For the past 5 or 6 years residents have made it abundantly clear that their top priorities and dissatisfaction with council, as stated in the annual Community Satisfaction Surveys, revolve around three basic issues –

  1. Planning
  2. Traffic/parking
  3. Consultation

Without a Notice of Motion, the only way to get something onto the agenda is via a Request for a Report. So, how industrious, relevant, and conscientious have our elected representatives been in making sure that the above 3 issues are addressed and improvements made?

We’ve gone through this year’s listing of all Requests for Reports and find that of the 18 voted upon (with one being rejected) a mere 1 or 2 could in any way be seen as addressing the issues that residents have nominated as their priority. Mind you, this is not to say that we are against social housing, gay rights, etc. We simply cannot believe that councillors see these as the most important issues which continue to confront the municipality. So far this year, we’ve had reports on foxes and other vermin, sister cities overseas, and so forth. Really earth shattering issues! Even when something comes up that could be seen as important (such as minimum sizes for apartments) the officers’ reports invariably recommend a ‘do nothing’ approach and this is blithely accepted by councillors!

Surely it is time that councillors turned their minds to actually serving the community and demanding action on all those things they were elected to achieve instead of either playing politics and bagging Labor or the Libs, or actually doing something that will redress the inequities of the planning system and the chaos that is parking and traffic. When development applications take 5 minutes to decide, and discussion on requests for reports drag on interminably because of cheap point scoring, then there is something drastically wrong.

Below is a list of the reports voted upon – in no particular order. Combined, these surely make for some pathetic reading!

Federal Auditor-General Investigation

Crs Delahunty/Lobo

That the Glen Eira City Council file of relevant correspondence regarding the ‘Safer Streets Program’ be forwarded to the Federal Auditor-General Ian McPhee to assist his review.

Crs Okotel/Hyams

That a report is prepared that provides information on how Council supports community groups including information on:

  1. programs that encourage and strengthen existing community groups.
  2. approaches to encourage community groups to respond to emerging community interests and needs.”

Crs Lobo/Okotel

That a report be prepared on what help is available in Glen Eira to support and help those in our community suffering from alcohol and drug addictions.

Crs Delahunty/Lobo

That a report be prepared detailing the methods that other Victorian Councils, particularly the Greater Geelong City Council have sought to support and advocate for marriage equality for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (GLBTI) people and how the City of Glen Eira may seek to do the same for the GLBTI people in our community.

Crs Hyams/Lipshutz

That a report be prepared on the likely effects on Glen Eira of rate rises being capped at the CPI, as the State Opposition has announced it intends to do should it win government.

Crs Magee/Hyams

That a report be prepared on:

(1) The possibility of Council acquiring the vacant land at 846-848 Centre Road, Bentleigh East directly adjacent to the Centre Road Kindergarten.

(2) The potential impact to families in Glen Eira of a change in funding of Kindergarten hours in the recently released Abbott budget.

(3) The projected need for Kindergarten places in Glen Eira in the next 10 years including an estimate of which areas of the municipality this need will fall in.

(4) An assessment of potential expansion sites within the municipality and the potential to forward plan for these expansions.

Crs Sounness/Delahunty

That a report be prepared on the mechanisms available to Council to improve the provision of affordable and accessible social housing.

Crs Lipshutz/Hyams

That a report be prepared on the benefits of whatsoever kind (if any) in establishing and maintain sister city relationships. The report should identify any obligations and costs that may be incurred by the Glen Eira City Council in establishing and maintaining such relationships.

Crs Lobo/Sounness

That a report be prepared on the potential to establish a sister city relationship with a city in mainland China given that in the Indian/Pacific Century Australia sits astride both the Indian and Pacific Oceans and given that China is a major importer of Australian primary products compared to any other countries. (motion lost)

Crs Okotel/Lipshutz

That a report be prepared addressing;

  1. The impact of violence against women upon the community in Glen Eira, and
  2. How Council can improve its responses to addressing violence against women.

Crs Delahunty/Magee

That a report be prepared to council with information on the proposed privatisation of the Alfred Health provided aged care facilities in Caulfield. The report to specifically note the number of public beds currently provided by the state funded facilities and the potential impact on the Council’s aged care facilities of the privatisation.

Crs Sounness/Hyams

That the City of Glen Eira request the Executive of the Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF) to reverse it’s decision to exclude the Victorian Greens from participating in the Super Forum at the Melbourne Town Hall on 14 August 2014.

Crs Sounness/Okotel

That a report be prepared on the statistics and trends in observed off leash dog walking occurring outside declared dog off leash walking areas.

Crs Okotel/Esakoff

That a report be prepared detailing:

(a) What measures Council takes to address dumped rubbish in “hot spots” within high density areas; and

(b) What measures Council can take to address dumped rubbish more efficiently and effectively in existing and new anticipated hot spot areas including additional costs associated with these measures if any.

Crs Okotel/Magee

That a report be prepared that explores:

(a) Minimum floor space requirements for dwellings in other jurisdictions including internationally and what benefit or detriment is created by these requirements;

(b) How minimum floor space requirements could be beneficial for Glen Eira in the case that such requirements are adopted by the Victorian state; and

(c) How Glen Eira Council could advocate for state-wide minimum floor space requirements such as through a planning amendment.

(d) The report by the City of Melbourne on its Unit developments and liveability as it may apply to the City of Glen Eira.

Crs Delahunty/Lobo

That a report be prepared to determine what role if any the Valuer General could play in determining the land valuation for the Crown Land at Caulfield Racecourse Reserve currently leased to the Melbourne Racing Club. I request that the report contain any previous information or correspondence received by Council or by individual Councillors if known, from the Valuer General about the subject land. I request that the report advise on the methods to engage the Valuer General, the Trustees, the State Government and the MRC so that further lease negotiations are held in full knowledge of the value of the land. The report be presented to the next Council Meeting.

Crs Hyams/Magee

That a report be prepared on the extent to which vermin, including foxes and Indian Myna birds, are causing problems in Glen Eira and what Council can do to deal with these problems.

Cr Sounness/Okotel

That a request be prepared on the general health of the aboreal environment in Glen Eira to discuss the general health of park trees the possible need for tree irrigation or watering practices and the strategic implications of the long term climate projection made by the Bureau of Meteorology.