On the 1st July 2013 the Minister for Planning gazetted the amendment which gave councils one year to introduce the new residential zones into their municipalities. Prior to this, a draft of the new zones had been released (July 2012) and public submissions were called for. The closing date for these submissions was the 21st September 2012.

Whilst other councils had countless ‘information sessions’ for residents, plus detailed information up on their websites, Glen Eira had nothing. It was not until the council meeting of September 4th 2012 that residents had a chance to even see what council’s submission would be like. That left exactly 17 days before submissions closed. It also took several amended motions at this council meeting to even get anything up on council’s website.

Looking back at our report of this evening we remind readers of the following statements by councillors –

TANG: Foreshadowed an amendment because ‘this represents a discussion paper’….’missing community input directly’. Said that in his experience ‘people want to know’ whether something is going or not ‘and they want some input at an early stage’…..No reason we can’t facilitate the community giving their views as well’.

LIPSHUTZ: that since it’s taken officers a fair bit of time to understand them, he wasn’t ‘sure how in a very short period of time we’re going to have the public understand’. Worried that all this would ‘scare’ the public and be ‘misinterpreted’. The community should be involved only at the second phase.

Source: https://gleneira.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/patronising-paternalistic-pathetic/

A very important part of the resolution from this meeting read:

Council notes that this resolution only has effect insofar as it relates to Council’s submission to the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) , and that Council will consider the details of the transition, to the extent that it is able, once the Minister has determined the new zones.

The implication of this resolution is clear. Council is endorsing the submission, but NOT THE FINAL INTRODUCTION OF THE ZONES. That is to come back to Council, (with a capital ‘C’) – denoting in anyone’s language that a formal Council resolution is required prior to the adoption of the new zones.

This of course did not happen. For all the spin about ‘consultation’ at ‘phase 2’ the zones were introduced in secret and without a single murmur. Council washed its hands of all its obligations to ‘engage’, ‘inform’ and ‘consider’ resident views, firstly in its submission to the draft, and then on its implementation. Here again we have evidence that resolutions do not mean a thing in Glen Eira. They can be ignored, not acted upon, and simply left to rot in the archives.

What makes matters even worse, is that the deplorable spin that accompanied the introduction of the zones included the furphy that Council had already consulted with residents on its 2010 ‘review’ of the Planning Scheme. There was nothing in the outcomes of the ‘review’, and certainly not in anything that council has done since, that were within a bull’s roar of having anything to do with reassessing the minimal change/housing diversity policies. In fact, 4 years down the track and most of the ‘recommendations’ coming from the ‘review’ have still to be actioned. All that has been done is the miniscule expansion of the Significant Character Overlay to a few areas and the introduction of amendment after amendment which rezoned tracts of land making them ‘suitable’ for residential development.

We’ve extracted the relevant ‘recommendations’ passed by Council and highlighted all that have not yet been attended to – and please note the ‘internal’ assessments rather than open, transparent, public consultation! After four years, this is indeed a dismal record and totally demolishes the argument that the review of 2010 had anything to do with what was to come.

It is now 4 years later and we still have not had a Planning Scheme Review! Oh, we forget, these have all been done ‘internally’!

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