When one considers that planning applications have the power to impact dramatically on people’s lives, the least that councillors could do is to actually consider and debate the merits of the case. Instead, what invariably happens in chamber is that councillors merely regurgitate the officer’s reports (verbatim at times), possibly make some minor amendments and the whole matter, from start to finish, takes approximately 5 minutes – if even that long! People’s lives, their amenity, surely deserve more than 5 minutes of weasel words?

By way of contrast, slapping themselves on the back about the moving of the Toy Library to a council owned building takes around 12 minutes and ten years of community pleading! Requests for reports, turn into marathons of political grandstanding, constant contradictions, and a focus on ‘feel good’ issues that many would argue are beyond council’s control. These requests take close to half an hour of argey bargey and political point-scoring.

Of course no information is provided to residents on:

  • What happened at the VCAT ‘mediation’ over the Caulfield Village Development
  • No explanation as to why the Duncan Mackinnon pavilion will not be completed until half way through next year
  • No insight into whether the Duncan Mackinnon pavilion is over budget

In short, all the important issues, are downplayed, given short shrift, or the code of silence descends. That is the incontrovertible message that these councillors send to residents. The priority for this Council and its councillors is to continually slap themselves on the back and state again and again how wonderful they are.

PS: The triple block of land in McKinnon Road (1112 square metres and zoned GRZ)  was sold today for $3.61 million! At that price, residents can look forward to plenty more chicken coops so that the developer can recoup his outlay!