Council’s 2021/22 Annual Report claims to have held 27 community consultations. Of these only ONE in 2021 and ONE in 2022 published IN FULL all of the community feedback. Budget and financial plans are excluded from this calculation since they are required by law to be available.

What is clear is that over the past few years, on all the important issues such as structure planning, urban design frameworks, quality design guidelines, etc. this council has deliberately with-held the complete feedback that residents submitted. Instead the community has been provided with ‘summaries’ that we allege are far from representative of what residents stated. If it were otherwise, then why is access to these submissions denied?

We have had a litany of excuses – that the issue is ‘operational’ and therefore beyond councillors’ domain; that privacy and confidentiality are important; that the Engagement Strategy mandates that privacy be protected, etc. All of these are spurious and last ditch attempts to hide the truth. Even more galling is the fact that planning issues that will establish what happens in Glen Eira for the next 20 years are seen as needing only the ‘consult’ level of participation rather than ‘involve’ or ‘collaborate’ which other councils have implemented.

The past two years have seen some incredibly important decisions being made and residents being denied the full results of the accompanying consultations. We have mickey-mouse reporting instead. All of the following decision included mere ‘summaries’:

Glen Huntly Structure Plan

Carnegie Structure Plan

Housing Strategy (Stage 1 and Stage 2 Consultation)

Caulfield Station Structure Plan

Amendment C184 for Bentleigh and Carnegie structure plans

When 110 people show up in the middle of winter and in the midst of covid, and voice their views as they did at the Town Hall Forum, and this doesn’t even warrant a single word of feedback in the consultation summary, then we are in deep trouble. Readers might be interested to know that our recording of this evening has been downloaded 1,596 times already. Other recordings of important planning issues have also been downloaded hundreds and hundreds of times. Planning is definitely on people’s minds and there are certainly more than 150 people (according to Magee) who have concerns with what is happening. Check out these figures –

Finally, it beggars belief, as to why feedback on less important issues have in the past been published but not on the above list of issues. We maintain that this administration is determined to bulldoze through its plans regardless of what residents say they want. If it were otherwise, and consultation was indeed a genuine attempt to gather feedback and where possible act on this feedback then all results would be published. Instead we have an administration determined to censor contrary views, and determined to limit the role of residents and councillors. That is unconscionable.

By way of comparison, we gone through all the agendas from 2016-22 (the start of the McKenzie reign) and listed all those consultation feedbacks which were published in full. We’ve omitted budget, local law, etc reports. Please compare the importance of the following to the significance of these later planning issues.

One caveat to the above. When council first began their work on the various structure plans in 2017, and held their misleading online surveys such as ‘what do you like about your shopping strip’, the full results were published – including facebook comments. But this was well before residents were made aware of the repercussions of these ‘consultations’ and what it would mean for the final draft structure plans. Interestingly, privacy, confidentiality was not an issue back then and neither was this regarded as strictly ‘operational’. You can access these reports via this link –



NORTH – 19th September 2016. Feedback – Emails, Phone and Letters; 2 Have Your Say – Forum Comments;3 Traffic Volume Analysis

JOYCE PARK – OPEN SPACE CONVERSION  – 13th June 2017 – Attachment 3: Feedback Received – Email Attachment 4: Feedback Received – Have Your Say Forum

ACTIVITY CENTRE, HOUSING AND LOCAL ECONOMY STRATEGY 25th July 2017 – all online survey responses and formal submissions

HARLESTON PARK OPEN SPACE AND PLAY SPACE UPGRADE CONSULTATION – 5th September 2017 – 2. Feedback – Email, mail and phone

3. Feedback – ‘Have Your Say’ Forum comments

EE GUNN RESERVE LANDSCAPE MASTERPLAN –5th September 2017 – . Feedback – Email and Phone; 3. Feedback – ‘Have Your Say’ Online Comments

TRANSFORMING MURRUMBEENA CONSULTATION REPORT – 17th October 2017 – Comments in full from “Have your say” discussion board

3 – Feedback received by email, phone and other channels

4 – Summary written feedback from information session

5 – Local Area Traffic Management Plan

HARLESTON PARK SMALL BASKETBALL COURT– 28th November 2017 – 2. Feedback – Email comments; 3. Feedback – ‘Have Your Say’ Forum comments;4. Feedback – Letter received with signatures

CAULFIELD WEDGE DOG PARK– 6th February 2018 – 3. Feedback – Email and phone comments;4. Feedback – ‘Have Your Say’ forum comments

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A CLASSIFIED TREE REGISTER – 26th September 2018 – survey responses & submissions

PROPOSED NEW PARK – AILEEN AVENUE, CAULFIELD SOUTH – 5th February 2019 – 2. Have Your Say Feedback; Email Feedback; Phone Call Feedback

CAULFIELD PARK MASTERPLAN – 5th February 2019 –Have Your Say Forum Discussion  Email Feedback; 4. Community Meeting Feedback

GLEN EIRA ROOMING HOUSE STRATEGY – 21st May 2019 – 2019 – Consultation feedback

ROSANNA STREET RESERVE UPGRADE – STAGE TWO – 2nd July 2019 – Have Your Say Feedback ; Email Feedback;Phone Calls Feedback

DRAFT MURRUMBEENA PARK MASTERPLAN REFRESH – 3rd September 2019 – Survey feedback;5. Email feedback


(NORTHBOUND) TO VICKERY STREET – 24th September 2019 – email, survey responses

HOPETOUN GARDENS LANDSCAPE MASTERPLAN – 16th October 2019 – Have Your Say feedback;Email feedback;Phone call feedback



PUBLIC TRANSPORT ADVOCACY PLAN – 17th December 2019 – emails, comments (but not on previous item for Inkerman Road cycle path)


CONSULTATION OUTCOMES – Community Consultation responses’Community Voice’ survey results

 25th February 2020

PARKING POLICY – 17th March 2020 – Draft Parking Policy Engagement Report

OPEN SPACE STRATEGY REFRESH – 9th June 2020 – Feedback – Email and Letter; Have Your Say Forum

MULTIDECK CARPARKS COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND CONSULTATION – 14th December 2021 – HYS Individual Comments; CV Individual Comments; WSP Report – Online Community Workshop; Chat – Online Community Workshop;;Social Media; Written Correspondence

MULTIDECK COMMUTER CARPARKS PROJECT – OUTCOMES OF COMMUNITY CONSULTATION – 30th August 2022 – MDCP – Social Media Feedback;. MDCP – Written Correspondence Feedback;MDCP – HYS Survey Responses

Why does Glen Eira’s webcast of its council meetings repeatedly run into major technological problems? And not for the first time the audio was impossible to follow.  Once again the meeting had to be halted so that the problem could be fixed Here’s a short example of what went on at the start:

When compared to the clarity of both sound and vision that other councils have, why are we so sub-standard?  Is it simply you get what you paid for? Yet even this does not excuse council’s incompetence. Why isn’t the sound tested BEFORE each meeting goes live? Why isn’t vision tested prior to going live? Surely when this council spends literally millions on technology each year, they could secure a system that is far more reliable and user-friendly.

Here are some screen dumps from other councils. In all cases both vision and sound are crystal clear.




Finally, these two screen dumps from Boroondara where viewers can actually see WHAT is being discussed as well as the individual speaking-

At this morning’s recount for the vacant councillor position, Sue Pennicuik was elected to replace Pilling. This will mean that council now has 2 Greens (Zyngier & Pennicuik).

If anyone had any doubts about council’s internal political divide, the election of mayor and deputy mayor fully illustrates how the Labor versus Lib chasm is well and truly operational in Glen Eira.

Magee has been elected by a vote of 5 to 4 as Mayor. Labor together with the support of the Greens voted for Magee, whilst the Libs with the support of the nominal ‘independents’ voted for Cade. The votes in favour of Magee were: Magee, Athanasopolous, Zhang, Zyngier and Pilling. The four voting for Cade were: Parasol, Szmood, Esakoff, Cade.

Sadly, what this means is that we have a Labor Mayor and Deputy Mayor in charge for the next year. Whether or not this means that Glen Eira will continue to back to the hilt the incumbent Labor State government remains to be seen. Sadly, taking state politics out of local government seems a forlorn hope. As we’ve stated numerous times before, local government and its councillors, owes it top priority to its residents and not to some political agenda dictated by political parties.

How ratepayers vote in the next few weeks will, we believe, largely be dependent on how ratepayers respond to the following question:

How well has this current council and councillors handled:

  • Planning?
  • Traffic?
  • Open space?
  • Consultation?
  • Tree retention?
  • Rates?
  • Advocating for the community?

If there is the view that the above long standing issues have not been improved, and have even become worse, then logically what is required is a total clean out of the standing incumbents and the election of councillors who will dedicate themselves totally to changing the current strategies, policies, and processes of this council.

As we’ve previously stated, half of these incumbents have been there for eons.

Esakoff – since 2003 continuously (apart from being sacked for a few months in 2005)

Magee – since 2008 continuously

Athanasopolous – since 2016

Ann-Marie Cade – since 2018 on a count back win of a few hundred votes

Please remember this:

  • All voted for structure plans that included 12 storey height limits
  • All voted for the Integrated Transport Policy which suggests reducing parking requirements in activity centres
  • All voted for rate increase(s) – the longest serving councillors for up to 6.5% per annum
  • All voted for meeting procedures that limit public questions
  • All voted for 3000 apartments in East Village
  • All accept at various times without question, substandard officer reports
  • All voted to become more and more in debt and borrowing $60M plus

These are just some of the major decisions which have had, and will continue to have, a detrimental effect on many, many people in this community. Can we afford another 4 years of more of the same?

After at least 150 years of the racing industry’s supremacy over the community, nothing much appears to have changed with the newly announced lease signing and the appointment of the new trustees.

Much is still unclear, but the following questions need answering:

  • Will the community be privy to the fine print of the lease agreement? Is the removal of training binding in this agreement?
  • Will the trustees publish a map that clearly outlines the land under the lease and which is freehold land?
  • How was the figure of $300,000+ per annum arrived at when previous evaluations were in the million dollar range? Why is the MRC, with its vast resources, being given literally a peppercorn rental and will this rental apply only until the removal of training or for the duration of the 65 year lease?
  • Will the introduction of night racing mean more racing events? How will these events impact on the local community?
  • Can residents expect residential development on the freehold land?
  • Will light towers now predominate across vast areas of crown land?
  • Will a new track mean further encroachment onto public open space and the further proliferation of lego land – ie white fences?

Despite the work of the various spin doctors we do not see this as anything else apart from another victory for the Melbourne Racing Club! A couple of soccer pitches do not warrant this buckling at the knees!

From The Age – Sunday, 7th October.


In another round of meaningless legislation that promises the earth and delivers nothing, we now have Wynne’s Amendment VC149 (gazetted today).

The accompanying Explanatory Report states:

Amendment VC149 also provides guidance on the assessment of planning applications where rooftop solar energy facilities exist on abutting residential properties, as well as direction on the assessment of new solar energy facilities in heritage areas. This guidance is required to address the absence of a clear and consistent framework within the VPP for the assessment of the impact of development on solar energy facilities

Clause 15.02-1 seeks to encourage land use and development that uses energy efficiently and minimises greenhouse gas emissions. Amendment VC149 will ensure that new building designs minimise the impact of overshadowing of existing rooftop solar energy facilities on adjoining lots, enabling more efficient residential energy use.

Far from ENSURING anything, this piece of legislation can only be described as another instance of spin, tokenism and the failure to insist on standards that will place a check on development that ignores the issue of solar panelling, wind tunnelling effects, etc. It mirrors the gutless refusal to introduce proper standards for apartment sizes, and the dilution of the required garden areas and parking numbers.

Readers should carefully review the following screen dump from the legislation. In order for the legislation to have any real impact then SHOULD would be replaced with MUST. Further, exactly what does ‘unreasonable’ mean? Then we also have the ‘get out of jail clause’ such as ‘if practicable’.

As for the Decision Guidelines themselves, we get the following waffle –

The extent to which an existing rooftop solar energy facility on an adjoining lot is overshadowed by existing buildings or other permanent structures. 

Whether the existing rooftop solar energy facility on an adjoining lot is appropriately located. 

The effect of overshadowing on an existing rooftop solar energy facility on an adjoining lot. 

The second sentence is remarkable. Does this mean that someone who has spent a fortune on installing solar panels will now be ‘guilty’ of councils and VCAT deciding that they weren’t ‘appropriately located’ – whatever this might mean. Does this then give the developer the all clear and occasion further cost on the neighbour to move his panels? We have already had instances in Glen Eira where this has occurred!

In our view, another piece of legislation that is all about pretense and nothing about curbing inappropriate development.

Coalition promises to rein in development on Melbourne’s leafy streets

By Benjamin Preiss & Clay Lucas

18 June 2018 — 1:00pm

Zones that control medium-density property development in sensitive areas would be changed and tightened up, under a Coalition promise to “protect” Melbourne’s streets.

With five months until the next state election, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy went to leafy Glen Iris on Monday morning to announce he would bring back a two-dwelling limit on blocks in the city’s quietest residential areas.

Under Labor, developers on blocks bigger than 400 square metres have been allowed to build as many dwellings as they like – but they must provide a minimum “garden area” of 25 per cent of the block.

Mr Guy was planning minister under the previous Baillieu-Napthine governments, and brought in the two-dwelling rule – although he only applied it in Melbourne’s more exclusive areas.

He simultaneously opened up Melbourne’s inner-city Fishermans Bend area for high-density, high-rise development and approved an unprecedented number of high-rise towers in Melbourne’s CBD.

On Monday, Mr Guy said he would bring back his nine-metre height limit in the city’s general residential zones. Under current Planning Minister Richard Wynne, this zone had been expanded to 11 metres, with a mandatory three-storey height limit.

This was done because developers were squeezing in three levels in nine metres, leading to low-quality designs and apartments with very low-ceilings.

Mr Guy said Melbourne could not afford to become a city of more than 7 million people. “That’s not the kind of city we should be leaving our children,” he said.

Mr Guy promised to re-establish his rules for neighbourhood and general residential zones, in a move he said would protect them from overdevelopment.

“We’ve always said development is fine in defined areas,” he said.

Mr Guy faced widespread criticism for the roll-out of residential zones when the Coalition was in government, both because they favoured Melbourne’s richest areas and because of the messy process surrounding their introduction.

The Coalition has promised its policy would protect quiet streets from overdevelopment and place higher density housing in high activity zones, which would include areas surrounding railway stations.

Laura Murray, president of the Planning Institute in Victoria, said the proposed changes were “extremely concerning”.

“You will not find such limited density … in any other major city around the world,” she said. “We need to unlock the missing middle, not restrict development in these areas.”

Melbourne’s planning blueprint, Plan Melbourne, has bi-partisan support, and encourages increased density in Melbourne locations near existing infrastructure, jobs, services and public transport.

Ms Murray said Mr Guy’s plans was not in line with this policy because it severely limited development on large blocks that could accommodate far more than two dwellings.

Mr Wynne has been contacted for a response to the policy announcement.

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/coalition-promises-to-rein-in-development-on-melbourne-s-leafy-streets-20180618-p4zm4t.html

The department has released its proposed legislation for aged care accommodation. See – https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/planning-reform/residential-aged-care-facilities

In another blow to residential amenity, the proposals include:

  • A maximum height of 13.5 metres in all zones – ie this includes Neighbourhood residential which has an 8 or 9 metre mandatory height limit depending on council’s current schedules to the zone
  • If the application meets certain ‘standards’ of section 55 then there are no notification rights, no third party objection rights
  • 80% of the site can be covered by building(s), driveways, etc.
  • Car parking is 0.3 spaces per room as opposed to current differentiation between ‘nursing home’, ‘aged care accommodation’ etc. It would appear that all forms will not only need to supply 0.3 spaces.

The draft provisions are available at this link – https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/89461/RACF-Reforms-Draft-Provision.pdf

Once again the State Gov is inviting ‘submissions’.

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