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    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

    Date:

    Brimbank Council tramples democracy

    Tonight at the Brimbank Council Meeting, we saw democracy trampled. Cr Kerr put forward a very reasonable motion for monthly online meetings of one hour (optional for Councillors) where people can ask questions relating to their ward.

    Even before there was any opportunity for debate, Cr Rasic moved an alternate motion which considerably debases and waters down the intent of Cr Kerr’s motion.

    The Labor led Councillors forced through the amendment, after a lengthy delay due to uproar from the public gallery at Rasic’s amendments and Cr Kerr leaving in disgust. 

    After resumption, when trying to defend her alternative motion, Cr Rasic claimed she only proposed one amendment! An utter falsehood.

    Ultimately, Cr Rasic’s amendment was passed with support from the Labor led Councillors. However, thankfully a motion calling for Cr Kerr’s motion to be deferred was passed, and it will be debated next month at Council.

    It should also be noted that the proposed motion suggested that attendance for Councillors at the monthly meetings was optional, so Cr Branton’s complaint that it was too onerous was quite ludicrous, particularly in light of her utter lack of representation for Grasslands Ward.

    Rasic’s suggestion that all questions be lodged a week in advance is actually contrary to what she claims she wants, for more representation for the poor, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged. How will they possibly gain from such a proposal, particularly if illiterate, or with English as their second language, or without the support and advocacy of carers?

    Graeme Blore
    Cairnlea Community

    Hobsons Bay City Council out of touch with residents

    Having sat through countless Council meetings and having seen everything one can imagine; I cannot help but be horrified by Hobsons Bay Council’s latest behaviours.

    • In May 2023 they threatened residents with eviction after failing to enforce their own planning scheme for 20 years plus
    • Several Councillors met onsite to show concern – this resulted in NOTHING
    • The residents have attempted to plead with Council and Councillors several times – Councillors continue to ignore them
    • The residents lodged a petition and have over 20,000 supporters
    • Council has dug in and refused to negotiate
    • Council now claims it has legal issues that now prevent discussion
    • Council has now said it will form an advisory group (5 months too late)

    We are in a housing crisis; Hobsons Bay Councillors have repeatedly made public statements that housing is a priority. Clearly these are empty words.

    Sadly, the majority of this Councillor group are failing the community on every level. They have:

    • Shut down meetings without any credible threats
    • Made items confidential last minute – denying the public the right to democracy
    • Wasted ratepayers’ money on very expensive security, floodlights and barriers.
    • Made attending Councils meetings almost impossible
    • Enabled the CEO to essentially control everything

    Now they put out a media release that is so out of touch with the community, one wonders who they are taking advice from?

    The community deserves democratic representation, not a group of Councillors and STAFF stuck in their own echo chamber.

    Dean Hurlston
    President
    Council Watch Inc.

    You can read Council’s media release relating to Techno Park Drive via this link.
    https://www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/News-Media/2023/October/Local-group-to-support-Techno-Park-residents-to-find-housing

    Save the Newport Lakes Native Nursery!

    We are extremely disheartened to hear the news of the possible closure of the Newport Lakes Native Nursery due to significant rent increases foreshadowed by the Hobsons Bay City Council.

    This nursery not only provides a valuable resource by providing indigenous plants for the local community but also provides indigenous plants to local councils including Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Brimbank, Moonee Valley and Wyndham for use in public parklands.

    If this nursery was to close, not only would we lose a local small business but also a significant asset to the community. Hobsons Bay City Council would also incur greatly increased costs for sourcing native plants.

    This nursery has helped beautify our neighbourhoods and encouraged people to include plants in their gardens attracting native birds, insects and animals. We call on the Hobsons Bay City Council to reconsider the proposed lease agreement for this nursery so we do not lose this amazing community asset. 

    Neil Zimmerman
    President
    Friends of Newport Lakes Committee

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