Report on November council meeting

[By Sue Bolton] Councillors voted to disband a taskforce set up this year to make it easier for residents in McBryde St Fawkner to have their concerns about the operation of the factories across the road. Prior to the establishment of the taskforce, the residents had to complain to several different council departments about the multiple issues as a result of large factories operating in a residential area.

While the taskforce hasn’t solved the issues of noise, bad odour, breaches of operating hours, semi-trailers backing into residents’ driveways, some of the problems have eased. The residents wanted the taskforce to continue to deal in order to resolve some of the issues. I moved the original motion to establish the taskforce and I voted against disbanding the taskforce but got voted down.

Draft Moreland Neighbourhood Centres strategy (NCS) & Amendment C159

The council officers recommended to council that the height around five activity centres be increased to a discretionary height of up to 6 stories. This was a big departure from what had been agreed to after community consultation around the residential zones. Councillors ended up voting for an alternative resolution to preserve a mandatory height of 4 stories around all of the neighbourhood activity centres.

Car share policy

The car share policy was deferred to the 9 December council meeting.

Affordable housing

The council voted to establish a land trust and to identify some council-owned sites that could be used for affordable housing. These would be projects with registered housing providers. Registered housing providers/housing associations don’t offer the same protection to tenants as public housing, but it is still a step forward that the council is pursuing more affordable housing.

I also moved a motion opposing the state Labor government’s plan to transfer another big number of public housing dwellings to community housing providers. Public housing tenants have far more protection than they can access with community housing providers.

Ballerrt Mooroop site

I got a motion passed for the council to contribute to a feasibility study for a First Nations community hub on the Ballerrt Mooroop site. This could be very important in securing the site for the Aboriginal community.

Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

I moved a motion for the council to produce a report on the likely impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement on Moreland City Council operations.

Newlands bus #526

I moved for the council to advocate for the bus route #526 from Coburg and West Preston have its hours of operation extended into the evening and for a Sunday service to be introduced.

Pentridge Prison heritage

I moved that a report is produced for council on the extent of destruction of heritage that has already occurred in the Pentridge Prison complex and proposing steps to preserve the social history of Pentridge prison, including its indigenous history and that council urges Heritage Victoria to take action to stop any further demolition of the panopticon and to advocate for the protection of the panopticon in order to determine how best to preserve the unique history.