Expanding Melbourne

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, has called for action to stop Melbourne’s sprawl.

Source: Ellen Whinnett, Sunday Herald Sun

Doyle as usual is good on making statements but has failed to follow up in detail any plan or proposal to implement any change.

Instead of implementing piece meal ad-hock planning made under political pressure the State Government needs to review the Cities boundaries and reverse some of the changes imposed on Melbourne by the Kennett Government.

Melbourne City’s boundaries need to be expanded to take in the State seats of Albert Park, Melbourne and Richmond.

It is only with a Greater Melbourne can the State Government begin to tackle the real issues of environment and planning.

In 2007 in the lead up to the Federal election the State Government bowed to local pressure groups and reinstated Kensington as part of the City but it failed to undertake a comprehensive review of the city’s external boundaries. It left Carlton divided and failed to look beyond the cities current boundaries that were established following the Kennett Government;s ill-considered municipal 1992 Municipal review .

The former City of Prahran has much more in common with Melbourne then it does with Chadstone. Given half the chance Prahran and South Yarra would opt to join Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne can not continue to operate in a vacuum. A greater Melbourne covering the inner city region is the best way forward. Common sense and good planning dictate action by the State Government.

Minister Compromised into no action..

Local Government Minister, Dick Wynn, previously advocated a Greater City of Melbourne BUT he is now afraid to implement any change or undertake a review for fear of rocking the boat or upsetting the Central Business district who like things the way they are. Proper planning and good governance has gone astray and play a secondary role to good governance.

The State Governments; preferred option opting is to do nothing, close their eyes and look the other way, a policy of remain a small target in 2010. After all 2010 is an election year.

Any candidate for the state seat of Prahran, Labor Liberal or independent, would be well advised to canvass the electorate as this could be a deciding factor in who represents Prahran.

Expanding Melbourne

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, has called for action to stop Melbourne’s sprawl.

Source: Ellen Whinnett, Sunday Herald Sun

Doyle as usual is good on making statements but has failed to follow up in detail any plan or proposal to implement any change.

Instead of implementing piece meal ad-hock planning made under political pressure the State Government needs to review the Cities boundaries and reverse some of the changes imposed on Melbourne by the Kennett Government.

Melbourne City’s boundaries need to be expanded to take in the State seats of Albert Park, Melbourne and Richmond.

It is only with a Greater Melbourne can the State Government begin to tackle the real issues of environment and planning.

In 2007 in the lead up to the Federal election the State Government bowed to local pressure groups and reinstated Kensington as part of the City but it failed to undertake a comprehensive review of the city’s external boundaries. It left Carlton divided and failed to look beyond the cities current boundaries that were established following the Kennett Government;s ill-considered municipal 1992 Municipal review .

The former City of Prahran has much more in common with Melbourne then it does with Chadstone. Given half the chance Prahran and South Yarra would opt to join Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne can not continue to operate in a vacuum. A greater Melbourne covering the inner city region is the best way forward. Common sense and good planning dictate action by the State Government.

Minister Compromised into no action..

Local Government Minister, Dick Wynn, previously advocated a Greater City of Melbourne BUT he is now afraid to implement any change or undertake a review for fear of rocking the boat or upsetting the Central Business district who like things the way they are. Proper planning and good governance has gone astray and play a secondary role to good governance.

The State Governments; preferred option opting is to do nothing, close their eyes and look the other way, a policy of remain a small target in 2010. After all 2010 is an election year.

Any candidate for the state seat of Prahran, Labor Liberal or independent, would be well advised to canvass the electorate as this could be a deciding factor in who represents Prahran.

Expanding Melbourne

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, has called for action to stop Melbourne’s sprawl.

Source: Ellen Whinnett, Sunday Herald Sun

Doyle as usual is good on making statements but has failed to follow up in detail any plan or proposal to implement any change.

Instead of implementing piece meal ad-hock planning made under political pressure the State Government needs to review the Cities boundaries and reverse some of the changes imposed on Melbourne by the Kennett Government.

Melbourne City’s boundaries need to be expanded to take in the State seats of Albert Park, Melbourne and Richmond.

It is only with a Greater Melbourne can the State Government begin to tackle the real issues of environment and planning.

In 2007 in the lead up to the Federal election the State Government bowed to local pressure groups and reinstated Kensington as part of the City but it failed to undertake a comprehensive review of the city’s external boundaries. It left Carlton divided and failed to look beyond the cities current boundaries that were established following the Kennett Government;s ill-considered municipal 1992 Municipal review .

The former City of Prahran has much more in common with Melbourne then it does with Chadstone. Given half the chance Prahran and South Yarra would opt to join Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne can not continue to operate in a vacuum. A greater Melbourne covering the inner city region is the best way forward. Common sense and good planning dictate action by the State Government.

Minister Compromised into no action..

Local Government Minister, Dick Wynn, previously advocated a Greater City of Melbourne BUT he is now afraid to implement any change or undertake a review for fear of rocking the boat or upsetting the Central Business district who like things the way they are. Proper planning and good governance has gone astray and play a secondary role to good governance.

The State Governments; preferred option opting is to do nothing, close their eyes and look the other way, a policy of remain a small target in 2010. After all 2010 is an election year.

Any candidate for the state seat of Prahran, Labor Liberal or independent, would be well advised to canvass the electorate as this could be a deciding factor in who represents Prahran.

Why John So is your bro The perils of a direct election

The Age has published an article proposing the question “Why is John So my Bro“?

IN it the writer makes some connection to London’s new Lord Mayor and then goes on to expose some of the myths and weakness of Johns So’s tenure.

This pop star image and brunt of a joke that John so well responds to is a by product of the Direct election system. A system that sees a populist politicians with no substance elected as Mayor of our capital city.

The question needs to be asked who supported the direct election model. The changes were brought in by Bob Cameron, the minister of Local government back in 2000. Bob Cameron did not last long as minister and was soon replaced by Candy Broad, a lack l;aster Minister. The review undertaken in 2000- was held in secret, submissions, unlike Municipal reviews undertaken today, where never published and the public had no opportunity to scrutinies or respond to the proposal for direct elections. Instead of being independent from the municipal process the review was made by the Department/Ministers office.

Last Year a number of Councillors recommend that the State Government City of Melbourne initiate a review of Melbourne representative model and that the City of Melbourne should be subjected to the same review process as all other Municipal Council in Victoria. Under the Local Government Act every municipality (except the City of Melbourne) is required to undertake a representation review every technical term of office. If these requirements applied to the City of Melbourne then a review should have been undertaken last year.

The proposal for a review was put forward and voted down by John So and his team 5-4 as John took the do nothing approach. The City Councillors whop initiate the idea of the review did nothing to further the issue and the State Government failed to take up the initiative.

Some Councillors are now trying to make a bit of noise about the need for a review before the next Municipal election due in November, but unless there is the political will there is a snow flake chance in hell that any meaningful review will take place.

Dick Wynne, former Council elected Lord Mayor and now Minister for Local Government has shied away from reviewing the monster that his predecessors created and allowed to exists. Dick more then any other Minister knows the short comings of the direct election model.

The So genie is out of its bottle and it may be hard if not impossible to put it back. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and more importantly the person elected Mayor is not held accountable as he/she is not elected and as such not accountable to the Council itself. Under the Council appointed system the City Councillors provided a day to day accountability. Under the direct election system the only accountability comes from the media and once every four years when the public focuses its attention on the would be star Lord Mayor and votes for who is the most likable.

The fact that the City finances are in worst shape then ever and that the design me a job city continues to milk the ratepayers for every cent and dollar possible has little to no bearing on the voters choice. many who live outside the city itself, the overseas property investor.

Melbourne Council most certainly needs review and the direct election model should cancelled. Council must be given more power and say to hold the Lord Mayor accountable.

In the end the failure of the City Council is a failure of the State Government to act.

One of the problems that inhibit the City Council is the restriction that the Load Mayor is also the Chairman of the Council, an oversight and left over from the days of a Council appointed Mayor.

The fact that John So has little skill and more often then not does not chair Council meetings is of concern.

If Dick Wynne and the State Governments are unwilling to subject the City of Melbourne to a proper and comprohensive open public review then the lest they should do is to separate the position of Lord Mayor and Chairman so that the Chairman can be appointed from and by the City Council. Such a move would provide the necessary day to day checks and balance required to restore good governance and financial management to the City.

Why John So is your bro The perils of a direct election

The Age has published an article proposing the question “Why is John So my Bro“?

IN it the writer makes some connection to London’s new Lord Mayor and then goes on to expose some of the myths and weakness of Johns So’s tenure.

This pop star image and brunt of a joke that John so well responds to is a by product of the Direct election system. A system that sees a populist politicians with no substance elected as Mayor of our capital city.

The question needs to be asked who supported the direct election model. The changes were brought in by Bob Cameron, the minister of Local government back in 2000. Bob Cameron did not last long as minister and was soon replaced by Candy Broad, a lack l;aster Minister. The review undertaken in 2000- was held in secret, submissions, unlike Municipal reviews undertaken today, where never published and the public had no opportunity to scrutinies or respond to the proposal for direct elections. Instead of being independent from the municipal process the review was made by the Department/Ministers office.

Last Year a number of Councillors recommend that the State Government City of Melbourne initiate a review of Melbourne representative model and that the City of Melbourne should be subjected to the same review process as all other Municipal Council in Victoria. Under the Local Government Act every municipality (except the City of Melbourne) is required to undertake a representation review every technical term of office. If these requirements applied to the City of Melbourne then a review should have been undertaken last year.

The proposal for a review was put forward and voted down by John So and his team 5-4 as John took the do nothing approach. The City Councillors whop initiate the idea of the review did nothing to further the issue and the State Government failed to take up the initiative.

Some Councillors are now trying to make a bit of noise about the need for a review before the next Municipal election due in November, but unless there is the political will there is a snow flake chance in hell that any meaningful review will take place.

Dick Wynne, former Council elected Lord Mayor and now Minister for Local Government has shied away from reviewing the monster that his predecessors created and allowed to exists. Dick more then any other Minister knows the short comings of the direct election model.

The So genie is out of its bottle and it may be hard if not impossible to put it back. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and more importantly the person elected Mayor is not held accountable as he/she is not elected and as such not accountable to the Council itself. Under the Council appointed system the City Councillors provided a day to day accountability. Under the direct election system the only accountability comes from the media and once every four years when the public focuses its attention on the would be star Lord Mayor and votes for who is the most likable.

The fact that the City finances are in worst shape then ever and that the design me a job city continues to milk the ratepayers for every cent and dollar possible has little to no bearing on the voters choice. many who live outside the city itself, the overseas property investor.

Melbourne Council most certainly needs review and the direct election model should cancelled. Council must be given more power and say to hold the Lord Mayor accountable.

In the end the failure of the City Council is a failure of the State Government to act.

One of the problems that inhibit the City Council is the restriction that the Load Mayor is also the Chairman of the Council, an oversight and left over from the days of a Council appointed Mayor.

The fact that John So has little skill and more often then not does not chair Council meetings is of concern.

If Dick Wynne and the State Governments are unwilling to subject the City of Melbourne to a proper and comprohensive open public review then the lest they should do is to separate the position of Lord Mayor and Chairman so that the Chairman can be appointed from and by the City Council. Such a move would provide the necessary day to day checks and balance required to restore good governance and financial management to the City.

Why John So is your bro The perils of a direct election

The Age has published an article proposing the question “Why is John So my Bro“?

IN it the writer makes some connection to London’s new Lord Mayor and then goes on to expose some of the myths and weakness of Johns So’s tenure.

This pop star image and brunt of a joke that John so well responds to is a by product of the Direct election system. A system that sees a populist politicians with no substance elected as Mayor of our capital city.

The question needs to be asked who supported the direct election model. The changes were brought in by Bob Cameron, the minister of Local government back in 2000. Bob Cameron did not last long as minister and was soon replaced by Candy Broad, a lack l;aster Minister. The review undertaken in 2000- was held in secret, submissions, unlike Municipal reviews undertaken today, where never published and the public had no opportunity to scrutinies or respond to the proposal for direct elections. Instead of being independent from the municipal process the review was made by the Department/Ministers office.

Last Year a number of Councillors recommend that the State Government City of Melbourne initiate a review of Melbourne representative model and that the City of Melbourne should be subjected to the same review process as all other Municipal Council in Victoria. Under the Local Government Act every municipality (except the City of Melbourne) is required to undertake a representation review every technical term of office. If these requirements applied to the City of Melbourne then a review should have been undertaken last year.

The proposal for a review was put forward and voted down by John So and his team 5-4 as John took the do nothing approach. The City Councillors whop initiate the idea of the review did nothing to further the issue and the State Government failed to take up the initiative.

Some Councillors are now trying to make a bit of noise about the need for a review before the next Municipal election due in November, but unless there is the political will there is a snow flake chance in hell that any meaningful review will take place.

Dick Wynne, former Council elected Lord Mayor and now Minister for Local Government has shied away from reviewing the monster that his predecessors created and allowed to exists. Dick more then any other Minister knows the short comings of the direct election model.

The So genie is out of its bottle and it may be hard if not impossible to put it back. The direct election model has failed to deliver good governance and more importantly the person elected Mayor is not held accountable as he/she is not elected and as such not accountable to the Council itself. Under the Council appointed system the City Councillors provided a day to day accountability. Under the direct election system the only accountability comes from the media and once every four years when the public focuses its attention on the would be star Lord Mayor and votes for who is the most likable.

The fact that the City finances are in worst shape then ever and that the design me a job city continues to milk the ratepayers for every cent and dollar possible has little to no bearing on the voters choice. many who live outside the city itself, the overseas property investor.

Melbourne Council most certainly needs review and the direct election model should cancelled. Council must be given more power and say to hold the Lord Mayor accountable.

In the end the failure of the City Council is a failure of the State Government to act.

One of the problems that inhibit the City Council is the restriction that the Load Mayor is also the Chairman of the Council, an oversight and left over from the days of a Council appointed Mayor.

The fact that John So has little skill and more often then not does not chair Council meetings is of concern.

If Dick Wynne and the State Governments are unwilling to subject the City of Melbourne to a proper and comprohensive open public review then the lest they should do is to separate the position of Lord Mayor and Chairman so that the Chairman can be appointed from and by the City Council. Such a move would provide the necessary day to day checks and balance required to restore good governance and financial management to the City.

City Council in denial John So avoids public review

A case of a plague on both your houses.

The Herald Sun has reported on the growing unrest amongst Melbourne’s residents which comes as no surprise. BUT…

There is more to say about this issue and so little time. The fact is the City Council has only itself to blame and could have and should have done much more.

There was nothing stopping the City Councillors from calling on the State Government to subject the Council to a proper review. We have on many occasions raised this issue. It is not necessary to have John So blessing and the State Government should have and could have acted independently from the Council.

The fact that the City Council is not subjected to a regular review is an indictment against teh State Governments and a blot on Richard Wynne’s leadership. Richard more the anyone knows Melbourne ad the issues involved. Instead of addressing these issues the State government opted for a head in the sand turn a blind eye approach.

The Councillors suppoorting the review should also share some of the blame. They had three years in which to raise these issues, they choose not to, leaving it to teh last minute and allowing John So to scuttle ay hope for a meaningful review.

The Council could have also opened up0 the committee structure and provided more local input and expertise. The Council has failed in all respects to deliver much needed reform, they must share responsibility equally with John So who continues to pander to the popular at the expense of responsible good governance.


Residents put city council on notice

Ian Royall, Herald Sun, March 28, 2008 12:00am

AN alliance of 10 city residents’ groups has fired the first salvo in what it calls the battle for democracy in Melbourne.

The Coalition of Residents Associations has described the voting system for the Melbourne City Council as dysfunctional and undemocratic.

The group wants Local Government Minister Richard Wynne, who was mayor between 1990 and 1991, to intervene.

The push comes after the latest move for an electoral review was defeated by Lord Mayor John So Melbourne Living team at council on Tuesday.

The alliance wants:

POSTAL voting scrapped in favour of attendance voting;

REINTRODUCTION of the wards system;

REVIEW of the popular vote to elect the mayor. It claims the current method favours the richest candidate;

REVIEW of provisions allowing company directors and landlords to vote;

ALL candidates to have been on the electoral roll for at least two years before the election.

Former lord mayor Kevin Chamberlin said Melbourne was exempt from periodic reviews that applied to all other councils in Victoria.

“Melbourne could go for 50 years without a review under the current legislation.”

Cr Fiona Snedden said the city needed a return to one vote one value principles.

She called on the lord mayor to act.

Cr So said he had had fruitful talks with the residents’ groups.

“But six months before the election is not the appropriate time for a review,” Cr So said.

Melbourne is growing by more than 9000 people because of the boundary changes that rope Docklands, North Melbourne and Kensington into the municipality.

The lord mayor said he had worked with the government over the boundary changes and was confident the current system was effective.

Mr Wynne’s spokesman, Dan Ward, said: “The Government does not intend to change the council structure or the voting processes.”

CORA member Jackie Watts said residents hoped transparency could be restored at Town Hall.

Mr Chamberlin said the case for a review was overwhelming.

“There is a lack of transparency and a lack of democracy,” he said.

City Council in denial John So avoids public review

A case of a plague on both your houses.

The Herald Sun has reported on the growing unrest amongst Melbourne’s residents which comes as no surprise. BUT…

There is more to say about this issue and so little time. The fact is the City Council has only itself to blame and could have and should have done much more.

There was nothing stopping the City Councillors from calling on the State Government to subject the Council to a proper review. We have on many occasions raised this issue. It is not necessary to have John So blessing and the State Government should have and could have acted independently from the Council.

The fact that the City Council is not subjected to a regular review is an indictment against teh State Governments and a blot on Richard Wynne’s leadership. Richard more the anyone knows Melbourne ad the issues involved. Instead of addressing these issues the State government opted for a head in the sand turn a blind eye approach.

The Councillors suppoorting the review should also share some of the blame. They had three years in which to raise these issues, they choose not to, leaving it to teh last minute and allowing John So to scuttle ay hope for a meaningful review.

The Council could have also opened up0 the committee structure and provided more local input and expertise. The Council has failed in all respects to deliver much needed reform, they must share responsibility equally with John So who continues to pander to the popular at the expense of responsible good governance.


Residents put city council on notice

Ian Royall, Herald Sun, March 28, 2008 12:00am

AN alliance of 10 city residents’ groups has fired the first salvo in what it calls the battle for democracy in Melbourne.

The Coalition of Residents Associations has described the voting system for the Melbourne City Council as dysfunctional and undemocratic.

The group wants Local Government Minister Richard Wynne, who was mayor between 1990 and 1991, to intervene.

The push comes after the latest move for an electoral review was defeated by Lord Mayor John So Melbourne Living team at council on Tuesday.

The alliance wants:

POSTAL voting scrapped in favour of attendance voting;

REINTRODUCTION of the wards system;

REVIEW of the popular vote to elect the mayor. It claims the current method favours the richest candidate;

REVIEW of provisions allowing company directors and landlords to vote;

ALL candidates to have been on the electoral roll for at least two years before the election.

Former lord mayor Kevin Chamberlin said Melbourne was exempt from periodic reviews that applied to all other councils in Victoria.

“Melbourne could go for 50 years without a review under the current legislation.”

Cr Fiona Snedden said the city needed a return to one vote one value principles.

She called on the lord mayor to act.

Cr So said he had had fruitful talks with the residents’ groups.

“But six months before the election is not the appropriate time for a review,” Cr So said.

Melbourne is growing by more than 9000 people because of the boundary changes that rope Docklands, North Melbourne and Kensington into the municipality.

The lord mayor said he had worked with the government over the boundary changes and was confident the current system was effective.

Mr Wynne’s spokesman, Dan Ward, said: “The Government does not intend to change the council structure or the voting processes.”

CORA member Jackie Watts said residents hoped transparency could be restored at Town Hall.

Mr Chamberlin said the case for a review was overwhelming.

“There is a lack of transparency and a lack of democracy,” he said.

City Council in denial John So avoids public review

A case of a plague on both your houses.

The Herald Sun has reported on the growing unrest amongst Melbourne’s residents which comes as no surprise. BUT…

There is more to say about this issue and so little time. The fact is the City Council has only itself to blame and could have and should have done much more.

There was nothing stopping the City Councillors from calling on the State Government to subject the Council to a proper review. We have on many occasions raised this issue. It is not necessary to have John So blessing and the State Government should have and could have acted independently from the Council.

The fact that the City Council is not subjected to a regular review is an indictment against teh State Governments and a blot on Richard Wynne’s leadership. Richard more the anyone knows Melbourne ad the issues involved. Instead of addressing these issues the State government opted for a head in the sand turn a blind eye approach.

The Councillors suppoorting the review should also share some of the blame. They had three years in which to raise these issues, they choose not to, leaving it to teh last minute and allowing John So to scuttle ay hope for a meaningful review.

The Council could have also opened up0 the committee structure and provided more local input and expertise. The Council has failed in all respects to deliver much needed reform, they must share responsibility equally with John So who continues to pander to the popular at the expense of responsible good governance.


Residents put city council on notice

Ian Royall, Herald Sun, March 28, 2008 12:00am

AN alliance of 10 city residents’ groups has fired the first salvo in what it calls the battle for democracy in Melbourne.

The Coalition of Residents Associations has described the voting system for the Melbourne City Council as dysfunctional and undemocratic.

The group wants Local Government Minister Richard Wynne, who was mayor between 1990 and 1991, to intervene.

The push comes after the latest move for an electoral review was defeated by Lord Mayor John So Melbourne Living team at council on Tuesday.

The alliance wants:

POSTAL voting scrapped in favour of attendance voting;

REINTRODUCTION of the wards system;

REVIEW of the popular vote to elect the mayor. It claims the current method favours the richest candidate;

REVIEW of provisions allowing company directors and landlords to vote;

ALL candidates to have been on the electoral roll for at least two years before the election.

Former lord mayor Kevin Chamberlin said Melbourne was exempt from periodic reviews that applied to all other councils in Victoria.

“Melbourne could go for 50 years without a review under the current legislation.”

Cr Fiona Snedden said the city needed a return to one vote one value principles.

She called on the lord mayor to act.

Cr So said he had had fruitful talks with the residents’ groups.

“But six months before the election is not the appropriate time for a review,” Cr So said.

Melbourne is growing by more than 9000 people because of the boundary changes that rope Docklands, North Melbourne and Kensington into the municipality.

The lord mayor said he had worked with the government over the boundary changes and was confident the current system was effective.

Mr Wynne’s spokesman, Dan Ward, said: “The Government does not intend to change the council structure or the voting processes.”

CORA member Jackie Watts said residents hoped transparency could be restored at Town Hall.

Mr Chamberlin said the case for a review was overwhelming.

“There is a lack of transparency and a lack of democracy,” he said.

The Secret Reviewfor Council’s Eyes only

Melbourne City Council, true to form, held its own internal review of its representative model, conveniently forgetting that it is the State Government that really makes all the decisions and that the only real issue under Council’s control is whether or not to have postal or attendance voting.

The City Council called for submission and looked like it was doing the right thing, but was it. The City of Melbourne did not published copies of the submissions it had received, in fact most of the discussion was once again held behind closed doors at the all illegal Councillor briefing sessions. The meeting they have when they are not having a meeting.

In reading the minutes of last nights Finance and Governance Committee meetings the City Committee has recommended that the City of Melbourne formally request the State Government to include the City of Melbourne in its Local Government representation review and that the review also consider issues related to external boundaries.

The motion was passed four to three with John So’s (Do nothing) team voting against the motion.

It would appear that John does not want a representation review (You never know what it might come up with) The best way to silence your critics is to not give them a voice or opportunity to be heard.

The State Government is the proper authority to undertake the review, independent form the Council itself. The Councill’s review was nothing but a joke and the administration’s failure to published the submissions it received is another example of the Council trying to keep issues under wraps. The City has wasted time and money in the process.

The referral motion to the State Government will now go to the full City Council meeting scheduled in two weeks time. Odds are that John So will veto the motion and deny ratepayers and residents the review that the State Government should have had in the first place.

It is understood that the responsible Minister, Dick Wynn, would like to see a review but will only do so on the initiative and invitation of the City Council.

Will So do the right thing and support the review motion so that a review can be undertaken before next years Municipal elections or will John So once again avoid the tough questions and deny Melbourne the right of an independent public review, representaion and boundaries included? And more imprortant why is teh council limiting teh review of External boundaroes to Kensigton? Does not carlton also deserve the right to be re-united as does South Yarra and other neighbouring inner-metropolitan neighbourhoods.

Below copy of Motion passed by the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/opm/bc/CTEE/meetings/FGC_minutes_200709110630.pdf

The motion was put and carried with the Chair Cr Shanahan and Councillors Brindley, Clarke and Seddon voting
in favour of the motion and the Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer and Councillors Jeter and Wilson voting against
the motion.
The motion in its entirety reads:
1. That the Finance and Governance Committee recommend Council:
1.1. determine to undertake attendance voting for the 2008 Council Elections consistent
with state and commonwealth government practices (postal voting entitlements);
1.2. approach the State Government in relation to:
1.2.1. its published timetable for independent reviews of electoral structures of
Councils in Victoria currently excludes the City of Melbourne;
1.2.2. since the implementation of the City of Melbourne Act 2001, no review of the
structure of Council has been undertaken to ensure it meets the needs and
expectations of constituents of a dynamic and changing capital city;
1.2.3. the outcome community consultative processes instigated by Council on the
issues of electoral processes and local area representation;
1.3. write to the Minister for Local Government, in light of 1.2.1 to 1.2.3 above, to:
1.3.1. request that the City of Melbourne be included in the State Government’s
current review of all municipalities and provide advice in relation to
timeframe;
1.3.2. request that the State Government conduct an external review in line with the
Local Government Act 1989 and publicly declare results by March 2008;
1.3.3. request that the reassessment also include a review of the representative
model, inclusion of Docklands and external boundaries; and
1.3.4. inform on community feedback of City of Melbourne consultative processes.

The Secret Reviewfor Council’s Eyes only

Melbourne City Council, true to form, held its own internal review of its representative model, conveniently forgetting that it is the State Government that really makes all the decisions and that the only real issue under Council’s control is whether or not to have postal or attendance voting.

The City Council called for submission and looked like it was doing the right thing, but was it. The City of Melbourne did not published copies of the submissions it had received, in fact most of the discussion was once again held behind closed doors at the all illegal Councillor briefing sessions. The meeting they have when they are not having a meeting.

In reading the minutes of last nights Finance and Governance Committee meetings the City Committee has recommended that the City of Melbourne formally request the State Government to include the City of Melbourne in its Local Government representation review and that the review also consider issues related to external boundaries.

The motion was passed four to three with John So’s (Do nothing) team voting against the motion.

It would appear that John does not want a representation review (You never know what it might come up with) The best way to silence your critics is to not give them a voice or opportunity to be heard.

The State Government is the proper authority to undertake the review, independent form the Council itself. The Councill’s review was nothing but a joke and the administration’s failure to published the submissions it received is another example of the Council trying to keep issues under wraps. The City has wasted time and money in the process.

The referral motion to the State Government will now go to the full City Council meeting scheduled in two weeks time. Odds are that John So will veto the motion and deny ratepayers and residents the review that the State Government should have had in the first place.

It is understood that the responsible Minister, Dick Wynn, would like to see a review but will only do so on the initiative and invitation of the City Council.

Will So do the right thing and support the review motion so that a review can be undertaken before next years Municipal elections or will John So once again avoid the tough questions and deny Melbourne the right of an independent public review, representaion and boundaries included? And more imprortant why is teh council limiting teh review of External boundaroes to Kensigton? Does not carlton also deserve the right to be re-united as does South Yarra and other neighbouring inner-metropolitan neighbourhoods.

Below copy of Motion passed by the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/opm/bc/CTEE/meetings/FGC_minutes_200709110630.pdf

The motion was put and carried with the Chair Cr Shanahan and Councillors Brindley, Clarke and Seddon voting
in favour of the motion and the Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer and Councillors Jeter and Wilson voting against
the motion.
The motion in its entirety reads:
1. That the Finance and Governance Committee recommend Council:
1.1. determine to undertake attendance voting for the 2008 Council Elections consistent
with state and commonwealth government practices (postal voting entitlements);
1.2. approach the State Government in relation to:
1.2.1. its published timetable for independent reviews of electoral structures of
Councils in Victoria currently excludes the City of Melbourne;
1.2.2. since the implementation of the City of Melbourne Act 2001, no review of the
structure of Council has been undertaken to ensure it meets the needs and
expectations of constituents of a dynamic and changing capital city;
1.2.3. the outcome community consultative processes instigated by Council on the
issues of electoral processes and local area representation;
1.3. write to the Minister for Local Government, in light of 1.2.1 to 1.2.3 above, to:
1.3.1. request that the City of Melbourne be included in the State Government’s
current review of all municipalities and provide advice in relation to
timeframe;
1.3.2. request that the State Government conduct an external review in line with the
Local Government Act 1989 and publicly declare results by March 2008;
1.3.3. request that the reassessment also include a review of the representative
model, inclusion of Docklands and external boundaries; and
1.3.4. inform on community feedback of City of Melbourne consultative processes.

The Secret Reviewfor Council’s Eyes only

Melbourne City Council, true to form, held its own internal review of its representative model, conveniently forgetting that it is the State Government that really makes all the decisions and that the only real issue under Council’s control is whether or not to have postal or attendance voting.

The City Council called for submission and looked like it was doing the right thing, but was it. The City of Melbourne did not published copies of the submissions it had received, in fact most of the discussion was once again held behind closed doors at the all illegal Councillor briefing sessions. The meeting they have when they are not having a meeting.

In reading the minutes of last nights Finance and Governance Committee meetings the City Committee has recommended that the City of Melbourne formally request the State Government to include the City of Melbourne in its Local Government representation review and that the review also consider issues related to external boundaries.

The motion was passed four to three with John So’s (Do nothing) team voting against the motion.

It would appear that John does not want a representation review (You never know what it might come up with) The best way to silence your critics is to not give them a voice or opportunity to be heard.

The State Government is the proper authority to undertake the review, independent form the Council itself. The Councill’s review was nothing but a joke and the administration’s failure to published the submissions it received is another example of the Council trying to keep issues under wraps. The City has wasted time and money in the process.

The referral motion to the State Government will now go to the full City Council meeting scheduled in two weeks time. Odds are that John So will veto the motion and deny ratepayers and residents the review that the State Government should have had in the first place.

It is understood that the responsible Minister, Dick Wynn, would like to see a review but will only do so on the initiative and invitation of the City Council.

Will So do the right thing and support the review motion so that a review can be undertaken before next years Municipal elections or will John So once again avoid the tough questions and deny Melbourne the right of an independent public review, representaion and boundaries included? And more imprortant why is teh council limiting teh review of External boundaroes to Kensigton? Does not carlton also deserve the right to be re-united as does South Yarra and other neighbouring inner-metropolitan neighbourhoods.

Below copy of Motion passed by the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/opm/bc/CTEE/meetings/FGC_minutes_200709110630.pdf

The motion was put and carried with the Chair Cr Shanahan and Councillors Brindley, Clarke and Seddon voting
in favour of the motion and the Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer and Councillors Jeter and Wilson voting against
the motion.
The motion in its entirety reads:
1. That the Finance and Governance Committee recommend Council:
1.1. determine to undertake attendance voting for the 2008 Council Elections consistent
with state and commonwealth government practices (postal voting entitlements);
1.2. approach the State Government in relation to:
1.2.1. its published timetable for independent reviews of electoral structures of
Councils in Victoria currently excludes the City of Melbourne;
1.2.2. since the implementation of the City of Melbourne Act 2001, no review of the
structure of Council has been undertaken to ensure it meets the needs and
expectations of constituents of a dynamic and changing capital city;
1.2.3. the outcome community consultative processes instigated by Council on the
issues of electoral processes and local area representation;
1.3. write to the Minister for Local Government, in light of 1.2.1 to 1.2.3 above, to:
1.3.1. request that the City of Melbourne be included in the State Government’s
current review of all municipalities and provide advice in relation to
timeframe;
1.3.2. request that the State Government conduct an external review in line with the
Local Government Act 1989 and publicly declare results by March 2008;
1.3.3. request that the reassessment also include a review of the representative
model, inclusion of Docklands and external boundaries; and
1.3.4. inform on community feedback of City of Melbourne consultative processes.

Million Dollar Entourage John So’s cost of being popular

The Herald Sun has confirmed what we have been saying for the last six years.

John So has no idea of fiscal policies or how to govern. His Deputy Lord Mayor and political advisor is renowned for his financial activities and lack of transparency.

John So has embarked on a care-free spend fest.

So is prepared to tax motorist and Melbourne’s business community with immunity.

The City Council is more interested in lurks and perks then holding So to account for his expenditure.

Only last month a Ernst and Young review, in which John So and the Council administration tried to keep secret, exposed the fact that the Council has been in the red for the last two years.

The report was condemning of the Council administration, alleging overt deception in the way in which the Council’s finance and governance has been administered.

Designer-a-job is riff within the city council.

The Council had become a private club where senior officers designed themselves a job and their task was empire building. If there was something to their disliking they would employ someone to do the task that they should have done themselves.

Last year the Council also was exposed following a raid by the State Ombudsman. Alison Lyons, Council’s legal advisor at the time, tried to thwart the Ombudsman from looking into the affairs of the Council. The Ombudsman found that the Council had acted corruptly and that the Council had extorted millions of dollars of funds from motorist illegally.

John So suffered a limp wrist blow last month when the City Council moved a motion of no-confidence in the Lord Mayor. The motion was lost on the casting vote of John So himself.

Last week former Lord Mayor, City Councillor and Finance Committee Chairperson Kevin Chamberlain called on the State Government to sack the City Council .

What is clear is that the City of Melbourne must undergo a full review in line with other municipalities reviews. Why is Melbourne exempt?

The Member for Melbourne, Bronwyn Pike, had promised during last years State Election camiagn to undertake a review of Melbourne’s external boundaries. A promis that saved her seat in parliament.

It’s time for the State Government to act on the promises made and to initiate a public review so that any recommendations and findings can be implemented prior to the 2008 council elections.

The proposed review should also reconsider teh merits of the direct election model of te Lord Mayor with further consideration given to creating a expanded rater City for Melbourne.

The State Government’s “Do nothing – bury their head in the sand” approach can not continue. Dick Wynn, Minister for Local Government knows the issues well it is time he puts a plan for reform into action

Peter Mickelburough and Ian Royall
Herald Sun
July 13, 2007 12:00am

JOHN SO is the most expensive mayor Melbourne has had.

An Insight investigation has revealed it costs ratepayers up to $1 million a year to keep the mayoral office running.

Cr So, our first popularly elected Lord Mayor, is a cult figure to many Melburnians and last year became the first Australian named World Mayor.

——————————————————————————–

What do you think? Have your say below.
——————————————————————————–

But his office, like other city council departments, has bloated under his leadership.

His trappings of office include seven personal support staff: a full-time chauffeur, a media minder, an on-call speechwriter, an executive assistant, two part-time Pas and a chief of staff.

Cr So’s office and councillor expenses were off limits to a team from Ernst & Young called in to review council operations amid growing concerns they had become flabby and inefficient.

——————————————————————————–
John So: Power and passion

——————————————————————————–

The $300,000 review found the Town Hall management was top-heavy and disjointed and identified potential savings of at least $11.4 million.

Scores of staff are being axed across council departments to cut costs and balance the books.

But Cr So’s office has been spared the knife. He will retain all his staff, whose annual wages bill alone is estimated to nudge $700,000.

Add to this Cr So’s $120,000 annual allowance, expenses bill, and the cost of running his car and supplying his office.

“He certainly costs more than any lord mayor before him,” said one observer.

“If you include the many thousands spent on promotions that have a John So appearance clause built into them, it would easily top $1 million a year.”

The Lord Mayor yesterday defended the cost of his office and rebuffed his critics.

He said the resources of the mayoral office were for him and his deputy, Cr Gary Singer.

“I’m very conscious of the expenses, and the expenses have been reducing for a number of years,” he said.

“All I can is that we are very conscious of the resources that are available to us.”

Cr So also said he had called for the Ernst & Young report, saying that tough decisions had to be made as the previous review had been back in 1991.

The Insight investigation also revealed generous perks for the Lord Mayor’s chief of staff and close friend Kevin Louey, who is on a package of $140,000.

Cr So said the employment details were a management issue and he was not involved in drawing up Mr Luey’s contract.

“I believe he is the best person for the job,” Cr So said.

Insight can also reveal that councillors and executives were warned of long-term financial woe two years before the Ernst & Young efficiency report.

Cr So defended the council’s spending on marketing, promotions and sponsorships.

They were about stimulating business and bringing people in to the city, he said.

Just this week, councillors were asked to approve $720,000 in sports grants for city events linked to five major sporting events for the coming year. Instead, they signed off on $2.1 million for three years.

Every year until 2010, the council will hand out $100,000 for an international rugby match, $100,000 for the Formula One Grand Prix, $120,000 for the Australian Open tennis, $250,000 for AFL Grand Final week and $150,000 for the Spring Racing Carnival.

The funding was approved despite some earlier disquiet about the wisdom of the council giving cash to wealthy organisations such as the AFL and the Victorian Racing Club year after year.

Cr So said that everything he did was about delivering a balanced budget, stimulating business, and improving the quality of life in the municipality.

“It’s my job as Lord Mayor to represent the people of Melbourne,” he said.

Million Dollar Entourage John So’s cost of being popular

The Herald Sun has confirmed what we have been saying for the last six years.

John So has no idea of fiscal policies or how to govern. His Deputy Lord Mayor and political advisor is renowned for his financial activities and lack of transparency.

John So has embarked on a care-free spend fest.

So is prepared to tax motorist and Melbourne’s business community with immunity.

The City Council is more interested in lurks and perks then holding So to account for his expenditure.

Only last month a Ernst and Young review, in which John So and the Council administration tried to keep secret, exposed the fact that the Council has been in the red for the last two years.

The report was condemning of the Council administration, alleging overt deception in the way in which the Council’s finance and governance has been administered.

Designer-a-job is riff within the city council.

The Council had become a private club where senior officers designed themselves a job and their task was empire building. If there was something to their disliking they would employ someone to do the task that they should have done themselves.

Last year the Council also was exposed following a raid by the State Ombudsman. Alison Lyons, Council’s legal advisor at the time, tried to thwart the Ombudsman from looking into the affairs of the Council. The Ombudsman found that the Council had acted corruptly and that the Council had extorted millions of dollars of funds from motorist illegally.

John So suffered a limp wrist blow last month when the City Council moved a motion of no-confidence in the Lord Mayor. The motion was lost on the casting vote of John So himself.

Last week former Lord Mayor, City Councillor and Finance Committee Chairperson Kevin Chamberlain called on the State Government to sack the City Council .

What is clear is that the City of Melbourne must undergo a full review in line with other municipalities reviews. Why is Melbourne exempt?

The Member for Melbourne, Bronwyn Pike, had promised during last years State Election camiagn to undertake a review of Melbourne’s external boundaries. A promis that saved her seat in parliament.

It’s time for the State Government to act on the promises made and to initiate a public review so that any recommendations and findings can be implemented prior to the 2008 council elections.

The proposed review should also reconsider teh merits of the direct election model of te Lord Mayor with further consideration given to creating a expanded rater City for Melbourne.

The State Government’s “Do nothing – bury their head in the sand” approach can not continue. Dick Wynn, Minister for Local Government knows the issues well it is time he puts a plan for reform into action

Peter Mickelburough and Ian Royall
Herald Sun
July 13, 2007 12:00am

JOHN SO is the most expensive mayor Melbourne has had.

An Insight investigation has revealed it costs ratepayers up to $1 million a year to keep the mayoral office running.

Cr So, our first popularly elected Lord Mayor, is a cult figure to many Melburnians and last year became the first Australian named World Mayor.

——————————————————————————–

What do you think? Have your say below.
——————————————————————————–

But his office, like other city council departments, has bloated under his leadership.

His trappings of office include seven personal support staff: a full-time chauffeur, a media minder, an on-call speechwriter, an executive assistant, two part-time Pas and a chief of staff.

Cr So’s office and councillor expenses were off limits to a team from Ernst & Young called in to review council operations amid growing concerns they had become flabby and inefficient.

——————————————————————————–
John So: Power and passion

——————————————————————————–

The $300,000 review found the Town Hall management was top-heavy and disjointed and identified potential savings of at least $11.4 million.

Scores of staff are being axed across council departments to cut costs and balance the books.

But Cr So’s office has been spared the knife. He will retain all his staff, whose annual wages bill alone is estimated to nudge $700,000.

Add to this Cr So’s $120,000 annual allowance, expenses bill, and the cost of running his car and supplying his office.

“He certainly costs more than any lord mayor before him,” said one observer.

“If you include the many thousands spent on promotions that have a John So appearance clause built into them, it would easily top $1 million a year.”

The Lord Mayor yesterday defended the cost of his office and rebuffed his critics.

He said the resources of the mayoral office were for him and his deputy, Cr Gary Singer.

“I’m very conscious of the expenses, and the expenses have been reducing for a number of years,” he said.

“All I can is that we are very conscious of the resources that are available to us.”

Cr So also said he had called for the Ernst & Young report, saying that tough decisions had to be made as the previous review had been back in 1991.

The Insight investigation also revealed generous perks for the Lord Mayor’s chief of staff and close friend Kevin Louey, who is on a package of $140,000.

Cr So said the employment details were a management issue and he was not involved in drawing up Mr Luey’s contract.

“I believe he is the best person for the job,” Cr So said.

Insight can also reveal that councillors and executives were warned of long-term financial woe two years before the Ernst & Young efficiency report.

Cr So defended the council’s spending on marketing, promotions and sponsorships.

They were about stimulating business and bringing people in to the city, he said.

Just this week, councillors were asked to approve $720,000 in sports grants for city events linked to five major sporting events for the coming year. Instead, they signed off on $2.1 million for three years.

Every year until 2010, the council will hand out $100,000 for an international rugby match, $100,000 for the Formula One Grand Prix, $120,000 for the Australian Open tennis, $250,000 for AFL Grand Final week and $150,000 for the Spring Racing Carnival.

The funding was approved despite some earlier disquiet about the wisdom of the council giving cash to wealthy organisations such as the AFL and the Victorian Racing Club year after year.

Cr So said that everything he did was about delivering a balanced budget, stimulating business, and improving the quality of life in the municipality.

“It’s my job as Lord Mayor to represent the people of Melbourne,” he said.

Million Dollar Entourage John So’s cost of being popular

The Herald Sun has confirmed what we have been saying for the last six years.

John So has no idea of fiscal policies or how to govern. His Deputy Lord Mayor and political advisor is renowned for his financial activities and lack of transparency.

John So has embarked on a care-free spend fest.

So is prepared to tax motorist and Melbourne’s business community with immunity.

The City Council is more interested in lurks and perks then holding So to account for his expenditure.

Only last month a Ernst and Young review, in which John So and the Council administration tried to keep secret, exposed the fact that the Council has been in the red for the last two years.

The report was condemning of the Council administration, alleging overt deception in the way in which the Council’s finance and governance has been administered.

Designer-a-job is riff within the city council.

The Council had become a private club where senior officers designed themselves a job and their task was empire building. If there was something to their disliking they would employ someone to do the task that they should have done themselves.

Last year the Council also was exposed following a raid by the State Ombudsman. Alison Lyons, Council’s legal advisor at the time, tried to thwart the Ombudsman from looking into the affairs of the Council. The Ombudsman found that the Council had acted corruptly and that the Council had extorted millions of dollars of funds from motorist illegally.

John So suffered a limp wrist blow last month when the City Council moved a motion of no-confidence in the Lord Mayor. The motion was lost on the casting vote of John So himself.

Last week former Lord Mayor, City Councillor and Finance Committee Chairperson Kevin Chamberlain called on the State Government to sack the City Council .

What is clear is that the City of Melbourne must undergo a full review in line with other municipalities reviews. Why is Melbourne exempt?

The Member for Melbourne, Bronwyn Pike, had promised during last years State Election camiagn to undertake a review of Melbourne’s external boundaries. A promis that saved her seat in parliament.

It’s time for the State Government to act on the promises made and to initiate a public review so that any recommendations and findings can be implemented prior to the 2008 council elections.

The proposed review should also reconsider teh merits of the direct election model of te Lord Mayor with further consideration given to creating a expanded rater City for Melbourne.

The State Government’s “Do nothing – bury their head in the sand” approach can not continue. Dick Wynn, Minister for Local Government knows the issues well it is time he puts a plan for reform into action

Peter Mickelburough and Ian Royall
Herald Sun
July 13, 2007 12:00am

JOHN SO is the most expensive mayor Melbourne has had.

An Insight investigation has revealed it costs ratepayers up to $1 million a year to keep the mayoral office running.

Cr So, our first popularly elected Lord Mayor, is a cult figure to many Melburnians and last year became the first Australian named World Mayor.

——————————————————————————–

What do you think? Have your say below.
——————————————————————————–

But his office, like other city council departments, has bloated under his leadership.

His trappings of office include seven personal support staff: a full-time chauffeur, a media minder, an on-call speechwriter, an executive assistant, two part-time Pas and a chief of staff.

Cr So’s office and councillor expenses were off limits to a team from Ernst & Young called in to review council operations amid growing concerns they had become flabby and inefficient.

——————————————————————————–
John So: Power and passion

——————————————————————————–

The $300,000 review found the Town Hall management was top-heavy and disjointed and identified potential savings of at least $11.4 million.

Scores of staff are being axed across council departments to cut costs and balance the books.

But Cr So’s office has been spared the knife. He will retain all his staff, whose annual wages bill alone is estimated to nudge $700,000.

Add to this Cr So’s $120,000 annual allowance, expenses bill, and the cost of running his car and supplying his office.

“He certainly costs more than any lord mayor before him,” said one observer.

“If you include the many thousands spent on promotions that have a John So appearance clause built into them, it would easily top $1 million a year.”

The Lord Mayor yesterday defended the cost of his office and rebuffed his critics.

He said the resources of the mayoral office were for him and his deputy, Cr Gary Singer.

“I’m very conscious of the expenses, and the expenses have been reducing for a number of years,” he said.

“All I can is that we are very conscious of the resources that are available to us.”

Cr So also said he had called for the Ernst & Young report, saying that tough decisions had to be made as the previous review had been back in 1991.

The Insight investigation also revealed generous perks for the Lord Mayor’s chief of staff and close friend Kevin Louey, who is on a package of $140,000.

Cr So said the employment details were a management issue and he was not involved in drawing up Mr Luey’s contract.

“I believe he is the best person for the job,” Cr So said.

Insight can also reveal that councillors and executives were warned of long-term financial woe two years before the Ernst & Young efficiency report.

Cr So defended the council’s spending on marketing, promotions and sponsorships.

They were about stimulating business and bringing people in to the city, he said.

Just this week, councillors were asked to approve $720,000 in sports grants for city events linked to five major sporting events for the coming year. Instead, they signed off on $2.1 million for three years.

Every year until 2010, the council will hand out $100,000 for an international rugby match, $100,000 for the Formula One Grand Prix, $120,000 for the Australian Open tennis, $250,000 for AFL Grand Final week and $150,000 for the Spring Racing Carnival.

The funding was approved despite some earlier disquiet about the wisdom of the council giving cash to wealthy organisations such as the AFL and the Victorian Racing Club year after year.

Cr So said that everything he did was about delivering a balanced budget, stimulating business, and improving the quality of life in the municipality.

“It’s my job as Lord Mayor to represent the people of Melbourne,” he said.