Reportback from February council meeting

Commemorate Gallipoli invasion or real freedom fighters?

The February council meeting passed a motion to commemorate the anniversary of World War I and particularly the Gallipoli campaign.

Council resolves to call for a report on options to commemorate the anniversary of World War I and particularly the Gallipoli campaign. The options presented should incorporate the efforts of servicemen and women, the impacts of those at home and abroad before and after the war, as well as acknowledging those who held alternate views and were objectors to the war. That council invite suggestions from the RSL, local community history groups and other community organisations.

Sue was the only councillor to oppose this motion. She proposed an alternative motion:

In the year of the Anzac Centenary, we need to note that Moreland council has traditionally supported peace and not war. The first World War was a truly horrific war resulting in the deaths of millions of people. We mourn the deaths of all who perished in the conflict. Today Moreland should commemorate the people who fought to stop the devastating war by campaigning against military conscription and through conscientious objection. The first thing Moreland should commemorate is the Aboriginal people who fought against genocide right here in Australia and in Moreland. The Aboriginal people were true freedom fighters who were defending their homeland and not invading another country.

However, this motion lapsed when the majority motion passed.

Council endorses Palm Sunday refugee march

The council meeting voted to endorse the Sunday, April 13 Walk for Justice for Refugees march on Palm Sunday and contribute $500 to the event. The meeting also voted to support an employment pathways program for refugees and asylum seekers.

Pascoe Vale Community Facility & Rogers Reserve

Sue voted against the Pascoe Vale Community Facility being built on Rogers Reserve. The Pascoe Vale Community Facility is to house the Sussex Street Neighbourhood House and the Maternal & Child Health Centre and other community rooms and activities.

The Sussex Street Neighbourhood House is in desperate need of a new home because one of its structural walls is collapsing and two Maternal & Child Health centres need to be shifted. The overall project is a very necessary one and an urgent one.

But the proposal to site such an important project on a park was always likely to create resident opposition. The preservation of green space and the desperate need for a new community facility should not have been pitted against each other.

When council began investigating a site for such a facility several years ago, only one of the sites was not on parkland. Despite feeling unhappy about being forced to choose between two important social goods, in the end Sue voted to preserve green space and for an alternative site to be found for the Pascoe Vale Community Facility.

Protect the vulnerable during heatwaves

Sue moved a motion on protecting the vulnerable (homeless, elderly, sick, etc) during heatwaves. It was carried unanimously (see report Council votes to protect vulnerable during heatwaves).