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News from the Chamber – September 2023

An update from the most recent Council Meeting that took place on 19 September 2023.

More information is available at 2023 Council Meeting Agendas and Minutes.

Governance Report September 2023

Council considered a summary of recent Governance activity. This included a report on the exercise of delegated authority, Councillor Representatives and delegates reports from committees and records of informal meetings of Councillors.

In addition Council also:

  • Noted the Councillor Support Expenses for Financial Year 2022/2023
  • Adopted the Brimbank Governance Rules 2023 in accordance with Section 60 of the Local Government Act 2020, and revoked the Brimbank Governance Rules 2020 as adopted on 18 August 2020
  • Adopted the Place Naming Policy 2023, after noting the community engagement process and receiving a report on submissions
  • Approved the proposed Council Meeting dates for 2024
  • Adopted the endorsed Audit and Risk Committee Charter
  • Noted the current appointment of Councillor Bruce Lancashire and Councillor Thomas O’Reilly as representatives, and Councillor Sam David as substitute to the Audit and Risk Committee.
  • Appointed Councillor Ranka Rasic as an additional substitute to the Audit and Risk Committee until Council resolves otherwise.
  • Noted the Annual Audit and Risk Committee Activity Report 2022-2023, and the Minutes of Audit and Risk Committee Meeting No. 136 held on 1 September 2023

Planning Activity Update and Delegate Decisions 

The report provided Council with an update on:

  • The status of planning permit applications and trends in planning approvals in Brimbank
  • Decisions made under delegated authority in August 2023 regarding planning permit applications and other matters, and
  • The status of current Planning Scheme Amendments at 31 August 2023.

In August 2023 Council made 89 planning determinations and 13 subdivision determinations under delegation.  Eighty new planning permit applications were received. The value of development for these applications is $71.3 million.

Two planning appeals were determined by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) over this period. At the end of August 2023, there were six appeals lodged at VCAT that had not yet been determined. This is 10 less that at the end of August 2022.

Amendment C214 – Development Contributions Plan was placed on exhibition on 10 August 2023. Amendment C217 – anomalies in the Brimbank Planning Scheme were approved by the Planning Minister and gazetted on 24 April 2023.

Brimbank Economic and Employment Advisory Group Terms of Reference

Council endorsed the Draft Brimbank Economic and Employment Advisory Group Terms of Reference which will see the establishment of this important advisory group.

The first step will be the formation of a selection panel to find an independent chair and call for membership to the Brimbank Economic and Employment Advisory Group (BEEAG).

Once an independent chair is on board, Brimbank will call for Expressions of interest from  local business representatives from key sectors including Manufacturing, Construction, Retail Trade, Accommodation and Food services, Education and Training (including Employment services), Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Health Care and Social Assistance and the Visitor Economy. These key business representatives will work with the Prosperous and Tourism Portfolio Councillors and senior members of Brimbank staff on a broad range of local economic, investment and workforce development matters to build the City of Brimbank’s economic capacity and prosperity.

Council will receive a further update regarding the appointed of the chair and members of the Brimbank Economic and Employment Advisory Group in coming months.

St Albans Town Centre Marketing and Business Development Special Rate 

Brimbank Council resolved to give notice of its intent to declare the St Albans Town Centre Marketing and Business Development Special Rate at its September Council Meeting.

Introduced in 2019, the Special Rate provides continued funding to support events promotion and business development initiatives in St Albans.

The current Special Rate finishes on 30 June 2024. The St Albans Business Group Association Incorporated wrote to Council requesting it be renewed. All property owners and business operators will receive information about the Special Rate.

It is proposed the Special Rate is declared for a further five years, commencing on 1 July 2024 and ending on 30 June 2029, raising a total of $832,583.15. This equates to almost $160,000 in the first year, increasing at a rate of two per cent each year for the term of the Scheme.

The Special Rate pays for the appointment of a professional marketing coordinator, promotional, advertising, marketing, business development. Several activities are funded by the special rate. This includes the St Albans Lunar Festival, Westside Crawls as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Easter and Christmas activities and support for the Council’s Enjoy Local Activation program.

Transforming Brimbank Update 2022-2023

The Draft Transforming Brimbank Update 2022-2023 summarises progress on major projects and advises on key milestones for the current financial year (2023-2024).

Over the past 12 months, the State Government has made a number of key announcements including the release of the Sunshine Station Masterplan and $143 million for the first stages of implementation and $80 million for the redevelopment of Albion Station.

Looking ahead over the next 12 months, Council will look to continue to work closely with the State Government on plans for the Albion Quarter as well as the Sunshine Energy Park Vision Plan. Decisions are also expected on the future of the SRL Airport project and further details about the Sunshine and Albion Station redevelopments.

Council will continue to advocate for the timely delivery of these projects.

The State Government is expected to release the revised Plan Melbourne which outlines plans for population and economic growth to 2050 and further detail about the role of State Priority Precincts such as Sunshine CBD.

 Financial Statements 2022/2023 and Performance Statement 2022/2023

Council noted and approved, in principle, the Financial Statements 2022/2023 and Performance Statement 2022/2023, prior to forwarding the statements to the Victorian Auditor-General. These statements will be included as part of the 2022/2023 Annual Report.

The Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to submit for auditing, the Financial Statements 2022/2023 and Performance Statement 2022/2023, to the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, at the end of the financial year.

The Financial Statements and Performance Statements have been prepared in accordance with all necessary authorities, Acts and Regulations.

Advocacy Plan 2023-2025 

Council adopted the Brimbank Advocacy Plan 2023-2025 which details Council’s advocacy priorities over the next two years.

Council’s focus will be on the Transforming Brimbank projects such as the construction of Melbourne Airport Rail, the implementation of the Sunshine Station Masterplan and the rebuild of Albion Station.

As well as formalising advocacy priorities, the new plan seeks partnerships to deliver programs and infrastructure for the Brimbank community.  It also accounts for the changing political and social landscape following the COVID-19 pandemic State of Emergency when the previous plan was created.

The new advocacy plan sets out Brimbank’s key advocacy priorities, which include:

  • Transforming Brimbank
  • Mental Health
  • Road Infrastructure
  • Climate Emergency
  • Addressing Unemployment
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Melbourne Airport Third Runway
  • Gambling Harm
  • Major Parks
  • Libraries
  • Government Burden on Council

The Brimbank Advocacy Plan 2023-2025 document is available on Council’s website.

 Community Engagement Update – 26 January

Council received an update regarding the status of the community engagement process around 26 January, and endorsed moving Brimbank’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony to three days before or three days after 26 January from 2024, as provided for in the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code.

Council also noted support from Wurundjeri Traditional Owners and the Brimbank Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee to move Brimbank’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony from 26 January to 23 January in 2024, in acknowledgement that 26 January represents a day of mourning and sadness.

 Following continued consultation with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander communities, including Traditional Owner organisations, a further report on options and recommendations on how to acknowledge 26 January in future years will be presented in early 2024.

Council has undertaken this work an outcome of a Notice of Motion carried by Council in February 2023, which acknowledged that 26 January means different things to different people, and for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it represents a day of mourning. The Notice of Motion called for Council to undertake a community engagement process including with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including Traditional Owner organisations to understand community sentiment around 26 January, and to look at moving Brimbank’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony to either three days after or three days prior to 26 January.

Waste, Recycling and Litter Strategy 2018-2028 – Community Report Card 2022/2023

Now in its fifth year of the Implementation Plan, the Waste, Recycling and Litter Strategy 2018-2028 – Community Report Card 2022/2023 (Community Report Card) was presented to Council, highlighting achievements for the 2022/2023 financial year.

The following Vision and Objectives were achieved overall:

  • Achieved 42.23% diversion rate compared to medium term strategic objective of 50%.

Noting that diversion targets are unlikely to be met until a universal food organics and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service is introduced. Universal FOGO is required to be introduced by all Councils in Victoria by 2030, as part of the State Government Waste Management Reforms, driven by the Victorian Circular Economy Policy.

  • Achieved improved recycling contamination rate of 23.1% compared to 23.7% in 2021/2022.
  • Achieved significantly improved green waste/ FOGO contamination rate of 1.7% compared to 3.28% in 2021/2022.

In addition, Council continued to promote the benefits of the improved optional/ ‘user pays’ food organics and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service, which commenced on 1 July 2022.

Council has and will continue to deliver actions in all of the following areas:

  • Hard Waste Collection Services
  • Household Collection Services
  • Recycling Centre and Opportunities Services
  • Education and Awareness Campaigns
  • Litter and Awareness Programs
  • Advocacy
  • Council sites

 Notices of Motion

At the Council Meeting on 19 September 2023, two Notices of Motion were carried:

  • Community Safety in Brimbank – raised by Cr Thomas O’Reilly
  • State funding for Taylors Lakes Sporting Club Sports Lighting Upgrade – raised by Cr Ranka Rasic



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Brimbank City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri People, and pays our respects to Elders past and present.