Council Minutes - Section A: Procedural Matters - 14 August 2018

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Minutes of the Community Focus Committee Meeting of the Greater Geelong City Council held at the Geelong West Town Hall, 153 Pakington Street, Geelong West on 14 August 2018, commencing at 7:12pm.



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Also present:

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The Chair declared the meeting open at 7:12pm.

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Council acknowledged Wadawurrung Traditional Owners of this land and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of the Greater Geelong community today.

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The Mayor welcomed a group of twelve delegates from Coffs Harbour City Council which included the Mayor, four Councillors and seven staff. The delegation are in Geelong on a two day study tour looking at a variety of projects, in particular the Geelong Waterfront Precinct, Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Central Geelong Revitalisation, including Laneway Activation and Green Spine.

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Confirmation of Minutes

Councillor Asher moved, Councillor Murnane seconded –

That the Minutes of the Community Focus Committee Meeting held on 10 July 2018 be confirmed.


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Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

Councillor Grzybek declared a Direct Interest in Agenda Item 6, Building Better Bike Connections -Western Link, in that she is an employee of TAC.

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Question Time

Jim Demetrious asked the following in relation to Pakington Street:

Has Council considered the merit of assigning an officer/Councillor/or body within Council who has direct responsibility for the oversight of Pakington Street and who could act as a central point of contact for its key stakeholders?

The Mayor responded Council agrees that Pakington Street is a special part of Geelong. The Urban Design Framework the City is preparing will provide an overarching vision and masterplan to guide future investment in the area. Successful placemaking is a partnership between local government and a unified business and community voice and we welcome continued discussion with trader representatives on how we can best manage Pakington Street together. Council’s Economic Development department currently provide support for small businesses through the facilitation of workshops and advice. Traders Associations have typically played a key role in facilitating communication of trader’s issues and ideas to Council. They allow traders to have an independent voice to represent their issues and interests. Please feel free to contact Fiona Maw in the Economic Development department if you would like to discuss further.

Councillor Kontelj added Council is open to be educated further in this area and would be happy to meet and discuss further.

John Bowman submitted a question which will be responded to in writing.

Greg Aplin asked questions in relation to the Bean Squeeze application on Barrabool Road, Highton:

  1. While supporting existing and new businesses, does Council believe that resident’s view should be of prime consideration, assuming of course that they have merit, when an application for a commercial facility is made in a marginal location within a residential zone?

    The Mayor responded that resident’s views are an important consideration when making a decision on a planning permit application. Applications are primarily assessed against the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme which does allow commercial development to be considered in the Residential Zone subject to planning policies being addressed. A Council officer report is being prepared to address all these issues and will be considered at the 27 September 2018 Planning Committee Meeting.

  2. As a principle, do you believe that an applicant should compensate Council for any loss of infrastructure or modification to infrastructure directly pertaining to the application (eg loss of carparks?

    The Mayor advised if VicRoads or Council’s Engineering Department require upgrading of infrastructure this can be placed as a condition on permit, should approval be granted.

  3. As a matter of principle, do you support the various villages in the municipality and treasure their unique characteristics and history? If the answer is yes, is it appropriate to diminish that social capital and cohesion by dispersing land uses to residential zones that are already present in those villages?

    The Mayor reiterated that certain commercial development are allowed in the residential zone subject to a planning permit. This means that applications can be made outside of the villages such as Highton Shopping Centre. The Council officer report will address all the issues associated with this application and it will be considered at the 27 September 2018 Planning Committee meeting.

Jack Green asked if Council believes that it has a duty to the ratepayers and the community when an application results in the operations of a Council facility becoming less attractive to the user groups and less efficient as a result of a commercial application in a Residential Zone?

The Mayor responded the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme allows commercial development to be considered in the residential zone. The scheme has a policy (Clause 22.01) that guides decision making for commercial development in a residential zone. The Highton Senior Citizen Facility and its members have objected to the impact this development will have on the use of their centre. The entrance to the Senior Citizens is located directly opposite to the proposed entry to Bean Squeeze. The members are concerned that, if this application is to go ahead, they will not feel safe visiting the facility. The objections from the senior citizens members have been sent to VicRoads and Council’s Engineering and Community Connections departments for comment. A Council officer report is being prepared to address all these issues and will be considered at the 27 September 2018 Planning Committee meeting.

Mr Green also asked if Council is aware of the Planning Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Act of 2015 which makes it mandatory for Council (and VCAT) to consider the number of objectors to a permit application in considering whether a proposed use or development may have a significant social effect – as detailed in Planning Advisory Note 63?

The Mayor advised Council officers are aware of this and will be discussed in the officer’s report for the Planning Committee to consider.

Graham Hobbs asked what reasons have Council’s Traffic Department, VicRoads and Council’s Town Planning Department, for changing to an exit from the proposed Bean Squeeze facility onto Barrabool Road, and can all correspondence between all three bodies be made available to all Councillors and to the public within seven days?

The Mayor responded as follows:

Lex Chalmers asked the following in relation to UNESCO – City of Design Award 2018:

I refer to the accolade given to Geelong with its UNESCO Australian City of Design Award 2018. I have not seen any banners at Geelong’s entrance or a program of events celebrating Geelong’s designers, architects and inventors.

There does not even seem to be a pamphlet available to explain the award on to map sites of interest.

This international award gives Geelong a distinct point of difference from all other cities in Australia. It seems to me that tourism bodies do not understand the gift they have been given.

It is not too late, it is still 2018, could I ask that Council encourage development of some celebratory events before the end of the year to raise the profile of the award and to provide a basis for its ongoing promotion?

Tim Ellis, Acting Director Investment and Attraction, responded there is a lot going on in this space currently and in the very near future. Council does have pamphlets available which will be forwarded to you.

Julia Reid addressed Council as follows in relation to Dog Controls in Public Places Policy Review:

  1. Will Council update its community engagement framework to ensure disability inclusion and usability in its community survey techniques and technologies?

    I draw your attention to Map 9 Clifton Springs in the proposed Dog Control Orders. The areas marked green are supposed to be all year 365 day walking off leash spaces. The yellow marked areas However as a user of Clifton Springs beaches I can tell you that between mid and high tide nearly all these beaches are under water.

    The green area from Griggs Creek to the West is under water from medium to high tide and is inly accessible for walking from medium to low tide. Even then at low tide it is only a small area about 80 meters long, as there is an impassable headland which the map does not take into account. This area is accessed by a steep staircase from a narrow street adjoining an open space at the top of the new Curlewis estate. This is where dog walkers would be required to park yet the street itself is not suited to parking and especially for parents with small kids and a dog in tow. There are many dogs walkers in Clifton Springs who use this beach but most access it from the marina and walk off leash on the beach from the car park west towards Griggs Creek because it is difficult to access from the staircase. At times of rain Griggs Creek has a heavy volume of water running to the bay and it is not possible to cross over it, so access to and from this beach is difficult.

    The green area 44B to 43B to beach below Beacon Point Road and further East below private land is always inaccessible with dangerous rocky walks, no stairs and wild unkept growth full of snakes. They are not safe areas for women and children to walk as they cant be seen from above, nor are they safe for dogs off leash for the reasons already stated. There is very little of this land that is used by anyone at all because it is dangerous and inaccessible. Yet this is the space designated for off leash walking. I spoke to Council about this and also wrote these comments in my survey response but no attention has been given to these issues in the report and proposals you have before you today.

    The yellow area is off leash before 10am and after 5pm 365 days of the year. This is not reasonable since it is the only accessible area for anyone to walk on a beach or go swimming in Clifton Springs. All year it is used by dog walkers. Over summer school holidays the number of people who use it without bringing a dog increases. But many of the summer users also bring their dog. There are 3 Dell beaches which are actually accessible to the public. The others are not accessible because private properties line the cliff tops with access tracks. Yet they are all marked yellow.

    The map is confusing and not accurate. It doesn't reflect the geography, or physical accessibility.

  2. Will Council review the accuracy of the map and allow people with dogs to have some off leash access to Clifton Springs beaches at all times of year?

  3. Will Council express its recognition of the health and wellbeing reciprocal needs of dogs and their owners?

    I understand that visitor and tourists numbers swell over summer. I understand that restrictions on dog off leash access to beaches is needed during this time. But it is not reasonable or fair that there be no access to safe off leash swimming and walking on the northern Bellarine from Clifton Springs to St Leonards during the summer months other than the small area at Point Richards marked green under Bellarine Bayside map of Portarlington. This area is a car park, it is a boat ramp. It is not fenced, has no shade and it is not a safe place for dogs unleashed with these combined uses.

    The Beacon Point off leash area on the cliff top at Clifton Springs has no beach access. It has no shade and in summer is hot and unpleasant. On windy days in winter it is completely exposed to the full force of the weather.

  4. Will Council extend the consultation period and effectively engage with residents to address concerns about the access to off leash beach and swimming at Clifton Springs year round?

Steve Sodomaco, Manager Health and Local Laws, acknowledged the issues raised in relation to the functionality of the online survey technology and will take those concerns back with a view to having them resolved. He also thanked Ms Reid for her comments and encouraged her and other residents to further participate in the extended period being made available for public comment.

Mr Sodomaco agreed that there may be some areas Council has missed and was more than happy to come out with the Asset Manager and have a look at the issues raised.

Jennifer Bantow asked if Councillors could confirm that a Local Government presence for the elected Council of Greater Geelong will remain in the Town Hall, for civic meeting and ceremonial functions, as defined in the resolution of 24 July?

The Mayor responded “yes”, the Town Hall will be retained for some meetings and ceremonial functions.

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Contents | Next Page: Section B – Reports