Thursday, August 29, 2013

introducing the local greens candidates

From left to right: Cr Samantha Dunn, Michael Schilling -
Greens candidate for Latrobe, Senator Christine Milne -
Leader of the Greens and Janet Rice - Greens senate
candidate for Victoria.
On September 7, National Threatened Species day, you'll be asked to cast your vote in the federal election. There is one party who stands up for our threatened species and environment, stands up for social justice and asylum seekers, stands up for democracy, stands up for real action on climate change and stands up for peace.

That party is The Greens, standing up for what matters.

Remember save the Senate, vote Greens, this video explains why.

Pictured left to right: Janet Rice - Senate candidate for Victoria,
Senator Christine Milne - Leader of the Greens and
Steve Meacher - Greens candidate for Casey.
If you'd like more information on The Greens or any of our candidates click here.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

timber towns no go

report from the roundtable – 27 aug

Last night’s council meeting had to consider a motion to re-join Timber Towns, an advocacy group whose purpose is to represent the interests of councils in relations to logging.

I am pleased to report council voted to not re-join this advocacy group in a four/five vote against the motion. 

In what continues to be a change to the culture and custom of Yarra Ranges Council, the Mayor once again moved the motion to re-join and was seconded by Cr Callanan. Cr Child talked about the serious socio economic issues in the O’Shannassy and Ryrie wards and how the timber industry was an important employer across those regions. He went on to quote economic data around the timber industry in what I would describe as cherry picking to suit the argument. He talked about $30.7million the timber industry contributes to the Yarra Ranges economy, the $19.9million contribution in support services to the industry and the 62 people in Powelltown who are employed directly in the industry.

I could not support the motion, in speaking against the motion I wanted to clarify for councillors the true economic picture of the industry in Yarra Ranges, using data sourced from the Yarra Ranges Economic Development Department. I acknowledge the importance of the industry to townships like Powelltown but could not see how being a member of Timber Towns would translate in protecting and growing those jobs.

In terms of the economic data, the $30.7milion contribution is a very small part of what is a $10.5billion economy, it represents 0.2% of the total economy in the Yarra Ranges. The $19.9million in support services is measured in support across the agricultural sector, it includes the horticulture, viticulture and floriculture industries, there will be a component that does support the timber industry but very small in terms of the size of those other agricultural industries in Yarra Ranges.

There are 56 direct jobs in the timber industry, out of 35,000 jobs in Yarra Ranges. There are 780 road transport jobs and a very small percentage of this figure could be attributed to local timber cartage companies. There are 444 jobs in Saw Mill, Wood & Paper Product Manufacturing, these cannot all be attributed to sawmilling as the data includes prefabricated wooden building manufacturing and wooden structural fitting and component manufacturing.

I don’t doubt that the community of Powelltown needs support, it was my view that we’d be better off supporting that community directly and giving any money we are considering for Timber Towns directly to them for community projects.  We know that the timber industry is in contraction, supported by evidence given by Vic Forests at the recent Supreme Court case re logging in Toolangi.

I’ll do more on this story later in the day in terms of what councillors said for and against the motion.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

samantha in the press

Greater Dandenong commuters asked to share public transport stories on social media
Dandenong Leader
by Tim Michell and Julian Kennedy
26 Aug 2013          

Rowville Rail to be considered as part of state Labor's transport policy
Waverley Leader
by Tim Michell
24 Aug 2013

Sewerage plan set to resume
Mail Newspapers
27 Aug 2013

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Monday, August 26, 2013

help end of the line over the line

End of the Line is coming, but they need your help to get them over the line. 
Last week saw the launch of the End of the Line Pozible
campaign at the Lyrebird Café. Traders are keen to
support the event with many signing up on the night
with sponsorship, goods, services or space to offer EOTL.
Pictured left to right: Josh Collings, Kathleen Snuball,
Brent Dakis, Cr Samantha Dunn and CJ Dakis.

Organisers of last year's End of the Line (EOTL) festival are back and organising the most amazing festival for Belgrave, but they can't do it on love alone.

It's great to know that the enthusiam and energy levels are high and with an inaugural festival under their belt the EOTL team are as keen as ever to deliver a second End of the Line festival for 2013.

I've been pleased to support the festival with ward funding, but it doesn't go far and there's a lot of costs to cover to bring a festival of this magnitude to Belgrave.

EOTL are still keen to maintain community grassroots involvement but the reality is that money is required to pay for a range of services to bring a truly successful festival to Belgrave.

To help raise funds EOTLers have launched a Pozible campaign to help them generate the funds needed to bring us an amazing event, whilst also providing the supporters who donate with some amazing rewards.

There's an abundance of fantastic rewards to go with the level of funding you choose.

Please take a moment to head to and check out Brent and Josh's video, you'll find a cornucopia of wonderful rewards and you can make a small (or large) pledge for the arts, and at the same time obtain a real sense of ownership in this exciting venture for our very own Belgrave.

End of the Line coming to Belgrave 30th November, 2013, for more info click here.


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Sunday, August 25, 2013

belgrave shines for lantern parade

Well it's been a long time coming, it's been a busy time in the Lyster Ward, but it would be more than remiss of me to not post pics from the Belgrave Lantern Parade, one of the most beautiful events held locally.

In it's seventh year, it was yet another wonderful parade, the community excelled themselves with creativity and the range and diversity of lanterns was extraordinary.

In the biggest parade ever, crowd estimates were in the order of 5,000 plus, Belgrave came alive with activity. My congratulations to everyone who helped to make it happen, from key coordinators through to the CFA volunteers who readily help out with crowd marshalling, it couldn't happen without you. 

I'm delighted that Yarra Ranges assists with funding of the Belgrave Lantern Parade through the Belgrave Community Arts Partnership.

Enjoy the pics, remember the night and rejoice in what we love about this community, I can't wait till the next one!

Mater Christi's band are a regular feature of the lantern
parade, providing entertainment before nightfall.

Tiffaney Bishop provided a space for young people
and performers at the Tiffaney Bishop Collective - tbc,
the day was also the launch of Circles,
works from the collective of young artists.

This lantern is an oversized Dandenong Amphipod,
made by lantern mastercraftsperson, Glenn Scollyer.
It was funded by Melbourne Water to highlight the
importance of healthy waterways.
Local artist Justine Walsh performed before night fell.

My lantern gets an additional frond added to it every
year, I never thought when I first constructed this
lantern that we'd be up to year 7 of the parade.

Local artist Glenn Scollyer kept his
lantern headbound this year, with this
fantastic local icon, the kookaburra.

Marina Dennis is the driving force behind the
lantern parade, she spends countless hours
making sure the parade is a great success.

Kathleen Snuball organised all the entertainment at
the marshalling point before the start of the parade.

Kallista Kindergarten had hot soup for sale, very popular
on a 6 degree clear night.

The moon was full, the sky was clear, perfect
conditions for a parade on winter solstice.



The parade was joined by this oversize
Leadbeater's Possum, raising awareness about
being critically endangered.

Community choir VoKallista sang sweetly as the parade
marched by.

Selby CFA helped out with crowd marshalling.

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samantha in the media

Extinction Emergency: Save our forests
The Australian Greens
Aug 2013

Council debt to hit $50million
by Jesse Graham
Mail Newspapers
20 Aug 2013

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

samantha in the press

Councils get together to fight for more public transport in Melbourne's eastern suburbs
ABC News
20 Aug 2013

Eastern Transport Coalition wants commuters to share woes on social media
Leader News
by Emily Webb
14 Aug 2013

Make a point of it
Leader News
by Emily Webb
13 Aug 2013

Open doors for fitness
Mail Newspapers
13 Aug 2013

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

mayors on board with commuters count

Pictured left to right: Cr Samantha Dunn - ETC Chairperson,
Mayor Karin Orpin - Knox, Mayor Andrew Munroe - Whitehorse,
Mayor Micaela Drieberg - Monash, Mayor Angela Long - Dandenong,
Mayor Jim Child - Yarra Ranges and Mayor Jennifer Yang - Manningham.
Six Mayors from eastern Melbourne are leading the charge for increased Federal public transport spending, signing a joint letter to the Labor, Liberal and Greens leaders at Huntingdale Railway Station this morning.

Cr Angela Long (Greater Dandenong), Cr Karin Orpen (Knox), Cr Jennifer Yang (Manningham), Cr Micaela Drieberg (Monash), Cr Andrew Munroe (Whitehorse) and Cr Jim Child (Yarra Ranges) united to urge the Federal leaders to support funding for urban rail projects.

The mayors called on all parties to support funding for the Melbourne Metro project, which is critical if the much needed extensions of rail to Doncaster, Rowville and capacity improvements to Dandenong, Glen Waverley and Belgrave/Lilydale are ever to come to fruition.

In the letter to Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and Christine Milne, the mayors said "Commuters Count this Federal Election as they are the lifeblood of our economy and communities. Gridlock and congestion wastes time and money and can be solved through action on major transport infrastructure.

"That is why we urge you to support improved public transport and a stronger economic future for the eastern suburbs by committing the Commonwealth to funding transport infrastructure on merit.’’

In addition to their own message, the mayors also urged commuters to share their views and improvements that they would like to see by sending photos and comments to the hash tag #commuterscount on Twitter and liking the Eastern Transport Coalition’s Commuters Count Facebook page.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

maccas update - carriageway easement advice

I have received many emails and verbal questions regarding the status of the carriageway easements at both 1527 and 1529 Burwood Hwy, Tecoma.  

I can advise that advice has been sought in relation to the status of this land and rights of access.

A carriageway easement is not the same as a road and therefore access rights depend on the specific nature of the easement and those that are defined as beneficiaries.  A carriageway easement is an encumbrance of privately owned land and is not public land.

There are existing east-west carriageway easements over the rear of 1529 and 1531 Burwood Highway (former Hippie Haven and Saffron Cottage) and over 1535 Burwood Highway (Video store), but not over 1533 Burwood Highway.   There is however a requirement of the planning permit for the McDonalds proposal to create a carriageway easement over 1533 Burwood Highway to create a continuous carriageway easement.

The Council has signed a plan for the creation of the easement over 1533 Burwood Highway, but as of 12 August 2013 the plan had not been registered with the titles office. This must be registered on title before construction can commence as per the permit conditions. 

The existing carriageway easements are in favour of the Council and the public at large is entitled to utilise the land for access.

Legal advice received is that a carriageway easement can be used to traverse the relevant land, not to set up and remain on that land.

As the carriageway easements in this instance are created for the benefit of the Council, it is for the Council (and its staff via delegated powers) to determine when and on what conditions the east-west easement might be blocked for health, safety or other reasons.

A carriageway easement is also in place between 1527 (group of shops) and 1529 Burwood Highway running north-south.  This easement is registered for the mutual benefit of the owners of the adjoining land parcels.   

Half of this easement (3.4 metres wide on 1529 Burwood Highway) is also an easement in favour of the Council (and general public).

Invitees/customers of those two owners (1527 and 1529) of land are entitled to use the north-south easement unless they are excluded.  Such exclusion would require agreement of the Owners Corporation at 1527, the owner of the McDonalds development site and the Council.

Council’s staff have been in ongoing contact with representatives of the McDonalds development regarding access around the site.  It is understood that WorkSafe and the Police have also had involvement to ensure safety for the community and contractors working on the site.  This has led to restrictions of access.

From recent discussion with representatives of McDonalds it is understood that with the demolition works now nearing completion, temporary barriers and hoarding in Burwood Highway will be shifted to allow pedestrian access along the footpath in Burwood Highway.  Part of the footpath may still be obstructed, however Council staff will give guidance to the representatives of McDonalds as to temporary works that cater for this.

Concerns have been raised with McDonalds representatives by both Council staff and the community over restricted pedestrian access in the vicinity if the works.  McDonalds consultants have then relayed this to the builder for the project advising of actions that should be taken to ensure community safety.

Council staff are maintaining contact with representatives of McDonalds as the project continues to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place. If you have any concerns at all please contact the shire on 1300 368 333.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

local government electoral review: a step toward strengthening local democracy

The Victorian Local Governance Association welcomes today's announcement of the Victorian Local Government Electoral Review chaired by former federal MP Petro Georgiou.

“Local democracy is the bond between communities and their local governments,” said VLGA President Cr. Samantha Dunn.

“We believe the local government sector should be empowered to work with their communities to identify improvements to local democracy.

“Undertaken in genuine collaboration with local government, this has the potential to reinvigorate local democracy.

“The review should be a positive and constructive dialogue which is frank about important issues like candidate conduct, voter engagement and campaign funding.

“This should not be about the Victorian Government imposing preconceived ideas about how local democracy works or paternalistic regulatory approaches.”

Earlier this year the VLGA commenced a sector-led review of the 2012 local government elections, entitled the Strengthening Democracy project.

“We think it is important that the sector leads the reforms it wishes to see in Victoria,” said VLGA President Cr. Samantha Dunn.

“The final report on the review will be available in coming weeks.”

The VLGA and local governments look forward to the opportunity to provide the sector’s ideas about how to achieve increased participation, transparency and accountability in the local electoral process.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

eastern councils lobby for federal transport spending

Seven eastern Melbourne Councils have voted to put the pressure on Federal candidate to support public transport spending in the lead up to the September 7 election.

Greater Dandenong, Knox, Manningham, Monash, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges Councils have all either endorsed motions at their meetings or have publicly proclaimed the need for the Federal Government to commit to spending on major metropolitan public transport projects, including urban rail.

The councils, all members of the Eastern Transport Coalition, are asking for an ongoing commitment of funding at a federal level and raising their concerns about Liberal leader Tony Abbot’s statement in April that the commonwealth government had "no history of funding urban rail”.

ETC chairperson, Cr Samantha Dunn said inadequate public transport was a critical issue for residents in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs who have waited decades for projects like rail to Rowville and Doncaster.

“The time has come for the community to vote and candidates in this federal election need to make their position on public transport funding clear,” Cr Dunn said.

 “The ETC supported the Victorian Government’s plan for expanding and improving the rail network but we want it delivered quicker than the 15 years stated in the PTV Network Development plan.

“Residents in the eastern suburbs can’t wait until 2028 for the missing links in Melbourne’s public transport infrastructure to be delivered.”

Cr Dunn said while councils would be making their views known to local candidate, residents could also make their voices heard by using the hash tag #commuterscount on Twitter and liking the ETC’s Commuters County Facebook page.

“We want to see photos and comments so the candidates can see the problems first hand,” Cr Dunn said.

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Friday, August 09, 2013

women in leadership - 21 aug

Finding the Balance, with guest speaker Sharelle McMahon.

This year's Yarra Ranges Women in Leadership event features guest speaker Sharelle McMahon followed by a panel session including some inspiring local women.

Sharelle debuted in the Australian Under-21 netball team in 1996 and has gone on to play for and captain Australia more than 100 times. A three-time Commonwealth Games medallist (including two Gold medals), Sharelle became the first elite Australian netballer to come back to competitive netball after having her first child in 2012, proving an inspiration to all as well as highlighting her dedication and professionalism to her sport.

Always an engaging event, Sharelle will be joined by a panel including WNBL player and Captain of the Swinburne Kilsyth Lady Cobras Chantella Perera, Metabolic Nutritional and Certified Body Transformation Specialist Annette Shepherd and my colleagues at Yarra Ranges, Cr's Maria McCarthy and Fiona McAllister. I'll be MC for the evening.

Where: Club Kilsyth, Cnr Canterbury Road & Colchester Road, Kilsyth
When: Wednesday 21 August 2013 starting 6:15pm and will conclude with a light supper.
Cost: Free of charge

Click here to Register

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

monbulk splashdown

It has been a long time in the making but Friday 9 August Monbulk Pool will officially open its doors to the public.

Centre Manager, Helen Hostettler and Cr Samantha Dunn, we're
enjoying some of the new features at the Monbulk Pool, and
even though they're designed for kids, we had a lot of fun!
I've had the opportunity to have a number of sneak peeks along the way and it is great to see architect drawings translated to the real thing.

I have no doubt residents will be delighted with the results and I thank locals for their patience as the pool has been closed for over 18months.
 The project has come with it's challenges but all those are behind us and we now have a extensively refurbished 25mt pool including wet deck and a new program pool to run a range of different activities including learn to swim programs, there's also some wonderful new additions to the centre which the kids will love.

The pool also has a very comfortable café area which takes advantage of it's magnificent outlook to the Sassafras Creek corridor and surrounding vegetation.

I'm willing to boast the gym has the very best outlook of any gym in the country, but I could be a little biased! Gym membership is currently at the 900 mark which is a phenomenal response.

My congrats to all involved, it's been a great community project with a lot of time dedicated to seeing the concept through to reality. There will be an 'official opening', I'll be sure to keep you posted with details.

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samantha in the press

Yarra Ranges Councillor Samantha Dunn keen to see cat curfew continue
Leader Newspapers
by Kimberley Seedy
7 Aug 2013

Splashes of real joy for new pool
Mail Newspapers
by Rebecca
7 Aug 2013

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

today in tecoma

There has been many conversations on site amongst community members expressing concern about the hours of operation at the McDonalds Tecoma construction site.
To confirm, contractors can undertake works between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am and 1pm on Saturday.  I have been advised that council officers will follow up with contractors to ensure they are aware of these hours.
Below are some pics from today.

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Monday, August 05, 2013

etc launches commuters count

ONE million residents living in the eastern suburbs can’t wait until 2028 for the missing links in Melbourne’s public transport infrastructure to be delivered and as the election draws nearer, the Eastern Transport Coalition is reminding the government that Commuters Count.

Commuters Count is a campaign being run by the ETC to encourage the community - those who use public transport and those who would like to but currently don’t have a viable option – to make their voices heard.
ETC chairperson, Cr Samantha Dunn said the ETC supported the Victorian Government’s plan for expanding and improving the rail network but wanted it delivered quicker than the 15 years stated in the PTV Network Development plan.
“The million residents of the eastern suburbs can’t wait till 2028 for the generational improvements needed for rail. By that time it will be a generation since they were promised and that’s too long,” Cr Dunn said.
“The current debate of road versus rail ignores the real need of commuters and businesses alike – the eastern suburbs of Melbourne need better transport infrastructure and sooner than 15 years.
“The ETC needs both the state and federal government to find and commit to more funding to accelerate the delivery of public transport infrastructure and we are calling on local candidates in the Federal election to show their support for the funding of urban rail by the Federal Government.

“In the lead up the launch on 20 August we are asking commuters to make their views known by tweeting about how their trip could be better using the hash tag #commuterscount and liking our Facebook page.
“We want to see photos and comments so the candidates can see the problems first hand.”
The ETC has written to candidates in the east are asking for:
  1. Federal Government funding for urban rail;
  2. The State Government to allocate funding to the Melbourne Metro and Stage 3 projects  (Rail to Rowville and Doncaster); and
  3. The State Government to accelerate the delivery of the Melbourne Metro and Stage 3 projects.
The ETC is made up of seven eastern suburban councils, Greater Dandenong, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges, and represents the public transport needs of more than one million residents.

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