Friends of Nillumbik September Bulletin
Friends of Nillumbik Inc
Working in the public interest to protect biodiversity, rural landscape, neighbourhood
character and good governance, in a sustainable Green Wedge shire.
Bulletin for August/Sept. 2020
Dear supporters/associate members,
In this bulletin:
Council voting bloc ends / What happened to sound financial management? / Restaurant approval undermines Green Wedge. / Waiting for Council action on dumping. / Fighting the election – funds needed. / Climate Emergency forum. / EES on Yan Yean Road works. / Order your, “Protect our Green Wedge Shire” sign. / Key links to other local groups – keep informed. / Volunteering for the election.
Ruling faction finished:
News that the 4-vote alliance controlling council has expired, is heartily welcomed. First to opt-out was Swipers Gully’s Bruce Ranken whose resignation preceded Peter Clarke’s surprise decision not to contest the October election. Now we hear Sugarloaf’s Jane Ashton is also likely to join the exodus. This will leave Karen Egan the sole remaining member of the ruling group facing election in October. This Clarke-led caucus of four leave a wasted legacy of disruption, mismanagement and community division which we’ve been reporting on since 2016. We leave to the reader the significance of Peter Clarke’s reluctance to defend his record and budget strategy with voters. Neither Clarke nor Ranken showed a grasp of why green wedge protection was important. Both saw economic expansion and development as the only thing worth pursuing.
Hoping to renew their control, the Liberal Party is hastily putting together some new faces to carry the anti-green wedge banner of growth and development into the October elections. Be warned.
Where does council’s budget leave Nillumbik?
Instead of budgeting properly, to cover preparing for new election promises and planned projects, the table shown on the “Know your Council” webpage (Auditor General’s Office) gives Nillumbik Council's financial performance as going backwards over the course of four years. For the last two years the "Adjusted Underlying Result" is negative. Council has been running deficit budgets. The Council, like its Financial Report, will say the - 32.34% figure is due to a change in Accounting Standards. But using the old Accounting Standard, the result would still have been negative at: - 5.33%
Another unreported figure using the old Accounting Standard is Council's operating result for the year 2020 of - $2.456 million - yet another negative result!
New councillors elected in October will have some challenges to face! For another view on council’s financial performance see SWAG TV: Vimeo Channel. (August 1st edition) or: Facebook
Bannons Lane, Yarrambat, restaurant decision:
Arguably the worst planning decision made by this council, after the 2017 Pigeon Bank Rd ‘mansion-on-a-ridgeline’ approval, affects peaceful rural land at Bannons Lane, Yarrambat. The Clarke group’s mantra of economic development led them to bend rules mandating existing agriculture as a pre-condition which must accompany any restaurant use. Instead, councillors have affectively dispensed with the agriculture condition, happy with the proponent’s nebulous intention to plant some olives during development. If these standards prevail and were duplicated across our rural land, the Green Wedge would be lost to overdevelopment. See https://wedgetales.org.au/ ‘Zone abuse’
You can watch the council meeting which dealt with this matter here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2FXlNiXA_U&feature=youtu.be
Industrial soil-dumping operation in Chapel Lane, Doreen:
Council’s failure to deal effectively with this illegal operation can only be put down to incompetence. Other municipalities around Melbourne have been able to control opportunistic soil dumping operators using the same planning scheme provisions which Nillumbik can use – but we still wait. Now even Melbourne Water has instructed council to act on the water pollution threat. Recently Cr Perkins was blocked by Clarke’s faction when he took the initiative to bring a halt to the illegal dumping via an enforcement procedure. This was pure politics. For further Chapel Lane background: see Wedge Tales web site: https://wedgetales.org.au/2020/08/08/no-need-for-a-permit-dump-it-in-the-nillumbik-green-wedge/ and https://wedgetales.org.au/2020/08/18/nillumbik-council-agrees-on-failure/
Reminder if you’d like to help elect a better council – and thanks if you’ve already donated:
· Friends of Nillumbik
· BSB 633-000
· Account No. 174 306 522 (add your email if you’d like a receipt)
Fundraising Garage Sale:
Visit the Nillumbik Green Wedge Fundraising Garage Sale page for excellent items for sale. Head over there now (link below). There are some great items for sale and all funds will be going towards election activities.
Special Event: Climate Emergency Online Forum, Saturday 19th Sept. 2.00pm – 3.30pm
“The Climate Emergency and Nillumbik Shire: What’s the Story? Online forum with special guests: Jane Morton and Katta O’Donnell.
For details and to register:
Road work affecting our Green Wedge – Yan Yean Rd Stage 2 EES
The Environment Effects Statement (EES) for Stage 2 of the Yan Yean Road Upgrade is now on public exhibition until 5pm Friday 9 October 2020. The EES examines the potential impacts the road upgrade could have on the environment and identifies how the project plans to avoid, reduce and manage those impacts.
All documentation making up the EES is available online at roadprojects.vic.gov.au/yyr-ees.
You can also contact us to obtain a copy on USB by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1800 105 105
Links to other like-minded groups:
Get up-to-date on how the October local elections will affect our Green Wedge Shire; make sure your vote is informed.
Visit these sites:
Wedge Tales: https://wedgetales.org.au/
Eltham Community Action Group: https://elthamaction.org.au/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/222387211566156/?multi_permalinks=961113217693548¬if_id=1597833225581891¬
Chapel Lane Community Action: https://www.facebook.com/groups/219724542611107
Warrandyte Community Association: https://www.facebook.com/warrandytecommunityassociation/
Green Wedge Protection Group: https://www.facebook.com/NillumbikGWPG/
Green Wedges Coalition: https://www.gwc.org.au/
Did you get your Wedge Tales brochure in the mail? (4 page brochure: “What you need to know about a wasteful, destructive Council….etc”)
Australia Post’s performance has been patchy. Let us know if you didn’t receive it in the mail; street and/or post office?