Council meeting recap - 22 February, 2022

Published on 23 February 2022

stack of newspapers with computer behind

For those that missed last night’s Council meeting, here’s a recap of what was discussed.

You can also catch up by watching the meeting recording here.


7.1 – Advocacy Framework and Advocacy Agenda for the 2022 Federal Election

Initiatives to support community and business recovery, improve resilience against disasters and climate change, and provide access to the same levels of services and infrastructure enjoyed by other ‘metropolitan’ classified regions are at the heart of Yarra Ranges Council’s advocacy priorities ahead of the 2022 Federal election.


Find out more here

7.2 – Planning Application YR-2020/323 – 14 East Avenue, Mt Evelyn

A second dwelling will be built, with an associated two-lot subdivision and removal of vegetation, in East Avenue, Mt Evelyn, following Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

Application YR-2020/323 proposed removing vegetation to build a second dwelling at 14 East Avenue and subdivide the land under the Low Density Residential Zone.

The application was brought to Council because it received 20 written objections, raising concerns with drainage, access, traffic and vegetation removal.

The Council Officer’s Report – outlined in the agenda, outlines that vegetation removal within the site would be permitted due to Clause 52.12 about Bushfire Exemptions.

However, this exemption does not apply to Council Land on Centre Avenue, where the property crossover was proposed, and trees selected for removal include weed species, dead trees or some in poor condition. Healthy trees have been retained on site in the application.

Councillors discussed the matter, with a majority voting to approve the Planning Application with an alternate recommendation.

The alternate recommendation lists additional conditions to the permit, including the addition of an Engineering Plan for the vehicle crossover on the site; a requirement that no parking facilities will be provided for construction work on Centre Avenue and; that the crossover is constructed and certified before construction works begin, among other conditions.

To find out more, watch the meeting recording.

7.3 – Planning Application YR-2021/666 – Shop 18/518 Mt Dandenong Road, Kilsyth

The former Coles in Kilsyth will become a Dan Murphy’s, following approval from Council to use the site for sale of packaged liquor.

Application YR-2021/666 asked Council to consider whether the site should be used for the sale of packed liquor, after the existing supermarket and packaged liquor outlet (Coles and Liquorland, respectively) vacated the premises.

When the supermarket was established in 1978, planning approval was not required for the sale of packaged liquor. This has only been included in the Planning Scheme since 2011.

The Council Officer’s Report, listed in the agenda, noted that the tenancy would replace an existing packaged liquor shop and met the requirements of the Planning Scheme.

Victoria Police have developed risk mitigation and management plans with liquor stores in the area, including Dan Murphy’s, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and impacts in the community.

Council received 18 written objections to this application.

Many of the applications related to the loss of a Coles supermarket, however this was not a relevant planning issue and is a commercial decision by Coles, outside of the scope of the application.

Councillors voted to approve the application. 

7.4 – Rescode Reform Submission

Councillors endorsed a submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on ResCode Reform.

The submission, which can be read in full in the Council agenda, recommends that new models suggested for the ResCode are tested, as there is there is a possibility that changes may weaken the validity and impact of local planning policy and relevant overlays (such as Council’s Design and Development Overlay, which helps guide development in different parts of the region).

To find out more, watch the meeting recording here

7.5 – Housing Strategy Review – Discussion Paper

Council will put its Housing Strategy Review Discussion Paper out for community engagement in coming days, following Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

Councillors voted to endorse the Discussion Paper, with the included Neighbourhood Character Study and documents, for public consultation.

The Discussion Paper is the first step in the review of Council’s 2009 Housing Strategy. The strategy provides background and context to the provision of housing in the region, including planning for future housing.

The strategy is now 13 years old and significant changes have taken place in this time, so Council is reviewing and resetting its housing policies.

Housing growth must be balanced with protection of neighbourhood character, so Council has prepared a Draft Neighbourhood Character Study to support the Housing Strategy’s development.

The Discussion Paper also analyses housing issues that are not solely planning-related, such as affordability, social housing, sustainable design and accessibility.  

For more information about the paper, read the Council Agenda and sign up to to be notified of upcoming community engagements.

7.6 – MAV Rules Review – Discussion Paper 2022 – Council Submission

Council has endorsed its submission to the Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) Discussion Paper, regarding its upcoming comprehensive Rules review.

This will be the first comprehensive review of the MAV’s Rules since 2006, with other small changes taking place in 2013. The rule review will ensure the MAV is best-placed to support the Local Government sector now and into the future.

To read the discussion paper and Council’s submission, read the agenda

7.7 – Yarra Ranges Progress Report on Council Plan, including Finance Report – 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021

Council is on track to deliver most of its commitments to the community, outlined in the Council Plan, by 2025.

Councillors voted to receive and note the progress report on the Council Plan on Tuesday night, as part of its regular reporting on the Council Plan in the 2021-22 financial year.

Council has been carefully monitoring its spending on recovery works through the year, and related Government funding, and this progress report forecasts Council’s best estimate on the likely impacts of the 9 June storms on the 2021-22 budget.

The report will be made available on Council’s website and at its Community Links. To read the full report, visit the agenda.

A video was also presented to Council, recapping the progress on the Council Plan.



7.8 – Disability Advisory Committee Annual Report

Council has thanked the members of its Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) for their work in improving community accessibility, with the DAC’s Annual Report received at the Council meeting.

The DAC was established in 2012 as an advisory committee to Council. Members work with Council to ensure all aspects of its business are accessible to people with a disability and their families, assist in engagement for Council activities and provide advice around Council’s decision making.

In the last year, the DAC:

  • Reviewed and updated their Terms of Reference
  • Informed the development of four Council policies and plans
  • Informed the development of three Council Master Plans
  • Assisted with the organisation of Council’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability event in 2021 and,
  • Helped with advocacy and feedback on storm recovery, and impacts of COVID-19 on people with a disability and their family members.

The committee has set key goals over the next 12 months of:

  • Continuing to provide strategic advice on the development of major strategies and plans,
  • Monitoring the achievements of objectives within the Equity, Access and Inclusion Strategy and informing the new strategy, due in 2024, and
  • Continuing to advocate on the impacts of COVID-19 and other emergencies on people with a disability and their family members.

To read the Annual Report, visit the meeting agenda.  

7.9 – Intentions to Levy a Special Charge – Seville roads

Community members on roads in Seville will be notified of Council’s intention to levy a Special Charge to seal their roads.

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

The roads discussed at the meeting were:

  • School Road and Valley Road,
  • Victoria Road (section between Station Road to Walker Road), Railway Road and English Street,
  • Station Road, Seymour Street and Britton Road

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

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 intention to levy a special charge.

Find out more about Roads for the Community here

7.10- South East Metropolitan Advanced Waste Processing Project

Council has moved a step closer to securing a future alternative waste processing facility last night and will work with partner Councils to set out conditions for a tender process.

The joint-council approach is due to the planned closure of a landfill site at Hallam in 2025, which many Councils currently use.

The closure of the landfill means that Councils must plan for waste processing that meets the needs of the community and the environment, to provide a seamless transition.

While the location of this facility is yet to be selected, it would almost certainly be located outside of Yarra Ranges.

At the meeting, Councillors moved to commit to entering a contract with a tenderer, provided they meet the conditions and criteria set by all the Councils involved.

An alternate recommendation to the Council Agenda was put forward, with the note that Council will continue to prioritise resource education and actions around waste avoidance, and diversion of material into recycling streams, along with advocacy to State and Federal Governments for initiatives to reduce plastics and other resource losses.

This multi-stage tendering process is being overseen by a working group of representatives from the participating councils and also being supported by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) and specialist advisors.

Activities undertaken for the procurement process are being funded by the State Government.