Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Planning rally – Sat 5th June 12pm Queens Park
Are you concerned about over-development in your area? I have seen far too many planning applications rejected by Council only to be approved at VCAT. We are seeing neighbourhood character eroded and local policies over-ridden. We all understand the need to mitigate urban sprawl with smart inner-urban housing, but excessive development is resulting in housing of poor amenity being squeezed onto suburban blocks. Voice your views on Saturday June 5th.

1 Ascot Vale Rd
As predicted, this application has proceeded to VCAT ahead of a decision by Council. It will be heard at VCAT in early August. Council will make its decision ahead of the VCAT hearing and this decision will then be defended at VCAT.


Heritage in Strathmore
You may have read about the ongoing issue in Strathmore. We are working hard to find a solution to the matter – and looking at heritage issues in other areas as well where an overlay is felt to be appropriate by residents.


Cycling and Walking Committee
We have many new members on this committee to help us revise the 2004 Cycling and Walking Strategy, advocate for more state and federal funding for infrastructure and engage with the community to make our city a safe place for cycling and walking for commuters and families. If you would like more information, please let me know.


Racecourse Rd Structure Plan
Structure Plans have taken a new form with the introduction of the new Activity Centre Zoning – which exempts many developments from notice – and the push for wider boundaries. We have the situation around Racecourse Rd where Flemington is within the proposed boundary, but Kensington is not. This seems unworkable and illogical. If such arrangements continue, it may well seem to many that the pursuit of a Structure Plan is ill-advised.


Reconciliation Action Plan
Tonight, Council will consider its draft Reconciliation Action Plan. I am very pleased that this is coming before Council and it includes many actions to improve our relationship with local indigenous community members. Please take some time to have a look at the Plan. It coincides with ‘Sorry Day’ last week and the Western Indigenous art show which is currently on at the Incinerator Arts Complex.
Exhibition Dates: Wednesday, 26 May to Sunday, 13 June
Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm
Venue: Incinerator Arts Complex
The exhibition is an opportunity for local Indigenous artists to showcase their artwork to the wider community.


ReNew Collection – Flemington/Ascot Vale this week
Don’t forget that it is time again for the ReNew Collection the day after your recycle bin goes out this week. Place your goods in bags in your recycle bin – books, clothes, household items, toys, plastic bags, mobile phones etc. See Council’s website for more details.


Public Housing
Unfortunately Flemington and Ascot Vale Housing Estates did not receive any funding in the latest state government announcement of more funding for public housing. We will continue to seek support for upgrades to housing for residents in these precincts.


Issues and complaints
Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding issues, queries or concerns. I will endeavour to respond and seek appropriate advice and action.


Greens Candidate for the state seat of Essendon
You may be aware that I standing for the state seat of Essendon to be contested at the state election on November 27 2010 as The Greens’ candidate. Councillors can continue as candidates and Councillors, but must resign from Council if elected to Parliament.

Essendon is a diverse community – with public housing, an airport, waterways, beautiful suburbs, trains and trams and treasured open space. Residents need reliable and safe transport, better cycle paths, well funded schools and urgent action on climate change at the state level.

Given that the Labor candidate for the election will be Justin Madden, the Minister for Planning, planning will be a hotly debated issue. The Greens would create a democratic planning system where communities and councils could plan their own neighbourhoods together, and write planning rules that could not be overridden. People tell us they want sustainably designed housing with access to high frequency public transport, with more high quality open spaces, and government-funded services for families like community health centres, schools, childcare centres etc.

If you would like more information about the Essendon campaign or would like to assist in any way, please let me know on rose.iser@vic.greens.org.au or 0414 959 427

Events

Fairbairn Park Saturday 26th June 2pm

Meet with me and others at Fairbairn Park at 2pm on Saturday 26th June to discuss the ongoing issue associate with the use and upgrade of this precious open space.


Local planting opportunities
Saturday 5 June 10am Fairbairn Park
Sunday 6 June 2pm 5 Mile Creek reserve – end of Government Road
Saturday 19 June 10am Napier Park Strathmore


Refugee Week
Look out for events during Refugee Week Sunday, June 20 (World Refugee Day) to Saturday, June 26.

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