My voting record‎ > ‎

Council meeting - 19 Jan 2015

posted 29 Jan 2015, 02:44 by Christel Mex   [ updated 29 Jan 2015, 02:45 ]
Highlights from this month's Council meeting. 

I moved the motion to set parameters for the development of the 2015-16 Business Plan, which was carried unanimously. One of the parameters will be to be raise fees and charges (not set by legislation) by 2.6% or ‘market value’ – which will allow for flexibility in pricing council services.

There was robust discussion regarding the final report from the State Government’s Expert Panel on Planning Reform. Council resolved to provide a submission to the Minister for Planning. Here is what I contributed to the discussion:

“It is greatly disappointing to see that local knowledge and expertise may be sidelined in these planning reforms.  

There will be a greatly reduced role for local government, with possibly as few as five regional planning boards in the metropolitan area.

It will easy for our local community needs and heritage values to get lost in this new planning system.

The proposed audit of heritage places is alarming, as is the ability for land owners to propose changes to development plans - bypassing local councils.

Our community has to live with the results of planning decisions for many years to come.  

To not give the community and their elected representatives a real say in local development is a lost opportunity. 

On a practical note, I have a suggestion regarding the terminology we use the upcoming submission.

Because officers receive quite a number of submissions, they might be drawn to summary phrases like “this reform is generally supported” or “cautiously supported” - and tick the positive box - even though there were legitimate concerns raised in subsequent paragraphs.

We may wish to consider using more specific language in the upcoming submission and refer to individual recommendations points.

This is particularly important in regards to the proposed auditing of heritage items (Reform 8.8) and land owners ability to propose changes to development plans (Reform 9.4).

(Note: the views expressed above are my own personal views and not necessarily those of Council)