Question Time - Ordinary Meeting of Council - 26 August 2014

The following questions were addressed to the above meeting. Some questions were adequately responded to at the meeting, however others required a more detailed response in writing.

This document includes both verbal and written responses. In this instance, no written responses were provided as issues were adequately addressed at the meeting.


Gwen Prosser asked the following in relation to Amendment C280:

Would Council give serious consideration to a simple solution of this problem by moving the one hectare block of public open space 30 metres to the north? This would leave 10% of the planned public open space on my property? This solution would not only meet the landowners request for a more fair and equitable distribution, but would still satisfy the planning regulations of public open space being within 400 metres of each subdivided block.

Cr Macdonald responded the questions raised would be discussed during debate of Agenda Item 1.

Peter Bettess added that the recommendation before us tonight is that the Planning Scheme Amendment C280 be exhibited to provide for full public comment.


A subsequent written response was provided by the General Manager Planning and Tourism in the following terms:

I am replying to your question at the above Council meeting.

The Council resolved to exhibit Amendment C280 and that the Council “undertakes further engagement with landowners during the consideration of submissions with a view to being flexible to consider changes to the draft Outline Development Plan”. The submission process will ensure that all land owners’ views are considered in the final form of the Plan.

I encourage you to make a submission outlining your views on the Amendment when it is exhibited.


Kazimierz Szakiel submitted a series of comments in relation to proposed Amendment C280 – Rezoning Application for Ash Road West, Leopold.

Cr Macdonald responded that the questions would be addressed during debate of Agenda Item 1.

Cr Harwood acknowledged the comments.


A subsequent written response was provided by the General Manager Planning and Tourism in the following terms:

I am replying to your question at the above Council meeting.

The Council resolved to exhibit Amendment C280 and that the Council “undertakes further engagement with landowners during the consideration of submissions with a view to being flexible to consider changes to the draft Outline Development Plan”. The submission process will ensure that all land owners’ views are considered in the final form of the Plan.

I encourage you to make a submission outlining your views on the Amendment when it is exhibited.


Joyce Johnson asked the following –

  1. What is the Council’s agenda or stand on gas fracking, which has such a dire effect on every part of our fragile environment and food chain?

    Cr Harwood responded that Councillors are currently undergoing an education process on what “fracking” means and the options available. Council needs to keep an open mind so cannot provide you a definitive answer tonight, but we are listening to community input.

  2. Is there any more discussion or facts on the every 100 years flood plan and how much is it likely to cost ratepayers for something that may never happen?

    Gary Van Driel responded that Council has a statutory obligation under the Building Regulations 2006 to designate land as liable to flooding where it reasonably knows it to be prone to flooding. Council does have a lot of questions typically raised and Gary Van Driel advised that he is more than happy to provide you with a set of those questions and answers.


A subsequent written response was provided by the General Manager City Services in the following terms:

Thank you for your questions submitted at our last Council meeting regarding gas fracking and Council’s Flood Plan. The following are my responses on behalf of Council.

  1. What is the Council’s Agenda or stand on Gas Fracking which has such a dire effect on every part of our fragile environment and food chain?

  2. Council recognises that coal seam gas extraction is an important issue. In an effort to learn more about the issues associated with the onshore gas industry Council has sought information from a variety of sources, including from state and federal governments, peak bodies as well as local community groups and individuals.

    The City has is currently seeking public submissions until 25 September regarding onshore gas extraction. Submissions can be received:

A submissions report will be subsequently presented to council. This process will determine Councils position in relation to onshore gas extraction.

  1. Is there any more discussion or facts on the every 100 year Flood Plan and how much is it likely to cost ratepayers, for something that may never happen! In conducting flood studies, Council is complying with the requirements of the State Government to identify properties at risk of inundation and represent these by mapping flood extent.

It is not intended at this stage to have this reflected in the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme, but to designate an area as an area subject to inundation under the Building Regulations. This designation simply means that any further development of existing housing or redevelopment of vacant land identified as land at risk of inundation from the affects of a 1% AEP Storm in the Highton catchment, will need to have a flood level derived from the mapping and hence a minimum floor level applied to the development.

The 1 % AEP Storm (1 in 100 yr) is the standard specified for the conduct of flood studies and is the accepted standard nationwide for Australia. The study has been conducted by the consultants in accordance with industry best practice.

There is no charge applied to individual properties as a result of this study.

I have enclosed a copy of the ‘Fact Sheet on Drainage/Flood Study undertaken within Highton’ for your information.


Greg Oman submitted a series of infrastructure questions, but as he was not present at the meeting, were taken on notice for a written response.

A letter of response from the General Manager City Services was forwarded to Mr Oman on 29 August 2014.

Scott Jennings submitted a question in relation to the reduction in crime, but was not present at the meeting. A letter of response will be forwarded.


A subsequent written response was provided by the General Manager Community Services in the following terms:

Your question/suggestion to Council sent on 22nd August 2014 has been forwarded to me for a response.

To my knowledge the type of program you propose is not one which fits with contemporary thinking about dealing with the complexities of children’s behaviour and is therefore not one which this Council would undertake.

I thank you for taking the time to raise your thoughts with Council.


Jillian Ovens asked the following questions in relation to Motocross:

In the recommendations in tonight’s Council report, Item 2, Motocross, it states “That Council call upon the State Government, Surf Coast Shire and Motorcycling Australia to redirect the investments made in McAdam Park for future Geelong Regional Motocross Infrastructure”.

  1. Seeing as Council is about to decide on issues on behalf of the SMCC, including the State and Surf Coast funding which the SMCC strived so hard to secure – would Council think it fair that the SMCC should be consulted on these matters prior to any resolutions being made by Council?

    Cr Harwood responded the question will be addressed during debate of Agenda Item 2, but noted the concerns raised.

    Cr Ansett added Breakwater was the issue – McAdam Park was never on the table.

    Just a few years ago the original problem facing motorcycling in Geelong and Surf Coast regions centres around each of our two long running motorcycle clubs simply looking to secure themselves a home track. Now the situation seems to be centering around finding one piece of land for two clubs, which has been tried at McAdam Park and proven totally unsatisfactory.

  2. What does Council consider more important – two very healthy clubs, each with their own home track to service the community, or two very unhealthy clubs having just one track to service the community?

    Cr Harwood reiterated the question raised would be addressed during debate of Agenda Item 2.

    Cr Richards asked for confirmation that Council had not spoken to the Motor Cycle Club about the report.

    Ms Ovens responded that was correct and only learned of the report after reading tonight’s agenda.


A subsequent written response was provided by the A/General Manager Projects, Recreation & Central Geelong in the following terms:

Thank you for your questions submitted at our last Council meeting regarding the status of facilities for motocross. Please find your questions and responses detailed below.

Question One: In the recommendations in tonight’s Council report, item 2 states; ‘That Council call upon the State Government, Surf Coast Sire and Motorcycling Australia to redirect the investments made in McAdam Park for future Geelong Regional Motocross Infrastructure”. Seeing as Council is about to decide on issues on behalf of the Sporting Motor Club (SMCC), including the State and Surf Coast funding which the SMCC strived so hard to secure – would Council think it fair that the SMCC should be consulted on these matters prior to any resolutions being made by Council?

Response:

Council would expect that State Government and Motorcycling Australia would involve all stakeholders in a land assessment process, including the two resident clubs currently located at McAdam Park.

Question Two: Just a few years ago the original problem facing motorcycling in Geelong and Surf Coast regions centred around each of our two long running motorcycle clubs simply looking to secure themselves a home track. Now the situation seems to be centring around finding one piece of land for 2 clubs, which has been tried at McAdam Park and proven totally unsatisfactory. What does Council consider more important, 2 healthy clubs, each with their own home track to service the community, or 2 un healthy clubs having just one track to service the community?

Response:

Council is seeking a resolution for motocross in the region that will enable people to participate in the sport. It is intended that this goal will be confirmed once project partners are drawn together.

Thank you for your interest in this matter.


Brian Kavanagh addressed Council in relation to Motocross as follows:

If a new land assessment process is to begin, also seeking land appropriate only for smaller scale club operations is an option that all stakeholders must pursue. The Sporting Motor Cycle Club is currently considering several such sites.

  1. In regard to Item 1 of the recommendation in the Motocross report, if a motion is put in tonight’s meeting, will Council please consider an amendment using wording to the following effect: “That Council affirm its support for the development of a Regional Motocross facility or alternatively multiple independent club level facilities operated by individual clubs within the Geelong and adjoining Councils”.

  2. Will Council also please consider using wording to the following effect as an amendment to Item No 3 – “That Council request that surrounding municipalities participate in a regional land assessment to determine the feasibility of placing Motocross facilities in Geelong or surrounding municipalities”.

Cr Harwood indicated the questions would be addressed during debate of Agenda Item 2.


A subsequent written response was provided by the A/General Manager Projects, Recreation & Central Geelong in the following terms:

Thank you for your questions submitted at our last Council meeting regarding the status of facilities for motocross. Please find below responses to your questions.

Question One: If a new land assessment process is to begin, also seeking land appropriate only for smaller scale club operations is an option that all stakeholders must pursue. The Sporting Motor Cycle Club is currently considering several such sites.

In regard to item #1 of the recommendations in the motocross report, if a motion is put in tonight’s meeting, will Council please consider an amendment using wording to the following effect - That Council: ‘affirm its support for the development of a Regional Motocross facility or alternatively multiple independent club level facilities operated by individual clubs within the Geelong and adjoining Councils.” Response:

The land assessment proposed will focus on finding a site that accommodates motocross across the region. Sites that may be suitable for local facilities will be noted throughout this process. Council’s investment into new facilities will prioritise a regional solution over a number of local solutions.

Question Two: Will Council also consider using wording to the following effect as an amendment to item #3 – That Council: “request that surrounding municipalities participate in a regional land assessment to determine the feasibility of placing motocross facilities in Geelong or surrounding municipalities.

Response:

As per the response to question one, Council will prioritise a regional solution over a number of local solutions.

Thankyou for your interest in this matter.


Peter Ovens, Secretary of the Sporting Motor Cycle Club, as would Council be supportive and willing to immediately begin investigations into the option of a temporary riding area at the original Dandos Road site through consultation with the GMCC and Airport management and Motorcycling Australia? And if so, could Council please assure the SMCC that it will then provide a status report to MA once the Airport has given its response?

Cr Heagney advised discussions, in her role on the G21 Planning Pillar, were being held in relation to actually looking at land use, and indicated Council should work with the Motor Cycle Club on this issue.

Cr Harwood asked if there had been any consultation with GMCC.

Mr Ovens responded no - he had only learned about it recently.


A subsequent written response was provided by the A/General Manager Projects, Recreation & Central Geelong in the following terms:

Thankyou for your questions submitted at our last Council meeting regarding the status of facilities for motocross. Please find below responses to your questions.

Question One: Would Council be supportive and willing to immediately begin investigations into the option of a temporary riding area at the original Dandos Rd site through consultation with GMCC and Airport management and Motorcycling Australia? And if so, could Council please ensure the SMCC that it will then provide a status report to MA once the Airport has given its response?

Response:

This site is not preferred by Avalon Airport. In the first instance, Council will priortise a permanent regional solution rather than creating a temporary solution that dilutes the resources available to fund a longer term site.

Thank you for your interest in this matter.




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