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News from the Chamber – October 2023

An update from the most recent Council Meeting that took place on 17 October 2023.

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

Planning Activity Update and Delegate Decisions and Planning Scheme Amendments Update – September 2023

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 September 2023 regarding planning permit applications and other matters, and
  • The status of current Planning Scheme Amendments at 30 September 2023.

In September 2023 Council made 68 planning determinations and 28 subdivision determinations under delegation. Sixty-six new planning permit applications were received. The value of development for these applications is $62.3 million.

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

Planning Compliance Activity Update – 1 July to 30 September 2023

This report showed:

  • Council’s Planning Compliance Unit received 132 new requests for service between 1 July and 30 September 2023.
  • The number of requests received was higher than the previous quarter when 120 requests were received.
  • 139 requests were resolved by Officers during the quarter.
  • The most common requests received related to contravention of planning permit conditions, which accounted for 30 per cent of the total requests. These requests were located throughout Brimbank, with the majority being in the central and western areas.
  • Display of signage without a planning permit (23 per cent) and use of land without a planning permit (12 per cent) were the next most common requests received

Council issued 21 Planning Infringement Notices during this period. These related to:

  • Failure to comply with planning permit conditions
  • Use of the land without a valid planning permit
  • Erection and display of real estate signage in breach of the Planning Scheme.

Draft Brimbank Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategy

Council endorsed the draft Brimbank Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategy for community consultation.

Council’s draft strategy includes a vision for Brimbank to be a city of green, connected and diverse neighbourhoods, offering a range of high quality, sustainable housing choices for everyone at every stage of their lives by 2041.

Feedback on the draft strategy may be provided from 18 October – 13 December 2023. The community can learn more about the draft strategy by attending one of the drop-in sessions being run in November, or by visiting Council’s Your Say webpage.

For more information, to RSVP and to provide feedback, visit Council’s Your Say page:

Sydenham Park Consultative Committee

The Sydenham Park Consultative Committee is being formed to share ideas and discuss the implementation of the Sydenham Park Master Plan, as well as help Council advocate for future investment and development of Sydenham Park.his report showed:

  • The appointment of three community members for the Sydenham Park Consultative Committee, including Jessica Gerger, Megan O’Shea and Neil Hunichen.

This follows an extensive community engagement process through Council’s Your Say website that invited expressions of interest for membership to the Committee.

  • Changes to the Terms of Reference for the Sydenham Park Consultative Committee:
  • To remove BATSICC representation, as per their request and increase nominations from Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (WWCHAC) from one to two.
  • Appointment of Dr David Jones as the Independent Chair of the Sydenham Park Consultative Committee. Dr Jones has extensive experience in building strong relationships with Traditional Owners and is a qualified urban and regional planning and landscape architect.

The following is a list of the Sydenham Park Consultative Committee community and stakeholder representatives appointed to date:

  • Jessica Gerger – Community Representative
  • Megan O’Shea – Community Representative
  • Neil Hunichen – Community Representative
  • Gary Egan – Friends of Sydenham Park
  • Richard Carthew – Sydenham and District Historical Society
  • Joan Ellis – Keilor Golf Club
  • TBC – Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
  • TBC – Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation

It is anticipated that all members will be invited to an inaugural meeting in November 2023 at Sydenham Park where conversations can occur on Country and hopefully be led by the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (WWCHAC).

 Submission to National Housing and Homelessness Plan

Brimbank Council will make a submission to the Australian Government, providing recommendations towards the development of a new National Housing and Homelessness Plan (NHHP).

The Plan sets out a shared vision over 10 years to inform future housing and homelessness policy and provides a better understanding of the drivers of homelessness and housing insecurity.

Brimbank’s submission highlights the challenges that many in our community face in accessing diverse and affordable housing options, with many households experiencing housing stress in the private market.

In particular, Brimbank has high levels of homelessness and lacks sufficiently resourced homeless support services and a lack of crisis housing options.

Brimbank Council Annual Report 2022-2023

Council adopted the Annual Report 2022-2023, which includes a Report of Operations, audited Financial Statements and Performance Statement.

The Annual Report meets our legislative requirements under the State Government’s performance reporting framework.

It is an essential document demonstrating to our community how we performed in the delivery of our services. A copy will be sent to the Minister for Local Government.

 Draft Complaints Policy

Brimbank Council will go out to public consultation on its Draft Complaints Policy.

This policy affirms the Council’s commitment to dealing with complaints as a core part of our business with clear and consistent processes by:

  • Enabling members of the public to make complaints about the Council
  • Responding to complaints by taking action to resolve them promptly, efficiently, impartially and courteously
  • Learning from complaints to improve our services.

Our Draft Complaints Policy is based on a best-practice guide issued by the Victorian Ombudsman.

Draft Renaming Sydenham Park

Brimbank Council has resolved to go out to public consultation with three proposed alternative Aboriginal names for Sydenham Park in Keilor North.

This follows a Notice of Motion at the July 2022 Council meeting to change the park’s name to an appropriate Aboriginal name suggested by local Aboriginal people.

This proposed consultation approach complies with processes outlined by Geographic Names Victoria (GNV) and the names were provided by local Traditional Owners, Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

Governance Report October 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, records of informal meetings of Councillors, and Councillor declarations of representations by Members of Parliament.

Consideration on Introducing Council Public Forums

Council received a report detailing how a regular Public Forum meeting could be introduced at Brimbank City Council. The report was in response to a Notice of Motion at the 18 July Council Meeting.

The report provided an analysis of Council’s current community engagement activity, information gained through a benchmarking exercise to learn what other councils run in terms of public forums, an analysis of the various options possible, details about how the various options could be implemented and what the risk implications would be for Council.

Debate and a decision on the matter was deferred to the next practicable Council Meeting being 21 November 2023.

Final Draft Sport Facility Development Plan

Having considered all the submissions following extensive community feedback and consultation, Council has adopted the Sports Facility Development Plan 2023.

The Sports Facility Development Plan 2023 identifies the sporting infrastructure needs of the Brimbank community, and establishes ways to provide people of all ages, abilities and gender the opportunity to access and participate in a range of sporting activities. It also provides clarity to local sports clubs in terms of how their facility development needs are being or will be met by Council.

Council resolved to write to all submitters to advise them of decisions made in relation to the Sports Facility Development Plan 2023, and the reason for that decision. All projects identified for funding will be referred to Council’s annual budget process for consideration.

Notices of Motion

At the Council Meeting on 17 October 2023, four Notices of Motion were carried:

  • Objection to the application for extension of trading hours by Braybrook Hotel – raised by Cr Virginia Tachos
  • Redesignation of the car parks in front of Council 301 Hampshire Road to accessible car parks – raised by Cr Maria Kerr
  • Call for government to impose ban on gambling advertising – raised by Cr Virginia Tachos
  • Communications with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities – raised by Cr Thomas O’Reilly

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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.