Council meeting recap - 14 June, 2022

Published on 20 June 2022

The Council Chambers in Lilydale.

Tuesday, 14 June’s meeting was the first to be held in Council’s new Lilydale Civic Centre, which was recently opened to the public.

Former Councillors and Mayors of Yarra Ranges Council were invited to attend the meeting, with many coming along to watch the first meeting and hear speeches from Uncle Dave Wandin, Mayor Jim Child, CEO Tammi Rose and Yarra Ranges’ longest-serving Councillor, Len Cox OAM.

Len Cox cuts a ribbon to open the first Council meeting in the new Civic Centre.

Cr Len Cox OAM cuts the ribbon to formally open the first Council meeting at the new Lilydale Civic Centre (at 15 Anderson Street).

A ribbon was cut to officially open the meeting, before Councillors discussed items on the agenda.

Below is a recap of what was discussed.

Watch the meeting recording here

10.1 – Yarra Ranges Tourism Partnering Agreement

Council will extend its partnering agreement with Yarra Ranges Tourism for another year, covering the 2022-23 financial year.

Council will provide $489,016 to YRT, to help them in their work to secure the Yarra Ranges as a major regional destination in Australia.

The Victorian Government has released its Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan, which outlines its intention to support the state’s visitor economy and tourism industry – including the transition of Regional Tourism Boards into a network of Visitor Economy Partnerships by 2023.

A detailed transition plan and timeframe is not available, so Council has extended its funding agreement with YRT, with a review on the progress of the recovery and reform plan before the end of June, 2023.

Councillors noted the work of Yarra Ranges Tourism in promoting the region, its businesses and its creative industry to the wider Melbourne and Australian audiences over recent years.

Ryrie Ward Councillor, Fiona McAllister, noted that most people in the Yarra Ranges benefitted positively from tourism to the region, and emphasised the importance of the work of Yarra Ranges Tourism, stating it was “money well spent.”

They voted to continue the partnering agreement.

10.2 – Planning Scheme Amendment Request – 27-33 Old Hereford Road, Mt Evelyn

Council will ask the Minister for Planning for approval to prepare and exhibit Planning Scheme Amendment C208, following Tuesday’s meeting.

C208 seeks to apply a Specific Controls Overlay, and a draft permit for a two-lot subdivision at 27-33 Hereford Road, Mt Evelyn.

Councillors voted in favour of moving C208 to the next step – where Council will seek the Minister’s authorisation to prepare and exhibit the amendment – at the 14 June meeting.

If the Minister provides this authorisation, Amendment C208 will be exhibited to the community, with opportunities to provide feedback.

The rules around subdivision mean that properties within the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) must have a minimum lot size of 4000 square metres (some properties, meeting specific requirements, can have a minimum lot size of 2000 square metres) to subdivide.

The Mt Evelyn site was not included in the BMO when these rules were introduced in 2014, but was since added into the overlay by a Ministerial Amendment.

C208, if approved, would add an overlay to the 27-33 site, exempting it from the minimum subdivision requirements and allowing subdivision into one 2200sqm and one 2967sqm lot.

Following the Council meeting, this matter will now move to the Minister for Planning.

To find out more about the proposal, read the Council Meeting agenda.

10.3 – Storm and Pandemic Recovery Update

Councillors were provided with an update on the recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic and the 9 June, 2021, storms that devastated the region.

The recovery of the region – delivering all the outcomes listed in Council’s Municipal Recovery Action Plan – is expected to cost $31.4m. As of the end of April, 2022, Council has spent $15.6m on the recovery efforts.

The update, listed in the meeting agenda, contains a list of the actions Council has taken to date to help our communities recover from the storms, including the establishment of four Regional Community Recovery Committees – which will engage with community, identify priorities and help make decisions on how recovery funding will be spent.

A financial update is also listed in the agenda. It notes that $13.6m has been received through different funding streams, but also that Council has no clarity on the overall funding support that the State and Federal Governments will provide.

Read the agenda to find out more, and see more of Council’s recovery work on our website.

10.4 – CT6788 – Road Maintenance and Street Sweeping Award of Tender

Council has awarded tenders for its road maintenance and street sweeping services.

Previously, Council has used DM Roads (Downer Pty Ltd) for road maintenance and street sweeping services, with a contract expiring at the end of August, 2022.

A new contract was put together, asking for either one contractor performing both services or separate contractors performing either service.

Council advertised the tender for this contract in December, 2021, and closed applications on 9 February, 2022.

After being evaluated, it was recommended by a panel that Council award the tenders to two separate contractors:

  • Specialised Pavement Services, who will provide street sweeping services, and
  • MACA Infrastructure Pty Ltd, who will provide road maintenance services (which includes programmed and minor road maintenance of unsealed roads, table drains and other drains; maintenance of road surfaces and assets on bridges and major culverts; maintenance of roadside furniture throughout Yarra Ranges, including guideposts, signs and delineators)

Councillors voted in favour of awarding the tenders.

10.5 – Bridge works on Cement Creek Road, East Warburton

A tender has been awarded to upgrade the Cement Creek Road Bridge, which serves as the entry to the Yarra Ranges National Park and the East Warburton Redwood Forest.

Councillors voted to award the tender to JTX Civil Contracting, to upgrade the bridge.

The works include replacement of the bridge deck, to increase the load capacity, and adding a pedestrian accessway to the bridge. This project will improve safety for visitors accessing the redwood forest.

The project is funded through the Federal Government’s Roads to Recovery and Bridge Renewal Programs, and the Victorian Government.

Other works will be carried out to upgrade Cement Creek Road, as a separate project.

Mayor, Jim Child, said that strengthening the bridge would allow for upcoming works from Parks Victoria and the State Government, to install toilets and other amenity upgrades at the redwood forest.

10.6 – Recycling Receival Contract Extension

Council will continue using Visy Paper Pty Ltd as its recycling provider until 30 September, 2023, with the current contract extended for a year.

Council has had a contract in place with Visy, which was in place until 30 September, 2021.

This contract was extended until 2023, to align it with the end date for the kerbside waste (landfill) bin contract.

At the time of the extension, the State Government provided Council with an exemption under the Local Government Act 2020 to continue the contract until 30 June, 2022, with any additional extensions to be carried out by Council through its procurement policy.

This item on the Council agenda is the formal extension of the contract with Visy until the end of September, 2023.

By extending this contract, all of Council’s waste contracts will expire at the same time.

This will allow Council to plan for the new tenders, beginning in October, 2023, for all of its waste collection and receival services. Ahead of this new tender, Council will release its Draft Community Waste Plan, outlining how bin services will change locally, to meet the State Government's new bin and recycling systems.

Councillors voted in favour of the contract extension.

10.7 – 10.10 – Declarations of special charges

Community members on roads in Warburton and Healesville will be notified of Council’s decision to levy a Special Charge to seal their roads.

Councillors discussed several projects at their Tuesday meeting, where Council proposed levying special charges to construct roads.

The roads discussed at the meeting were:

  • Alpine Street, Cecil Street and Glenbrook Road, Warburton,
  • Boronia Road, parts Sylvan Avenue and Unity Court, Warburton
  • Benton Road, Elamo Road and Nagoondie Lane, Healesville,
  • Campbell Road, Corsley Street and Pilmer Road, Healesville

These roads are the latest to begin the process of a Special Charge Scheme, under the Federal Government-funded Roads for the Community Initiative.

Landowners impacted by the special charge schemes have been contacted by Council, giving them an opportunity to provide feedback about the proposal.

Reviewing this feedback, Councillors voted to declare a special charge for each of the roads above.

The Federal Government will provide $150 million to subsidise sealing of currently-unsealed roads across the Yarra Ranges.

Before Roads for the Community began, landowners and Council would split the cost of sealing an un-sealed (dirt or gravel) road through a Special Charge Scheme. This cost would be as high as $15,000 per development unit, which would be repaid through Council rates yearly over 10 years.

The Federal Government’s funding heavily subsidises each landowner’s contribution as part of Roads for the Community, capping the cost at $7000 per property through the life of the project.

For every Special Charge to progress, every landowner involved is informed, engaged and surveyed to gauge support for the project and the special charge. A Special Charge Scheme is declared when a majority of landowners surveyed support the project going ahead after this engagement.

Community members on the above roads will be contacted in writing, informing them of Council's declaration of a special charge, and further details as their road sealing project continues.

Find out more about Roads for the Community here