Stephen Mayne: seeks to gag public debate by voting against holding a review

In a rather irrational tirade “I support of open public debate“, Stephen Mayne, votes to gag debate and deny a review on a very important topical issue.

This was the first time Stephen Maybe had opportunity in a Council public forum to talk on bikes and bike lanes specifically, yet he would not allow discussion on the merits of the design or its implementation, preferring instead to vote against a rational motion put forward my Councillors Richard Foster seeking to hold a review of Melbourne’s Bike Lanes following the end of the Princes Bridge Trial in September.

What does Councillor Mayne and the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle fear? Are they afraid  to air Council’s dirty linen and allow public discussion on the merit of the designs and decisions made?

This is not about bikes per-say it is about the design and implementation of the segmented bike lanes and the prudent use of Council’s financial resources.   

Why did Stephen Mayne vote against a review that included a review of the Latrobe Street Bike Lane? That was the main focus and reason for a review

Latrobe Street Cost $2.6 Million. It does not work..Wrong design wrong location bad implementation.

It should be reviewed before we go and repeat the same mistakes on St Kilda Road. 330m lane costing $330,000

The alternative “Claredon Street” Bike Lane design should have been considered. It is cheaper and better.  Council must explain its position and failure to adopt this design.

If you have nothing to hide publish in full all submissions in relation to Melbourne’s Transport Plan


Stephen Mayne speaking to deny public debate 6-Aug-2013

 

Councillor Richard Foster – The Motion for a review that Doyle rejected 6-Aug-2013


Stephen Mayne: seeks to gag public debate by voting against holding a review

In a rather irrational tirade “I support of open public debate“, Stephen Mayne, votes to gag debate and deny a review on a very important topical issue.

This was the first time Stephen Maybe had opportunity in a Council public forum to talk on bikes and bike lanes specifically, yet he would not allow discussion on the merits of the design or its implementation, preferring instead to vote against a rational motion put forward my Councillors Richard Foster seeking to hold a reviw of Melbourne’s Bike Lanes following the end of the Princes Bridge Trial in September.

What does Coucnillr Mayne and the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle fear? Are they afraid  to air Council’s dirty linen and allow public discussion on the merit of the designs and decisions made?

This is not about bikes per-say it is about the design and implementation of the segmented bike lanes and the prudent use of Council’s financial resources.   

Why did Stephen Mayne vote against a review that included a review of the Latrobe Street Bike Lane? That was the main focus and reason for a review

Latrobe Street Cost $2.6 Million. It does not work..Wrong design wrong location bad implementation.

It should be reviewed before we go and repeat the same mistakes on St Kilda Road. 330m lane costing $330,000

The alternative “Claredon Street” Bike Lane design should have been considered. It is cheaper and better.  Council must explain its position and failure to adopt this design.

If you have nothing to hide publish in full all submissions in relation to Melbourne’s Transport Plan


Stephen Mayne speaking to deny public debate 6-Aug-2013

Councillor Richard Foster seeking to provide the review that Doyle rejected.

St Kilda Road Bike Plan Risk to Commuter and Predestrian Safety

City of Melbourne’s ill-considered $330k St Kilda Lane Bicycle Lane will trade off pedestrian and motorist safety for a marginal gain in cyclist safety. 

Melbourne City Council plans to install a 300 metre section of St Kilda Road Separated bike path against the advice of its own engineers. The bike separation design is similar to the design of the LaTrobe Street bike lane that was installed last month.

The proposed lane design will force motorists to park on the outside of the bike lane 3 meters from the footpath creating a major risk to pedestrian and motorist safety.

Passengers alighting from parked vehicles will have to negotiate a balancing act on the one meter concrete strip and check for bicycles racing down the bike lane whilst running to reach the footpath on the other side.  The design will place families with children and the elderly safety at serious risk.  Mums with prams or those with wheel chairs will not be able to safely park their cars in the 3 hour parking zones.  Bus drivers and taxi operators will have similar safety concerns when dropping off passengers.

The proposed “island of danger” separation barrier will be installed in the south bound location between Princes Bridge and Linlithgow  Avenue south of the Floral Clock. Beyond Linlithgow Avenue the bike lane will revert back into the standard bike lane design adding to confusion and road safety concerns.

This part of St Kilda Road is a favorite drop-off point and parking location for those visiting the gardens and the Arts Centre/Concert Halls

Melbourne City Council Traffic Engineers prefer to install a line-marked lane only without the inside dangerous separation barrier but have been overridden by Engineering Services Manager Geoff Robertson.   City Council Traffic Engineers sight the successful design of the Claredon Street East Melbourne bike lane where the width of the bike lane is such that bikes travel outside of the car door opening zone.  A line painted only bike lane is significantly cheaper than teh ocst of a physical lane separation and would allow the Council to extend the lane beyond Linlithgow Avenue, It also allows emergency vehicles unimpeded access.

Melbourne City Council is under fire over it implementation of its Bicycle Network. The $2.6 Million Latrobe Street experiment is considered to be a complete disaster with the Council now having to remove on-street car parking which has since been found to be unsafe.

The current City Council has never considered or approved the proposed design in open committee. Stakeholders have been denied the opportunity to have their concerns heard.

Crs Stephen Mayne and Rohan Leppert

The Chairman of the City Council’s Governance and Finance Portfolio and Deputy Chair of Planning, Stephen Mayne (who campaigned on open transparency governance platform) has refused to subject the proposed development of a review process. Councillor Mayne is oblivious to the extravagant waste preferring to ignore the professional advise of the City Engineers and instead action the advise of a rouge manager in order to please the Green Councillors who have placed Cyclists interests ahead of public safety concerns of commuters and pedestrians

Councillor Richard Foster has expressed concern and opposition to the St Kilda Rd development by has been railroad by the Greens and  the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle into remaining silent. Councillor Foster wants the development referred to open Council Committee to allow Council to consider the opinions of all stakeholders and the pros and cons of the various designs.

Other City Councillors are also concerned  about the development and the extent of intimidation and railroading of the process by Senior Council Management

Proposed St Kilda Rd Bike Plan Threat to Public Safety

Melbourne Bus and taxi operators have expressed concern about the safety of its passengers if the Melbourne City Council’s proposed St Kilda Road Bike Lane development is allowed to proceed.

The proposed design is a serious threat to the safety of passengers exiting the bus with passengers having step onto the 1 metre stone separation barrier, then wait to ensure there are no bicycles bearing down on them before crossing the 3 metre bike path on to the adjacent footpath. The situation is worst when there are 40 other passengers all wanting to exit the bus at the same time and would even worst again in an emergency situation. 

Bus and taxi drivers are joining the chorus of other community groups  opposed to the proposed $330,000 bike plan design which is scheduled to be installed next month.

Residents, business and community groups are calling on the City Council to scrap the plan and hold am open public review of the proposal.

Community advocate and former City Councillor David Nolte has said that Cr Richard Foster has expressed concern at the proposal and t bis understood he has asked that the matter be brought before Council.

Other Councillors have also expressed concern but said that the issue was in the hands of the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle who was opposed to any review in spite growing concern over its impact on public safety.

Cr Stephen Mayne, who claims to be an advocate for open and transparent government, was not prepared to discuss this issue.

UPDATE: Cr Foster as indicated that he will be calling for a halt to the project and that a report be presented in detail at the next Future Melbourne Committee

Bad Engineering: St. Kilda Rd Bike path fails to consider disabled

Cracks have began to appear in the City of Melbourne’s St Kilda Rd  Bike Lane separation proposal.

The proposed development has not been subject to a public review by the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee and the needs and concerns of community groups ignored with the City Engineers failing to take into consideration the impact on disabled stakeholders needs.

The design  of the St Kilda Rd  bike lane is similar to that recently installed in Latrobe Street which has been met with wide condemnation, Recent  comments in public radio by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle indicate the LaTrobe Street bike path was not working and that Council is now forced into considering withdrawing on-street car parking in the area. A move that has angered retailers and owners alike.

The Copenhagen style bike lane separation structures constitute a serious risk to public safety and  motorist parking with disabled and elderly passengers effected the most. The proposed development does not comply with public policy in relation to disabled access.  The Office of Disability in the Department of Human Services had not been consulted.

Calls have been made for the Lord Mayor and City Councillors to put an urgent halt to the proposed development in St Kilda Rd to allow for a public review of the City’s Engineering Bike plan amidst concerns that there are better alternative design options.

The proposed development which is budgeted to cost $330,000 is scheudled to commence on August the 5th

Efforts to contact Richard Foster (Spokesperson for the Council’s People City Portfolio), Cr Ken Ong and Stephen Mayne (Planning) to try and put a hold on the proposed development so as to allow for review and stakeholder consultation was unsuccessful.

Council Officers mislead public

Serious concern that that the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle and  City of Melbourne Director of Planning Geoff Lawler has mislead the public in response to proposed changes to Melbourne Planning Scheme to be introduced on July 1.

Mr Lawler who failed to present a written report outlining the effect of proposed changes to the planning scheme has compromised the City of Melbourne in the process.

Clause 22.12 of the Melbourne Planning scheme  preamble states

This policy applies to applications for gaming premises in the Mixed Use Zone, Public Use Zone, Public Park and Recreational Zone, Business Zones and Industrial Zones and Docklands Zone. It is noted that gaming premises are prohibited in the Residential 1 Zone

On July 1, Business Zones 1, 2 and 5 will be transferred to new Commercial 1 zone

Under the revised planing  scheme to be introduced on July 1as amended by the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, Gaming venues will not longer require a planning permit  in the new Commercial 1 zone and will becomes an “as of right use” opening up the possible proliferation of gaming venues adjacent to residential precincts. Gaming venues come under the definition of Retail premises as defined under the the Victorian Planning Scheme.

Self appointed anti gambling advocate and Deputy Chairman of the Melbourne City Councils planning portfolio were oblivious to the impact of the proposed changes.  Councillor Mayne had previously given an undertaking to review the matter and present a report in June but to date has failed to fulfill this undertaking.

When asked where and when a report on impact of the the proposed changes will be presented to Council Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle rejected to notion or suggestion that the Council had given an undertaking to table a written report. Director of Planning Geoff Lawler, sought to deflected criticism of the Council not being informed or advising the public of the impact of the proposed changes.

It is understood that this issue was discussed in an unreported closed session Councillor forum.

Recordings of the City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee held on May 14 and June 4

Extract of Minutes FMC held on May 14
 
Anthony van der Craats, resident, asked the Committee a question in relation to the Minister for Planning’s recently announced changes to the Victorian Planning Scheme, which resulted in the abolition of Business 1 Zones and when will the City of Melbourne be undertaking a review of the schemes? (00:01:30 to 00:02:55 Recording of meeting)

In response to the question raised by Mr van der Craats, the Director City Planning and Infrastructure, Geoff Lawler advised that it is very early days as the rezoning has just been announced. He is currently beginning to understand the process and will bring the information to Councillors once it is fully known.  (00:02:56 to 00:03:40 Recording of meeting)

In response to a question raised by Anthony van der Craats, the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle advised that as per the previous discussion regarding the zoning changes at the beginning of the meeting the matter will be brought before Council, but cannot guarantee it will be at the June Council meeting.

Given the 1 July 2013 deadline the Council will be pressing to make sure this is as expeditious as possible  (01:06:30 to 01:08:04 Recording of meeting)

Blind Faith: Council accepts verbal assurance that new planning regime will not adversely effect residential amenity

Chair of Governance and Deputy Chair of Planning, Stephen Mayne reneges on previous undertaking for the City of Melbourne to provide a comprehensive report on the impact of the State Government’s proposed new planning zones which comes into affect on July 1.

Under the proposed new planning regime all ‘Business zones” will be transferred into a new comprehensive ‘anything goes” “Commercial 1” zone which includes an “as of right use” (No planning permit required) for a tavern and gaming venue.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Stephen Mayne and other Councillors accepted in blind faith a verbal undertaking given by the Director of Planning, Geoff Lawler, in closed session of council that existing “overlays” in Melbourne’s planning scheme would protect and prevent the establishment of taverns and gaming venues that adversely affect adjoining residential precincts. 

(Clause 22.12 of the City of Melbourne Planning Scheme outlines “Policy” in relation to Gaming venues  and Clause 22.22 which outlines “Policy” in relation to Licensed premises which both reference Business Zones which are being phased out on July 1)

Geoff Lawler in response to requests for a written report reassured the council and public gallery that “developments such as the one proposed for 157 Domain Rd South Yarra and the establishment of a restaurant/tavern last month would not proceed under the new Planning zone provisions”

Mr Lawler failed to outline exactly which overlays and in what way they would protect the residential amenity of South Yarra.

Clause 22.12 and 22.2 are policy guidelines that apply to the consideration of any new Planing permit application. Under the new Commercial 1 zone a planning permit is no longer required for a licensed Food and Beverage premises such as a Tavern, Gaming venue or Nightclub

If, as is feared, a new application is made after July 1 for a change of use and the developer seeks to exercise his new “As right of use” and reinstates a request for a tavern and it later shown that the advice given by Mr Lawler was false then we can expect calls for both Robert Doyle and Councillor Mayne, along with Geoff Lawler, having mislead the public to resign.

Prudence is the best policy not complacency

A verbal nod and a wink is not satisfactory and fails to instill confidence in the City Council administration of planning.

The onus still lies with the City Council and it’s administration to provide a written assessment outlining in detail which provisions of the Melbourne planning scheme Mr Lawler is relying on when giving his advice.

Any Councillor that is prepared to accept verbal advice should also put their job on line.

New Commercial 1 zone to replace Business 1, 2 zones

34.01 COMMERCIAL 1 ZONE

Shown on the planning scheme map as B1Z, B2Z, B5Z or C1Z.
Purpose
To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy
Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies.
To create vibrant mixed use commercial centres for retail, office, business, entertainment and community uses.
To provide for residential uses at densities complementary
to the role and scale of the commercial centre.
34.01-1 Table of uses
Section 1 – Permit not required

  • Retail premises (other than Shop)
  • Shop (other than Adult sex bookshop)

The defination of retail premises includes:

  • Food and drink premises
  • Gambling premises
  • Landscape gardening supplies
  • Manufacturing sales
  • Market
  • Motor vehicle, boat, or caravan sales
  • Postal agency
  • Primary produce
  • sales
  • Shop
  • Trade supplies

The defination of Food and drink premises includes:

Convenience restaurant

Hotel
Restaurant
Take away food premises
Tavern

Previously Business 1 zone (To be phased out on July 1) listed under

34.01  BUSINESS 1 ZONE

34.01-1 Section 1 – Permit not required

Food and drink premises (other than Hotel, Restaurant and Tavern)

34.01-2 Section 2 – Permit required

Retail premises (other than Betting agency, Food and drink premises, Postal agency, Shop, and Trade supplies)

Tavern

Robert Doyle and Council vote on proposed budget increase in fees and rates

Robert Doyle in summing up the presentation of the City of Melbourne 2013-14 budget had a dig at Collins Street Traders by saying…

“Council is actually here [Council Meeting held on Thursday May 9] on both items [4 yr Plan and Council Budget] giving approval for public notice rather than giving approval or substantive debate of content because this is a work in progress we now send this process out for further comment form the public”

“We are starting to get comment already… I remind Councillors that those very people who criticise elements of the budget, like a small rise in parking fees of a dollar fifty, are the very people who at other times of the year are exhorting us to spend more on Christmas decorations, more on cleaning the City and beatifying streets, such as in Collins Street and that is one of the things for me [Robert Doyle] difficult to understand.”

“The amount we are raising, and I will ask the public to think about that, though the increases in parking and increases in rates equates to about 14 Million dollars. I often say to people in consultation period what would you cut out.”
..
“that adds up to our entire Arts and Cultural budget. We could do none of that if you like but I do not think that will be the right answer. “
.. 
It is a work in progress but I like to think pretty much of our work is done. I can not see us after consultation going back to first principles”


Councillor Stephen Mayne (In closing)

“It is open to councillors and everyone else to suggest changes or updates to the budget, for instance the 149 births at docklands where we mention zero rent … where many were packaged up with apartments by VicUrban”… “from 2025 we will be able to extract rent fro those births”.. :It is all about providing information in its correct context.”
..
“It is up to everyone to make submissions and suggestions.”

 
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE JUNE 7

The Melbourne City Council audio recording of the meeting has been edited and a section of deleted removing comments made by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle just prior to the taking of the vote and the closing of the meeting. (Listen from the end of Stephen Mayne’s Speech 1 min before recording end)

Have your say

Submissions are welcome on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14. 

The detail of what we will do and how we will fund our activities is agreed each year in the Annual Plan and Budget.

The draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14 is now out for statutory consultation.

Council’s Future Melbourne Committee will consider any written submission received on or before Friday 7 June 2013, at a meeting to be held on Tuesday 18 June 2013 at 5.30pm in the Council Meeting Room, level two, Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne.

If a person wishes to be heard in support of their submission they must include the request to be heard in the submission and this will entitle them to appear in person or by a person acting on their behalf before the meeting of the Committee.

The postal address for written submissions is:

Manager Governance Services
City of Melbourne
GPO Box 1603
Melbourne VIC 3001

Robert Doyle and Council vote on proposed budget increase in fees and rates

Robert Doyle in summing up the presentation of the City of Melbourne 2013-14 budget had a dig at Collins Street Traders by saying…

“Council is actually here [Council Meeting held on Thursday May 9] on both items [4 yr Plan and Council Budget] giving approval for public notice rather than giving approval or substantive debate of content because this is a work in progress we now send this process out for further comment from the public”

“We are starting to get comment already… I remind Councillors that those very people who criticise elements of the budget, like a small rise in parking fees of a dollar fifty, are the very people who at other times of the year are exhorting us to spend more on Christmas decorations, more on cleaning the City and beatifying streets, such as in Collins Street and that is one of the things for me [Robert Doyle] difficult to understand.”

“The amount we are raising, and I will ask the public to think about that, through the increases in parking and increases in rates equates to about 14 Million dollars. I often say to people in the consultation period what would you cut out.”
..
“That adds up to our entire Arts and Cultural budget. We could do none of that, if you like, but I do not think that will be the right answer. “
.. 
It is a work in progress but I like to think pretty much of our work is done. I can not see us after consultation going back to first principles”


Councillor Stephen Mayne (In closing)

“It is open to councillors and everyone else to suggest changes or updates to the budget, for instance the 149 births at docklands where we mention zero rent … where many were packaged up with apartments by VicUrban”… “from 2025 we will be able to extract rent for those births”.. :”It is all about providing information in its correct context.”
..
“It is up to everyone to make submissions and suggestions.”

 
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE JUNE 7

The Melbourne City Council audio recording of the meeting has been edited and a section deleted removing comments made by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle just prior to the taking of the vote and the closing of the meeting. (Listen from the end of Stephen Mayne’s Speech 1 min before recording end)

Have your say

Submissions are welcome on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14. 

The detail of what we will do and how we will fund our activities is agreed each year in the Annual Plan and Budget.

The draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14 is now out for statutory consultation.

Council’s Future Melbourne Committee will consider any written submission received on or before Friday 7 June 2013, at a meeting to be held on Tuesday 18 June 2013 at 5.30pm in the Council Meeting Room, level two, Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne.

If a person wishes to be heard in support of their submission they must include the request to be heard in the submission and this will entitle them to appear in person or by a person acting on their behalf before the meeting of the Committee.

The postal address for written submissions is:

Manager Governance Services
City of Melbourne
GPO Box 1603
Melbourne VIC 3001

CFMEU: Tuesday March for Safety

The CFMEU (Construction Forestry Mining Employees Union) and Victoria’s Trade Unions will be marching next Tuesday April 30 in support of Safety on Melbourne’s Building sites.  The  march begins at Trades Hall in Victoria Street,  and will proceed to the Swanston Street site of last month’s tragedy for a minute’s silence as a sign of respect.outside the GroCon CUB building site on Swanston Street.

The City of Melbourne still has not provided information why it had not issued a permit or inspected  the building site hoarding which collapsed on March 28.killing three innocent pedestrians.

Councillor Stephen Mayne, Chairman of the Council’s Finance and Governance portfolio, was unable to answer questions from the public last week if the City of Melbourne had issued a permit for the new hoarding or if it had inspected the site and if not why not?

The City of Melbourne continues to shift blame and avoid accountability for for its own failings. Public Safety is the prime directive and obligation of the City Council. Stephen Mayne describing public concerns about safety on the GroCon site as “Grandstanding”