Coburg residents rally at council meeting

[By Chris Slee] About 80 residents held a rally outside Coburg Town Hall before a meeting of Moreland City Council on February 13.  They then went into the Council meeting and raised their concerns during question time.

The rally was organised by Save Coburg, a residents group recently formed in response to the proposed new Coburg Structure Plan.  This plan includes 10-storey buildings alongside existing homes.

Other concerns include lack of sufficient open space, additional strain on already overcrowded public transport in the area, and loss of the right to appeal against development decisions in the area covered by the plan.

Speakers at the rally outside the town hall were local residents Myles Green and Phil Cadman, and Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton.

Inside the council meeting many residents spoke, forcing the extension of time for questions from the public from the usual half hour to an hour and a half.

In response to public pressure, Council had extended the time for public submissions on the Coburg Structure Plan from January 31 to March 1.  Bolton moved for a further extension of time for public consultation.  She also moved for Council to hold three town hall meetings to enable public discussion of the Coburg plan, and a similar plan for Brunswick.

However the majority of councillors rejected these proposals.  Instead, individuals and small groups can meet with planners on February 23 at Coburg Town Hall between 10am and 5pm.

[Green Left Weekly, February 18, 2013.]