Koonung 2 votes until November – Unfair

The Cries for our fair representation , (our third council vote,) were denied on Tuesday Night.

When the residents request to replace Cr Jessica Villareal ASAP was put to the vote – it was a dead locked vote.

Half said too close to October elections, others said Koonung has been treated poorly and should be fairly represented ASAP.

Mayor Gough voted against, completing the deadlocked vote. And so as Mayor, he got to decide himself – and Koonung misses out now and until post next elections.

There was a lot of feisty attacks to say the least, on each other, and on potential Villareal replacements – you should listen to the Meeting audio from Council.

Cr Reid also split some home truths about the dysfunctional group of councilors currently in office – I’m sure there’ll be plenty about that in the papers next week.

Now our concern for Koonung is higher than ever

As you may have noticed more often than not, the Koonung Ward concerns are against excessive developments, high-density zoning etc, and unfortunately Mayor Gough has always been very vocally pro development.

So we see a big risk there for the next several months.

Continue reading Koonung 2 votes until November – Unfair →

Koonung Councilor Resigns – and leaves us stranded.

2012 – May 25th  Jessica Villarreal resigned today as one of the Koonung Ward Councillors!

Koonung councilor Jessica Villareal has been Absent much of her time at Manningham Council, and has now resigned after two months leave.  Why is this such a big deal ? because it means for the last six months Koonung has only had at best two of it’s three votes, and in that time some major cases have gone up and been passed through – such as the Draft Residential Strategy which focuses most of the growth in Koonung ward!

We believe council is putting the matter of the vacancy at the meeting tomorrow ( May 29th, 7pm) please send council an email ASAP!!!  Tell them you want Fair representation!

Recent Koonung Ward attendance by the 3 councillors is as follows;

 December nil, January 2, February 3, March 1 and April 1 and May only 2 possible, an average of 1.5 councillors attending meetings since November.

 Since November last year J.Villarreal had only attended the February meeting.

You may recall Jessica only got the job after Continue reading Koonung Councilor Resigns – and leaves us stranded. →

Overload Doncaster – Thiele st – 55 apartments, four Stories, opposite Curlew Court entrance.

Side Street Overload

Sign went up yesterday for 55 apartments, four storeys high, in DD08 Precinct A, where only 3 Storeys are intended !

Council planning – Jeff Gower – has been discussing this with the developer for months prior to this, trying to get it to a reasonable starting point….

The fourth storey is clearly out of recomendations, and so is likely to be an ambit claim. i.e. “Well we wanted four stories, but because we are such nice developers we will make it only 3 storey’s…”

(In negotiation, an ambit claim is an extravagant initial demand made in expectation of an eventual counter-offer and compromise. )

Backing onto these three blocks are normal single level houses in a court, with single dwelling restrictive covenants – and so will NEVER be built to match this proposed bulk.

A Single Dwelling Restrictive Covenant – could save your neighbourhood.

This is the street that gets much of the High school pedestrian and car traffic.

12 months ago we warned that 8 apartments here would make a cross road effect with the Curlew court entrance.

Now they are proposing 55 apartments – right where the purple “8” is on the picture below. They have also asked for a reduction in car spaces provided.

Curlew Area 2013 Traffic Kaos

Curlew Area 2013 Traffic Kaos

More details to follow, once we review the plans etc at the council.



Your Gov. Property Planning report – FREE – and access to the Regulations & Zoning rules.

This is a state government site useful for two things:

1. Property Planning report: Location, Zones, aircraft routes, Bushfire rules, etc.

2. It then leads ( eventually,) into the zoning regulation documents, as part of your basic report.

These zoning regulation documents are the rule book for Council and VCAT discussions & arguments.

Follow – (CLOSELY), these steps.

  • On page ‘Property reports’ click on ‘I Agree’ at the bottom of the page ( Here you’ll find the reports content explained.)
  • On ‘Get Reports’ page type in address details and press ‘search’
  • On page ‘Properties available for your search criteria’ verify the property details and then press ‘next’
  • On page ‘Reports selected for your selected property’ click on the ‘basic property report (free)‘ and then press ‘next‘ You can come back here later and collect copies of the reports if you want – for now we are getting the zoning regulations.
  • On page ‘looking for an order?’ click on ‘view‘ for basic property report
  • Look down the report page for heading Planning Zone Summary to see a list of the zone regulations that apply to your home.



We have a winner – 12 storey’s now 6.

Residents 2, developers  get real..

… We won!!! a reduction from 8 to 6 levels that we asked for, and we would like to thank you for your assistance and input to make it possible.


This was the second time the developers went to VCAT. The first time, VCAT rejected the application for a 12 storey development, and suggested reducing it by 4 or 5 storey’s; and this time VCAT approved it but reducing the height from 8 to 6 levels

…One thing that the Council’s solicitor said to us, most of the time when he is defending for the Council at the VCAT hearings, although the residents Continue reading We have a winner – 12 storey’s now 6. →

What is your ideal Councilor ?

With Manningham Council elections due in November, we all need to start thinking about what we want to see on offer…

Last time around I remember all councilors were against inappropriate developments, but it seems that some councillors have a very different opinion to us on that topic.

So obviously Planning and developments are a big  – Key – issue to us, but what is important to you ?

  • Planning  / development ?
  • Transport ?
  • Security ?
  • Child services ?
  • Senior services ?
  • Local Business and employment opportunities ?
  • ?

But please don’t ask for Fast Internet / NBN (as Cr Mayne was promoting last council meeting,) works for that in Doncaster are not due to start for three more years…

We’d love to hear your comments below. what you want and don’t want in a candidate…

Clarity & Certainty for all.

This question was posed to the Manningham Council at the April 2012 meeting – it has been taken on notice – we will have to wait and see how well it gets answered… It was Given to Teresa Dominik to answer, as she is now the official head of the Manningham Planning Dept. Teressa also had a lot to do with developing the C50, which led to the DD08, and is well versed on the current Residential strategy. However for some reason Mayor Gough instructed her to not try to fully answer as Teresa had just taken on the role…

 As Council is seeking to ensure that greater clarity and certainty is provided in the Residential Strategy’s future planning controls, I query the summary of recommendations for proposed Amendment to DD08 in April’s Manningham Matters.
In the Main Road sub-precinct you stipulate a maximum building height of 11 meters and bracket three storey.
 But for the sub-precinct A you stipulate 11 meters but bracket approximately three storeys.  Why do you use different wording?  What does approximately mean in ‘storeys’?
 However, even if the minimum mandatory lot size of 1800m2 is not met, a three-storey building can still be designed within 9 meters making it no different to the Main Road sub-precinct.
 Sub-precinct B refers to a two-storey development with a maximum mandatory height, however, a three storey building could still be designed within the mandatory maximum building height of 9 meters –  making it no different to sub-precinct A or the Main Road sub-precinct.
Can Council clarify how the proposed DD08 controls are giving a greater level of protection –  as promoted to Councillors and the community – in the February Council Meeting Agenda?  Why distinguish between land areas under and over 1800m2 or indeed between 9 or 11 meter height limits when it is entirely possible to incorporate the 3 storey building on any site be it Main Road, sub-precinct A or B.
Please clarify exactly how you have strengthened the distinctions between these precincts.
What  also concerns us is the portrayal of the Draft residential Strategy in this months Manningham Matters.
It was good that the council finally started including the Upside and Down-side in thier statements, in this case mentioning that three storey buildings could still be built on the smaller sites…  HOWEVER, it was not appropriate to put it under the heading of “Recommendations of the Draft Residential Strategy.”  The three storey on small blocks is a debated, contentious issue, that was & is  to be clarified. Definitely not a recommendation.  So please do spell out the best and worst for all to understand, but make sure any commentary is presented and highlighted as such. Lets not mislead residents into thinking that all is lost while we are still fighting that battle.

Can you Spot the difference in these regulations.

This comment came in today, I have heard the same line of thought from several people lately.

This ineffectiveness of the distinctions between lot sizes and zones is at the core of the problem with the current zoning rules.       I thought it worthy of having it’s own post, do you feel the same way?

Why does the residential strategy discern between land areas above or below 1800m2, or between maximum heights of 9 or 11 meters, when either are permitted three storeys, particularly in sub precinct A?

Why is Manningham Council now allowing developers to circumvent their own regulations by Continue reading Can you Spot the difference in these regulations. →

Can we PLEASE get a straight answer ?

I guess it is no surprise that it is hard to get a politician to directly answer the question you asked.

Of course there is an issue that is important to you, and you want he answer given clearly, and out in the open for all to hear.

But if you are the politician, councilor, or council authoritative figure in the firing line of that question, it seems any answer but the one asked is best returned !

This was evident and in full swing at the council meeting last night,  where crafty side steps, and smooth deflections were par for the course.

There are some suggestions below on how to combat these techniques, and we want your best ideas added too..

For those that do not know the Manningham councils conditions for public involvement they are limiting, and getting more so every meeting.

1. Verbal questions from the public can be asked in an early part of the meeting, but: Continue reading Can we PLEASE get a straight answer ? →

Curlew Court – Still no VCAT decision.

Well the latest on the Curlew Court / VCAT is

 Simon and Garfunkel’s 1964 folk rock hit, “The sound of silence”

 Still nothing at all.

It might be that they are struggling for an answer, hopefully the plans are weighing heavily on the member.

I have been meaning to look up VCAT and see if our Member Mr. Cimino is still taking cases or is “away”

 We have had no updates or correspondence since January 2012.

Interestingly at Manningham council last night, the 5-7 Curlew court development was twice used as the bench mark of over-development!

… this proposed development was not as bad as the one at proposed at Curlew court….

It seems the 5-7 Curlew court proposal is the new bench mark in bad development for Manningham.