Melbourne Green’s vision of indecisiveness Cr Fraser Brindley offers broad support but is unsure as to the process

Melbourne City Councillor Fraser Brindley indicates his support of a Greater Melbourne City Council but questions the process.

Please.. In all civility.. You have been in office for two years and you do not know where you stand on this issue. The idea of a Greater Melbourne should appeal to the Greens and in fact is already a part of the Greens electoral platform. The benefits to the environment are considerable, Fraser Brindley has done nothing to date to further the issue and when Cr Clarke seeks to put the issue on the agenda the only response we get is “Broadly supportive, but I’m not sure he’s got the process exactly right

Every idea of reform has to start somewhere it is not going to come out of thin air. The proposal by Cr Clarke is just the beginning, an effort to get the ball rolling and people talking. The motion should be supported and then put in place a process to further that goal. Any attempt at delay or any deferment would be seen as avoiding the question, silencing the debate in order to try and remove it from the political agenda in the lead-up to next months State election.


Full support for the creation of a Greater Melbourne and Cr Clarke’s efforts.

It should be looked at sooner rather then later and ideally be in place before the 2008 Municipal elections. It should also be done in stages. I would most certainly support the merging together of the area covered by the state seats of Albert park, Melbourne, Prahran and Richmond. All these areas have a common community of interest. The City of Prahran is more suited to the City of Melbourne then Stonington. Likewise there is a need to re-unite the Carlton and Kensington communities that have been divided since the Kennett Government hived them off from the City boundaries.

In relation to perceived concerns about local representation this depends on the commitment of the elected council and new amalgamated administration to facilitate community representation and local input via local expert advisory committees.

You do not need to be an elected Councillor to have a say in local affairs.

In fact under an expanded model local communities could be better represented then they are today, Our elected councillors act like judges in a talent quest competition, they sit in judgement of everything under the sun irrespective of their expertise or understanding of the complexity of the issues involved. An expanded, more professional administration and representation would seek advice from expert advisory panels covering in greater detail issues such as the environment, planning, public transport, social services and the like. it would be the role of the elected Council to oversee the consultative process and governance of the new City.

This proposal is long overdue and I welcome further debate and consideration of the merits of the idea of creating a Greater City of Melbourne. If you did a vox pop amongst the residents of Prahran you will soon find that they would prefer to united under the City of Melbourne then to remain divided under Stonington. No doubts there will be a lot of ill-informed scare mongering. If you take time to work though the issues and act in good faith the basis of any objection to the proposal is unfounded and perceived problems and obstacles can and should be able to be resolved. It is right for Melbourne, it is right for Victoria and it is right for our future.



Melbourne Green’s vision of indecisiveness Cr Fraser Brindley offers broad support but is unsure as to the process

Melbourne City Councillor Fraser Brindley indicates his support of a Greater Melbourne City Council but questions the process.

Please.. In all civility.. You have been in office for two years and you do not know where you stand on this issue. The idea of a Greater Melbourne should appeal to the Greens and in fact is already a part of the Greens electoral platform. The benefits to the environment are considerable, Fraser Brindley has done nothing to date to further the issue and when Cr Clarke seeks to put the issue on the agenda the only response we get is “Broadly supportive, but I’m not sure he’s got the process exactly right

Every idea of reform has to start somewhere it is not going to come out of thin air. The proposal by Cr Clarke is just the beginning, an effort to get the ball rolling and people talking. The motion should be supported and then put in place a process to further that goal. Any attempt at delay or any deferment would be seen as avoiding the question, silencing the debate in order to try and remove it from the political agenda in the lead-up to next months State election.


Full support for the creation of a Greater Melbourne and Cr Clarke’s efforts.

It should be looked at sooner rather then later and ideally be in place before the 2008 Municipal elections. It should also be done in stages. I would most certainly support the merging together of the area covered by the state seats of Albert park, Melbourne, Prahran and Richmond. All these areas have a common community of interest. The City of Prahran is more suited to the City of Melbourne then Stonington. Likewise there is a need to re-unite the Carlton and Kensington communities that have been divided since the Kennett Government hived them off from the City boundaries.

In relation to perceived concerns about local representation this depends on the commitment of the elected council and new amalgamated administration to facilitate community representation and local input via local expert advisory committees.

You do not need to be an elected Councillor to have a say in local affairs.

In fact under an expanded model local communities could be better represented then they are today, Our elected councillors act like judges in a talent quest competition, they sit in judgement of everything under the sun irrespective of their expertise or understanding of the complexity of the issues involved. An expanded, more professional administration and representation would seek advice from expert advisory panels covering in greater detail issues such as the environment, planning, public transport, social services and the like. it would be the role of the elected Council to oversee the consultative process and governance of the new City.

This proposal is long overdue and I welcome further debate and consideration of the merits of the idea of creating a Greater City of Melbourne. If you did a vox pop amongst the residents of Prahran you will soon find that they would prefer to united under the City of Melbourne then to remain divided under Stonington. No doubts there will be a lot of ill-informed scare mongering. If you take time to work though the issues and act in good faith the basis of any objection to the proposal is unfounded and perceived problems and obstacles can and should be able to be resolved. It is right for Melbourne, it is right for Victoria and it is right for our future.



Melbourne Green’s vision of indecisiveness Cr Fraser Brindley offers broad support but is unsure as to the process

Melbourne City Councillor Fraser Brindley indicates his support of a Greater Melbourne City Council but questions the process.

Please.. In all civility.. You have been in office for two years and you do not know where you stand on this issue. The idea of a Greater Melbourne should appeal to the Greens and in fact is already a part of the Greens electoral platform. The benefits to the environment are considerable, Fraser Brindley has done nothing to date to further the issue and when Cr Clarke seeks to put the issue on the agenda the only response we get is “Broadly supportive, but I’m not sure he’s got the process exactly right

Every idea of reform has to start somewhere it is not going to come out of thin air. The proposal by Cr Clarke is just the beginning, an effort to get the ball rolling and people talking. The motion should be supported and then put in place a process to further that goal. Any attempt at delay or any deferment would be seen as avoiding the question, silencing the debate in order to try and remove it from the political agenda in the lead-up to next months State election.


Full support for the creation of a Greater Melbourne and Cr Clarke’s efforts.

It should be looked at sooner rather then later and ideally be in place before the 2008 Municipal elections. It should also be done in stages. I would most certainly support the merging together of the area covered by the state seats of Albert park, Melbourne, Prahran and Richmond. All these areas have a common community of interest. The City of Prahran is more suited to the City of Melbourne then Stonington. Likewise there is a need to re-unite the Carlton and Kensington communities that have been divided since the Kennett Government hived them off from the City boundaries.

In relation to perceived concerns about local representation this depends on the commitment of the elected council and new amalgamated administration to facilitate community representation and local input via local expert advisory committees.

You do not need to be an elected Councillor to have a say in local affairs.

In fact under an expanded model local communities could be better represented then they are today, Our elected councillors act like judges in a talent quest competition, they sit in judgement of everything under the sun irrespective of their expertise or understanding of the complexity of the issues involved. An expanded, more professional administration and representation would seek advice from expert advisory panels covering in greater detail issues such as the environment, planning, public transport, social services and the like. it would be the role of the elected Council to oversee the consultative process and governance of the new City.

This proposal is long overdue and I welcome further debate and consideration of the merits of the idea of creating a Greater City of Melbourne. If you did a vox pop amongst the residents of Prahran you will soon find that they would prefer to united under the City of Melbourne then to remain divided under Stonington. No doubts there will be a lot of ill-informed scare mongering. If you take time to work though the issues and act in good faith the basis of any objection to the proposal is unfounded and perceived problems and obstacles can and should be able to be resolved. It is right for Melbourne, it is right for Victoria and it is right for our future.



So more parking revelations Melbourne City Council places bounty on parking fines

The Herald Sun today reports that the City of Melbourne has set in place a bounty and quota on its parking officers. This raises ongoing concern that the City of Melbourne is using parking infringements for revenue raising and not as a penalty for non-compliance.

The City of Melbourne has increased parking fines within the city of Melbourne by 46% over the last 12 months resulting in consumers abandoning the City centre and retail trade begins to suffer and Council revenues begin to drop.

The City of Melbourne under the direction of John So is creating a gated community where visitors to Melbourne City centre can expect a hefty bill at the end of the day. With poor public transport and better alternatives elsewhere most consumers are already beginning to give the City the miss.

Traffic fines should not be used as a means of revenue raising or a means of social control.

Whilst the City Council continues to push its ‘War on Cars’ the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor continue to benefit from free Council funded Limousines and free inner City Parking.

The long-term parking tax recently imposed on Melbourne’s Car Parking establishments has been used to fund “Tourist Buses” that are in direct competition to local businesses and also compete with Melbourne Free Tourist Trams. This tax was supposed to help Melbourne elevate traffic problems and provide improvement to inner city public transport. the Tourist bus proposal will cost over 1 Million dollars into its first year and it is expected the costs will blow out even further.

The Council should have been investing in alternative cross-city mini bus services linking East Melbourne – Carlton – Parkville and North Melbourne Communities.

The article in the Herald sun is just another example as to how John So and his team are out of touch and a fraid to say no to the administration who’s schemes fail to address the real needs of Melbourne.

Unfortunately we have a City Council that is not prepared to take on the administration and John So and out forward real workable alternatives. They are more interested in the perks and lurks of public office and travel overseas.

Green Councillor Fraser Brindley has provided no challenge to John So’s policies as he flys off to Africa for a con-fest on the environment in fulfillment of his duties as an executive member of ICLIE, an international environment con-fest organization, funded by the City of Melbourne. The question that still has not been answered is Why is the City of Melbourne picking up the executive costs of a third party organisation? How does this directly relate to Councillors role as an elected Melbourne City Councillor or is it just a way of buying favour and complaints from Cr Brindley? Wine and dine them and they will keep quite.

And the result is Melbourne faces serious issues and the Council is absent from the debate as the administration continue their unfetted spending spree at the cost of ratepayers.

Parking spot of bother
Jen Kelly and Keith Moor
06apr06

MELBOURNE City Council reaped almost $50 million in a parking fees and fines bonanza last year — then jacked up hourly meter fees yet again.

Meter fees jumped from $3 to $3.50 an hour in January, hot on the heels of an increase from $2.40 last July — a 46 per cent rise in six months.
The council’s yearly haul from parking fees has soared 37 per cent in five years, hitting $20.1 million last financial year.

It reaped another $26.6 million from parking fines in 2004-05.

Lord Mayor John So and chief executive David Pitchford ducked for cover yesterday, refusing to speak to the Herald Sun to answer questions about the council’s huge parking fines bungle and their knowledge of strict quotas imposed on parking officers.

A State Ombudsman’s report reveals Melbourne’s 120 parking officers were threatened with the sack if they did not hand out at least 30 fines a day.

It has also emerged the Docklands Authority offered two council employees $1 a year to try to get around the parking ticket blunder.

The council was given legal advice that thousands of parking fines issued in the Docklands area were not enforceable.

On receiving legal advice only Docklands Authority employees could enforce parking tickets, the authority tried to appoint two council employees for $1 a year. Both refused.

Deputy Ombudsman John Taylor said the council was sub-contracted to handle parking enforcement for 28 other organisations.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth law partner Richard Leder said every person who paid a parking fine in the Docklands area between 2002 and 2005 — plus all those issued in the other 28 areas if the same mistake was made — would have good grounds to claim their money back.

“And that is irrespective of whether or not they were illegally parked,” he said.

“The Ombudsman has found those issuing the tickets were not authorised to do so, or were not legally in a position to enforce them, and therefore there was no necessity for anybody to pay the fines.”

Cr So said in a statement anyone who received an improperly issued fine should receive a letter from the council and would get a refund.

The only person the council would allow to speak on its behalf yesterday was Cr Brian Shanahan, the finance committee chairman.

He said there would be a culture change in the parking branch, with less focus on revenue raising, but could not answer whether officers would be told they no longer needed to book 30 cars a day.

Drivers seeking off-street parking have been hit just as hard as those parking on the street.

A controversial State Government $400-a-year parking tax on long-term spaces began on January 1 and will double next year.

KPMG chairman of partners in Victoria Michael Andrew said the company had been hit hard by the $400 annual levy on each of its 250 car spaces — costing $100,000 a year.

Mr Andrew said the tax was designed to ease congestion, but was having the opposite effect.

“The parking levy is making on-street parking cheaper than off-street parking, so it seems to be counterproductive,” Mr Andrew said.

“It’s just a blatant revenue grab and there’s no justification.”

The parking fee jump and soaring petrol prices are blamed by council officers for an expected $4 million hole in the budget this financial year.

It is bracing for a $3 million shortfall in meter fees and a $1 million shortfall for fines as people ditch their cars in favour of public transport.

So more parking revelations Melbourne City Council places bounty on parking fines

The Herald Sun today reports that the City of Melbourne has set in place a bounty and quota on its parking officers. This raises ongoing concern that the City of Melbourne is using parking infringements for revenue raising and not as a penalty for non-compliance.

The City of Melbourne has increased parking fines within the city of Melbourne by 46% over the last 12 months resulting in consumers abandoning the City centre and retail trade begins to suffer and Council revenues begin to drop.

The City of Melbourne under the direction of John So is creating a gated community where visitors to Melbourne City centre can expect a hefty bill at the end of the day. With poor public transport and better alternatives elsewhere most consumers are already beginning to give the City the miss.

Traffic fines should not be used as a means of revenue raising or a means of social control.

Whilst the City Council continues to push its ‘War on Cars’ the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor continue to benefit from free Council funded Limousines and free inner City Parking.

The long-term parking tax recently imposed on Melbourne’s Car Parking establishments has been used to fund “Tourist Buses” that are in direct competition to local businesses and also compete with Melbourne Free Tourist Trams. This tax was supposed to help Melbourne elevate traffic problems and provide improvement to inner city public transport. the Tourist bus proposal will cost over 1 Million dollars into its first year and it is expected the costs will blow out even further.

The Council should have been investing in alternative cross-city mini bus services linking East Melbourne – Carlton – Parkville and North Melbourne Communities.

The article in the Herald sun is just another example as to how John So and his team are out of touch and a fraid to say no to the administration who’s schemes fail to address the real needs of Melbourne.

Unfortunately we have a City Council that is not prepared to take on the administration and John So and out forward real workable alternatives. They are more interested in the perks and lurks of public office and travel overseas.

Green Councillor Fraser Brindley has provided no challenge to John So’s policies as he flys off to Africa for a con-fest on the environment in fulfillment of his duties as an executive member of ICLIE, an international environment con-fest organization, funded by the City of Melbourne. The question that still has not been answered is Why is the City of Melbourne picking up the executive costs of a third party organisation? How does this directly relate to Councillors role as an elected Melbourne City Councillor or is it just a way of buying favour and complaints from Cr Brindley? Wine and dine them and they will keep quite.

And the result is Melbourne faces serious issues and the Council is absent from the debate as the administration continue their unfetted spending spree at the cost of ratepayers.

Parking spot of bother
Jen Kelly and Keith Moor
06apr06

MELBOURNE City Council reaped almost $50 million in a parking fees and fines bonanza last year — then jacked up hourly meter fees yet again.

Meter fees jumped from $3 to $3.50 an hour in January, hot on the heels of an increase from $2.40 last July — a 46 per cent rise in six months.
The council’s yearly haul from parking fees has soared 37 per cent in five years, hitting $20.1 million last financial year.

It reaped another $26.6 million from parking fines in 2004-05.

Lord Mayor John So and chief executive David Pitchford ducked for cover yesterday, refusing to speak to the Herald Sun to answer questions about the council’s huge parking fines bungle and their knowledge of strict quotas imposed on parking officers.

A State Ombudsman’s report reveals Melbourne’s 120 parking officers were threatened with the sack if they did not hand out at least 30 fines a day.

It has also emerged the Docklands Authority offered two council employees $1 a year to try to get around the parking ticket blunder.

The council was given legal advice that thousands of parking fines issued in the Docklands area were not enforceable.

On receiving legal advice only Docklands Authority employees could enforce parking tickets, the authority tried to appoint two council employees for $1 a year. Both refused.

Deputy Ombudsman John Taylor said the council was sub-contracted to handle parking enforcement for 28 other organisations.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth law partner Richard Leder said every person who paid a parking fine in the Docklands area between 2002 and 2005 — plus all those issued in the other 28 areas if the same mistake was made — would have good grounds to claim their money back.

“And that is irrespective of whether or not they were illegally parked,” he said.

“The Ombudsman has found those issuing the tickets were not authorised to do so, or were not legally in a position to enforce them, and therefore there was no necessity for anybody to pay the fines.”

Cr So said in a statement anyone who received an improperly issued fine should receive a letter from the council and would get a refund.

The only person the council would allow to speak on its behalf yesterday was Cr Brian Shanahan, the finance committee chairman.

He said there would be a culture change in the parking branch, with less focus on revenue raising, but could not answer whether officers would be told they no longer needed to book 30 cars a day.

Drivers seeking off-street parking have been hit just as hard as those parking on the street.

A controversial State Government $400-a-year parking tax on long-term spaces began on January 1 and will double next year.

KPMG chairman of partners in Victoria Michael Andrew said the company had been hit hard by the $400 annual levy on each of its 250 car spaces — costing $100,000 a year.

Mr Andrew said the tax was designed to ease congestion, but was having the opposite effect.

“The parking levy is making on-street parking cheaper than off-street parking, so it seems to be counterproductive,” Mr Andrew said.

“It’s just a blatant revenue grab and there’s no justification.”

The parking fee jump and soaring petrol prices are blamed by council officers for an expected $4 million hole in the budget this financial year.

It is bracing for a $3 million shortfall in meter fees and a $1 million shortfall for fines as people ditch their cars in favour of public transport.

So more parking revelations Melbourne City Council places bounty on parking fines

The Herald Sun today reports that the City of Melbourne has set in place a bounty and quota on its parking officers. This raises ongoing concern that the City of Melbourne is using parking infringements for revenue raising and not as a penalty for non-compliance.

The City of Melbourne has increased parking fines within the city of Melbourne by 46% over the last 12 months resulting in consumers abandoning the City centre and retail trade begins to suffer and Council revenues begin to drop.

The City of Melbourne under the direction of John So is creating a gated community where visitors to Melbourne City centre can expect a hefty bill at the end of the day. With poor public transport and better alternatives elsewhere most consumers are already beginning to give the City the miss.

Traffic fines should not be used as a means of revenue raising or a means of social control.

Whilst the City Council continues to push its ‘War on Cars’ the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor continue to benefit from free Council funded Limousines and free inner City Parking.

The long-term parking tax recently imposed on Melbourne’s Car Parking establishments has been used to fund “Tourist Buses” that are in direct competition to local businesses and also compete with Melbourne Free Tourist Trams. This tax was supposed to help Melbourne elevate traffic problems and provide improvement to inner city public transport. the Tourist bus proposal will cost over 1 Million dollars into its first year and it is expected the costs will blow out even further.

The Council should have been investing in alternative cross-city mini bus services linking East Melbourne – Carlton – Parkville and North Melbourne Communities.

The article in the Herald sun is just another example as to how John So and his team are out of touch and a fraid to say no to the administration who’s schemes fail to address the real needs of Melbourne.

Unfortunately we have a City Council that is not prepared to take on the administration and John So and out forward real workable alternatives. They are more interested in the perks and lurks of public office and travel overseas.

Green Councillor Fraser Brindley has provided no challenge to John So’s policies as he flys off to Africa for a con-fest on the environment in fulfillment of his duties as an executive member of ICLIE, an international environment con-fest organization, funded by the City of Melbourne. The question that still has not been answered is Why is the City of Melbourne picking up the executive costs of a third party organisation? How does this directly relate to Councillors role as an elected Melbourne City Councillor or is it just a way of buying favour and complaints from Cr Brindley? Wine and dine them and they will keep quite.

And the result is Melbourne faces serious issues and the Council is absent from the debate as the administration continue their unfetted spending spree at the cost of ratepayers.

Parking spot of bother
Jen Kelly and Keith Moor
06apr06

MELBOURNE City Council reaped almost $50 million in a parking fees and fines bonanza last year — then jacked up hourly meter fees yet again.

Meter fees jumped from $3 to $3.50 an hour in January, hot on the heels of an increase from $2.40 last July — a 46 per cent rise in six months.
The council’s yearly haul from parking fees has soared 37 per cent in five years, hitting $20.1 million last financial year.

It reaped another $26.6 million from parking fines in 2004-05.

Lord Mayor John So and chief executive David Pitchford ducked for cover yesterday, refusing to speak to the Herald Sun to answer questions about the council’s huge parking fines bungle and their knowledge of strict quotas imposed on parking officers.

A State Ombudsman’s report reveals Melbourne’s 120 parking officers were threatened with the sack if they did not hand out at least 30 fines a day.

It has also emerged the Docklands Authority offered two council employees $1 a year to try to get around the parking ticket blunder.

The council was given legal advice that thousands of parking fines issued in the Docklands area were not enforceable.

On receiving legal advice only Docklands Authority employees could enforce parking tickets, the authority tried to appoint two council employees for $1 a year. Both refused.

Deputy Ombudsman John Taylor said the council was sub-contracted to handle parking enforcement for 28 other organisations.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth law partner Richard Leder said every person who paid a parking fine in the Docklands area between 2002 and 2005 — plus all those issued in the other 28 areas if the same mistake was made — would have good grounds to claim their money back.

“And that is irrespective of whether or not they were illegally parked,” he said.

“The Ombudsman has found those issuing the tickets were not authorised to do so, or were not legally in a position to enforce them, and therefore there was no necessity for anybody to pay the fines.”

Cr So said in a statement anyone who received an improperly issued fine should receive a letter from the council and would get a refund.

The only person the council would allow to speak on its behalf yesterday was Cr Brian Shanahan, the finance committee chairman.

He said there would be a culture change in the parking branch, with less focus on revenue raising, but could not answer whether officers would be told they no longer needed to book 30 cars a day.

Drivers seeking off-street parking have been hit just as hard as those parking on the street.

A controversial State Government $400-a-year parking tax on long-term spaces began on January 1 and will double next year.

KPMG chairman of partners in Victoria Michael Andrew said the company had been hit hard by the $400 annual levy on each of its 250 car spaces — costing $100,000 a year.

Mr Andrew said the tax was designed to ease congestion, but was having the opposite effect.

“The parking levy is making on-street parking cheaper than off-street parking, so it seems to be counterproductive,” Mr Andrew said.

“It’s just a blatant revenue grab and there’s no justification.”

The parking fee jump and soaring petrol prices are blamed by council officers for an expected $4 million hole in the budget this financial year.

It is bracing for a $3 million shortfall in meter fees and a $1 million shortfall for fines as people ditch their cars in favour of public transport.

Council’s avoidance and censorship Finance Committee minutes confirms Councillors’ refusal to publish reports that are critical of the Council

Minutes of the City of Melbourne Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) committee meeting held last Tuesday (February 7, 2006) confirm that the city of Melbourne did not consider in detail the recommendation contain in the various items of correspondence


6. GENERAL BUSINESS (agenda item 6)

6.1 Response to Correspondence Received by Mr Anthony van der Craats

The Chair referred to the matter previously raised in relation to the correspondence of 4 February 2006 (which incorporated information contained in correspondence dated 24 December 2005) 3rd, 2nd and 1st February 2006 received from Mr Anthony van der Craats. The Chair, Cr Shanahan, moved the following motion: “That the Finance and Corporate Performance Committee note the correspondence and include in quarterly travel reports to Committee a register of in-bound travel funded by Council.” Cr Snedden seconded the motion.

The motion was put and carried unanimously.


Copies of correspondence was circulated to Councillors but the Council in a deliberate attempt of avoidance refused to publish the reports and make them available to the public. WHY?

Committee chairman Councillor Brian Shanahan has failed to provide an explanation. Missing in the documentation and deliberations of the Committee are recommendations for the City of Melbourne to publish expenses related to in-house catering and the cost associated with the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Council funded limousines. Clearly the Council does not want this information made public – what is it the are trying to hide that they go to extraorindary lengths to avoid?

Whilst the City Council has agreed to publish in-bound travel expenses funded by the Council the full costs of in-bound missions will not be disclosed with the cost of travel being a small part of the overall cost of in-bound missions.

Why did the Council agree to publish limited information on in-bound missions but refused to publish travel costs associated the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Limousines and Council’s in-house catering bill?

The City of Melbourne continues to deny the public access to information in what is seen as an ongoing abuse of process.

The public have a right to know the full costs and details of council expenditure. The question that is outstanding is the City of Melbourne still intending to produce a report on the full cost of In-bound Missions and will that report be tabled in an open and public meeting?

Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley in December 2005 moved a motion that the in-bound mission report as requested by Cr Snedden be referred to a secret ‘illegal’ meeting of Council behind closed (Shame Fraser Shame). The holding of secret meetings is contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Act and the principle of open and transparent governance which require that all public documents and deliberations of Council be made in open public meetings.

Whilst it has been noted that Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley has expressed regret in moving the motion in december he never the less has failed to re-address this issue and continues, along with other Councillors, to support the suppression of reports and documents that expose the true cost of governance of the City of Melbourne. Is this the quaility of Governance we can expect form the Greens should they be elected to State Parliament? Given their current performance I do not think they will make it.

The report and recommendations that have been withheld by the City Council outlined a number of concerns related to errors and omissions in the Council’s published data and included recommendations protect the integrity of the Council’s financial registers against possible fraud and deception.

The Council Travel Register in its current form is an electronic whiteboard open to abuse and misuse with staff able to alter, remove or delete information without detection.

The report recommended that Council include a Record Id number (Which is normal professional practice) to assist in the proper audit of the register information and to help prevent misuse, abuse and possible fraud. Previous copies of the Travel Register have been modified to remove undisclosed expenses related to former Councillor Anthony Nicholson’s St Petersburg ‘mid summer’ tour, with $8,000.00 still missing from the published Councillor expense statements.

The City Council continue to avoid accountability as opposed to accepting responsibility by talking action to prevent ongoing misuse and abuse of the Council administration who are engaged in a excerise of cover-up and denial. Until they address the issue in a professional and proper manner the problems identified will not disappear. Advodiance and denial is not the answer.

Tuesday’s Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) committee meeting also failed to publish and consider items of correspondence in relation to item 5.7 “Council’s Long Stay Car Park Levy” and its “Transport policy”.

If the Melbourne City Council can not demonstrate its ability to self-govern and continues to avoided addressing this issue in a proper and responsible manner then the only other alternative is to refer the issue to the State office of the Auditor General and Ombudsman for review and further consideration.

Council’s avoidance and censorship Finance Committee minutes confirms Councillors’ refusal to publish reports that are critical of the Council

Minutes of the City of Melbourne Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) committee meeting held last Tuesday (February 7, 2006) confirm that the city of Melbourne did not consider in detail the recommendation contain in the various items of correspondence


6. GENERAL BUSINESS (agenda item 6)

6.1 Response to Correspondence Received by Mr Anthony van der Craats

The Chair referred to the matter previously raised in relation to the correspondence of 4 February 2006 (which incorporated information contained in correspondence dated 24 December 2005) 3rd, 2nd and 1st February 2006 received from Mr Anthony van der Craats. The Chair, Cr Shanahan, moved the following motion: “That the Finance and Corporate Performance Committee note the correspondence and include in quarterly travel reports to Committee a register of in-bound travel funded by Council.” Cr Snedden seconded the motion.

The motion was put and carried unanimously.


Copies of correspondence was circulated to Councillors but the Council in a deliberate attempt of avoidance refused to publish the reports and make them available to the public. WHY?

Committee chairman Councillor Brian Shanahan has failed to provide an explanation. Missing in the documentation and deliberations of the Committee are recommendations for the City of Melbourne to publish expenses related to in-house catering and the cost associated with the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Council funded limousines. Clearly the Council does not want this information made public – what is it the are trying to hide that they go to extraorindary lengths to avoid?

Whilst the City Council has agreed to publish in-bound travel expenses funded by the Council the full costs of in-bound missions will not be disclosed with the cost of travel being a small part of the overall cost of in-bound missions.

Why did the Council agree to publish limited information on in-bound missions but refused to publish travel costs associated the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Limousines and Council’s in-house catering bill?

The City of Melbourne continues to deny the public access to information in what is seen as an ongoing abuse of process.

The public have a right to know the full costs and details of council expenditure. The question that is outstanding is the City of Melbourne still intending to produce a report on the full cost of In-bound Missions and will that report be tabled in an open and public meeting?

Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley in December 2005 moved a motion that the in-bound mission report as requested by Cr Snedden be referred to a secret ‘illegal’ meeting of Council behind closed (Shame Fraser Shame). The holding of secret meetings is contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Act and the principle of open and transparent governance which require that all public documents and deliberations of Council be made in open public meetings.

Whilst it has been noted that Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley has expressed regret in moving the motion in december he never the less has failed to re-address this issue and continues, along with other Councillors, to support the suppression of reports and documents that expose the true cost of governance of the City of Melbourne. Is this the quaility of Governance we can expect form the Greens should they be elected to State Parliament? Given their current performance I do not think they will make it.

The report and recommendations that have been withheld by the City Council outlined a number of concerns related to errors and omissions in the Council’s published data and included recommendations protect the integrity of the Council’s financial registers against possible fraud and deception.

The Council Travel Register in its current form is an electronic whiteboard open to abuse and misuse with staff able to alter, remove or delete information without detection.

The report recommended that Council include a Record Id number (Which is normal professional practice) to assist in the proper audit of the register information and to help prevent misuse, abuse and possible fraud. Previous copies of the Travel Register have been modified to remove undisclosed expenses related to former Councillor Anthony Nicholson’s St Petersburg ‘mid summer’ tour, with $8,000.00 still missing from the published Councillor expense statements.

The City Council continue to avoid accountability as opposed to accepting responsibility by talking action to prevent ongoing misuse and abuse of the Council administration who are engaged in a excerise of cover-up and denial. Until they address the issue in a professional and proper manner the problems identified will not disappear. Advodiance and denial is not the answer.

Tuesday’s Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) committee meeting also failed to publish and consider items of correspondence in relation to item 5.7 “Council’s Long Stay Car Park Levy” and its “Transport policy”.

If the Melbourne City Council can not demonstrate its ability to self-govern and continues to avoided addressing this issue in a proper and responsible manner then the only other alternative is to refer the issue to the State office of the Auditor General and Ombudsman for review and further consideration.

Council’s avoidance and censorship Finance Committee minutes confirms Councillors’ refusal to publish reports that are critical of the Council

Minutes of the City of Melbourne Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) committee meeting held last Tuesday (February 7, 2006) confirm that the city of Melbourne did not consider in detail the recommendation contain in the various items of correspondence


6. GENERAL BUSINESS (agenda item 6)

6.1 Response to Correspondence Received by Mr Anthony van der Craats

The Chair referred to the matter previously raised in relation to the correspondence of 4 February 2006 (which incorporated information contained in correspondence dated 24 December 2005) 3rd, 2nd and 1st February 2006 received from Mr Anthony van der Craats. The Chair, Cr Shanahan, moved the following motion: “That the Finance and Corporate Performance Committee note the correspondence and include in quarterly travel reports to Committee a register of in-bound travel funded by Council.” Cr Snedden seconded the motion.

The motion was put and carried unanimously.


Copies of correspondence was circulated to Councillors but the Council in a deliberate attempt of avoidance refused to publish the reports and make them available to the public. WHY?

Committee chairman Councillor Brian Shanahan has failed to provide an explanation. Missing in the documentation and deliberations of the Committee are recommendations for the City of Melbourne to publish expenses related to in-house catering and the cost associated with the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Council funded limousines. Clearly the Council does not want this information made public – what is it the are trying to hide that they go to extraorindary lengths to avoid?

Whilst the City Council has agreed to publish in-bound travel expenses funded by the Council the full costs of in-bound missions will not be disclosed with the cost of travel being a small part of the overall cost of in-bound missions.

Why did the Council agree to publish limited information on in-bound missions but refused to publish travel costs associated the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Limousines and Council’s in-house catering bill?

The City of Melbourne continues to deny the public access to information in what is seen as an ongoing abuse of process.

The public have a right to know the full costs and details of council expenditure. The question that is outstanding is the City of Melbourne still intending to produce a report on the full cost of In-bound Missions and will that report be tabled in an open and public meeting?

Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley in December 2005 moved a motion that the in-bound mission report as requested by Cr Snedden be referred to a secret ‘illegal’ meeting of Council behind closed (Shame Fraser Shame). The holding of secret meetings is contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Act and the principle of open and transparent governance which require that all public documents and deliberations of Council be made in open public meetings.

Whilst it has been noted that Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley has expressed regret in moving the motion in december he never the less has failed to re-address this issue and continues, along with other Councillors, to support the suppression of reports and documents that expose the true cost of governance of the City of Melbourne. Is this the quaility of Governance we can expect form the Greens should they be elected to State Parliament? Given their current performance I do not think they will make it.

The report and recommendations that have been withheld by the City Council outlined a number of concerns related to errors and omissions in the Council’s published data and included recommendations protect the integrity of the Council’s financial registers against possible fraud and deception.

The Council Travel Register in its current form is an electronic whiteboard open to abuse and misuse with staff able to alter, remove or delete information without detection.

The report recommended that Council include a Record Id number (Which is normal professional practice) to assist in the proper audit of the register information and to help prevent misuse, abuse and possible fraud. Previous copies of the Travel Register have been modified to remove undisclosed expenses related to former Councillor Anthony Nicholson’s St Petersburg ‘mid summer’ tour, with $8,000.00 still missing from the published Councillor expense statements.

The City Council continue to avoid accountability as opposed to accepting responsibility by talking action to prevent ongoing misuse and abuse of the Council administration who are engaged in a excerise of cover-up and denial. Until they address the issue in a professional and proper manner the problems identified will not disappear. Advodiance and denial is not the answer.

Tuesday’s Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) committee meeting also failed to publish and consider items of correspondence in relation to item 5.7 “Council’s Long Stay Car Park Levy” and its “Transport policy”.

If the Melbourne City Council can not demonstrate its ability to self-govern and continues to avoided addressing this issue in a proper and responsible manner then the only other alternative is to refer the issue to the State office of the Auditor General and Ombudsman for review and further consideration.

Car cost free city Melbourne City Council refuse disclosure and publication of Lord Mayors and Gary Singers car costs

The City of Melbourne Transport policy has been put on hold and will be subject to further community review. The City Council last week releases its transport policy advocating a car free city.

A car fee city that is unless you are the Lord Mayor or Deputy Lord Mayor.

Our City Councillors, who all receive generous subsidies and benefits from the City Council, are required to declare the costs to ratepayers associated with local travel, these costs are published on the Councillor’s quarterly expense statements. That is all councillors except the Lord Mayor, John So and Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer.

Both the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor are provided with an all expenses paid limousine, the Lord Mayor has a chauffeur and the Deputy Lord Mayor is self-drive.

The Herald Sun in 1994 reported that John So’s Chauffeur was on a salary of over $100,000.00 per year. The overall costs to the Council for the Lord Mayor’s luxury car was around $200,000 a year (including petrol, maintenance, garage and driver) The costs associated with the Deputies car was around $60,000.00 per year.

On Tuesday this week the City of Melbourne including Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley and Committee Chairperson and Labor’s Brian Shanahan, refused to consider a report calling for teh full disclosure of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor limousines be included and published in the Councillor’s expense statements.

Sadly our councillors do not want to be held accountable and continue to go to extraordinary efforts to avoid publication and disclosure of the cost and the true amount paid in subsidies to the Lord Mayor and Councillors. In order to avoid accountability the Council even refused to publish or make available copies of the report and recommendations for public scrutiny.

Hypocrisy is alive and screaming in the City of Melbourne

In the meantime the City of Melbourne continues to advocate a policy of double-taxation for Melbourne’s commuters whist our Lord Mayor, Senior Staff and Councillor’s continue to enjoy the benefits of “free car parking” in the City (cost undisclosed).


And if you thought the Greens were about honest transparent governance and integrity think again.

Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley, who during the last election campaign advocated for the scrapping of the Lord Mayor’s Car remained silent and did nothing to fulfill his promise to the electorate. Cr Fraser is renowned for having advocated illegal closed information sessions to avoid further public disclosure of Council’s expenses.

More soon…