Blue background image with Brimbank Council logo titled: News from the Chamber - An overview of decisions made by your local Council

News from the Chamber – December 2023

An update from the most recent Council Meeting that took place on 12 December 2023.

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

Planning Activity Update and Delegate Decisions including Planning Scheme Amendment Update

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 November 2023 regarding planning permit applications and other matters, and the status of current Planning Scheme Amendments at 30 November 2023.

In November 2023 Council made 82 planning determinations and 25 subdivision determinations under delegation. Sixty-eight new planning permit applications were received. The value of development for these applications is $169.7 million.

One planning appeal was determined by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) over this period. At the end of November 2023, there were five appeals lodged at VCAT that had not yet been determined. This is seven less that at the end of November 2022.

St Albans Marketing and Business Development Special Rate

St Albans businesses will continue benefitting from a town centre marketing and business development special rate scheme (special rate) that funds a range of events, promotions, and business development including the popular St Albans Lunar Festival, Westside Crawls, a website, social media and other activities.

Brimbank Council declared a Special Rate at its December Council Meeting.

The special rate was renewed for a further five years, commencing on 1 July 2024 and ending on 30 June 2029. The levy will raise $159,987.84 in the first year. This amount will increase by two per cent annually. This was considered necessary due to higher costs of services generally and that the amount paid in other metropolitan schemes is higher.

Three objections to the proposed declaration of the special rate were submitted during the statutory consultation period, which represented 55 businesses. Council considered the objections and concluded that the special rate provides economic benefits to the area it applies and as a whole is fairly and reasonably levied across those required to pay it.

Introduced in 2014, the Special Rate Scheme provides continued funding to the St Albans Business Association to deliver a program of marketing, promotion and business development initiatives in St Albans. This also allows the business association to engage a part time professional marketing coordinator.

Proposed Sale of (part) Durham Road Car Park for the development of a Cultural Museum

Council is considering a proposal to establish Australia’s first Vietnamese museum in Sunshine and has authorised the CEO to sign a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnamese Museum Australia.

Council has resolved to undertake statutory procedures required by section 114 of the Local Government Act 2020 in respect of the proposal to sell a portion of land known as Durham Road Car Park in Sunshine for the purposes of operating a nationally significant cultural museum.

Community consultation will commence on 22 January until 19 February 2024. Any decision to sell all or part of the Council land at the Durham Road car park would be subject to a decision at a future Council Meeting.

Draft Engagement Policy

Brimbank Council has endorsed community consultation on the Draft Community Engagement Policy.

The draft policy will guide Brimbank’s approach to genuine and effective community engagement with residents and other stakeholders.

Community engagement is a key priority for Council, and an important process to making sure the voices of our community are heard, and considered when making decisions in the delivery of Council services.

The draft policy highlights Council’s commitment to transparent and accessible engagement with the community, ensuring diverse communities are engaged and working together to build community trust in decision-making.

The draft policy has been informed by State Government legislation, benchmarking with other Councils, and consultation workshops with internal and external stakeholders.

Consultation opens in early 2024. For more information and to have your say visit yoursay.brimbank.vic.gov.au

Final Draft Complaints Policy

Brimbank Council has adopted its Complaints Policy after a recent review identified the need to revise the existing policy to improve clarity, transparency and customer experience.

Council is aiming for best practice complaints management that includes the use of complaints data to inform service improvement opportunities.

Nine written submissions were received during community consultation on the draft policy.  Council will act on submissions that provided valuable insights about ensuring the policy is accessible and sensitive to the diverse needs of our community.

 Governance Report  

Council considered a summary of recent Governance activity. This included a report on:

  • Exercise of delegated authority
  • Contracts and works orders
  • Records of informal meetings of Councillors
  • Delegates and representatives reports
  • Councillor declarations of representations by Members of Parliament
  • Review of Council’s instruments of delegation
  • Open letter from the Mayor to Minister Chris Bowen

Advocacy Quarterly Update

Council noted a number of advocacy highlights over the past few months, including:

  • Australian Government’s commitment to provide $5b for the construction of the Melbourne Airport Rail
  • Opening of the Orange Door (family violence support service) in Sunshine
  • Opening of a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre in Sunshine
  • Launch of phase 4 of the ‘More Trees for a Cooler, Greener West’ program
  • Victorian Government announcement of the $10m ‘Green Links’ grants program to revegetate land to improve biodiversity
  • Opening of the first stage of Sydenham Park to the public
  • Council’s participation in the MAV State Council Meeting held in October
  • Initiation of a LeadWest initiative to advocate for a better bus network in Melbourne’s west
  • Face to face meetings and roundtables with State MP’s.

Council adopted the Advocacy Funding Priorities for the 2024-2025 State Budget in the areas of Mental Health, Road Safety, Climate Emergency, Homelessness and Housing, Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety, Parks, and, Community Facilities. Similarly, Council adopted a number of Advocacy Funding Priorities for the 2024-2025 Federal Budget to address the following priorities: Fix the Calder Freeway, Climate Emergency, Addressing Unemployment, Homelessness and Housing, and Community Facilities.

Brimbank Community Grants Program 2023/2024  

Brimbank Council has allocated more than $536,000 to not-for-profit community groups and organisations under the Brimbank Community Grants Program 2023-2024.

Of the 181 grant applications received, 133 applications were successful:

  • 7 Major Festival and Event Grants – up to $25,000
  • 20 Community Strengthening Grants – up to $10,000
  • 7 Mental Health and Wellbeing Grants – up to $10,000
  • 15 Community Festival and Event Grants – up to $10,000
  • 3 Young People’s Idea Grants – up to $10,000
  • 2 Climate Emergency Grants – up to $10,000
  • 3 Establishment Grants – up to $1,500
  • 76 Senior Operational Grants – up to $1,000.

The 2023/2024 Community Grants Program had a budget allocation of $600,000, with $536,240 allocated in this round and the remaining $63,760 allocated to a new all-year Establishment and Responsive Grants Program to assist with unexpected and/or urgent community needs in 2024.

 Annual Community Report Cards for Library Services, Neighbourhood Houses, Creative Brimbank and Learning and Youth Jobs

Council endorsed the annual report cards that list key achievements, milestones and collaborations as well as future priorities and focus areas for the next 12 months:

The Report Cards keep the community informed about progress towards implementing the:

  • Library Strategy 2020-2025
  • Neighbourhood Houses and Community Centres Strategy 2019-2024
  • Cultural Strategy 2018-2022, Public Art Policy and Plan 2018-2023, Festival and Events Policy and Strategy 2022-2024
  • Brimbank Lifelong Learning Strategy 2018-2023
  • Brimbank Youth Jobs Strategy 2018-2023

These strategies include social inclusion, employment opportunities, lifelong learning and creativity, which underpin programs and services offered through Libraries, Arts facilities, Neighbourhood Houses and Brimbank Learning Futures (BLF) to support better health, wellbeing, social and economic outcomes for individuals and the Brimbank community.

Community Safety Update

Brimbank Council has provided an update on its current and planned actions in Brimbank to prevent knife violence in response to a Notice of Motion in September 2023.

Council notes that community safety is a shared responsibility across government, police, service providers, business and the community. Victoria Police are responsible for responding to crime incidents and conducting policing operations.

Council plays a leadership role in community safety and crime prevention in partnerships and collaboration with all levels of government, agencies and the Brimbank community.

This approach is driven by our Safe and Inclusive Brimbank 2020-2024 Strategy, and includes initiatives to support, educate and engage young people. This includes our Unpacking Safety pilot program in schools, youth engagement activities and support of the Cut the Violence Crime Stoppers campaign, to name a few.

Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre 12-month operational update

Council noted that the Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre has recorded a favourable result for the first 12 months of operation with far greater members (10,500), swim school participants (2,650) and casual visitor numbers than anticipated in the planning for the facility.

While this is an excellent result it has meant much greater costs relating to operations to deliver services to these increased numbers. Future outcomes may also be impacted by repayments of the establishment debt, depreciation of the facility, the defects liability period ending, facility renewal and income vulnerability to rising pressures on household budgets such as the rising cost of living.

Draft Reconciliation Action Plan

Brimbank Council has endorsed community consultation on the Draft 2024-2026 Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

This RAP aims to foster greater unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Brimbank community and outlines the steps Council will continue to take towards Reconciliation.

It has been developed in conjunction with the Traditional Custodians, Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, and local Elders.

Consultation opens in February at yoursay.brimbank.vic.gov.au

Notices of Motion

At the Council Meeting on 12 December 2023, three Notices of Motion were carried:

  • Public Transport – raised by Cr Tachos
  • Compensation For Aircraft Noise – raised by Cr Tachos
  • Shortage Of Police Officers In Brimbank – raised by Cr Tachos

 

SHARE:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Related Posts

Copyright © Brimbank City Council

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