Readers may remember that at the second last council meeting Cr Delahunty was not satisfied with an answer to a public question and asked that the question be responded to adequately either directly to the resident or via herself.   From the resident’s latest public question, it is clear that in the space of three weeks no further communication had been entered into! Below is the question and council’s ‘new’ response. Please note the implications of what is being stated, namely:

  • Glen Eira Council’s policies and/or strategies are indeed ‘flexible’ beasts, able to be changed, altered, ignored, or simply not adhered to whenever suits
  • The above may occur without full council approval
  • Decision makers on what will change and when, is left strictly in the hands of those ‘faceless’ and unaccountable administrators

Here’s the question and the response:

“The response given to my public question (24 Sep 2013), apart from being demonstrably wrong on most points, was not relevant to my question, so I am resubmitting in the hope of getting accurate information from either Councillor Delahunty (who said at the last meeting she would make inquiries), other councillors, or the administration. Earlier this year, after rows of exotic trees were planted in Marara Road Reserve, which is designated for native plantings, the council explained that the 1988 written strategy had been superseded.

1. If the 1998 strategy is superseded then where is this decision recorded, and

2. who made the decision, and

3. why was the strategy superseded, and

4. when was the strategy superseded?”

The Mayor read Council’s response. He said:

“I refer you to the answer given to your Public Question at the 24 September 2013 Council Meeting and add the following:

The 1998 Open Space Strategy has provided Council with a strategic framework to guide its approach to open space. Council has been able to implement many of its recommendations. The strategy has not been superseded.

From time to time changes and developments happen or issues come to light that create the need to change, modify or amend a specific part of a wider guiding strategy. This happened in the case of the specific matter you refer to.

The reasons for recently planting exotics in the reserve are outlined in response to your 24 September 2013 Public Question.”

No further utterance from any councillor when this was read out. We can only assume that silence is consent and that appropriate governance does not concern those sitting in chamber!