Sunday, April 27, 2008

from the round table 22/04

A bit late with this week's report from the council meeting, but it's been a very busy time.

The Belgrave South CFA planning application
There has been a lot of scuttlebut about an application from the Belgrave South CFA to extend their fire station. For some reason the brigade seemed to think the application was in jeopardy.

As it turned out the application came before council at this week's meeting. It was an ideal opportunity to set the record straight......

"The application was never in jeopardy, it was only ever in jeopardy if my fellow councillors did not support the application before council (as it turned out there was unanimous support for the application).

It was reported that council were over the top about one tree, this tree, a magnificent specimen is in fact 1.7 metres dbh (diameter breast height - a measure commonly used by arborists). It's worth getting protective about a tree that size, there's not many of them about.

I don't know where the applicant got their information, but it was incorrect. I had been out on site to discuss the issues, I have had numerous internal meetings and discussions regarding the application.

It is very hard not to take offence to the suggestion that the application was in jeopardy - it never was."

I can understand the local media on the hunt for a story with tension and conflict, but there was never anything in this story. It's a poor show when local media tries to 'stir the pot' by creating tension that doesn't exist. Truth in media is very important, we expect that truth will be upheld, and that rumour and innuendo are treated as just that, not legitimate news.

Despite local media and misinformation in the community, a compromise position was readily accepted by all. Unfortunately 2 significant trees did have to go, but the other significant tree will be protected in perpetuity and the Belgrave South CFA will have a brand spanking new extension.

I would say a very good result for the environment and the community.

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