a ‘buffer’ to the noise. These new planting would replace the ‘partly diseased’ and ‘stressed’ cypress trees. Claimed that these cypresses had ‘been there for a very long time’ even when she was a young girl. Spoke about Caulfield Park and Duncan McKinnon suffering the same fate because the cypresses there were ‘at the end of their useful life’. Hoped that people would be ‘satisfied’ with her ‘compromise’ and that this would ‘bring all parties on board’.

PILLING: thought that Esakoff’s motions addressed ‘some of the concerns’ that people had raised. Was in favour of making parks ‘accessible’ to the community. Said that the cypress trees are ‘in a fairly poor state’  but ‘accepts that there are some concerns’. Said that the concept plans went out to 1500 nearby residents so the responses represent only a ‘small number’ but he still supports the motion.

HYAMS: congratulated Esakoff and Pilling on ‘their efforts’ for a compromise because both council’s and residents’ concerns are dealt with. Council has in the past removed trees but they will be ‘replaced’ so the place won’t be ‘bare’ and then said that one of the most vocal opponents to removal of trees at Duncan McKinnon had rung him  months after they were removed and told him that he ‘was right’ and that the place is improved.