Tag Archives: Glen Eira Residents Association

THE GREAT FOREST NATIONAL PARK

The Glen Eira Residents Association was fortunate to have Jim Walker (a member of the  Glen Eira Environment Group and active supporter of the Wilderness Society’s proposed Great Forest National Park as our guest speaker at our recent AGM (12/12/2017).

For those not aware, the proposed Great Forest National Park (GFNP) is located 60 km from Melbourne and will combine existing Parks and State Forests into one huge (estimated 525,000 ha) protected park  comprising some of the most spectacular and unique forests in the world and Melbourne’s most important ecological system .  The Great Forest National Park will

  • be to Melbourne what the Blue Mountains and its national parks are to Sydney.
  • enable Victoria to match its counterparts in other states in recognising, valuing and celebrating Australia’s globally significant biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Currently, clear fell logging (for paper pulp) of the forest’s signature Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans Muell) trees is endangering much of the regions flora and fauna as well as Melbourne’s future water supply.

The proposed park features, some of which are found nowhere else in the world, are

  • the signature tall (100+ metres) Mountain Ash trees (Eucalyptus regnans Muell).  The 400 year old Mountain Ash is the tallest flowering tree in the world and is unique to this area.
  • The Mountain Ash forests support a diverse array of wildlife (possums, gliders and owls), some of which are critically endangered and rare (eg. Leadbeater’s possum)
  • a diverse assemblage of plants and forest types, ranging from rainforests to alpine woodlands and herb-rich foothill forests.
  • protection for this forested water catchment area that provides 98% of Melbourne’s drinking water – drinking water that is ranked amongst the highest quality in the world.
  • significant tourism (local and international) opportunities in this unique natural area.

In addition to wide spread public support, notable supporters for the Great Forest National Park include Sir David Attenborough and the Jane Goodall Foundation.  GERA encourages readers to support this campaign.  Having heard the presentation and done some research, it hasn’t been difficult to decide to advocate for the creation of the Great Forest National Park rather than the creation of more paper pulp.

To assist readers review, the following links are provided

GERA AGM Guest Speaker Presentation – Jim Walker

Wilderness Society – YouTube presentations (some)

HOW TO SUPPORT THE GFNP CAMPAIGN
There is a growing movement of Australians—and people from across the globe—who are getting behind Victoria’s next great national park.
Call the man who can make it all happen—the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews—on (03) 9651 5000. For tips on making the call, click here.
 
As always feel free to comment on our Facebook page.
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Successful Livestreaming/Webcasting of Council Meeting (19/12/2017)

Good job on the livestreaming/webcast.

Some teething problems (eg. sound in gallery vs. sound on web) but overall great step forward.

Re items of interest

  • Items 9.2 & 9.3 Developments at 3 Rigby and 3 Newman Ave, Carnegie. Approved with additional conditions.  Most significant condition – removal of 2nd storey on unit 4 of both developments.
  • Item 9.4 233-47 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick 13 storey development – refused.

 

Livestreaming/Webcasting of Council Meetings commences tonight (19/12/2017)

Livestreaming/Webcasting details are on Council’s website.

Details on how to access are “a bit light on”,  as near as we can work out clicking on “Ordinary Meeting” should access the Livestreaming/Webcast window.

We congratulate Council’s emergence into the 21st Century and assuming all goes well (ie. no teething troubles) recommend residents watch the meeting.

Of particular interest tonight are

  • Agenda Item 9.4 re a 13 storey development in 233-47 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick. The development comprises ground floor offices/retail below 117 residential units (predominantly 2 bedrooms) over basement parking and a reduction in parking provisions.  The Officer’s Report recommends approval of 12 storeys (a reduction of 1 storey) comprising up to 111 residential units.

The site is located in Urban Renewal Area in the Draft Elsternwick Structure Plans – Urban Renewal Areas have a recommended height limit of 6-8 stories which may be increased to 12 stories if “community benefit” applies to the development.  “Community Benefit” is not discussed in Officer’s Report.

Those watching, from the comfort of home or the less comfortable gallery, should find the Councillor discussions and decisions on the above items provide considerable insight into each Councillors views on Glen Eira’s future development.

The Agenda for tonight’s meeting may be downloaded from Council’s website.

NEW MAYOR – 2017-18

Congratulations to Cr. Anthony (Tony) Athanasopoulos on last night’s  election as Mayor of Glen Eira 2017 – 18.  Tony has long been an active supporter of numerous community groups and is an established trader and resident of Carnegie.

First elected to Council in October, 2016, his election as Mayor is well deserved recognition for his outstanding Councillor performance over the past 12 months.  A performance that shows a growing understanding of planning issues and always a willingness to listen and question (ourselves included).

We are looking forward to the next 12 months and “agreeing to disagree” over some (not all) issues.

Well done Tony!!!!

BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL – IT CONTINUES

GERA has just received the below email from the BHCA Group challenging Council’s proposed representation at next month’s VCAT Hearing.  The BHCA Group is the residents group opposing the proposed development of a high rise Retirement Village at Kooyong Road, Caulfield South – the development site is surrounded by the Neighbourhood Residential Zone with a 2 storey height.

“Previous statements from councillors and planning department representatives have offered confidence that the Development, as revised, would be strongly resisted and defended by council.  …. It is with alarm that BHCA Group has learned the City of Glen Eira is not appointing a barrister.  Nor is it presenting planning evidence, instead addressing matters by way of submission.”   

We agree with the BHCA Group that Council’s proposed submission falls short of past promises and we note that it is in line with residents’ long standing and increasingly vocal criticisms of the quality of Council representation at VCAT.

The Bethlehem Hospital Community Action Group can be contacted by email at bhcagroup@gmail.com

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Dear Cr Delahunty (Mayor), Cr Silver, Cr Sztrajt, Cr Esakoff, Cr Davey, Cr Athanasopoulos, Cr Hyams, Cr Magee and Cr Taylor

Re: Calvary Healthcare Bethlehem Hospital Application GE/PP-29481/2016

To date, the Bethlehem Hospital Community Action Group (BHCA Group) has been reassured that the council possesses a similar strength of objection to the Bethlehem Hospital Redevelopment (the Development) as the local, affected residents.

Previous statements from councillors and planning department representatives have offered confidence that the Development, as revised, would be strongly resisted and defended by council.  The draft permit conditions tabled by council at the VCAT compulsory conference and the early assurances that the City of Glen Eira would steadfastly defend the integrity of its planning scheme by appointing counsel and expertise provided affected residents with the impression that their elected representatives were listening and would act to oppose an irrevocable affront to the unique neighbourhood character.

Unfortunately, this confidence has been misplaced.

It is with alarm that BHCA Group has learned the City of Glen Eira is not appointing a barrister.  Nor is it presenting planning evidence, instead addressing matters by way of submission.  While this approach may be sufficient for the routine or typical VCAT planning or development related matters, for a VCAT determination, which goes to the heart of the integrity of City of Glen Eira planning scheme, it is not, sufficient or adequate.

The developers, Calvary Health Care, have engaged a high quality and experienced QC, instructed by legal, planning, urban design, traffic, landscape and related experts.  They all have a motivation to successfully argue that the planning scheme does not apply to the Development and hence, they can flout the planning regulations and destroy the neighbourhood character with impunity.

BHCA Group strongly believes that this VCAT hearing commencing on 20 November 2017 is a test case for the integrity of the planning scheme for developments of this type.  Issue of a permit, in the form proposed or substantially similar would represent a highly undesirable precedent that will propagate throughout the City of Glen Eira and other regions.

BHCA Group, with the full appreciation of the distinction between the arguments and representations of local residents and those of the City of Glen Eira, recognises that it must advocate on behalf of affected local residents.  BHCA Group has obtained funding from local residents to engage its own barristers, planning and other experts to argue its case.  BHCA Group reasonably expected that its efforts would complement those of the City of Glen Eira’s.

We therefore call upon the council, representing the residents of the City of Glen Eira, to move a motion to instruct the planning department and its legal counsel to appoint a senior barrister with suitable planning experience, planning expertise, whether it be from within the City of Glen Eira’s planning department or externally appointed, to complement and coordinate the urban design and parking experts that are currently contemplated.

As has been previously communicated, BHCA Group remains committed to work with the City of Glen Eira to coordinate our defence and objection to this inappropriate and objectionable Development. 

Kelvin Cope

on behalf of

BHCAGroup

CAULFIELD RACECOURSE REQUIEM

The Victorian Parliament is currently debating the “Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Bill”  that arises from the scathing 2014 Auditor General’s Report into the “Management and Oversight of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve”.    It’s taken 3 years to get to this point and it’s our assessment that the Bill misses the point.

Since the Auditor General’s Report much has be promised, yet it is hard to relate those promises with the content of this Bill.  Rather than addressing the inequity between the Reserve’s three separate yet equal purposes of “racecourse public recreation ground and public park” by aligning Racecourse and Community usages with those purposes, we argue that the Bills provisions favour racing rather than public interests and fall short of  addressing the issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report.   For example,

  • the purposes have been redefined to align more closely with existing inequitable uses and the Minister is given the authority to assign/vary the weightings assigned to the purposes.
  • Ministerial appointment of Trustees, without adequately defining selection criteria.  Appointment is for a period of 3 years with re-appointment for an indefinite number of terms is permitted.
  • Ministerial determination of lease periods of up to 65 years.  This is contrary to past practices and inconsistent with commercial practices and the Reserve’s defined purposes
  • Inadequate management and financial reporting requirements (both Parliamentary and Public) which are not in line with contemporary practices.  Likewise with Conflict of Interest provisions.
  • Provides for a 20 year Strategic Land Management Plan that lacks performance reporting requirements and can be amended without public scrutiny.
  • Ministerial determination of allowed activities – “detrimental” is a key determinant, however, detrimental is not defined.

The inadequacies of the Bill, combined with the Government’s  planned dramatic increases in commercial, residential and educational activities in an area widely known to be lacking in parkland and sporting facilities, has prompted both the Stonnington and Glen Eira residents groups to jointly conduct this event.

As per the Auditor General’s report, the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve, has three separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park.  As a result of poor performance by the Trust (in managing the reserve) and successive State Governments (in overseeing Reserve Management) Racing has been permitted to dominate the Reserve to the extent that current usage of the reserve’s 54ha (valued at $2bn+) is allocated as

  • 11 hectares (20%) is under lease for racing purposes.  The Annual rental of $170K is generally returned to the MRC for racing related projects.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used for racing purposes without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement, and
  • only 6 hectares (11%) is available as open space for the potential use of the community.   That 6 ha comprises facilities that do not meet the needs of community, are not easy to physically access and are subject to restricted usage times.  No accessibility issues and time restrictions are applicable to racing usage.

JOIN US IN REMINDING OUR POLITICIANS OF THE FORESIGHT OF OUR FOREFATHERS.  

In 1884, 8 years after the management of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve was vested in a Board of Trustees, the Victorian Amateur Turf Club (VATC) sought sole management of the Reserve.  The response from the then Minister for Lands was:

“…. he thought the public ought not to have to ask for permission to go on a public reserve” … and …”The vicinity of the Caulfield racecourse would no doubt soon be thickly populated, and the value of the reserve to the public would then be widely enhanced”.  

THAT TIME HAS ARRIVED.  

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The “Requiem” will be held in the Centre of the Racecourse.   The Centre may be accessed by the

  • Glen Eira Road Tunnel – vehicle and pedestrian access
  • Guineas Tunnel, Neerim Road and Queens Avenue Gates.

 

 

 

CARNEGIE SURVEY RESULTS

The results for the Carnegie Survey (a survey by residents for residents) have been published.

The results include, for each question

  • Comments made by residents and
  • An overall analysis of participant responses.

The results are worth reading as they are relevant to the current Planning Scheme Review and provide residents views on topics not adequately covered by the Draft Concept Plans.

Thanks to the survey participants and organizer.

Carnegie Residents Survey Results