Council meeting recap - 13 April, 2021

Published on 14 April 2021

stack of newspapers with computer behind

For those of you who missed the livestream of Tuesday's Council meeting, here's a quick summary of what was discussed.

Questions and submissions from the public

Council received several questions from the public for the 14 April Council Meeting.


The Upper Yarra Shire

Council received a question about whether Council would consider re-establishing the Upper Yarra Shire (which was amalgamated into Yarra Ranges Council about 20 years ago).

The responsibilities for creating a new Council falls with the Minister for Local Government to consider. However this is a complex process, which requires establishing a restructuring advisory panel, who would review the proposal and assess the impacts and benefits, including financial sustainability, on all affected Councils and communities.

Council has no plans to advocate for the creation of a new Council at this time. If the Minister determined that such a review would be required, we would provide a considered response to that panel at that time.

Warburton Mountain Bike Destination

Council received a question as to why commentary had been removed from the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Social Pinpoint website.

Past comments have been documented and recorded as part of each stage of engagement. As each stage has updated the various plans involved in the project, past comments are removed to de-clutter the page and ensure that all comments received are based on the current plans.

Mernda Road, Olinda

Council was asked whether it would consider sealing Mernda Road in Olinda through its Roads for the Community Program.

The small number of adjoining properties means that this road is currently not a priority to be sealed through our Roads for the Community Program. We encourage any community members looking to have their road sealed to find out more about our Special Charge Scheme process.

Pride flags

Council was asked if it will fly the rainbow Pride Flag on 17 May, 2021, for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT Day).

Currently, we fly the Australian Flag, Aboriginal Flag and Torres Strait Islander Flag on our three flagpoles at the Lilydale Civic Centre, and are guided by the Federal Government’s protocols on flag use.

As part of our Civic Centre Redevelopment, we will have a fourth flagpole constructed to allow us to fly flags, such as the Pride Flag, in support of causes for the community. A policy is being developed to support the use of Council’s fourth flag pole.

Council supports our LGBTQIA+ community – through internal and external events and programs.

Homophobia, biphobia, intersexism and transphobia is never acceptable.

Community members are encouraged to take part in IDAHOBIT Day by wearing rainbow clothing, hosting a morning tea or launching – or supporting – a project that supports sexual and gender diversity.

Nolan Avenue Reserve, Mooroolbark

Council was asked about fire mitigation works at Nolan Avenue Reserve in Mooroolbark.

The reserve is a significant area for remnant bushland in the area. It is not considered high risk for fires. However, Council has met with 10 residents near the reserve to hear their concerns. As a result, maintenance of the reserve, such as grass cutting, will be increased.

Cambridge Road, Kilsyth

Council was asked about whether the northern part of the land or the southern part of the land was the larger parcel of the subdivided land at 150 Cambridge Road, Kilsyth.

We apologise for any confusion that may have been caused, for people who watched Council’s 24 November, 2020 meeting.

The land at 150 Cambridge Road, Kilysth, was subdivided and the northern parcel is the largest at 3.6 hectares. This area of land is currently being rezoned by the State Government and prepared for sale.

Council is currently investigating whether it will purchase this land, following a motion from Councillors at a recent public meeting.

The smaller lot is the southern part of the land at 2.9 hectares.

Business paper items

Community Recovery Committees

Council will establish Community Recovery Committees (CRCs) to support the community’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The CRCs will be empowered to lead activities to restore and re-engage local communities, with control over funding decisions for well-targeted local activities. The model has been an effective part of recovery following previous emergencies, and community members will be invited to apply for the committees via an Expressions of Interest process.

Members will be selected to reflect the various demographics in their communities and their capacity to bring skills and leadership to the recovery of their region. The committees will be resourced and supported by Council’s officers, ensuring they are effective and genuinely empowered to lead community-led recovery.

Councillors unanimously voted to endorse the model for the CRCs and their establishment, commissioning the Community Enterprise Foundation of the Bendigo Bank to administer grant funding for each committee.

Council will share more information with the community about the CRCs and the Expressions of Interest process in coming weeks.

Planning Application – YR-2020/494 – Lot 3 Holloway Road, Wonga Park

A planning application for buildings and works to construct a fence at Lot 3 Holloway Road, Wonga Park, has been refused.

The proposal was to construct a chain mesh boundary fence to delineate between private property, other properties and public land. The lot is currently vacant but contains extensive vegetation cover and part of Brushy Creek.

The application was brought to Council as it received 18 objections, relating to wildlife protection, fauna movement, the design and visual appearance of the fence, flooding impacts, emergency vehicle access and the retrospective nature of the works.

The Council Officer’s Report recommended that the application be approved.

Councillor Richard Higgins put forward an alternate motion for the application, where the permit would be refused. The reasons for refusal include Environmental Significance Overlay requirements and protection for wildlife in the area.

This alternate motion passed, meaning a permit will not be issued.

Montrose Community Plan 2020-24

Councillors were shown a presentation from the Montrose Township Group about the Montrose Community Plan for 2020-24.

The community plan was created with the assistance of more than 400 people from the wider area. It has been developed by, and will be implemented by, the community with support from Council.

The plain aims to:

  • Build and strengthen connections between community groups, businesses and residents in Montrose,
  • Build the capacity of the community to deliver community engagement and asset-based community development
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of the community
  • Increase community resilience

This is the eleventh Community Plan made for towns in Yarra Ranges, with recent examples including Monbulk, Coldstream, Mount Evelyn and Badger Creek.

Councillors expressed their gratitude to the Montrose Township Group for their work and unanimously acknowledged the work undertaken to develop the Montrose Community Plan.

For more information, and to read the plan, read the Council meeting agenda.

Tree matter outside 27 Seabreeze Ave, Ferny Creek

Councillors voted to remove one tree from near 27 Seabreeze Avenue in Ferny Creek, following requests from the property owner regarding five Council-managed trees.

Council received requests for up to five trees located nearby, with major concerns relating to two trees. All five trees are indigenous species.

Arborist reports undertaken on the two trees of concern showed them to be in good-to-fair condition.

The Council Officer’s Report recommended that both trees be retained.

Councillor Cathrine Burnett-Wake put forward an alternate motion, proposing that Tree 1 be removed, with Tree 2 to be retained.

The condition of Tree 1 indicates a change in the tree’s structure and that it is under stress, with internal decay.

Councillors voted to pass Cr Burnett-Wake’s motion.

Municipal Association of Victoria – State Council Meeting

Councillors voted to endorse motions for the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)’s State Council meeting on 21 May 2021.

As a member of the Municipal Association of Victoria, Yarra Ranges Council was asked to put forward motions for consideration for the State Council meeting.

Motions that Yarra Ranges Council proposed for consideration include.

  • That the MAV call on the Victorian Government to develop and implement processes to enable individual Councils to apply to the Minister in respect to responsibilities for electric line clearance (for example, to increase declared areas or to transfer responsibilities to distribution companies, while requiring liaison with Council on standards, methods and approaches to line clearance).
  • That the MAV advocate to the Victorian Government for the transfer of cost of inspection and maintenance of fire hydrants and fire plugs to the relevant water authority maintaining them.
  • That the MAV advocate to the Victorian Department of Health to review funding to Local Government for the provision of immunisation services, ensuring the funding keeps pace with the cost of service delivery.

Councillors unanimously voted to have these motions submitted to the MAV for consideration.

Watch the meeting

You can watch the meeting in full here

Livestream links, past agendas and full minutes are available on our Minutes and Agendas page

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