We report on one planning application from last night’s council meeting. Two others will follow. We ask readers to carefully consider the contradictions from all three sets of arguments; the repeated attempts at gagging free speech, and the basic mistruths that have been uttered time and again.


Delahunty moved to accept as printed. Seconded by Pilling.

DELAHUNTY: said that councillors had discussions on this and ‘went over it in great detail’. Application is to amend earlier permit and increase dwellings from 13 to 20. The Bentleigh area is a ‘very popular place to be’. ‘It’s a wonderful place to live’ and those living there are ‘very lucky’. ‘More people want to live there’. Councillors have taken into account objectors’ views but the permit should still ‘be issued’. A 2009 VCAT hearing allowed the 13 dwellings, so there’s ‘been some history’ and subsequently the land has been subdivided and now the application wants to extend the dwellings on the rest of the site. Meets height, mass under GRZ schedule. Parking and traffic is ‘within an acceptable limit‘. Amenity also ‘complies with ResCode standards’.

PILLING: there have been other 5 and 6 storey application in Murrumbeena and this is on a main road and is ‘quite acceptable‘. Development is ‘in the right area’.

HYAMS: councillors have a responsibility to the planning law and not necessarily to ‘what residents would like us to do’ even thought ‘this might be the easy thing to do’. ‘We need to apply planning law’. Said that ‘most of us’ take this ‘very seriously’. He ‘would like’ to refuse but the planning grounds don’t give the option of refusing – especially since the ‘permit that’s already there’. Whilst Tucker Road ‘isn’t a main road’ it is ‘certainly not a side street’. Height is within limits, and setback from front is better than permit granted. Side setbacks ‘aren’t as good as they were but still within acceptable parameter’. Conditions have increased setbacks and by removing study wall that makes it 3 bedroom and therefore more parking spots to be provided. Overshadowing will be the ‘same as current permit’. Regurgitated rest of officers report about waste management plan. etc.

LOBO: referred to Lipshutz saying on the Heritage Amendment (9.3) that ‘officers don’t get it right all the time’.

LIPSHUTZ jumped up with a point of order. ‘I did not say that’. (NOTE: LIPSHUTZ DID SAY THIS!). Claimed that he was ‘misrepresented’ by Lobo.

PILLING asked Lobo to retract comment. Lobo said ‘okay’.

LOBO: Asked why council says that ‘the new residential zones were established to maintain certainty for all?’ Said that ‘experience’ has shown him that ‘developers have more advantage’ than residents and that ‘residents are the downtrodden people in all this decision making’. Said that apart from the minimal change areas, the ‘flood gates have opened up’ and those ‘waiting in anticipation of these new zones have now come out of the woodwork’ and ‘anticipate’ increase and putting in their applications.

HYAMS: sprang up with a point of order saying that the Local Law requires ‘honesty’ in that Lobo is saying that the new zones are letting developments that previously weren’t and ‘we’ve said time and time again that that is not the case’.

PILLING: ‘I agree with’ Hyams and ‘what you are saying is incorrect’.

LOBO: said that he is ‘free for my opinion’.

PILLING: ‘you need to make factual statements’ if you’re speaking on behalf of council. Said that Lobo can ask the ‘director to clarify’ if he wants’.

LOBO: answered that he couldn’t ‘clarify because we have not gone to public consultation’. And ‘because it is a law, I have to agree with this’. Said that ‘internally, Cr Okotel and I did not agree’.

PILLING: told Lobo to ‘speak to the application’.

HYAMS: another point of order that what Lobo was saying about disagreeing with council on the need for consultation that ‘that’s not true either’.

LOBO: ‘it is true. Ask Cr Okotel’.

PILLING: told Lobo that he had already ‘corrected’ him on the information and that he should talk to the application.

LOBO: said that Hyams is ‘interpreting all the time’.

PILLING: again tried to stop Lobo while Lobo kept interrupting and saying that people should be allowed to talk.

HYAMS: said that Lobo is accusing him of ‘racism’.

LOBO: ‘I didn’t say that. I speak 5 languages’.

PILLING: again asked Lobo to ‘speak to the application’.

LOBO: said there is overshadowing. Residents also said that privacy, devaluation of property is no concern to the ‘three tiers of government’. ResCode is ‘simply a joke’ in terms of parking. Said that Guy’s powers were ‘extraordinary’.

PILLING: interrupted again asking that he stick to the application.

LOBO: said that his comments ‘were true’

PILLING: didn’t want discussion on ‘political stance’ but wanted discussion on the application. Lobo kept interrupting and Pilling said that he would tell him to stop unless he spoke about the application. Lobo claimed that Pilling was ‘pre-empting’ what he was about to say. Pilling disagreed.

LOBO: said he had a call from a resident who on talk back radio asked why the zones ‘had been introduced’ and that guy had said ‘it is the fault of the Glen Eira City Council’.

PILLING: again asked Lobo to stick to the application.

LOBO: claimed that all this can be ‘dirty, selfish’

LIPSHUTZ: another point of order and asked Pilling to tell Lobo to ‘sit down’

Lobo then needed a time extension. The motion was put and seconded by Delahunty. On the vote only Sounness and Delahunty voted for time extension. Motion was lost and Pilling told Lobo to sit down.

MAGEE: said that this application only ‘survives’ because it’s on Tucker road which is more than a residential street. The ‘impact before and after’ is ‘minimal’. Shouldn’t condemn developers for wanting to ‘maximise return’ because they also ‘maximise opportunities for families’. Tucker is the ‘entry point’ into Glen Eira because it is ‘most affordable’. ‘If we are to save the small suburban streets’ then this kind of application has to be ‘accommodated’. Although ‘not ideal’ it in the end ‘does comply’. On the ‘positive side’ it gives ‘opportunity’ for families to move ‘into the greatest suburb in Australia’.

HYAMS: said that Lobo had talked about overshadowing and he wanted Akehurst to say whether the overshadowing was ‘worse’ than the current permit.

AKEHURST: said that with the conditions imposed the overshadowing is ‘no greater’ than what the permit allowed.

SOUNNESS: found the application was ‘consistent with good, orderly planning’.

DELAHUNTY: said that objectors should be reassured that the conditions council has imposed ‘protect them from no greater harm’ than the original permit. Said that ‘people have to live somewhere’ and that we ‘can’t prejudge what type of people might move in’.