Saturday, November 29, 2008

samantha dunn re-elected

The results of the Yarra Ranges elections for Lyster Ward are:

Samantha DUNN 4342 votes - 54%
A.L.P. CORTINHO-HOGAN 607 votes - 8%

Chris O'NEILL 2091 votes - 26%
Frank DEAN 252 votes - 3%
Manfred KRAUTSCHNEIDER 730 votes - 9%


total votes returned = 8022

Thank you so much to the people of Lyster, I was re-elected as Lyster Ward Councillor with a resounding 54% of the primary vote. I am humbled by your confidence in me and thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue to represent you.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

what a big week it has been...

What a big week it has been, a lot of last minute meetings and functions, there hasn’t been a chance to do my regular blogspot ‘report from the round table’ or any other blog reports for that matter, but I will get there.

















Today is my last day as Lyster Ward Councillor for this term. It has been a great three years and my thanks must go to all those people in the community who have been overwhelmingly supportive of me and what I have tried to achieve on behalf of the people of Lyster. There have been so many well wishers and I feel most humbled by your best wishes for me.
















I must also thank my colleagues, for without their support no councillor can achieve what they set out to do, after all I am only 1 vote in 9. There has been plenty of robust debate but it’s all been in council chambers and none of us bear grudges or ill will. We have been a terrific working team and I appreciate the friendship and support I have received from fellow councillors.


Whatever happens on Election day I know I have done the best I possibly could for our community over the last three years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

belgrave south township improvements....

I was invited to a meeting of interested parties to discuss issues around the Belgrave South and Heights Streetscape. The meeting included community members, school councillors, school principal and traders.

A number of issues have been identified by the group however most of the discussion was around safety of pedestrians in relation to the school crossing and bus stops, relocation of bus stops and crossings, a public open space within the Belgrave South township and pedestrian linkages from Belgrave South to the Recreation Reserve, Belgrave Heights, Birdsland and Belgrave Lake Park.

















Me at the Len Jeffrey Memorial Pre School in Belgrave South, it's an exciting time coming up for Belgrave South with discussions about township improvements and local sporting clubs developing a masterplan for the recreation reserve.

The group has a great deal of energy and enthusiasm for the project which has come about due to an allocation of funding in the capital works budget which I wholeheartedly supported.

Over my three year term I have been a member of many groups and committees covering a broad range of issues from public transport, environment, children’s services, townships, art & culture to name a few. I have always given my time freely and it’s been a pleasure to sit with community members on these groups. I relish the opportunity to learn more about our community and its needs and I never cease to be impressed by the level of energy, passion and dedication our community has for this special part of the Yarra Ranges.

I hope to be continuing my role as Lyster Ward Councillor and be given the opportunity to see many of the projects like the one in Belgrave South come to fruition.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

don’t forget to vote

The clock is counting down to get your ballot paper in for the Yarra Ranges Local Government election.

For your vote to count, it must be received by the Returning Officer by 6.00 pm on Friday, 28 November 2008 and can be mailed in the supplied reply paid envelope or delivered in person to the Electoral Office, Civic Centre, Anderson Street, Lilydale.


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Cr Samantha Dunn is an inspiration! As parents of children attending the community childcare centre, Sherbrooke Children's Centre, we discovered how a strong community can save valuable community assets. As a Councillor, Samantha Dunn has continued her commitment to accountability in Local Government. Her dual commitment to the human and the natural environment in the Hills is one we should all aspire to.
Faorligh Hunter, Sherbrooke Children’s Centre Parent and Mother of 4, Sassafras

Samantha Dunn has been a breath of fresh air and a guiding light for the plight of the people and the Dandenong Ranges community. Her commitment and understanding of environmental and community needs are second to none. Samantha has always been accessible and responsive, and from our personal experience takes time to get involved and get the job done! Thank you Samantha for helping us resolve our planning issues with a logical approach which will ensure Clematis Creek and surrounding wildlife will benefit from your role as a valued Councillor.
Corrinne and Jamie Sukroo – Belgrave

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our forests our water our climate our future

It was a privilege to accept an invitation to speak at the Our Forests Our Water Our Climate Our Future rally held in Warburton today.


















Around 500 people attended the rally from not only across the Yarra Ranges but from metropolitan Melbourne as well, which was a great show of support for the local community in their effort to stop logging in Melbourne’s water catchments.

Tracy Bartram MC’d the event, welcome to country was by Auntie Joy Murphy, followed by me, then Luke Chamberlain of the Wilderness Society. Here are a few photos of the day along with a copy of my speech.



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It was back in October 2007 when I learnt about the clearfelling proposed for the Armstrong and Cement Creek Catchments. I was shocked, I was angry and I knew that logging our catchments was squandering our water supply and it was happening in our own backyard.

That’s what brought me to write a motion for the Shire of Yarra Ranges council to consider,

On the 27th November 2007 I moved the following motion:

That Council supports a public statement opposing logging of water catchments in Yarra Ranges, and further that Council also makes representation to the Premier, the Minister of Environment and Minister of Water, and I propose that the statement is:

The Shire of Yarra Ranges does not support logging in water catchments.

Council recognises that:

1. Logging has a dramatic and detrimental effect on water yield in catchments.
2. Young re-growth trees need more water to grow thus releasing less water into catchments.
3. Logging reduces stream flow and yields to water catchments.
4. It takes 150 years for water yields to return to their pre logged status.
5. It is poor water policy to continue to log our water catchments.
6. Logging of water catchments adversely affects water quality through increasing sediment as does road construction through logging coupes.

We urge the government to consider a policy of no logging in water catchments
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The motion was supported unanimously by the Yarra Ranges councillors.

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From left to right: Luke Chamberlain - Wilderness Society, me, Sarah Rees - My Environment and Tracy Bartram - passionate local community member.
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Since Yarra Ranges opposed logging 14 other municipalities have followed suit and we now find that the
City of Bayside
Moreland City Council
City of Port Phillip
City of Whitehorse
City of Yarra
Knox City Council
Nillumbik Shire Council
City of Kingston
City of Melbourne
Maroondah City Council
City of Boroondara
Frankston City Council
City of Maribyrnong and
Moonee Valley City Council

all oppose logging in Melbourne’s water catchments. Collectively we represent 1.7 million Melburnians.

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In the latest turn of events the motion to oppose logging of catchments did not get supported by councillors in the City of Greater Dandenong, which curiously is the electorate of the Minister for Water, Tim Holding.

After significant public pressure during this council election period those councillors who initially rejected the motion to oppose logging have now committed to supporting the motion to oppose logging should they be re-elected to office. The voice of the people is powerful.

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Greg Barber, MLC talks about the carbon value of Victoria's Mountain Ash forests.
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Back in 1999 the then leader of the opposition, now our Premier, John Brumby went to the election with a policy to stop logging of our water catchments, if it was good policy in 1999 why isn’t it good policy now?

We have already lost billions and billions of litres of water supply from past woodchipping. We have a government that is spending $1 billion on a pipeline, which we all know wont have any water in it, and $3 billion on a desalination plant which will cause untold environmental damage.

If our government stopped logging all our catchments tomorrow we would gain 18 gigalitres of water a year, that’s 18 billion litres of water returned to Melburnians every year.

It would cost the government around $20 million to pay out the logging licences for the water catchments, and they should pay, after all the loggers have families to feed and mortgages to pay.

The government is currently spending $100 million to reconnect the Tarago Dam which will return 16 gigalitres to Melbourne’s water supply, surely Mr Brumby it would be a progressive move to stop logging, pay a fifth of the price and do something positive to protect Melbourne’s water supply.

We have heard through Tammy Lobato’s office that there will be no logging of Cement Creek this year. I have to say this is a hollow victory, there has been no commitment to truly protect Cement Creek, not now or into the future. There is no doubt the government is feeling the pressure and we need to keep that pressure up. Congratulations to you – what you are doing is being heard.

Cement Creek is a forest with considerable tracts of high conservation old growth forest, precious for its lead beaters possum habitat, it includes a site of aboriginal significance and not to mention its value as a carbon store.

No, there will be no clear felling this year, but still the bulldozers will be going in – why? To pave the way to log Cement Creek next year or the year after that? This is indeed a token gesture, whilst there is no clear felling of Cement Creek this year, our government continues to pulp the rest of Melbourne’s water catchments with little regard for our water supply.

Mr Brumby it’s time for your government to stop logging our water catchments. We can no longer accept these irresponsible actions which continue to jeopardise and squander our natural assets.

It’s time to stop the sound of chainsaws and bulldozers in our catchments.

It’s time to stop woodchipping our forests for paper.
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It’s time to stop threatening our water supply.

It’s time to listen to the will of the people.

It’s time Mr Brumby, to protect our forests, our water, our climate, our future.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

kicking goals

Soccer has been a big issue in my term as councillor for Lyster Ward and I have spent many hours focusing on soccer issues. The local club, the Sherbrooke Rangers Junior Soccer Club has grown exponentially and has struggled to find enough grounds to play their game.

The Menzies Creek Recreation Reserve has been a big part of filling the need but there has been significant consequences for the reserve and local residents. The reserve is small and set in a rural area and really isn’t appropriate to meet the growing needs of soccer.

I have been working very hard to resolve the issues, including working with the club and the residents for a positive way forward. There has been extensive negotiations and mediation to assist the residents and the club. A lot of effort has gone into the exploration of a green fields site for soccer and progress is being made on furthering this concept.






Me at the Menzies Creek Recreation Reserve. The Sherbrooke Rangers currently field 41 teams and have over 500 players.

As part of the process council recently endorsed the Draft Regional Soccer Strategy for community comment. Some of the recommendations in the strategy include “The proposed new regional facilities in the South Western area of the Shire will play a critical role in catering for the long-term demand for soccer in the Shire. Without this development there are no opportunities to develop or acquire additional space for more active playing fields. Furthermore, due to limitations on available open space for soccer fields, synthetic surfaces will also play a critical role in meeting the demand load for soccer in the Shire.”

If you’d like read the strategy click
here. Written comments or suggestions can be sent to Gerran Wright by 5th December, 2008.

I have put a lot of energy into Soccer and if re-elected I will continue to fight for a green fields site for soccer. One term is never enough time to see projects through to completion and I hope I’m given the opportunity to see this one delivered with another term as Lyster Ward councillor.

The Sherbrooke Rangers Junior Soccer Club is extremely pleased with the support Cr Samantha Dunn has given us in our endeavours to improve soccer facilities in the Dandenong Ranges.
Lisa Doolan and David Ceeney – Sherbrooke Rangers Junior Soccer Club

Thank you for your friendly and approachable manner during the past term. We have appreciated your availability, dedication and balanced open minded response to the issues raised on behalf of our local Community.
Dave and Neryl Jeffries – Menzies Creek

Many thanks for your willingness to listen to ratepayer concerns in your role as Lyster Ward councillor. You have managed to strike a good balance between helping members of your local community to deal with local problems, while also engaging actively with the big-picture issues for the Shire of Yarra Ranges.
Rob Lister – Menzies Creek

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fire and rain












It was a little ironic that the day of the Selby CFA Fireman’s Fair was on one of the coldest, wettest November days, but that didn’t stop the community coming out in force to support the local brigade.

There were all manner of treasures for sale and bargain of the day had to be the fully working television going for $1. Like the Menzies Creek Primary School Fete the week before, these local events bond our community and give us a sense of place and belonging.



Although a fundraiser, there are great social benefits too.

It also reinforces the important role the CFA plays in our community, they give of their time freely and the community is truly thankful for their contribution.


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Friday, November 21, 2008

nature based tourism.....

Today I attended a Nature Based Tourism Workshop conducted to assist the development of the Tourism Policy and Action Plan for the Shire. I was joined by Eco Tourism Operators and Parks Vic Rangers as well as Yarra Ranges Officers to talk about opportunities, impediments and a role for the Shire.

In consultations to date Nature Based Tourism has ranked very high as a future direction for tourism in the Shire. 1.6 million people visit the Shire every year for a tourism experience, 950,000 of them visit the Dandenong Ranges National Park!






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Tourism is one of the major drivers of employment and income for our local economy. Given Yarra Ranges proximity to Melbourne it is well placed to grow a Nature Based Tourism sector.

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The discussions were broad ranging with some terrific ideas coming from the group. I look forward to seeing the Tourism Policy and Action Plan come together for the benefit of visitors and locals alike.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

the fire danger period commences 1 december 2008

No burning off after 1 December

It's time to get your fire plan in place.

Current CFA policy recommends that residents "leave early or stay and defend", you need to make this decision today, not wait until there's a fire on your doorstop.

It's essential that you plan early, discuss it with your family and/or neighbours, but please make a plan.

















The CFA has some really good information available on their website. The CFA also run local community meetings to raise people's awareness of their bushfire risk, and work with residents to turn that awareness into action. You can find out where your next local community meeting is by visiting this link.

Our fire plan lives on the side of our fridge, but come bushfire season, it's reviewed and placed fair and square on the front of the fridge for all to see. I urge you to go to your local CFA community meeting and so you can make an informed decision about whether you will leave early or stay and defend.


Please note fire restrictions will stay in place until 30 April 2009 unless otherwise stated.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a day of hearings…

Today two hearings of significance to the local region were held, I went along to both of them.

The first, a VCAT hearing to consider the Burrinja application. Objectors to the council’s decision (see
blog entry) to grant a permit for the development of a performing arts centre have taken the matter to VCAT to be heard. Today saw presentations by the Architect, the Shire of Yarra Ranges (as the responsible authority) as well as submissions by objectors. Due to the complex nature of the application another day has been set aside for further submissions (4th Dec), watch this space for more info.

The second hearing was at the Liquor Licensing Board and it was to consider the granting of a Liquor License to Woolworths (trading as BWS) for a drive through bottle shop at 1571 Burwood Highway, Tecoma (see
blog entry).

Approximately 20 local Tecoma residents attended the hearing as objectors, a Barrister representing the Director of Housing was also there objecting to the liquor license application as well as representatives from the Uniting Church and the Wesley Mission.

I was there as the Lyster Ward councillor and raised issues around truck access and deliveries to the site. The hearing covered a lot of ground and went for over 4 hours. Nearly all the community members there spoke against the application and raised a number of legitimate concerns to the applicant and the panel member considering the matter.

It is still unclear whether the development of a BWS liquor outlet will require a planning permit from the Shire and today was the first time anyone had seen any sort of plans for the site. The site is in a Business 1 Zone and potentially there will be no need for a planning permit. The plans submitted were not extensive and do not give sufficient information as to the degree of works required.

I will certainly be discussing the matter with our planning officers as I have concerns around traffic impacts, noise, potential for site contamination (as it’s an old petrol station site), delivery times and signage, not to mention the appropriateness of its location next to a public housing site for those who are vulnerable in our community.

I think it is important for me to be there as the Lyster Ward councillor supporting the community through a very contentious matter and I will continue to follow this particular issue closely.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

belgrave south recreation reserve – building a plan

I have been working with the Belgrave South Football Club, the South Belgrave Cricket Club, Belgrave South Primary School, Belgrave South Red Devils Basketball Club, Belgrave South Community House, Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group and community representatives on the development of a master plan for the Belgrave South Recreation Reserve.
















Me, at the recently retrenched and resprigged Belgrave South Recreation Reserve, part of the Shire's ongoing drought proofing program. Sport forms such a critical part of the social fabric of our community, I think it is essential that drought proofing our ovals continues to be a high priority.

The next step in the process is to engage with the broader Belgrave South community to find out their aspirations for the site. The sorts of things that have come up in discussions with the sporting groups include lengthening the oval, resiting and improving the cricket nets, creating new pick up/drop off zones for the school, creating safer vehicle and pedestrian access to the ground, providing better parking, improving and developing pedestrian linkages between the township, the school and the reserve, exploring the potential for basketball facilities in the region, creating a wetlands area including water storage to secure water supplies for the reserve.

As you can see there’s a whole range of ideas that have come up but it is important to go that next step and start talking to the community. An information sheet is being designed for a letterbox drop which will go out to all local residents very soon. It’s important that residents have their say.

Watch this space for more info as it comes to hand. I congratulate the group, they have covered much ground in a short space of time, I look forward being part of the development of a master plan for the area.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

burrinja agm.....vcat

Last week saw a new committee of management elected for Burrinja, most of which are familiar faces and it was great to be amongst them again. I’ve been a long time supporter of Burrinja and the development of a community cultural centre which includes the construction of a 400 seat auditorium, backstage facilities, improved foyer and staff amenities.















When Burrinja’s planning application came before council I seconded the motion to support the application. There is no doubt that over the years the possibility of this project has waxed and waned. There has been considerable angst about the sell off of the site, securing council funding, securing state funding, securing, losing then re-securing federal funding. All very significant hurdles our community has had to negotiate in order to see their aspirations delivered.

There is yet another hurdle for our community to manoeuvre as the Burrinja application has been taken to VCAT. The hearing is this Wednesday 19th November and I’ll be there to support the application. VCAT hearings are open to the public, if you’d like to go along the address is 55 King Street, Melbourne.
















Burrinja is a key cultural facility much beloved by our community. It has been a long battle to keep the site, but not only just to keep it, but use it to link community and the arts. Burrinja reaches out to the disadvantaged in our community, to those on the fringe and connects community through the arts.

I don’t want our kids to travel off the mountain to go to cultural events, I don’t want our Mums and Dads to travel off the mountain to go to cultural events. It’s a vibrant arts centre that supports local artists and arts in the local community.

Congratulations to those elected to the committee of management for 2008/09, I look forward to continuing our excellent relationship.
President: Paul O’Halloran
Vice President: Jenny Saulwick
Treasurer: Sue Amico
Secretary: Sid Lawrence
Burrinja Art Foundation: Louis Delecretaz
General members:
Rachel Burke
Elizabeth Conolly
Keiran Dennis
Stax
Tony Pagone

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let me keep working for you

When I ran for council three years ago my motivation was to change the direction of the Shire. The battle to save childcare and the impending closure of Sherbrooke Children’s Centre made me realise that the direction the Shire was headed was wrong and didn’t put the community first. I have a broad range of interests and passions, but changing the direction on childcare was one of the key reasons I put my hand up.

It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the people of Lyster since 2005. In my 3 year term I have worked very hard to help anyone who has asked for my assistance. There have been some bigger projects such as saving Sherbrooke Children’s Centre, securing funding for Monbulk Pool, finding a new site for Soccer in the Dandenong Ranges, introducing green waste bins, but there’s been countless small projects that often go unnoticed by most except those directly affected.














I’ve assisted local arts groups and projects, helped countless community, sporting and environment groups, assisted with seed funding to set up the Sherbrooke U3A, provided funding for many festivals and community celebrations, provided funding for emergency relief services, helped dozens of young people to compete in all manner of competitions, supported local CFAs and the SES, helped pre schools across Lyster, secured funding to build a shower for the homeless, just to name a few.

I have been a tireless advocate for the community of the Dandenong Ranges, whether it be children’s services, public transport, road safety, urban design, planning, environment, agriculture, I have been very vocal about our needs in the Dandenongs.

My track record speaks for itself. I am seeking another term on council because there is so much more to do. I want to see projects through to completion and work on new projects which enhance our livability and our sense of community.

My passion and dedication for our community is unwavering, Vote 1 Samantha Dunn so I can continue to work for you.



During her time as Lyster ward councillor, Samantha has been a passionate and energetic supporter of the Belgrave Traders Association.
Donna Burgess – President, Belgrave Traders Association


Thank you for your friendly and approachable manner during the past term. We have appreciated your availability, dedication and balanced open minded response to the issues raised on behalf of our local Community.

Dave and Neryl Jeffries – Menzies Creek

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

menzies creek fete goes off with a bang

The Menzies Creek Primary School held their school fete today. What a great community event. Many locals were out not only from Menzies Creek Primary School but from surrounding areas too.



From left: Bree Thomas (school parent), me and Tanya Cooke (school principal) at the sink. Bree and Tanya put in a great effort contending with a continuous stream of dirty dishes.


It was great to see the school using the Shire of Yarra Ranges “Wash Against Waste sink” to have a waste free event, it sets a really good example for the community in minimising their impact on the waste stream. The school did a great job of highlighting other ways of minimising waste by encouraging fresh foods for lunchboxes instead of pre-packaged foods and reusable sandwich wrappers.

The school put on a terrific day with games and rides aplenty for the children and a massive auction for the adults. The day finished with a bang – a great display of fire twirling and a fabulous fireworks show.

Well done Menzies Creek Primary, I’m sure it was a very successful fundraiser for the school.

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vote 1 samantha dunn






on the campaign trail.....
a busy time talking to residents from Tecoma, Belgrave South and Belgrave over the last couple of days about all manner of issues and getting many well wishes from the community.





Monbulk Aquatic Club Inc acknowledges and thanks Samantha Dunn for her assistance and ongoing support of the Monbulk Pool redevelopment project which will benefit not only the Monbulk Aquatic Club but the local community as well. It is great to see our Councillors getting behind local sporting groups to ensure access, fun and fitness for all, ultimately providing the best possible services to the Hills community.
Gaby Mitchell – Monbulk Aquatic Club

Councillor Dunn acted swiftly to oppose high density housing in parts of Belgrave, Tecoma and Upwey when the Shire’s Draft Housing Strategy was released last year. The residents were outraged at this threat to their lifestyle and environment. She listened and acted to change the Shire’s long term plans to increase housing density in these townships.
Betty Marsden – Kallista

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Friday, November 14, 2008

report from the round table - 11th Nov












A diverse meeting this week at council although there were no items on the agenda that directly affected the Lyster Ward.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Frank Smith, President of MEEPA (Mt Evelyn Environment and Progress Association) submit to council.

Frank presented council with a beautiful photograph of a powerful owl as way to say thank you for our efforts in deciding the application for the Safeway Supermarket in Mt Evelyn. It is not often that councillors get public thanks and recognition for their efforts and it was very humbling to receive a personal thank you from MEEPA.

Frank gave special thanks to me, as I was the mover of the motion to oppose the application (see Yarra Ranges
minutes). The Mt Evelyn Supermarket application was very controversial, in my view (and I stated this at the council meeting at the time) the application;
1. does not reflect the characteristics of the town
2. does not meet the standards or design objectives of the proposed DDO
3. does nothing to enhance the local urban character
4. is excessive and incompatible in a low scale residential context
5. I urge you to support the motion to refuse this most dreadful application


That night at council, back in May 2007, was one of those times as a councillor that I really felt I was making a difference in the Shire of Yarra Ranges. Council was vindicated in its decision which was upheld by VCAT some months later.



Cr Samantha Dunn


Greens candidate for Lyster

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Caring for people, the

environment and

economic development

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the tecoma supermarket application – the public meeting

Last night I was invited to a public meeting to discuss the Tecoma Supermarket application. It was a very hot and oppressive night but in spite of the hot weather many community members came out to share their concerns and get some pointers about what to address in their objections.

I estimate there was around 150 – 200 people there and a quick show of hands indicated that 99% of those there were against the application. There was also a couple in support of the application.

I asked for Shire of Yarra Ranges staff to come along to answer any questions the community may have, our traffic engineer and two executive statutory planners were kept busy with a vast array of questions from the community.















Today I’ve had some terrific feedback from community members about the meeting, people were pleased about the level of contact with planners and the fact that I was there listening to them and their concerns along with two of my colleagues.

I reiterated to the community my position in relation to the application...


As the councillor for Tecoma I am here to listen to you. No decision has been made. It is not council’s application but council is the responsible authority and it is up to council to weigh up the merits of the application against the planning scheme but it is NOT council’s application.

Many people in the community have asked what my view of the supermarket application in Tecoma is, I can understand your need to know as the application is a significant development for the region.

Councillors must be fair to both objectors and applicants and consider all the facts before them prior to making a decision. The 'bias rule' of natural justice requires decision makers not only to be impartial but to conduct themselves so that no fair minded person might reasonably believe the decision maker was biased.

It would be unfair of me to state a position prior to this application coming to council. I know this is frustrating for you, the community but I want to make sure that I am sitting at the table representing you when the time comes to vote.

I can assure you I will take into account each and every one of the matters raised in submissions (both for and against), to date council has received over 400 objections and 1 letter of support.

I have always listened to the community and I always will, I want to be at the table representing the community when the time comes to vote on the Tecoma Supermarket application.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

the campaign trail

From tomorrow onwards ballot papers will be sent out to all residents on the electoral roll. Voting is compulsory for enrolled Australian citizens under 70 years of age who live in Lyster. This includes both property owners and tenants.

For your vote to count, it must be received by the Returning Officer by 6.00 pm on Friday, 28 November 2008.
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To vote for Samantha Dunn:













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I’ve been out and about talking to locals and had a great deal of support and well wishes. Given the flow of preferences in this election it will be a challenge to retain the ward of Lyster, but I’m keen to win and put in the hard yards to get there. I’ve been campaigning hard and stand by my track record of the past three years. If you’d like to raise any issues about the election I welcome your email.

Below are some words of support I've received:

“I approached Cr Dunn regarding a local Lyster Ward traffic concern. With her help and ongoing support Cr Dunn spoke on behalf of myself and other concerned residents at council meetings, bringing about changes that no doubt have made conditions safer for locals. I was pleased and impressed by Cr Dunn's conduct and proud she was fighting for issues concerning Lyster Ward residents.”
Matthew Philpot – Lysterfield

“The Sherbrooke Rangers Junior Soccer Club is extremely pleased with the support Cr Samantha Dunn has given us in our endeavours to improve soccer facilities in the Dandenong Ranges.”
Lisa Doolan and David Ceeney – Sherbrooke Rangers Junior Soccer Club

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selby opens multipurpose space

It was terrific to be invited to the Selby Community House AGM and officially open their newly completed multipurpose/art studio space.

The space has been a long time coming and its feasibility has waxed and waned over time. I’m pleased to say that with funding I secured through the Shire’s capital works program, the space has been completed and looks great!














The ribbon cutting proved challenging but it was conquered and all who attended had a great time hearing about the development of the house and the art studio space over the past couple of decades.

The photo displays prepared by Jocelyn Aytan, one of the founders of the house, were an amazing trip down memory lane and gave newer community members an insight into the development of the house.

The AGM saw the following community members elected to the committee:
Chair: Susan Ross
Treasurer: Mary Ellen Piggot
General members:
Caitlin Duggan
Noela Zenner
Monika Andrews
Isha Molloy
Anne Sutterby
Steven Dupon

Congratulations to all of you, I look forward to continuing our excellent relationship.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

strong women of the hills were out in force

Today I went to a fabulous event at Burrinja organised by the Dandenong Ranges Music Council, Strong Women of the Hills, to celebrate 100 years of the vote for women in Victoria. The event linked schools, community music, arts and historical groups together to acknowledge the achievements of strong women and reflect upon the issues of then and now.

I was honoured to be speaking at the event. My address talked about an impressive woman in local government, Cr Violet B Lambert. She was elected to the Shire of Ferntree Gully in 1931 and remained elected unopposed for the next 27 years. She was also elected the first woman Shire President in 1947. Violet was a champion of infant welfare, pre schools and pre natal clinics and was instrumental in bringing many community services to the Shire of Ferntree Gully.





















From left to right: me, Tracey Roberts - local singer/songwriter, Rochelle Dennis - founder of Circus Folk, Helen Wositzky - daughter of Clare Wositzky, founder of Amnesty International in Australia, Gwen De Lacy - project coordinator with the DRMC, Bev McAlister - DRMC Coordinator and Yvonne De Lacy - history researcher for the project. This is a small sample of the performers and contributors on the day but they all made great contributions to make the day a very special celebration.

Violet's story really resonates with me as the issues she progressed are intrinsically issues that women care a great deal about. I then went on to talk about my journey to local government which started as a bid to save long day care in the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

I’m pleased to say that my continued advocacy on behalf of children has seen the reinvestment in children’s services and the building of a Children’s Hub for the community in the Dandenong Ranges.

I personally feel I owe a strong debt of gratitude to those women, the suffragists, who really put themselves on the line to secure the vote for women 100 years ago. If it were not for their personal strength and tenacity I could not enjoy the very direct role I have in democracy today as the Lyster Ward councillor.

The day included a wide variety of speakers and performers and was a celebration of strong women, the suffragists and women today. My congratulations to the organisers who put together an extensive and impressive line up, it was a very memorable occasion.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

the tecoma supermarket application

Many people in the community have asked what my view of the supermarket application in Tecoma is, I can understand their need to know as the application is a significant development for the region.

Councillors must be fair to both objectors and applicants and consider all the facts before them prior to making a decision. The 'bias rule' of natural justice requires decision makers not only to be impartial but to conduct themselves so that no fair minded person might reasonably believe the decision maker was biased.


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Me speaking at a recent public meeting at Hippy Haven (17/10/08) about the supermarket application.
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It would be unfair of me to state a position prior to this application coming to council. I know this is frustrating for the community but I want to make sure that I am sitting at the table representing my community when it comes the time to vote.

If any candidate in the upcoming election expresses a view on the supermarket application, whether it be for or against the application, there is a case for predetermined bias. If that candidate is successfully elected it could give either the objectors or the applicant just cause to have that councillor removed from participating in the vote when it comes to council for a decision.

I can assure you I will listen to the community and their views, as I always have. It is not what I think, it is what the community thinks that matters.

I will continue to assist the community with information about the planning process and ensure their views are represented in council chambers.

I can assure the community I will take into account each and every one of the matters raised in objections.

I have always listened to the community and I always will. I want to be at the table representing my community when the time comes to vote on the Tecoma Supermarket application.


There is a community meeting organised by Tecoma residents being held to discuss the application, I will be there to listen to the community and planning staff from the Shire will be there to provide technical information. If you would like to know more you can visit
http://www.savetecoma.com, a site set up by Tecoma residents.

If you would like information about the Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme click
here.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

len jeffrey goes for it

It was a great pleasure to present the Len Jeffrey Memorial Pre School in Belgrave South with the Kids – ‘Go for your life’ Award earlier this week. The celebration started with an afternoon tea of healthy snacks prepared by the children. Belinda Niezen, coordinator and Fiona (president) accepted the award on behalf of the Len Jeffrey Memorial Pre School.

The award, a first in the Shire of Yarra Ranges, is to recognise “Supporting the Kids – ‘Go for your life’ Program. The program is based on six key themes:
TAP into water every day
Plant FRUIT and VEG in your lunchbox
LIMIT ‘sometimes’ foods
Move, PLAY and GO
Turn OFF, switch to PLAY
STRIDE and RIDE

Kids - ‘Go for your life’ is managed by Diabetes Australia Vic and The Cancer Council Victoria, and funded by the Victorian Government. Kids - ‘Go for your life’ encourages physical activity and healthy eating in children through primary schools and early childhood services through the Kids - ‘Go for your life’ Award Program.

I look forward to championing the Kids – Go for your life award to all the early childhood services in the shire. It is a great investment in our future and sets good habits in place from an early age.

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