Ian PenrosePam LawsonIan PenrosePam LawsonIan PenrosePam LawsonMark McDonaldIan PenrosePam LawsonMark McDonaldIan PenrosePam Lawson

Complete the survey below by Sunday 20th December to help inform Council's new Climate Action Plan.

 https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/5987252/Climate-Change-Action-Plan-Survey

Your response will be used to help formulate the Council's new Climate Action Plan for the next four years, so it is important that your answers reflect your concern about our changing climate, and provide as much detail as you are able, to let Council know Nillumbik residents' thoughts on this issue. Most of the survey is in a multiple choice, 'tick the box' format, and you are encouraged to tick the box which offers the strongest climate action option.

Numbers count, and a high level of response from the community will send a clear message that Nillumbik residents care about climate change, and are keen for our Council to get stuck into some strong climate action!

Why no Council VCAT action on dumping?

Spare a thought for Chapel Lane, Doreen residents with more illegal soil dumping threatening their farmland neighbourhood. With strong council action urgently needed to stop the trucks, planning spokesman Cr Clarke opts for more buck-passing rather than action at Tuesday 28th council meeting. He is supported by the mayor.

His lengthy notice of motion aimed at the government, won’t stop anything in Chapel Lane in the short term (see council agenda 28/7) It’s mostly a repeat of policy reforms already announced in last year’s letter from the minister and achieves nothing for residents and the environment. Is it just another opportunity for Cr Clarke to take a political party swipe at the government?

Council already has the power to take immediate action for Chapel Lane residents through Sec 114 and 120 of the P&E Act.  Under this legislation council can apply to VCAT for an urgent enforcement order to stop the offending land use. This should be done immediately.

Council has received reliable advice that large-scale disposal of fill (the offending land use) requires a permit even if agriculture does not.  This principle was determined by VCAT in 2016 and used by Cardinia Council to refuse a similar landfill application from the Earth Services Group in July 2019. The VCAT determination established that the large-scale disposal of fill should require a planning permit across all planning schemes.  Council only needed to examine VCAT records and consult Cardinia planners.

Mayor Egan’s believe that ESG does not need a permit is plain wrong.  Their operation at Chapel Lane is illegal because it doesn’t have the necessary permit. It can be stopped by council using its powers of enforcement.  It’s about time Council took real action to protect our Green Wedge.

Footnote: If Chapel Lane residents thought this problem would be resolved at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on  Tuesday 28th July they were sadly mistaken. Still no action planned!

After two Notices of Motion (Cr Clarke's calling on the State Government to act and Cr Perkin"s recognizing that Council CAN and should act on this), much rancorous debate and some very poor behaviour, residents will have to await a new Officer report and at least another Council meeting to find out what Council will do, if anything.

Council has given no commitment to take direct action against ESG despite clearly having the authority to shut down this operation and oblige the company to apply for a permit.

At our AGM on 19th March 2014, the Friends of Nillumbik Inc. members voted for a special resolution which gives us a new statement of purposes. This resolution (see below) was carried unanimously.

Resolution:

That Friends of Nillumbik Inc. (i) adopt the Model Rules for an Incorporated Association set out in the Associations Incorporation Reform Regulations 2012, Part 3, and (ii) replace the current statement of purposes with a new statement of purposes as follows:
 
Friends of Nillumbik Inc will work to support and promote the environmental and landscape values, neighbourhood character, orderly planning and good governance of the Shire of Nillumbik. In pursuit of the above and where resources allow, we:

1. Support at our discretion, council candidates at local elections who will further the values, character, planning and governance of the Shire in accordance with our statement of purposes.

2. Consider the appropriateness of planning applications including support for residents seeking to protect neighborhood character.

3. Promote the importance of sustainable development, energy efficiency and renewable energy use, as appropriate responses to the problem of climate change.
 
4. Participate in VCAT hearings.

5. Make public interest submissions at the local and state level on strategic planning including Melbourne –wide planning, Nillumbik township planning, and Green Wedge planning.

6. Support appropriate management of public land.

7. Support recreation and tourism facilities appropriate for Nillumbik’s special urban and rural character.

8. Participate in Nillumbik festivals.

9. Provide regular bulletins to our supporters.

10.Lobby other levels of government.

11. Monitor our local council including submitting on the council plan and budget where appropriate”.

                                                                      
-  carried unanimously

The Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has signed off on Amendment C60. This ensures that the Hurstbridge Township Strategy is now incorporated into the Nillumbik Planning Scheme. Policies and controls are now in place to help protect the unique character of Hurstbridge's built environment along the Main Street. We consider that a recent decision by VCAT to refuse a proposed development at 780 Main Road, Hurstbridge is an early indicator that the Hurstbridge Township Strategy will be referred to in future VCAT considerations.