Council Meeting 12 February 2013

The first council meeting of the year was held in the old Williamstown Town Hall Council Chambers, and we had lots of community members in the gallery.  There were a number of issues on the agenda of interest, including the motions I had put up in November about a number of local issues.

Disability Advisory Committee
I was pleased to have been re-appointed as the chair of the council’s Disability Advisory Committee, with Councillor Colleen Gates as the proxy (who I have a lot of respect for).  The council is now advertising for new members of the DAC so if you’re interested please contact the council during business hours on 9932 1000.

The council has also released the draft Disability Access and Inclusion Strategy out for public consultation.  Please contact the council or visit the official council website for more information.

Application for more Pokie Machines REJECTED!
I am pleased to have voted against the application to increase the number of electronic gaming machines in Hobsons Bay, which is also in line with the council’s policy to reduce the number of pokie machines in our city.  The only councillor to support the increase of pokie machines was Cr Peter Hemphill.

Petition re Street Name Change – Altona Meadows
This is no doubt a difficult issue, but I will always try to support what the majority of residents in the street want.  Hopefully we can work out a suitable compromise in the coming weeks.  (This item was deferred for further consideration).

Proposed sale of land – Cypress Ave, Brooklyn
Residents at the council meeting heard me speak passionately about the importance of this issue to residents in Brooklyn, and I argued that the council should hear the submission by the Brooklyn Residents Action Group (BRAG) at a public council meeting with all the councillors present.  It would only take a matter of 5 minutes out of our schedule.  Disturbingly, the other councillor for Brooklyn disagreed (Cr Sandra Wilson).

The submission will now be heard in a separate meeting before the official council meeting with only Councillors Angela Altair, Sandra Wilson and me forming a subcommittee.

Synthetic Sports Surfaces Feasibility Study
This is an important study forms the basis for the council policy on the provision of synthetic sports surfaces in Hobsons Bay, so I argued that it is important the council consults with local clubs before adopting it.  I subsequently moved and alternate motion which was unanimously supported.  The council will now consult with the community before considering to adopt this policy.

Fell Reserve, Seaholme
I am pleased my motion regarding establishing a process to consult with the community regarding improvements to Fell Reserve, Seaholme was also successful.   I look forward to another report coming back to the council about Fell Reserve in the near future.

Altona West Primary School, Economic Development, and Burns Road
I withdrew these motions as the council officers publicly assured me during the meeting that these matters will come to the council as per the intent of my motions in the near future.

Lights at Harrington Square, Altona
My motion to allocate $38,000 for a lighting upgrade to Harrington Square was lost, with the other councillors (including Crs Sandra Wilson, Angela Altair and Peter Hemphill) voting against it.  A further report will come to the council about this and I will continue to pursue this and other steps to improve safety, security and amenity at Harrington Square, Altona.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Crossing on Millers Road, Seaholme
I am pleased my motion supporting a pedestrian and cyclist crossing on Millers Road, Seaholme was passed unanimously.  The council will now conduct the relevant traffic counts and community consultation in the hope we can successfully advocate for VicRoads to install the required crossings.

Certificate of Appreciation to Liz Ryan (Somers Parade Kindergarten)
I am pleased the council unanimously supported my motion to present Liz Ryan with an official Certificate of Appreciation.