Golden Square Swimming Pool
The community plea was loud and clear, however it would be negligent for Council to not to have looked at the big picture and financial risk exposure that continued operation of the Golden Square Pool places on the Municipality.
The community use and volunteer management is commendable, the pool has demonstrated to be a valuable contributor to the liveability and lifestyle of the surrounding suburb and many families. I can appreciate the appeal and benefits of this outdoor facility and as such I supported the motion to continue operations for a further two years and defer the decision on the Swimming Pool being subject to:
a) the facility continuing to be managed by Golden Square Pool Inc.
b) responsibility for maintaining and repairing of the pool infrastructure remaining with Golden Square Pool Inc.
c) continued provision of $50,000 in annual funding from Council
d) any repairs, works or replacement due to infrastructure failure are to be funded by Golden Square Pool Inc.
Over the following two years Council will monitor patronage of the pool over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 outdoor pool seasons and revisit our decision in April 2020.
Council will also undertake Master Planning for the Golden Square Recreational Reserve including options that include the retention of the pool and/or replacement with other recreation opportunities, and we will review the Greater Bendigo Aquatic Facilities Strategy 2010.
This decision demonstrates just how difficult it is for councillors to ensure each of our decisions affect and support the entire municipality. For every investment we make, risk we take it will always have knock on effects to other communities. It often translates in having to say 'no' to others, and often this can be one of our much needing rural communities.
For every investment we make, risk we take it will always have knock on effects to other communities.
Strategic Report on Greater Bendigo's Historical Artefacts
I supported the recommendation to acknowledge the receipt of the Strategic Artefacts Report and release it for community comment for a period of four weeks and the city officers investigate and provide advice to Council on the four key recommendations fo the report and the results of the community consultation process.
It is pleasing to see that our rural community collections and their volunteer associations (Elmore, Huntly and Heathcote) are explicitly considered and identified as vulnerable, the report made the following four key recommendations:
1. Establish and staff an object storage and preservation facility
2. Support viability of the groups
3. Engage in contingency planning
4. Commission a museum feasibility study.
On the last recommendation I agree with other Councillors comments that what a potential future "museum" might look like is open to interpretation, one thing is that is for certain is that it will cost money. Money that will fight for 'air time' with pools for instance. Any future decisions in this space will be an challenge and require a strategic and sustainable approach to housing, displaying or interpreting historical artefacts in our municipality.
what a potential future "museum" might look like is open to interpretation, one thing is that is for certain is that it will cost money. Money that will fight for 'air time' with pools for instance.
40 Harley St, Strathdale (Nanna Gnulle)
This is an address we are likely to keep reading about into the longer term future. Like slow food I guess, good things will come to those who wait. In this case, heritage issues on the site were identified as a result of a planning permit application, which led to a number of objections to the proposed demolition of the buildings and gardens on the site.
The City has subsequently commissioned an independent report to assess the heritage significance of the site, as this was the primary ground for objection to the subdivision application. The citation prepared found the main residence was of heritage significance for its association with Alistair Knox. Knox was an important and influential figure in the development of post-war residential architecture in Victoria, who promoted a self-build, mudbrick architectural style.
The citation found the surrounding gardens and other buildings constructed later not to be considered of heritage significance as they are not related to work by Knox himself, or of special architectural significance as is the main residence.
Further review of the gardens also found the gardens did not meet HERCON heritage significance criteria, or contain notable flora for protection.
The Amendment in front of of council for consideration affects part of the land at 40 Harley St, Strathdale which is approximately 1.9 hectares in size. The overlay is proposed to be applied to the dwelling and a 5 metre curtilage around it (approx. 650m2).
The amendment was exhibited for one month from 2 Nov – 4 Dec 2017.
Twelve submissions were received (including 4 late submissions). There were ten opposing submissions and two supporting submissions.
One submission was received from DELWP, with no submission from Heritage Victoria.
It is important to note that the amendment relates solely to the application of the Heritage Overlay and therefore can only consider issues related to heritage. The remaining topics raised in submissions such as traffic, drainage and native vegetation removal are to be considered as part of the proposed subdivision application, which is a separate process.
The current proposed curtilage is defined as a minimum of 5m on all sides. Following receipt of the submissions seeking an expansion to the curtilage, further advice from Built Heritage P/L was sought. Their advice clarified that 5m was minimum, not necessarily optimal. And as such their advice suggest expanding the curtilage to approximately the size of the proposed subdivided lot, with over 5m to the front, 7m to the sides and 15m to the rear (distances to be confirmed via survey information.) Officers support this modest extension to the curtilage as defined by Built Heritage and this will be discussed at any Panel hearing. Noting that a late submission from the owners of the site support the exhibited 5m curtilage.
In summary there are varied requests from submitters about the appropriate curtilage and what it should include, it is recommended these submissions are referred to an independent panel where they can be hear and a subsequent recommendation made to council.
I supported that Council resolved to request the Minister for Planning to appoint an Independent Panel to consider the outstanding submissions.
6 Eddington Street, Axedale
Council supported a recommendation to refuse to grant a planning permit for the operation of gym and construction of a carpark in Eddington Street, Axedale.
I excused myself from the debate and decision making process, as I have been a client of this business. When I was a client I was unaware that this business did not have the appropriate approvals in place to operate.
When I became aware of this, I made the decision to withdraw from attending exercise classes, to limit any further conflict of interest.
All Councillors want to see people living active and healthy lives, and want to encourage business development that supports this. There is no question that this business would serve local community fitness needs but it has to be set up in the right location.
Businesses need to comply with the General Residential Zone, as outlined in the planning scheme, which does allow for non-residential development but only in appropriate areas where it is compatible to its surroundings.
In this instance, no planning application has been made to operate the business prior to its opening. If an application had been made prior to the business opening, concerns such as noise, proximity to neighbouring properties, traffic and loss of privacy could have been discussed with the Council's planning department.
In this instance, no planning application has been made to operate the business prior to its opening.
Council is conscious that our community is growing and many are seeking a tree change in townships like Axedale and want access to amenities similar to those found in larger towns/cities.
Council assists the development of community plans to help places like Axedale outline how residents would like to see the township grow. The Axedale Township Strategic Framework Plan identifies the preferred location for future commercial development to be in the commercial precinct on the corner of Raglan Place East and High Street.
The Eppalock Ward Councillors, like all Councillors, have a responsibility to consider the appropriate planning conditions when supporting or refusing planning applications. In this instance the planning controls did not support the business operating in its current location.
Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Local Planning Policy
I supported the request to the Minister of Planning to authorise Council to prepare an and exhibit amendment C238 to the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme. This amendment seeks to introduce a Local Planning Policy for Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD).
The policy seeks to fill a gap identified in the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme in regards to ESD and will ensure that environmental performance is considered in medium to large scale developments. The amendment builds on the current voluntary ESD assessment program used by Statutory Planning for medium to large development proposals.
The ESD Policy proposes to introduce objectives for the following ESD principles to ensure that development achieves best practice (where applicable) in development applications:
In other news...
This month in my Councillor Report I took the opportunity to share my concerns about the continued inequity of women being recognised in award programs. This past Australia Day, it was a shame that of the Orders of Australia honours that were announced (to very worthy Central Victorians), featured NOT ONE woman.
It makes me reflect further on the potential to strengthen our own award programs to enable, encourage and ensure women are consistently put forward for consideration. As such I have requested that Council Officers prepare a report for council to explore the mechanism where we can improve our own Municipality's response to "Honour a Woman".
It makes me reflect further on the potential to strengthen our own award programs to enable, encourage and ensure women are consistently put forward for consideration.
The now nationally recognised "Honour a Woman" campaign founded by Ruth McGowan, Carol Kiernan and Elizabeth Hartnell-Young, proclaimed that the system is was "broken" and that it was time to stop blaming the community for the lack of female nominations.
I agree, and as leaders we can do something about this.
It is more than just nominating a woman, it's about ensuring the systems we put in place don't disadvantage to begin with. In the meantime, I ask those in Greater Bendigo, who are the women around you every day that deserve honour or recognition? What is it that you think would help you put them forward? I would love to hear from the community about their ideas to fix this system.
The next Council meeting is on Wednesday March 21, 2018 at 6pm at the Bendigo Town Hall, perhaps I might see you there? Or you can tune in via the live broadcast on Phoenix FM 106.7
Yvonne Wrigglesworth is a Councillor in the Eppalock Ward, City of Greater Bendigo Council.