Monday, March 31, 2008

Make a submission to the VEC for 3 x 3 councillor wards

The Victorian Electoral Commission has released its preliminary report on the number of councillors and the ward structures for Moonee Valley. You can find the report on the VEC website: vec.vic.gov.au

The VEC has recommended that MVCC have 9 coucillors - 3 councillors from each of 3 wards.

I believe this recommendation will serve Moonee Valley residents well. I made a preliminary submission to the VEC that sets out reasons for this view. My submission is available on the VEC website.

The VEC is asking for response submissions to its recommendation: the final deicison depends on how the community responds.

You need to make a response by 22 April 2008. You can read the report, preliminary submissions - and then make your comments known to the VEC. Have a voice. Be heard.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Development on former Lombard's site

You may know about the decision of Council to refuse the Stage 2B 21 storey tower proposed for the former Lombard’s site. The developer has appealed this decision at VCAT.

Respecting that the majority of Council also resolved to approve the Stage 2A 9 storey component, Cr Jim Cusack (Deakin ward) and I voted against this proposal in Council on 4 March on a number of grounds:

· Poor use of public transport
· Poor pedestrian and cyclist access
· Poor integration with adjoining residential area
· Poor integration with Stage 1
· Poor connections with open space
· Poor environmental response

The developer has also appealed the conditions put on the Stage 2A development. You can see these conditions at www.mvcc.vic.gov.au - look at the minutes for the Council meeting on 4 March.

The Planning Permits for Stages 2A and 2B are currently being considered by Council. I will continue to argue for improvements to the plans to make the development greener and better suited to its location.

Walking and Cycling

Improvements to cycling and walking paths are a priority. The Walking and Cycling Committee is identifying funding opportunities for 2008/9. What are your priorities?

Pram ramps are currently going in across Flemington Hill.

Greenhouse emissions

Street lighting accounts for 60% of Council’s emissions. Improvements to street-lighting will reduce Council’s emissions by 30%.

This is an achievable target.

Waste management

Moonee Valley’s landfill per household is above the Victorian average.

We are hoping to reach our target of reducing land-fill by 65% by 2014. We are doing this through avoiding waste, reusing and recycling and through the kitchen organics, green waste, business recycling and Re-New programs.

Avoid, reuse, recycle for zero waste.

Open Spaces

Fenton, Farnham and Delhi Reserves, and Travencore, Ormond and Debneys Parks are some of Debney Ward’s valuable green spaces. I am working on improvements to the surfaces and vegetation of these.

Pridham Plaza is another public space. When the development is complete, artwork, plants and furniture will make it an attractive place for families.

Equipment in playgrounds

There are a number of playgrounds that require additions and upgrades. I am working with community members to improve:

· Farnham Reserve
· Arthur Calwell Park
· Debneys Park

Talk to me about your playground.

Flemington Project

With Council and State Govt funding, the community on the Flemington Housing Estate is working together on a number of initiatives:

· Improving the environment
· Connecting the community
· Services for young people

Our waterways: dredging and storm-water

The decision to proceed with the dredging of Port Phillip Bay will potentially impact the quality of the water in the Maribyrnong River and surrounding water ways. Council resolved to request monitoring of the river.

In addition, Council has approved a draft Storm-water Management Plan. Please take a look and submit comments. Protecting our waterways from pollution and litter is a priority

Boundary Review

The State Government has redrawn the boundary between Moonee Valley City Council and The City of Melbourne. The new boundary, to take effect on July 1st 2008, will extend along Racecourse Rd.

The suburbs of Kensington and Nth Melbourne will be entirely within The City of Melbourne, except for some shops along Racecourse Rd.

There was no community consultation on the proposed location of the new boundary. Despite the arguable inadequacies of the process, I will be working towards a smooth transition and the continuation of services to residents and community groups who will no longer be part of Moonee Valley.

Graffiti

A Graffiti Policy that combines assistance to residents and traders to clean up graffiti with opportunities to create murals and community artwork spaces is currently being developed.

The new mural at Ascot Kindergarten is an example of a community art project supported by MVCC and coordinated by parents at the kinder. Students from Debney Park Secondary School created an artistic mural to cover the wall.

I can assist community groups coordinate similar projects.