MAYORAL ELECTION 2014

I am honoured to have been elected Mayor for the 2014/2015 year. I am passionate about our community and love where I live. I grew up here, was schooled locally and worked in the municipality prior to being elected on council. I’m looking forward to representing Council over the next year. I thank my fellow Councillors for their support. Congratulations to Cr Cam Nation on his appointment as Deputy

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EAST WEST LINK

Council recently convened a Special Council Meeting to decide on whether to take legal action against the State Government over the East-West Link. I publicly condemned the new design of the East-West Link, which will severely impact Moonee Valley. I condemned the Government’s handling of the issue with our Council and our residents. The lack of information, lack of transparency and complete lack of communication.

However I do not support spending ratepayers funds of at least $500,000 on a legal fight which will not stop the project. I would prefer to see a small working group made up of residents and Councillors, to talk to LMA directly about the implications of the road and the effects on our residents, with the aim of having the project re-designed.
This, I believe, would benefit the whole community.

The Vote on Wednesday night was 7-1. Myself being the one vote against taking legal action. One Councillor was absent

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DOMESTIC ANIMALS ACT

A recent change to the Domestic Animals Act means Veterinarians and other organisations such as Animal Shelters can re-home lost animals. Currently any lost animal taken in by a vet or shelter must be re-located to a pound, such as The Lost Dogs Home. This can place extra stress both on the owner of the pet and the pet itself. I recently requested that Moonee Valley Council provide an option for Vets and organisations in the municipality to enter into an agreement with Council that will allow them to re-home pets, should they wish to. I’m extremely pleased that Council has supported my request. I have found many lost dogs and cats over the years, most being successfully returned to the owner. Having local vets being able to participate in this process will be of benefit to pet owners throughout our municipality
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DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION

A development application for a three storey apartment block at 4 Berry St North Essendon was refused by Council and our refusal was recently upheld by VCAT. This decision is a huge win for the community. The main points of refusal relate to the fact that the site is not within the Keilor Road Structure Plan and would be an inappropriate development in the residential street. I have long argued that the Structure Plan boundaries are there for a reason and high density development should not encroach past these boundaries and into our sensitive residential areas. This recent VCAT decision backs up my argument. I thank the Councillors that voted for my alternative for refusal.
The VCAT report is attached
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2014/880.html

 

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BUCKLEY WARD TRAFFIC ISSUES

At last week’s Council meeting, traffic calming measures and parking changes were endorsed for two Buckley Ward areas. These areas bound Lincoln Rd, Woodland St, the Moonee Ponds Creek and Buckley St. I originally requested a deferral of this decision so more feedback could be provided by public transport providers. A possible contentious item is the proposal for a bike lane on Buckley Street from Lincoln Road up to Essendon Station. Rather than endorse the approval of this bike lane, I requested that further consultation with relevant stakeholders and the community be undertaken before a new bike lane is installed.
As part of my election promise, I advocated strongly for the Keilor Road/Bulla Road/Lincoln Rd and Mt Alexander Road to be signalised. I’m pleased to report that the endorsed traffic management plans include a provision to prepare a concept plan and design for this major intersection. We have huge volumes of traffic travelling through this intersection on a daily basis and the trams add an extra point of conflict. It needs to be addressed urgently
http://www.theweeklyreviewmooneevalley.com.au/story/1807236/murphy-s-lore-finally-council-gets-serious-about-traffic/

 

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KINDERGARTEN TIMETABLE

2015 Kinder session timetable for Moonee Valley is now on our website. Follow the link below for more information

http://www.mvcc.vic.gov.au/~/media/Files/ForResidents/Family%20and%20children/2015%20kindergarten%20timetable%20%20designed%20timetable%20%20PDF.PDF

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EAST WEST LINK

In a tight vote last night, Moonee Valley Councillors decided not to obtain further legal advice on the merits and costs of pursuing Supreme Court action against the Government over the construction of the East West link. Personally I don’t believe we have a majority of “community buy in” on this issue. I don’t believe we should be potentially spending millions of dollars of rate payers money on pursuing legal action. I voted against this proposal and would be interested to hear residents thoughts

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RESIDENTIAL ZONES

Attached is an interesting article about the new zones to take effect from next Tuesday, 1st July. 24 Council zone proposals are still to be determined by the Minister, including Moonee Valley. It would appear many Councils in the northern and western regions are included in the 24 list. Most of the leafy eastern suburbs have been decided, most notably Glen Eira with over 80% of the suburb classed within the most restrictive zone. If the Government wants people to believe that this document is not playing party politics, submissions by the remaining 24 councils needs to be seriously considered and acted upon. I can state the process by which Moonee Valley decided on the proposed zonings was soundly based on Government guidelines and procedures, taking into account population projections, major activity centres, principal activity centres, public transport hubs and most notably, the heritage of our area.
You can’t agree on the proposals of 55 Victorian Councils and leave the remaining 24 Councils “hanging out to dry”.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/not-all-going-to-plan-in-tale-of-two-cities-20140628-3b0pj.html

 

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NORTH ESSENDON/KEILOR RD STRUCTURE PLANS

Council’s C117 Amendment proposed specific controls for residential land included in the North Essendon and Keilor Road Structure Plans. These controls would ensure that only villa units or townhouses could be built in these residential streets and would prevent inappropriate development from occurring in these areas. Much work went into the development of these controls and I sincerely thank the residents who were directly involved in this for their time and commitment.

Hence, it is extremely disappointing that the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, has approved Amendment C117 without these controls. There has been much community concern about activity centres, structure plan boundaries and the potential for development in residential areas. The proposed controls would clearly define what could and could not be built, and where.  I believe our residential streets need protection from large inappropriate apartment blocks and overdevelopment.

The decision to exclude these controls from this amendment is not reflective of community concerns and clearly highlights that decisions relating to how our residents want to see their suburbs develop should be left to the Council, rather than another tier of government that has no idea about our area and our residents.

If you have a local issue that you want to talk to me about, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

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NEW RESIDENTIAL ZONES

Council has recently completed it’s work on the new residential zones to be proposed in all residential areas in Moonee Valley.  The new zones are vastly different from the current Residential zone 1 that exists and all residents should have a look at the proposal.  The details can be found at

www.mvcc.vic.gov.au/newzones

I would welcome feedback from residents on this issue.  The proposed zones show clearly where we want to see growth, such as along main roads and transport hubs, where smaller developments can occur, such as townhouses, and where minimal change should occur, such as in heritage overlay areas and residential precincts.

Please have a look at the map and zone details and let me know what you think

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