Tag Archives: Glen Eira Residents

Caulfield South – Planning Conference Abandoned

A remarkable turn of events at last night’s (2/7/2018) Planning Conference for a development at 2 Pearce Street, South Caulfield*.   Before the standard preliminaries were completed, the South Caulfield Action Group (SCAG) and residents requested and voted to abandon the Planning Conference  with  Council agreeing to re-start the planning permit approval process.**

The major sticking point being that just prior (hours) before the Conference commenced, SCAG learnt that amended development plans had been submitted to Council (29/6/2018) and residents had not been advised of either the amended plans or their content.  Consequently, SCAG and residents objections would be based on plans that were no longer applicable.

Cr. Hyams (the Conference Chair), after advising that the changes were not considered significant, asked the Planning Officer to outline the changes.  The changes being

  • The basement car park had previously “protruded” (no specifics provided) into the garden area due to an interpretation of the Planning Minister ‘s garden area requirements by the developer. Clarification had been sought  from the  Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and resulted in changes that removed the protrusion.
  • Since the area is subject to an SBO, Melbourne Water had requested an increase in building height of 300mm/30 cm to elevate the ground floor level for flood mitigation purposes. Despite this height increase, the building height remained below the maximum height limit (11m) for the General Residential Zone (GRZ).

Summarised residents comments are

  • that the area, originally developed for workers cottages, is typified by lot sizes of 750 sqm resulting in approx. a metre separating individual dwellings.  The proposed changes could have implications for more properties than those immediately abutting the development.
  • residents had, in a short time, undertaken a very steep planning learning curve to come to grips with both the GE’s planning scheme and the plans presented. They should be given sufficient time to review the changes and assess their implications – to ask them to do so based on the scant information presented  was to ask them to make a compromise they should not be asked to make.
  • Given that the planning permit application was lodged with Council 25/01/2018, their request for time to review and assess the implications of both changes (drainage and already significant overshadowing on adjoining properties) was in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989 (Part 1 a – Local Government Charter, Section 3c – e & g) and reasonable .

GERA congratulates SCAG and residents for their well presented arguments and maintaining an amicable meeting.   We also congratulate Council for acceding to the residents request.

As an aside, after the decision to abandon the Conference had been made, discussions continued.   SCAG members,  commented that very few of the approx. 300 local residents they had contacted were aware that in 2013 their area had been zoned GRZ1 or GRZ2 (ie. suitable for 3 storey multi-unit developments).    This discussion between the residents and Cr. Hyams will be the topic of a subsequent post.

The South Caulfield Action Group (SCAG) can be contacted via email:  scag.sthcaulfield.action.group@gmail.com

 

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Footnotes:

*3 stories, comprising 5 dwellings above basement car parking and waiver of visitor car parking.  Lot size is 750 sqm and the lot is subject to a Special Building Overlay (SBO – area prone to storm water overflow and flooding)

**  Since the development is not considered to be “major”, the 60 day time Council decision time line is not applicable, hence, Council can “re-start” the approval process.

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Caulfield South Activity Centre – Community Gathering 27/06/2018

 

IMPORTANT MEETING

7 pm tomorrow, Wednesday 27/6

The South Caulfield Action Group (SCAG) have invited our State MP, Mr David Southwick, together with our Camden Ward Councillors,  Joel Silver and Dan Sztrajt, to hear our stories. They need to understand why we signed the petition.

Now is the time for our voices to be heard. We need to demonstrate that there are many people concerned about the future of Caulfield South Neighbourhood Centre.

For further information and meeting details please email:  scag.sthcaulfield.action.group@gmail.com

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GERA was recently contacted by residents opposing a 3 storey (5 dwellings above basement car parking) development proposal in Pearce Street, Caulfield South.  However, as they “dug deeper” the residents not only learnt a lot about GE’s Planning inadequacies but also became increasingly concerned about

  • the lack of residents awareness of planning issues,
  • Caulfield South’s current and future development proposals and
  • possible upgrading of the Caulfield South Activity Centre from being a Neighbourhood (“lesser”) Centre to that of an Emerging Major Activity Centre.  SCAG feedback indicates that planning officers believe the upgrade has already occurred.

The South Caulfield Action Group’s formation has been highlighted by

  • lodging of a petition with Council for the implementation of a 2 storey height limit on small lots – 293 signatories and growing. A flyer depicting potential developments is attached.
  • Organizing the above meeting, to raise residents’ awareness of proposed planning changes and give the residents the opportunity to voice their views to those they have elected.
  • a determination to see residents views are duly considered with decisions that impact the South Caulfield Activity Centre are made.

Additional information prepared by SCAG

Comparative graphical presentation of ABS 2017-2018 Building Approvals – Glen Eira and other Metro Melbourne Councils.

GERA encourages residents to support this group and to attend the meeting.

 

Caulfield Station Precinct* Structure Planning – Community Workshop

“The Victorian Planning Authority is leading the preparation of a structure plan for the Caulfield Station Precinct, in partnership with Glen Eira City Council, Stonnington City Council, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Transport for Victoria (TfV).

 You are invited to share your thoughts and ideas about how to best shape the future of this place for the community by attending a Community Visioning Workshop.

The purpose of this workshop is to inform the community of the planning process and to seek views and input into the future of the area.

 Registrations are essential.   Light refreshments will be provided.”

Date: Wednesday 20 June 2018
Time: 6.30 – 9.00pm
Location: Monash University Caulfield, Ground Floor, Building H, Room H116 (Caulfield Campus Map)

GERA strongly urges both Glen Eira and Stonnington residents and recreational/sporting groups and clubs to attend this workshop  to get an understanding of what is being proposed and an awareness of it’s potential “flow on” impacts for surrounding areas.

We also encourage completing the VPA online survey.   

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This the first opportunity for the community input into the development of Structure Plans for the 122 ha Caulfield Station Precinct* and its surrounding areas since the VPA was appointed to lead the planning exercise in August, 2017.  At that time the VPA advised that

“Several key activities attract workers, residents and visitors to the area including Monash University’s Caulfield campus, Caulfield Racecourse, Glen Eira College, retail outlets, parks and recreational areas. The structure plan will promote transit-orientated development and identify opportunities for growth in employment, education, housing and associated activities. We will also work with the Melbourne Racing Club and our government partners to seek to unlock future shared recreational use of racecourse land.”

The initial information and input session focuses on the four core activity centre components and their connectivity within the precinct. The significant planning and development implications for Glen Eira (south of Dandenong Road) and Stonnington’s (north of Dandenong Road) surrounding commercial/residential areas and proximate activity centres are to be included in subsequent consultations.   Recent multi storey multi unit developments, along the northern side of Dandenong Road, indicate the development potential of the areas surrounding the precinct.

Briefly, the four core components of the Caulfield Station Precinct are

Caulfield Village

A major residential, retail and commercial development located between the Racecourse and the Rail Line. Currently under construction, it comprises

Worth noting is the redevelopment potential (multi-storey multi units) of MRC freehold land located along Kambrook/Booran Roads (shown on the above map as Horse Training and Stabling).  This potential was flagged during the Strategic Land Management consultations conducted by the former Reserve Trustees in 2015.  The current status of redevelopment plans is not known.

Monash University – Caulfield Campus

Unfortunately, 10 months into the Structure Planning  process,  little is known of the current redevelopment plans.  As an indicative guide, some years ago redevelopment included

  • an expansion from 10,000 Effective Fulltime Students (EFS) to 25,000 EFS.
  • Construction of a series of high rise buildings to provide educational and administrative facilities with some retail facilities at ground level.
  • Off campus multi storey student accommodation in close proximity to the Caulfield Campus

Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve

The Racecourse comprises 54 ha, of the 122 ha now designated the  Caulfield Station Precinct, and offers a significant open space opportunity for Glen Eira (which has the least per capita open space/parkland in Metro Melbourne, coming in at less than half the Metro average) and Stonnington (which has the 2nd least).  Both the size and location of this crown land make it suitable to service the recreational (passive and active) needs of the volumes (ie. residents, students, workers and patrons) expected to access the Precinct, as well as the needs of the increasing residents of the surrounding areas.   Striking an equitable balance between public recreational usage and racing usage has long been a contentious issue and recently resulted in changes to management of the land that have yet to come into effect.

Caulfield Station

While GERA is not aware of plans to redevelop the heritage listed Caulfield Station, we believe its redevelopment (presumably as a rail/tram/bus interchange) will be required to service the public transport needs of those accessing the Precinct.   When/if redevelopment occurs, it should include the “place making” historic Station and heritage listed buildings in Derby Road.

Connectivity of Core Components

Currently, the connectivity of the above core components is poor.  It is restricted by the extremely divisive railway line and a fragmented road network.   While access between Caulfield Village, the Racecourse and the Station is basically “across the street”,  accessing Monash from these locations is restricted to 3 underpasses ie. Queen Avenue, Caulfield Station and Station Street.    Free movement flows (predominantly pedestrian, with some vehicular movement for the provision of goods and services) within the Precinct is essential to enable synergetic development of precinct facilities (eg. auditoriums, open space and car parking)  and ensure the long term viability of a cohesive activity centre.

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Footnote:

*Caulfield Station Precinct – is the previous Priority Development Zone, known as the Phoenix Precinct (ie. Caulfield Village and Monash University Caulfield Campus) expanded to include the Caulfield Racecourse & Recreation Reserve, Glen Eira College and Glen Huntly Park.

 

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.

 

 

 

HELP SAVE LIND HOUSE

We’ve been contacted by a resident who is concerned that Glen Eira is again likely to lose forever a property of historic and architectural significance.   As per the below Domain article Council has applied to the Minister for Planning for an Interim Heritage Protection Order for the property – GERA applauds Council’s action and hopes that Council has also sought Heritage Victoria’s involvement.

The ‘Lind House’, at 450 Dandenong Road, Caulfield North is described as one of the best and most intact examples of Melbourne’s “mid-century design movement”.  Designed by Anatol Kagan, one of the best architects from the Melbourne mid-century movement, it is an architectural treasure.

Documentation and pictures supporting the significance of the “Lind House” and Designer Anatol Kagan are presented in article published on the Australian Modern website.

We encourage residents to show support for the preservation of the “Lind House” by emailing the Mayor (MDelahunty@gleneira.vic.gov.au) re Planning Permit GE/PP-30607/2017.

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Modernist Caulfield North house faces wrecking ball as council calls for urgent interim protection

An iconic modernist Caulfield North house is under threat of demolition, prompting the local council to seek an urgent interim protection from the planning minister.

Designers and modernist architecture enthusiasts have taken to social media to express their dismay at the fate of the Lind House, bought last year by a developer for just over $2.1 million.

The five-bedroom house at 450 Dandenong Road was designed by Russian-born architect Anatol Kagan, and is a classic example of mid-century modern architecture.

But locals and design experts fear the property could soon be demolished by its new owner, who applied for planning permit to build eight dwellings in its place.

There are no heritage controls on the property, and the two week public notice for objections ended on Tuesday.

Glen Eira mayor Mary Delahunty moved an urgent motion at a meeting on Tuesday night to write to the planning minister Richard Wynne for interim protection.

“Although a permit would have to be requested for it to be demolished, we really wouldn’t have any grounds to refuse that,” she said.

“I’m just trying to make sure that time is given for a proper assessment to be done of its historical significance so that we don’t get faced with this really unfortunate situation where it might be knocked down at any minute.”

​​Cr Delahunty said a major heritage review was underway and encouraged people to alert the council to other significant properties in the area they might not be aware of.

She said heritage experts would examine the Caulfield North house, and they would take into consideration the advice of other experts of modernist-era architecture.

As pressure mounts to increase density across the city, experts say more post-war homes should also be considered for heritage protection.

When Robin Boyd’s Blott house in Chirnside Park hit the market earlier this year, it also triggered fears the property, without heritage protection, might face the wrecking ball if it sold to a developer.

National Trust of Australia, Victoria, advocacy manager Felicity Watson believed Lind House and Blott House highlighted a major gap in the state’s heritage protection.

“When people think about heritage in Melbourne, they often think about Marvellous Melbourne and the gold rush, and the amazing Victorian architecture that we have,” she said. “But what people sometimes forget is that the post-war period in Melbourne was a period of enormous cultural and physical transformation, really of a scale not seen since the gold rush.”

Ms Watson said the heritage system had not caught up with the understanding of the importance of post-war architecture.

“It’s really time to … protect these vulnerable places and do some strategic work to look at that before we lose them,” she said.

“With development pressure increasing and density increasing, all of these places are becoming vulnerable, so we really need to identify which are the best examples that we need to protect.”

Tim Ross, comedian and presenter of TV show Streets of Your Town, said post-war buildings should be given the same respect the terrace houses and California bungalows received.

“Our suburbs should reflect all periods of our history because that’s what gives them their character,” he said.

“Kagan’s work is finally starting to get the recognition that it deserves. We don’t save buildings for today or tomorrow. We save them for 20, 30 years time and beyond.”

Craig Guthrie, a landscape architect and urban designer at Hassell, is also among the experts trying to raise awareness about the potential demolition.

“Melbourne’s growing a lot and we do need to increase density in the inner suburbs, where we have good infrastructure, schools and transport,” he said.

“But we need to protect some of the special places that we have. When 80 per cent of housing is probably mediocre to sometimes poor, we got to keep the good ones.”

A spokesman for Planning Minister Richard Wynne said he had not yet received a request from the Glen Eira Council, and would consider it on its merits if he did.

Caulfield Racecourse Reserve – Community Gathering 15/02/2017

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For those who don’t know in 1858 a Crown Grant established the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve with 3 separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park (Caveat on Title).  Yet over the past 20  years lack of oversight and mismanagement (State Government and Board of Trustees) has allowed racing and racing’s commercial activities to dominate the reserve to the exclusion of the public park purposes.

racecourse-2

The scathing September, 2014 Auditor General Report into the management of the reserve graphically identified the current  imbalance in usage of the Reserves 54 ha (valued at $2bn), that has resulted from that lack of oversight and mismanagement, as being

  • 11 hectares (20%), is leased by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) for a flat rate of approx. $170,000 p.a.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used by MRC without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement.  (GERA comment – to put this 37 hectares in perspective, it is roughly the equivalent to the combined size of Glen Eira’s two premier parks – Caulfield Park (24.9ha) and Princes Park (12.4ha.)
  • 6 hectares (11%) is open space for potential use by the community on restricted days at restricted times. Use of the racecourse parkland by the public is not actively promoted nor visible from the surrounding streets.  It is also difficult to physically access and comprises limited facilities that don’t meet park users’ needs.

It is now almost 2.5 years  since the AG’s Report and, although “opening up” the Reserve for public use by the surrounding communities of Glen Eira and Stonnington would be significant*, only scant information is available on progress and little has been achieved at “ground zero”.  Therefore, GERA, in conjunction with the Malvern East Group (a.k.a. Stonnington residents group), invites you to a Community Gathering at Caulfield Racecourse between 6.00 & 8.00 pm on Wednesday, 15th February, 2015.

The purpose of this event is twofold

  • To increase community usage of the our parkland by
    • Increasing community awareness of the 2 public park purposes of this Reserve and
    • Providing an opportunity for the community to visit the park and experience it’s magnitude and beauty.
  • To provide local residents with an opportunity to join the campaign seeking increased State Government actions, that are geared to
    • redressing the imbalance in racing vs. public usage of this public land, and
    • ensuring compliance with the Auditor General’s recommendation for open and transparent management this public land.

We hope you will be able to attend.

Public Parkland Access Point Details & Opening Hours

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*Significance of “Opening Up” the Reserve

  • Glen Eira has the least per capita open space in Metro Melbourne, Stonnington the second least
  • Caulfield Racecourse is located
    • just south of Dandenong Road which is the boundary between the two municipalities.
    • Residents in both Municipalities experience adverse amenity impacts (traffic, parking and noise) from racing and racing commercial events.
    • In both Municipalities, the residential areas surrounding this small stretch of Dandendong Road are targeted for, and are currently experiencing, high density growth.

COMMUNITY FORUMS UPDATE

26/10/2016 PREDICTED OUTCOME – 2016 Council Elections

Lots of speculation on the election results – definite results will not be known until Saturday, 29/10/2016, when the actual count occurs.

Despite the huge mathematical exercise involved in the distribution of preferences, any who has watched the tally results in State and Federal Elections will be aware that there are politically astute, mathematical geniuses out there who are often able to accurately predict election outcomes based on minimal information.

As far the 2016 Council Election goes, the same thing is happening.   The most credible predictions GERA has received are

Camden – Mary Delahunty re-elected, with Karen Hermann and Joel Silver likely to occupy the remaining two positions.

Rosstown – Margaret Esakoff re-elected, with Anthony Athanasopolous, Jane Karslake and Neil Pilling vying for the remaining two positions.

Tucker – Jamie Hyams re-elected, with Rodney Andonoplous, Neil Brewster and Nina Taylor vying for the remaining two positions.

How accurate these predictions are will not be known until after Saturday, 29/10/2016. If accurate it means 5-6 current incumbents will not be returning.

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Following on from our 3 well attended community forums and with the election deadline rapidly approaching (make sure you post your vote in time for it to be postmarked before 6.00 p.m. tomorrow – Friday, 21/10/2016) many “panicking” residents are seeking input on the candidates.

While GERA does not endorse any candidates, we urge residents to review their ballot packs and pass on the feedback we received from residents who attended the forums.

Rosstown Forum – 5/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Rosstown Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Anthony Athanasopoulos (Independent)
  • David Box (Labor)
  • Cr. Kelvin Ho (Liberal)*
  • Don Dunstan (Liberal)
  • Shan Jayaweera (Independent)
  • Jane Karslake (Labor)
  • Con Zois (Independent)

*Cr. Kelvin Ho, appointed after resignation of Cr. Karina Okotel, 5 months in office

Did not attend

  •  Asher Cooper
  •  Clare Davey (Greens)
  •  Cr. Margaret Esakoff (Independent)*
  •  Cr. Neil Pilling (Independent)* Late Apology
  •  Sunny Malichetti

*Cr. Margaret Esakoff, 13 consecutive years in office and Cr. Neil Pilling, 8 consecutive years in office and current Mayor.  Given that both are seeking re-election for a further 4 years, their “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Athony Athanasopoulos, David Box, Shan Jayawera and Jane Karslake identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Tucker Forum – 9/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Tucker Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Neil Brewster (Independent)
  •  Phil De’Ath (Liberal)
  •  Cr. Oscar Lobo* (Labor)
  •  Jeff Mackie (Independent)
  •  Cr. Jim Magee (Independent)
  •  Michael Searle (Independent)
  •  Nina Taylor (Labor)

*Cr. Oscar Lobo, appointed after resignation of Cr. Nick Staikos, 7 consecutive years in office  and Cr. Jim Magee, 8 consecutive years in office

Did not attend

  • Rodney Andonopoulos (Labor) – Apology
  • Joshua Bonney – Apology
  • Anne Marie Cade
  • Donna Elliott
  • Cr. Jamie Hyams*
  • Michael Karlik
  •  Karina Okotel

*Cr. Jamie Hyams, 10 non consecutive years in office (2003-5, 2008-2016).  Given that he is seeking re-election for a further 4 years, his “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Neil Brewster, Jeff Mackie, Michael Searle and Nina Taylor identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

 Camden – 13/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Camden Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  • Cr. Mary Delahunty (Labor)
  • Ian Fayman
  • Karen Hermann (Independent)
  • Rebecca Pinskier (Labour)
  • Joel Silver (Liberal)
  • Cr. Thomas Sounness (Green)*
  • Dan Sztrajt (Independent)

*Both Crs. Mary Delahunty and Tomas Sounness have served 4 years in office.

Residents Feedback

Mary Delahunty, Karen Hermann, Thomas Sounness and Dan Sztrajt identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Election Results

To allow for mail delivery times, counting of votes will occur on 29th October, 2016.

  

 

Authorised by:  B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda, Vic. 3181