[By Sue Bolton] In question time, Merlynston residents expressed their strong disappointment that the council had rejected funding the restoration of the Merlynston Progress Hall in the draft council budget. One resident said that when the campaign began, she was wanting access to the hall for a playgroup. Now, her children are in high school and the community still does not have access to the hall.
Extra gaming machines for Glenroy RSL: The Glenroy RSL had applied for a permit to extend their premises and install an extra tengaming machines. I voted against the club having extra gaming machines because poker machines are designed to be addictive. The majority of councillors rejected the extra gaming machines. The councillors who voted against were Sue Bolton (Socialist Alliance); Sam Ratnam (Greens), Lenka Thompson (Greens), Lambros Tapinos (ALP); John Kavanagh (independent), Helen Davidson (independent) and Rob Thompson (Liberal Party). Councillors who voted to allow the extra gaming machines were all ALP councillors – Oscar Yildiz, Michael Teti, Meghan Hopper and Lita Gilles.
O’Dea St Traffic: Councillors voted to set up a working group of residents and council officers to work through solutions to the traffic problems on O’Hea and surrounding streets. Residents would have preferred that council officers immediately begin working through the proposals put to them by residents and saw the working group as delaying things. However, at least the council is starting to recognise the issues in the area.
Moreland anti-racism rally: Council voted to endorse the Moreland says No to Racism rally on Saturday 28 May, 11am outside the Coburg Library.
Privatisation of disability services: After it had been rejected at a previous council meeting, I was successful in getting a motion passed calling on the state government to stop privatizing disability services. The state government announced in December that it would privatise most disability services.
No Business in Abuse – refugee advocacy: I successfully get a motion passed to:
Agree, in principle, to only support and/or contract companies, institutions and organisations that do not support or profit from the system of offshore detention and practices which abuse the fundamental human rights of asylum seekers. A company that is not abusive is one which:
- Has zero tolerance for child abuse, in policy and practice;
- Respects people’s fundamental rights to freedom from arbitrary and indefinite detention;
- Does not treat people in a cruel, inhumane or degrading manner;
- Commits to transparency and independent monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld
I called for incorporating these four principles into the procurement policy, thereby excluding them from future contracts, tenders or business dealings any companies involved in Australia’s offshore and onshore immigration processing system that fail to meet the NBIA pledge requirements from any future contracts, tenders or other business dealings
Mayor takes leave of absence: The Greens Mayor, Cr Samantha Ratnam announced that she would take a leave of absence from 27 May 2016 to 6 July while she contests the seat of Wills. Deputy Mayor Lita Gillies was appointed as acting mayor.