PS: The sheer and utter incompetence of Glen Eira Council knows no bounds. Finally, after nearly 2 weeks the minutes have been published. They are a dog’s breakfast of endless repetition, questions with different ‘answers’ assigned and the PUBLICATION IN FULL OF QUESTIONERS’ NAMES, ADDRESSES AND EMAIL CONTACTS. This is unforgivable and breaches the Privacy Act. It is even more unforgivable given that this is the second occasion in a row that this has occurred. Only after a complaint was made were the details of individuals redacted from the previously published agenda. We can only conclude that this is the result of either total ineptitude or a deliberate attempt to somehow intimidate and perhaps ‘silence’ those residents who have the cheek to speak up and ask uncomfortable questions. Needless to say the responses to these public questions are again totally uninformative and fail to either respond to the question directly or provide statements that are deliberately misleading. We will highlight all these in our next post.

The list of ‘mistakes’ by the planning department is growing and growing.  No one is perfect and yes, errors occur. This is no excuse however for the failure to correct such mistakes straight away instead of heading off to VCAT for another expensive hearing and ratepayers’ hard earned cash going down the drain.

The latest episode involves the application for an advertising sign in North Road. A relatively minor issue and should have been resolved a lot earlier. Council decided that together with the permit for this sign they would impose a 5 year time limit – despite the fact that their own planning scheme states at Clause 52.05 that “the date must not be less than 10 years or more than 25 years from the date the permit is issued.” The poor consultant fronts up and has to say “Council acknowledges its error in setting an expiry date of 5 years from the date of issue.

The applicant wanted 25 years. The result? A permit for 15 years.

Questions abound:

  • Why did this have to end up at VCAT? Why couldn’t this be resolved earlier?
  • How well do our planning decision makers know their own planning scheme?
  • How much did this farce cost ratepayers?