Council’s response to a public question asked at the last council meeting continues the tradition of – (a) not answering what was specifically asked; (b) revealing only half of the story, and (c) resorting to a plethora of meaningless motherhood statements.

We ask readers to especially focus on the highlighted sections in the following image. The question asked two specific things – why all of council’s documentation largely failed to take into account the development potential of Caulfield Village and Virginia Estate AND why council is proposing the expansion of our activity centres and hence more development when council is already well and truly surpassing its housing targets.


  • Council refers to the current planning scheme. Well the current planning scheme which is so out of date it is irrelevant states clearly that: there will be a need to plan for the additional 6,000 dwellings which are predicted for Glen Eira by 2021 as well as encouraging a more diverse housing stock (Department of Infrastructure, 1999, Victoria in Future).
    Not a word about 9000 or 2031!
  • Council then conflates the consultant’s Housing Study with Victoria in Future 2016. Far more damning however is the deliberate omission of some vital information. Here are the Victoria in Future projections where the 9000 additional dwellings is to be found in the time span from 2016 to 2031. Even these figures result in an average new dwellings per year of 642. Glen Eira’s average is practically triple this.
  • Nowhere in the housing study is the figure of 9000 mentioned. In fact, we’re told that in 2013 the available land promised 87 years of growth, but as of now this has been reduced to only 37 years. Are we therefore to conclude that development in Glen Eira has been so dramatic and drastic that in the space of 4 short years developers have gobbled up 50 years worth of previously available land? If so, then what does this say about our rate of development and the need for more development?
  • We might also ask what is the motive behind the use of the word ‘just’? Does this mean that according to council the projected housing growth is barely achieving what it must and this is the ‘excuse’ for facilitating more development? Where is the data to support such an outrageous claim?
  • Further the entire statement ignores what has been happening prior to 2016 and the amount of new dwellings that have already occurred in Glen Eira. Here are the figures for building approvals from 2011 to 2016 –
  • 2011/12 – 912
  • 2012/13 – 957
  • 2013/14 – 1,231
  • 2014/15 – 1,786
  • 2015/16 – 1,680
  • 2016/17 – 1991

That makes a grand total of 8557 in the space of 6 years. Victoria in Future 2016 projections are 13,000 from 2011 to 2031 – again reinforcing the fact that Glen Eira is capable of meeting its housing needs with an average of 650 dwellings per year. Even if this years Victoria in Future increases the number of projected dwellings needed, we maintain that Glen Eira remains well and truly ahead of the pack in the development game.

  • As for the 10 hectares of land now claimed to be ‘saved’ from 4 storey development it would be far more credible if council actually calculated how much land in the current RGZ areas was already chocka-block full of four storeys. Perhaps that would leave only 6 or 5 or 4 hectares that are now ‘saved’?
  • The most unbelievable statement is – the issue is not just about numbers. Surely it is the numbers that determine the required extent of new development? Surely it is the numbers that determine whether activity centre borders need to be doubled in size? Surely it is numbers that determine whether or not the municipality requires 12 storeys of mainly residential development in order to play its fair share in accommodating population growth? And the most important question – if structure planning is meant to apportion appropriate land use outcomes, then numbers are integral to decisions on where, how much, how high, and can the municipality cope with these numbers?
  • Please also note the failure to respond to the issue of Caulfield Village and Virginia Estate. With another potential 5000 dwellings to go up, then ‘first principles’ means nothing. Again, its back to numbers.

The really sad aspect of such a response is that councillors allowed this to go out in their name without a murmur. Do they really understand what is going on and have they heard the growing public resentment?