Wednesday, October 29, 2014

low density residential zone– changes for some

report from the roundtable – 28 oct

At last night’s council meeting councillors had to make a decision on the review of the Subdivision minimum lot size provisions of the Low Density Residential Zones  (LDRZ) across the shire.

Lots of Hills people in the gallery, in the main to support
submitters speaking about the Olinda Pool.
The review came about after the Minister for Planning amended the LDRZ to a minimum subdivision of 2,000 sq mtrs (from 4,000sq mtrs) back in July 2013. At the same the Minister introduced a schedule to the LDRZ (apologies for planning jargon) to retain the 4,000 sq mtr subdivision size on an interim basis to allow council time to consider any changes.

There’s been an enormous amount of community consultation on the issue with over 2,400 online surveys received along with 54 written submission and 45 verbal submissions at a special meeting of council. Opinion was divided, depending on what part of the Shire you came from, but what was consistent was the majority opposition to changes in the Dandenong Ranges and that a one size fits all approach across the Shire was not appropriate.

It was an issue I’d rather not be contemplating, I didn’t think we should be making any changes to LDRZ, however that wasn’t the majority view of my colleagues.

I moved a motion which sought to exclude the townships of Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South, Selby, Tecoma, Upwey and Upper Ferntree Gully from any changes to the LDRZ subdivision controls. I am pleased to report that the motion was supported unanimously by councillors (note: Crs Callanan and Witlox absent).

The way it panned out, rather than be a blanket change across all LDRZ land in the Shire, there were some parameters about where it should be contemplated:

·         Council generally supported the change of 2,000 sq mtr minimum subdivisions for LDRZ across the Shire with the exception of Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South, Selby, Tecoma, Upwey and Upper Ferntree Gully, however there are further parameters that limit the extent of subdivision across the Shire.
·         Areas within the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO - per our council report attachments 3 to 10) will not be subject to the lower subdivision provisions of 2,000sq mtr and will remain at a minimum of 4,000sq mt.
·         Cr Child amended the motion to exclude properties in the BMO when it came to Warburton (attachment 5), citing the lack of fire risk for LDRZ in the township, so that means the minimum of 2,000sq mtrs will apply in the Warburton LDRZ.
·         It excludes the areas of uniform subdivision in Attachment 8 – Lilydale, so the 4,000 sq mt minimum will be retained there.
·         It excludes what’s known as the Bickleigh Vale subdivision (Heritage Overlay 75) on attachment 8 - Montrose, so the 4,000 sq mt minimum will be retained there.
·         It excludes LDRZ lots outside of the Urban Growth Boundary, attachment 3 - so the 4,000 sq mt minimum will be retained.

There’s been a long history of strategic planning for the Dandenongs which resulted in the development of the Regional Strategy Plan which makes specific reference “there shall be no net increase in the total provision for residential development in the Dandenong Ranges…”. The Regional Strategy Plan can only be amended by both houses of parliament, is the only one of its kind in Victoria and carries much weight in terms of the strategic direction of the shire.

I’m pleased to say that councillors supported the motion to exclude any changes to Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South, Selby, Tecoma, Upwey and Upper Ferntree Gully.
This is an excerpt from The Dandenong Ranges report,
back in 1974 the Victorian Public Interest Research Group
undertook a study which led to the development of the
Regional Strategy Plan, it ring true today, 40 years later.
Given the history of strategic work to support no changes in the Hills, the level of community opposition to any changes, with 78% of verbal submitters from the Dandenongs opposed to any change and of the written submissions 68.7% opposed in Upper Ferntree Gully, 70% opposed in Upwey, 67% opposed in postcode 3160 (Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South and Tecoma) and 74% opposed in Selby, it was good see that councillors took that into account by supporting the motion to exclude those townships.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

samantha in the press

Pokies fight backed
Lilydale Leader
by Kimberley Seedy
27 Oct 2014

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Monday, October 27, 2014

the campaign trail - 27 oct

I'm running in the upcoming state election in the upper house seat of Eastern Metropolitan. It's been another busy week on the campaign trail. This week includes updates on:

- Don't miss the Eastern Metro Campaign Launch, book now - Friday 7 Nov
- introducing Greens candidate Bill Pemberton
- Greens #wewontstandforit, taking to the trams, just how long before a seat is free on a tram

- Greens candidates across Maroondah Knox - Brendan Powell - Ringwood, Steve Raymond - Ferntree Gully, Jill Wild - Croydon, James Tennant - Bayswater (and Molly, one of our Eastern Met canine team)

- Introducing Perky Raj Khangure, Greens Candidate for Mount Waverley
- Women's Health East AGM - Greens Women's Policy
- Greens support the call for Doncaster Rail
- Greens want improved bus services in the East
- Greens say No Sale for Healesville Freeway Reserve
- Hear acclaimed wildlife artist Stephen Powell - Thursday 30 Oct

- Green machine hits Eastern Metro
- Doorknocking across Eastern Metro, be part of the success story, find your local event here
You can keep up to date with campaign news on:
facebook Samantha Dunn EasternMetropolitan
twitter @greens4eastmet 
to volunteer or donate
web - Samantha Dunn, Candidate for Eastern Metropolitan

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Friday, October 24, 2014

sherbrooke children's centre reaps rewards

It's great to learn the Sherbrooke Children's Centre has successfully been awarded a grant under the Long Day Care Professional Development Programme (LDCPDP). SCC will receive $75,000 to provide the centre’s educators with assistance to meet the qualification requirements under the National Quality Framework (NQF) and to improve practice to deliver quality outcomes for children.

Sherbrooke Children’s Centre recently received a rating of Exceeding the National Quality Standard in all 7 areas which puts it into the top 4% of early childhood services in Victoria. The $75,000 will support the continuing learning journey of the large staff group of up to 40 early childhood professionals at Sherbrooke Children’s Centre and the ongoing reputation of the service as a Centre of Excellence. 

Educators will benefit from high quality training and development opportunities that contribute to improved early learning experiences and outcomes for children in the years before they commence formal schooling. 
It's great news for children and great news for families.

It follows on from another recent accolade where  Sherbrooke Children's Centre and the Yarra Ranges Early Years team took out a major award at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards at Docklands. Family & Children’s Services won the Community category with their Seedlings: sustainability in the Early Years project.

Seedlings is a partnership between Yarra Ranges Council, City of Knox, Alpine Shire, City of Melbourne and City of Port Phillip formed in 2012  to develop a framework and tools for use across a range of early childhood contexts.

Yarra Ranges has 12 early years services participating in the program, which provides for adaptability and flexibility so that it can be implemented in any early years service setting. Seedlings provides a wholistic approach focusing on all aspects of sustainability and helps children develop skills for the future including systems thinking, resilience, problem solving, critical thinking, risk assessment, participation, advocacy and leadership.

It's great to see Yarra Ranges early years services going from strength to strength.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

yarra ranges says "enough pokies"

Yarra Ranges Council has thrown its support behind a Municipal Association of Victoria and Salvation Army campaign to better protect for vulnerable communities from inappropriate placement of pokies machines.

Dozens of Mayors and Councillors from around Victoria attended the launch of the “Enough Pokies” campaign last Thursday, which was supported by Word Vision’s Tim Costello and the Salvation Army’s Bruce Redman.

Mayor Fiona McAllister said protecting vulnerable communities from the inappropriate placement of pokies is an important objective for local government.

“In 2013-14 losses to poker machines in the Yarra Ranges was  $26,625,127. We have to be extremely careful about where those machines are placed given the significant harm they can cause to the surrounding community,” she said.

Convener of the Victorian Local Government Association Working Group on Gambling, Yarra Ranges Councillor, Samantha Dunn, attended the launch.

“In recent years the big operators have been attempting to grow their gaming revenues by moving more of their machines into the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in the state.  They have been assisted by an inadequate legal framework,” Cr Dunn said.

Cr Dunn said the current legal test which required that there be ‘no net detriment’ arising for a community as a result of an application was failing Victorians.

“There is a lack of guidance in how the Victorian Commission for Liquor and Gambling Regulation (VCLGR) should apply the test,” she said.

“It is time for the State Parliament to issue it with binding guidance so that it makes decisions in the public interest.”

Of the 154 VCGLR decisions since July 2008, 93% have been decided in favour of the gaming operator, despite strong council and community objections in more than half of these applications.
 “We need the next Victorian government to provide clear and simple guidance to the VCLGR on how it must apply the ‘no net detriment’ in the public interest rather than in the interests of the big gaming operators.”  

Tim Costello, chairman of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, said that greater efforts were needed to limit the damage done by pokies.
“Each year, over $2.5 billion is lost in pokies across Victoria. That’s almost $7 million per day out of the pockets of Victorians and into gaming machines,” Mr Costello said.

“We need to strongly consider the damage that pokies can do to people and to communities. This is especially true of Victoria’s poorer postcodes.

“Any step that helps to protect vulnerable communities from the harm of poker machines is a step worth taking, and I fully support what the Enough Pokies campaign is trying to achieve,” he said.

Municipal Association of Victoria President Bill McArthur said that local councils had demonstrated a deep concern about the issue.

“The MAV State Council overwhelmingly voted to support this call for change. It is clear to us, by the number of councils who have expressed their concern for the welfare of their communities, that inappropriate placement of pokies is an area the state government needs to address,” Cr McArthur said.

In support of the Enough Pokies campaign, the MAV has sought protection for vulnerable communities from pokies in its Call to Parties document submitted to all major political parties ahead of the state election.

Follow the campaign on or @EnoughPokiesVic.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

sharpen your pencil and get drawing

Sharpen your pencils and get out your textas, it’s Big Draw time! The Big Draw is back in Yarra Ranges for another year, with drawing activities and events happening across the region this month.

The Big Draw is an international celebration of drawing that attracts the participation of over 280,000 people across the globe. This year’s theme, It’s our Worldinvites participants to celebrate their local environment through drawing. In October residents and visitors will be encouraged to contribute to a mass postcard art project by creating and sharing a drawing of what they love about this place on a Wish you were Here postcard.

Postcards will be available at Community Links, Cultural Venues including Burrinja, Maternal Child Health Centres, Libraries, Bendigo Bank Branches, Cafes and local businesses. Pop up drawing stations will also appear in Cultural Venues across the region.

Completed postcards can be returned online, via mail (reply paid in Australia), or in person at a community link or cultural venue. Postcards will then be displayed in an online gallery.
Here's Shelley Krycer with her contribution to the
Melbourne Water Platypus Awareness week
earlier this year - Platypus Drain. 
At the end of the month local artist Shelley Krycer will transform the postcards into site specific artworks to be exhibited in multiple locations in November/December.

Like to know more, click here. 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

draft environment strategy out for comment till 7 nov

Yarra Ranges Council’s draft Environment Strategy, out now for public comment.

This draft strategy has been developed through a consultative process that started in November last year.  Council has worked with the community, Yarra Ranges Environment Advisory Committee and Councillors to shape the strategy.

The Draft Environment Strategy looks at the choices and influence we have as Council and as a community in relation to our natural environment.  The structure of the strategy is supported by six goals:

  • Our iconic places and their natural character are actively protected
  • Our water resources are improved and preserved
  • Our native plants and animals are protected and their habitat is enhanced
  • Our local economies are strengthened by environmentally sustainable activities
  • Our communities are resilient in the face of a changing climate and extreme events
  • All who live and work in the Yarra Ranges see themselves as stewards of our environment.

Council’s draft Environment Strategy is available for comment until 7 November. 

We are very keen to hear from as many people as possible so let us know what you think and encourage those in your networks to have their say. It can be as simple as doing the quick poll online. 

For those with more time we have a discussion thread online, people can chat to us directly at one of the public consultation events we are hosting or people can provide a submission. 

The draft document and all the details are available now from our website at here.

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samantha in the press

Box Hill seat: Whitehorse ex-mayor Bill Pemberton faces a battle
The Weekly Review
by Luke Henriques-Gomes
20 Oct 2014 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

the campaign trail - 20 oct

I'm running in the upcoming state election in the upper house seat of Eastern Metropolitan. It's been another busy week on the campaign trail. This week includes updates on:

- Doncaster Rail petition presented to state parliament
Greens Leader, Greg Barber MLC joined with
the We Support Doncaster Rail group and Greens
candidates Samantha Dunn - Eastern Metro,
Richard Cranston - Warrandyte and Ben Cronly - Bulleen.
Greens commit to business case and detailed engineering for Doncaster Rail  
- Greens candidates Liezl Shnookal - Eltham, Ben Cronly - Bulleen and Richard Cranston - Warrandyte take the TAFE4all pledge
- Public Transport Rally, Greens support the call for Doncaster Rail
- Daniel Andrews refuses the Greens invitation to catch the bus from the Doncaster Park and Ride to the city
- Huge turn out in for the Greens Statewide Day of Action

- Greens support the Reclaim the Night march

- Doorknocking across Eastern Metro, be part of the success story, find your local event here

- Greens head to the Whitehorse Spring Festival
- Greens take the pledge to put Education 1st

You can keep up to date with campaign news on:

facebook Samantha Dunn EasternMetropolitan
twitter @greens4eastmet 

to volunteer or donate
web - Samantha Dunn, Candidate for Eastern Metropolitan

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

samantha in the press

Yarra Ranges green group combats plan to subdivide city ‘lungs’
Lilydale Leader
by Kimberley Seedy
14 Oct 2014

Yarra Ranges councillor says election could be funded by fining people who don't vote
FreePress Leader
by Therese Allaoui
15 Oct 2014

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Monday, October 13, 2014

the campaign trail - 13 Oct

I'm running in the upcoming state election in the upper house seat of Eastern Metropolitan. It's been another busy week on the campaign trail. This week includes updates on:

Greens #wewontstandfor it, candidates head out on the trains to see just how overcrowded they are 
- fabulous Maroondah Knox Fundraiser coming up on the 25th - Persian Tea
- Greens support a Great Forest National Park
- Huge turn out in Ringwood for the Save Solar Save Money forum
- Greens out in force in Box Hill, door knocking, street stalls and stations
- Doorknocking across Eastern Metro, be part of the success story, find your local event here
- Join us for the Eastern Metro Day of Action, more info here

Some of the Eastern Metro team with Greens Leader
Senator Christine Milne at the Solar Forum in Ringwood.
Pictured left to right: Anthony Auslebrook - Upper House
support, Jill Wild - Croydon, Ben Cronly - Bulleen,
Samantha Dunn - Eastern Metro, Senator Christine
Milne, Richard Cranston - Warrandyte and
Liezl Shnookal - Eltham.
You can keep up to date with campaign news on:
facebook - Samantha Dunn EasternMetropolitan
twitter - @greens4eastmet 

to volunteer or donate
web - Samantha Dunn, Candidate for Eastern Metropolitan

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

samantha in the press

Ride in our shoes, Andrews
Greens push to make rail a priority
Manningham Leader
by Shannon Nagyivan
6 Oct 2014

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Monday, October 06, 2014

the campaign trail - 6 oct

I'm running in the upcoming state election in the upper house seat of Eastern Metropolitan. It's been another busy week on the campaign trail. This week includes updates on:
- Greens want the abolition of puppy farms
- Greens petition to abolish puppy farms, click here to sign
- Greens support the Animals Matter to Me rally
- Brewis Atkinson - Forest Hill gets great reception at Environment Forum for Greens policies on renewables and environment
- Maroondah Knox Greens phonebanking success
- Monash transport forum coming up on 8 Oct
-Save Money Save Solar community forum coming up - more info here
- The Pipe Track (Forest Hill and Ringwood), accelerating the construction of the Principal Bicycle Network
-World Farm Animals Day: Greens call for law reform

- Join us for the Eastern Metro Day of Action, more info here

Vote for The Greens, you can count on us to
End Duck Shooting
Ban Jumps Racing
Abolish Puppy Farms
You can keep up to date with campaign news on:
facebook - Samantha Dunn EasternMetropolitan
twitter - @greens4eastmet 

to volunteer or donate
web - Samantha Dunn, Candidate for Eastern Metropolitan

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Thursday, October 02, 2014

packed house for low density subdivisions hearing

report from the roundtable – 30 sep

The gallery was packed for the Yarra Ranges Council meeting to hear submissions about the proposed changes to Low Density Residential Zones (LDRZ). It was standing room only with residents from across the shire keen to put their point to council.
All but two councillors were there (Cr’s Witlox and McAllister absent) to hear community views about the change to allow the minimum subdivision size from 4,000 sq metres to 2,000 sq meters in LDRZ.
Forty five community members presented, a couple of them town planners representing groups of residents. One of the core themes of the night was the protection of the Dandenong Ranges as a place that unique, had high biodiversity values and the challenge of landslip and bushfire risk.
Even submitters from other parts of the Shire agreed that the Dandenongs was not the right place for smaller subdivisions in LDRZ and another consistent theme was the inappropriateness of a one size fits all approach.
The shire has received enormous feedback on the proposed changes, with 2,500 online surveys completed and 50 written submissions.
At first glance the consultation is closely split 50/50 between those in favour and those opposed to the 2,000 sq mt minimum. However when you look at the results per postcode they reveal a different story, very consistent with what was presented on Tuesday night.
Here are the results by postcode:
Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South and Tecoma (all postcode 3160) had an 18% response rate with 67% not supporting lower subdivisions
Healesville had an 18% response rate with 43.6% not supporting lower subdivisions (54% supported Lilydale had a 26.5% response rate with 48% of people not supporting lower subdivisions the changes)
Mooroolbark had a 33% response rate with 56% of people not supporting lower subdivisions
Mt Evelyn had a 16% response rate with 43% not supporting lower subdivisions (53.8% supported the changes)
Monbulk had a 13% response rate with 47% not supporting lower subdivisions (46% supported the changes)
Montrose had a 19% response rate with 59.6% not supporting lower subdivisions
Selby had a 72% response rate with 74% not supporting lower subdivisions
Upper Ferntree Gully had a 17% response rate with 68.7% not supporting lower subdivisions
Upwey had a 15% response rate with 70% not supporting lower subdivisions
Warburton had a 7% response rate with 53% not supporting lower subdivisions
Yarra Junction had a 24% response rate with 27% not supporting lower subdivisions (64% supported the changes)
From the survey responses the townships of Healesville, Mt Evelyn and Yarra Junction had a majority support for the lower subdivisions, whilst Monbulk was divided with 47%against/46%for. What’s also clear is the overwhelming lack of support for the changes in townships across the Dandenongs, with Selby being the most opposed at 74%.
The matter will come back to council at our meeting on the 28th October for a decision.

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