I attended the PAC (Planning Approval Commission) meeting regarding the Moorebank Recycling proposal on Monday 1st June 2015 starting 3:00 pm at the Bankstown Golf Club in 70 Ashford Avenue Milperra.
I prepared the following brief summation of the main points of the previous Council Meeting for the LCIT Monthly Meeting condensed from the Councils official but not yet approved minutes, available on public display here:
- Mayoral Minutes (5);
- Autism; Council purchased a table of ten places at a cost $1200.
- Nepal Earthquake; $2000
- National Sorry Day.
- UWS learning Centre to be established in Liverpool. UWS has a campus at Milperra but it seems we need another in Liverpool. In my view the admin costs plus property rental of such a presence will increase overall course costs to all students. It’s debateable whether the “prestige” to Liverpool is worth it, particularly when a University does little in addressing the current high “skills shortages”. Liverpools’ high unemployment rate of “unskilled workers” won’t be markedly addressed by any University course offerings. TAFE trains 75% of all Vocational Training in Australia. Both Federal and State Governments are starving TAFE of necessary funds, but it seems Universities have ample funding! UWS intends to aim courses relevant to the Hospital and the upcoming Badgerys Creek Airport, advocates of a university presence in Liverpool believe that is justifiable.
- Moorebank Waste Recycling Facility. (Mayoral minute is similar in purpose to Cllr Stanley’s registered motion NOM-03 and as a result they were combined during the discussion). I supported the motion(s) to oppose the State Governments’ recommendation to approve the proposal and if necessary take the matter to the Land and Environment Court, assuming the PAC approves the plant. Added to the motion that Council writes to the State Minister responsible for an additional Air quality Monitoring Station in the Moorebank area.
- Notice of Motions;
- NOM-01 Start next Council Meeting at 5.00 pm to allow for 2nd “State of Origin” football match.
- NOM-02 Renew Councils membership for ALGWA Australian Local Governments Women’s Association and congratulate Cllr Waller.
- NOM-03 Similar to Mayoral Minute (e); Take action against the Moorebank Recycling application to the PAC. (LCIT Facebook Website has the story too, 580 reads, several with comments.)
- Several Financial Reports; of interest, Cllr Shelton’s motion to have the Tree Nursery placed back in the Budget was defeated, the CEO stated that Council can purchase plants cheaper. True, but not necessarily the deciding factor, there are advantages such as growing trees and shrubs indigenous to our LGA, annual tree and shrub distribution to ratepayers, teaching and horticultural demonstrations for volunteer groups are advantages that a nursery would provide. Operational costs could be partially funded from the existing Local Environmental Levy and Government grants available on a regular basis.
- Code of Meeting Practice review; mostly to fix errors and change Council meeting times.
- Grants to community groups; some for equipment purchases such as a ride on mower for $5k plus another $4.5k for fencing. Questioned why Council is funding equipment used to carry out work that should be done by Councils’ outdoor staff?
- Public Toilet to be installed at Wattle Grove Lakeside Park; overall cost is $188,000. Many local residents are opposed to it, primarily based on social problems associated with similar public toilets in our LGA. Majority of Councillors voted to approve it. Several Councillors also want to restock the flood detention basin with recreational fish! Following discussions indicated Councillors lack of understanding of the primary purpose of a flood detention basin and why it would be unsuitable for fish! Despite my arguments it will go ahead anyway!
- Rezoning of Land to allow Council to sell a number of “Pocket Parks”. I again opposed the sale of “pocket parks” on the basis that they will be needed when adjacent areas are rezoned to medium and high density and many School Children do not live close enough to walk to major recreational centres such as Carnes Hill. All in vain, the majority of Councillors (5 to 5 + Mayors casting vote) want the money! Read my comments and arguments against the sale of “pocket Parks” here: rezoning and subsequent sale of “Pocket Parks”.
- Additional $100,000 for the shopfront improvement program as per committee recommendations. I supported the recommendation on the basis that it may generate interest in improving shopfronts. Unfortunately few “shop owners” are prepared to sign up on the basis that they need to match it.
- Renaming the Town Improvement Fund (TIF) to the City Development Fund (CDF) Semantics, I supported the recommendation. Liverpool is a City and has been for decades, not a “Town”.
- Traffic flow changes from one way to two-way – Northumberland Street and George Street. Supposedly improves traffic flow, suggested that was tried several decades ago, hence the current one-way system!
That wraps it up. I will place further comments expanding on my reasons for the above decisions including non-support for item 7, rezoning and subsequent sale of “Pocket Parks”.
Councillor Peter Harle