Tag Archives: Cr Geoff Lake

Councillors to vote on retaining Dandenong Creek Escarpment

Monash Council Officers are recommending the proposed reduction to the Dandenong Creek escarpment in the north of Glen Waverley BE DROPPED.  We COMMEND the Officers for a decision which protects the liveability and environment in our City.

Councillors will vote on whether to accept this recommendation at their meeting on Tuesday evening.  Cr Geoff Lake has disappointingly supported decreasing the escarpment, stating the garden character is the same as areas not on the escarpment.  Council Officers correctly state the topography (and not garden character) determine creek escarpment.

The community will benefit from a well maintained escarpment. There will be a lower risk of flooding and a healthy green environment to live in for both people and wildlife.  The creek will be healthier providing a wonderful region for both river life and leisure activities.  It is true some people do not want this environment but the diversity of areas across Monash gives everyone the chance to find a place to live!

Council_Officers_Report_310516
Extract from Council Officers Report for Council meeting 31 May 2016

Access the full Council Officers’ Report here: http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/files/assets/public/about-us/council/council-meetings/2016-31-may/1.2-report.pdf

The agenda for the meeting 31 May may be accessed here: http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Council/Agendas-Minutes/31-May-2016#agenda

Note: Questions for Public Question Time must be submitted by 12 noon on Monday 30 May.  Maybe after the Council Elections in October the new Council will update Local Law 1 so that we have more up to date and constituent friendly procedures for asking questions at Council meetings.

Related Link:
Save our creek – Support NRZ4

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Development or Devastation?

My walk to work, a mere 2.5km through Glen Waverley’s northern corner, is increasingly challenging as I negotiate yet another broken, illegally fenced, car blocked, mud covered or flooded footpath as another home site is bulldozed of every last blade of grass before being swamped under a monstrous concrete box.

Council has reached an “in-principle” position on Amendment C125 which is supposed to provide some degree of control over what gets built where and what happens to the vegetation which comprises the “garden character” of the City of Monash.  You can see the position they reached and how it changed on March 29, 2016 on page 7 of the meeting minutes of the Council meeting.

On May 3, many residents attended the public submissions evening to offer their opinion on the “in-principle” position.***  There are no minutes currently published on Council’s website but it is fair to say that a significant percentage, probably a significant majority, of speakers were strongly opposed to the weakening of the controls by Cr Lake’s amendments to the proposals in the original C125 report.

Council is due to adopt, or amend then adopt, the “in-principle” position at the next meeting on May 30.  After that, the amendment goes before a State government planning review panel before being finally presented to the Minister for Planning for his approval.

NOW, is almost your last opportunity to influence the outcome of the process.

***Editor’s note:  Check out the comments to read one of the presentations to Monash Council on 3 May.

“The area in question should remain NRZ4”

Dealing Monash Ratepayers a Dodgy Hand

Gambling_Lynnette_060516

What do you think?

Leave your comments by clicking on the Leave a Comment button above.

EM&U will publish your letters, emails etc.  We exist to empower the community to speak out. Name and contact details must be provided though not necessarily published.  Each author is responsible for their content and views do not always represent all involved with our group.

Recycled Mayor and controversy

Cr Geoff Lake is has been recycled to the position of Mayor of Monash.  The appointment is not without controversy some of which is reported in Hansard:

The Labor Party, which has a stranglehold on the City of Monash, should not delay the filling of [the vacancy arising from Stephanie Perri’s resignation] so that it can use its numbers to elect a mayor before the vacancy is filled.

Mrs PEULICH Hansard 3 May 2016

Furthermore, I understand that the resignation of Cr Klisaris, who is also the Labor candidate for the federal seat of Aston, is being delayed to facilitate the installation of another Labor mayor, thereby creating a stranglehold again.

Mrs PEULICH Hansard 3 May 2016

 

Featured Image: Dandenong Creek escarpment east of Srpingvale Road

Cr Geoff Lake has recently proposed the following changes to the Monash Planning Scheme Amendment C125:

  • a reduction in the number of canopy trees required to a minimum of 2 across Monash
  • removing the proposed 5 metre rear setbacks in GRZ3 & 4 and NRZ 1 & 4
  • removing the steepest part of the Dandenong Creek escarpment (see photo above) from NRZ4

On 3 May at a special meeting, not attended by Cr Lake, speaker after speaker made it clear to Council it did not agree with this proposal.  Will Cr Lake head the advice of residents in his own ward, Glen Waverley?

Further information:

http://hansard.parliament.vic.gov.au/isysquery/ccc88094-391e-47b0-8c91-bbe55595f021/6/doc/

Community initiated Council forum a success!

“Our City should be driven by the people that live in it” Mr Frank Cresia

This week representatives from community groups, including Empowering Monash & YOU, attended a forum at the Monash Council Offices in Glen Waverley.  Cr Geoff Lake, Dr Andi Diamond and Mr Peter Panagakos represented Monash Council.  Mr Frank Cresia, from the John Monash Square group chaired the meeting.

The focus of the meeting was the future of the Central Car Park site in Glen Waverley.

Monash community members have put in submissions to Council and the John Monash Multicultural Square proposal has received particular attention by Council. The proposals ask for the full extent of the car park to be green and open public space and suggest many ways the space can be used e.g. an open air stage.  An underground car park has been costed.

The Council’s proposal for the land includes 10+storey buildings comprising commercial and residential use, a ‘state of the art’ library and a small public square.

The forum began with two slide presentations.  Cr Geoff Lake presented on behalf of the Council and Mr Frank Cresia presented on behalf of the residents action group.

Cr Lake indicated no decision has been made, but many in the audience were skeptical about this. He highlighted the financial issue as perceived by Council and emphasized a need for a grand library such as the library recently opened in Geelong.  He said the northern end of Kingsway is a planning issue.  The Council is very happy with the function of the remainder of Kingsway.

“Underground car park on the [Central Car Park] site is a strategy that addresses long term car parking issues and brings economic benefit for Council”
Mr Frank Cresia

Mr Cresia emphasized the cultural diversity in Monash and the importance of the community being involved in planning and design. Mr Cresia’s slide presentation is attached below.

The community group, after seeking advice from an engineer, stated a preference for the new library to be built on the current Glen Waverley Library site or extending into the car park on the south side of the library.  This will keep the small open area outside the Council offices an active pedestrian area.

The need for new Council offices was not specifically mentioned.  Community  members have questioned this need.  Over the last two years there have been some reductions in Council staff (e.g. aged care, school holiday program) and a trend towards employing consultants (who typically provide their own office accommodation).  Council needs to provide a Business Case demonstrating the need for new office space before this becomes a viable project.

Dr Chan Chea presented a slide show emphasizing the importance of good governance principles in local council decision making processes.

“Transparent decision making shows: the viable options, how & what the decision making criteria is, and recommends the best value option with a full disclosure of how the decision was made,  the implementation schedule and the risk management framework” Dr Chan Chea

Click on the link below to view the presentation by Mr Cresia.
JOHN MONASH MULTICULTURAL SQUARE (JMMS)PROPOSAL 16 Dec 2015

Click on the link below to view the presentation by Dr Chan Chea.
EVALUATING GOVERNANCE & COMPLIANCE

Following the presentations community members asked many questions and made comments.  The community called for the current Expression of Interest (EOI) process to be stopped to allow for consultation with the community.

One woman commented she had lived in Glen Waverley for 30 years and only just found out Central Car Park was to be built on.  This morning I chatted with another woman who said, “I always read the Monash Bulletin but I didn’t know [Central Car Park] was to be built on”.

 

20150222_diagram

Actions for YOU to take if you would like to create this legacy for future generations in Glen Waverley:

 

Related links:

Getting a perspective on Council illustrations

10 Plus Storeys on Central Car Park

Green Waverley: Research supports a green space for diverse uses

Click on  “leave a comment” under the page heading to add your thoughts to this post.  Note all comments are moderated.  EM&U reserves the right not to publish posts deemed unsuitable.

Monash Council: 3 gripes, 2 compliments

Last night’s Monash Council meeting left me insulted and angry.  Work by our strong Councillors and any good moves the Council makes are soon overshadowed by rude, aggressive and unprofessional conduct by a group of Councillors.

Feedback we received at EM&U indicates YOU want to know more about Council see: (Feedback leads to web site improvements and call for writers about Council) so I have shared my own perception of last night’s meeting in this post:  “3 gripes, 2 compliments”.

There is a Council election NEXT YEAR.  A better deal for the local community may well depend on how YOU vote. Be informed!

We welcome YOUR comments – click on the “leave a comment” button above.  All comments are moderated before posting.

GRIPE 1: Rude and aggressive conduct of Councillors

Once again, a Councillor presented a view contrary to other Councillors and was subjected to an aggressive, nasty and totally unprofessional onslaught. Our Mayor Paul Klisaris had earlier muttered “just what we expected” when Cr Robert Davies voted against the rest of the group. This time an individual vote was followed with a rampage: “I don’t believe this has just happened in this Council!” and apologies (to whom?). Why? Whether you agree with Cr Davies or not he was stating a viewpoint held by some constituents in Monash.

Cr Geoff Lake was quick to take up the chase and belligerently pursued the matter. Jumping to his feet for his onslaught he wrongly paraphrased what Cr Davies had said. Fortunately the Young Leaders Group, which had been dined by Council, had left. This was not an example of good conduct for tomorrow’s leaders!

The whole experience was unpleasant for the public gallery.  A member of the gallery who tried to interject was told she would be removed.  It appears it is alright for the Councillors to behave badly and without sanction but not the public.

Time and time again the public sit through appalling exhibitions like this.

Is this how we want OUR elected representatives to behave?

COMPLIMENT 1: Seeking professional advice before voting

Cr Bill Pontikis professionally sought further information about a planning permit for a former quarry.  He questioned the Council staff present to make sure he was clear about the issues involved before he casted his vote.  (I doubt whether he was aware of the mocking looks he was receiving behind his back from another Councillor trying to belittle his professional approach.)

Well done Cr Bill Pontikis.  The public note your professional approach.

Should you attend a Council meeting to watch the candidates in your Ward to make sure you are clear about who you are voting for?

GRIPE 2:  Disinterest of Glen Waverley Councillors

The  annual budget is a major item on the Council agenda.  As the draft budget was tabled last night Councillors from Mulgrave, Mt Waverley and Oakleigh Wards all stood to talk enthusiastically about projects requested by the people in their wards that had been funded.  Once again, the Glen Waverley Ward Councillors did NOT refer to any specific allocation for a project in their ward.

Do you know which Ward you are in?  If not click on the City of Monash Wards link to find out:  Link to City of Monash Wards

How will you decide on who to vote for as your representative at the Council election in 2015?
Monash Council
Monash Council meetings are open to the public. EM&U encourages YOU to attend one BEFORE voting in 2016.

COMPLIMENT 2:  Rate relief for pensioners

My complement goes to the Councillors who spoke to MORE THAN a $50 a year decrease in rates for pensioners.  The increase in HACC (help in your own home) costs (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-18/concerns-growing-over-dramatic-changes-in-home-care-for-seniors/6402120) and rate increases through rises in property values will hit aged residents HARD.

I apologise for not noting which Councillors spoke to this.  We would be happy to post your names if you let EM&U know you support a larger deduction in pensioners rates.

Councillors please note a senior is NOT a pensioner.

Is your Councillor representing your viewpoint in Council?

GRIPE 3:  Lack of community attendance at Council meetings

2016, NEXT YEAR, is the next Council election.  YOUR  vote counts. Yet the public gallery is nearly empty at every Council meeting.

I urge YOU to go along to AT LEAST ONE Council meeting between  26 MAY 2015 and OCTOBER 2016.  Monash constituents need to take on the responsibility of ensuring the next Council is one Monash can be proud of.

Will you make YOUR vote in 2016 count?

There are more gripes and compliments from last night’s meeting but this is all I have time to report.  Add yours to the comments by clicking on “Leave a Comment” at the top of the post.  All comments are moderated by the site administrators.

FOR YOU TO DO:

  • Click the “follow” button on the left hand panel to get an email every time there is a new post on this site.
  • Send the URL of this page to a friend or neighbour who would like to vote responsibly in next year’s Council election.
  • Make sure YOU know which Ward you are in and who your representative on Monash Council is.
Are Glen Waverley Councillors tuned into what is happening in their Ward?
Are Glen Waverley Councillors tuned into what is happening in their Ward?


Mayors’ Tongues Astray

Since the November 2013 Mayoral Elections in Monash it seems that a requirement for election has been a lack of control over the Mayoral tongue.

By April 2014, Mayor Lake was forced to apologise for his tongue straying and promising to exercise greater control in the future.  The meeting minutes record:

Des Olin question:
As a result of shared learning from the incident in engaging inappropriate correspondence with Jack Davies, will the Mayor of the City of Monash Council announced publically that he will exercise and also ensure other Councillors will exercise the highest care and diligence in complying with:
1. The Monash code of conduct, and
2. Its application in accordance to the Local Government Act, including latest amendments) when engaging and communicating with members of the public?”
Answer:
Thank you for your question.
Yes, I unreservedly give that guarantee.
As you know, my response to the letter in question was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek and good-humoured response.
I accept that it has not been taken that way by the recipient and I have written to him separately to assure him that given his objection to this response, a similar tongue-in-cheek approach will not be used again in future correspondence to him.
I regret any concern caused to him or anyone else as that was certainly not intended.

Mayor Klisaris’ tongue was quicker to escape the Mayoral chain of office in 2015, however.  Waverley Leader, 27 January 2015, reported the following:

MONASH Mayor Paul Klisaris has been lambasted by his Liberal colleagues for a “tongue-in-cheek” comment appealing for new Australian citizens to vote Labor.

Addressing 42 new citizens at the council’s Australia Day citizenship ceremony today, Cr Klisaris said Australians could vote however they chose, “but we’d prefer it if you voted Labor”.

Cr Klisaris later defended his comments, saying there was freedom of speech in Australia and he didn’t think his comment would have “swayed anyone” to vote Labor.

“I think people are being a little bit precious, it was all tongue in cheek,” Cr Klisaris said.

“I turned to our guests and apologised.”

The rest of the City of Monash is still awaiting an apology for this misconduct.  Personal freedom of speech is one thing; comments made under the guise of an official position do not enjoy that same privilege.

Perhaps Monash Mayoral candidates should undergo some post-electoral tongue training – if you must put your tongue in your cheek, have the good sense to bite it before you say something silly and embarrassing to the city you purport to represent!

Today’s Waverley Leader raises EM&U concerns: political trainees in local government & high rise development – what do YOU think?

Today’s Monash and Oakleigh Leader (2 Dec 2014) touches on two issues of concern to EM&U and the wider Monash community (see image of page at bottom of post).

The first is the relationship between political party membership and local government, generally and, more specifically here in Monash. The political activity of many of our Councillors during State and Federal elections is public and adds weight to the view that local government is a training ground for would be politicians.

Is this an issue? 
Did you know Local Government Councillors were members of political parties when you voted for them? 
Has your Ward been been left short due to your representative’s political interests?
Do career aspirants put the local people’s interests first?

Monash Councillor campaigning for State Election candidate Excerpt from Twitter 1 Dec 2014
Monash Councillor campaigning for State Election candidate Excerpt from Twitter 1 Dec 2014

The second is the inadequacy of the Glen Waverley Activity Centre Structure Plan Sept 2014 which paved the way for approval of the first of many high rise buildings.  This won’t stop in Glen Waverley – the Monash Housing Strategy 2014 opens the gates for the spread of development across Monash.

Would you  like to see change in local government?
Do you think the Glen Waverley Activity Centre Structure Plan needs revision?

Sick of doing NOTHING?  Here’s a few steps to empower YOU:

  • Follow this web site to keep up to date.  More articles on these concerns will appear here
  • Meet with members of EM&U  to find out what others are doing: Email EMonashU@gmail.com introducing yourself
  • Email monash@leadernews.com.au (letter to the editor) setting out your views
  • Write an article for this web site / blog.  EM&U welcomes guest authors.  Note while each author is responsible for their own views and there may be variance of viewpoints across articles, views need to be consistent with the values of this group generally, and specifically in regard to quality in local governance, quality in aged care and inclusivity.  Administrators of this site reserve the right to edit or refuse publication of articles not consistent with EM&U values.
Two major issues in Waverley Leader 2 Dec 2014
Two major issues in Waverley Leader 2 Dec 2014

 

One year on…what do YOU still need to do?

One year ago…

9 July 2013: residents and relatives of residents at Monash Council’s aged care facilities received letters announcing the Council is proposing to sell the aged care facilities

16 July 2013: notice of intention to sell land advertised

23 July 2013: Council calls for Expressions of Interest in purchasing aged care facilities

Public gallery overflow September 2013
Public gallery overflow September 2013

Do you know who said this?

“Hold on a second, how can you claim you’re consulting with us and you have the community consultation forums booked in the next couple of weeks yet you’re out to tender based on these concept plans? … What sort of a sham process is this?”  Waverley Leader 22 July 2014

 

This quote is NOT one of the aged care campaigners, though it well could have been! It is Mayor Cr Geoff Lake. Just one year after the Council employed a totally sham process to sell aged care they are complaining about the same process being used by the Department of Transport in the Clayton Railway Station project.

EM&U invite active campaigners from last to continue working towards better governance in Monash Council. Our gains were good but likely to disappear unless we keep working towards our goals. Small concessions are fine but we are working toward major goals e.g. more community friendly and open Public Question Time, community involvement before the developers and planners are called in – and not only on small, easy programs but on the tough projects such as budgets and high rise building development.

Agree?

Then please join us in the gallery at the Monash Council on Tuesday 29 July 7.30 pm. The agenda is online at: http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/reports/29jul2014.htm. On the agenda are: Family Day Care, Review of the Monash Planning Scheme, Nature Strip guidelines, Euneva car park and more.

There are plenty of questions to ask about this agenda and only one question allowed per person!  A reminder to email, fax, deliver your questions to Council by 12 noon on Monday 28 July.
If you are unsure or need help please email EMonashU@gmail.com

 

On top of Euneva...
On top of Euneva…

 

Monash Mayor in Council lobby share $272,000 payout

Monash Mayor in poor view once more…article written by MRI

Monash Ratepayers Inc.

 The Herald SuGovernancen (13 March 2014) reported that the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Board members were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in allowances and expenses last year:

“………MAV Allowances & Expenses…. City of Monash mayor Cr Geoff Lake earned $9736 from the MAV to go with his annual mayoral allowance and superannuation payout of $93,000.

The ALP had preselected Cr Lake to run in last year’s federal election for the safe seat of Hotham, but he was dumped after the Herald Sun revealed that he had abused a woman in a wheelchair several years earlier…..”

Monash ratepayers pay tens of thousands as Council’s annual MAV membership fee. For manyInvestment Management 2 years, Geoff Lake has acted on behalf of MAV as a Trustee Director of Vision Super, which caused all Victorian Councils  large defined liability payouts last year.

To this day, many people perceived that the Trustee Directors of…

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