Chelsworth Park - Resident Information
Responses to CR Jenny Mullholland’s letter drop of Saturday 21 Sept 2013,
“In July 2012, Council resolved (Resolution CO2012/212) that Chelsworth Park tennis courts would be included in the lease with Ivanhoe Grammar School.”
Concern - We believe that Resolution CO2012/212) was made at an in camera meeting and, unlike other past Council Meetings, the Agenda
and Minutes are NOT available on Councils website (in camera = closed to the public and not recorded publicly)
Concern – Some
Councillors cannot remember this as an issue at the time – possibly because no one in the local community knew it was occurring ( - as an Agenda is NOT published for an in camera meeting )
“In July 2012, Council resolved (Resolution CO2012/212) to negotiate a new 20-year lease (with a further 10-year option) with Ivanhoe Grammar School. Lease negotiations have started and the school is finalising a list of capital
works* and park improvements* it would complete within the first four years of the new lease”
Again this decision was at an in camera meeting – These are usually reserved for financial matters. But in this case decisions about a Booking System for all users - controlled by IGS, AND the prospect of the school placing more buildings
on the land and changing signage that leads to a dilution of visible PUBLIC OWNERSHIP appear to have been made as well as perhaps some financial matters – *These are matters of public interest that should
be discussed with the local community in an open transparent way
“Fees and charges, allocation guidelines and regulations will follow those set by
Concern – How will Council involve the greater community in determining these guidelines? How
will they be enforced? How will the community determine if the lease has been broken by IGS –either by non payment, or breeches of contract in other ways ?
Concern - Will these large and highly valuable areas of Public Open Space and their water supply be managed fairly for all – If only a small and unaccountable committee of volunteers overlooks the arrangements made by the IGS?
Wont the charges for the school be largely in kind? – and thus very hard to determine as a dollar value ? How will all this information be made clear to the public and how could the public object if they felt the values had not been correctly calculated?
“... a new Chelsworth Park Tenant group to be formed.. discussing park developments, issues and any feedback from tenants and park users...... Council,
the School and sporting clubs will be invited to attend “
Concern - How will those on the group report
to the public and be held accountable for any lack of oversight ? Wont the school – a Business – try to have sympathetic members be appointed > and wont the public have no idea about these peoples credentials? - as they are not voted for and
thus publicly vetted .
Concern - Will one group be able to play off others for consideration of future lease arrangements and time
allocations by taking sides against other members in deals done outside of the meetings? (This could also be occurring now...)
– What powers may the members of this tenant group have to be whistle blowers? If they raised a fuss would the entitlements of their club suffer?
– How will Chelsworth Park be protected for passive recreation, which is the most highly sought recreational use in the City of Banyule? How will passive park users – joggers, walkers, sitters, kite flyers, kick to kick and mums
having a picnic with the kids and rolling on the grass - be represented? How will their Reps be accountable?
Concern - The space
at Chelsworth is highly sought after – there are more clubs and others users than can comfortably accommodated. Previously some users such as Yarra Valley Hockey Club - have had to leave. There will always be pressure for new users as well –
So the negotiations for space will be hotly contested – Is it fair to have a body with paid employees and unlimited amounts of paid time competing with other local resident users with volunteer committees - for space and time priority at Chelsworth
Major Urgent Concern – The Chelsworth Tennis Club have objected to these developments and have been forced
to cooperate or risk using all rights ; in addition the Ivanhoe Grammar School appears to be using this arrangement as an opportunity to move ALL its tennis facilities to Chelsworth.
Major Urgent Concern – The land currently occupied by tennis courts on the Ivanhoe Grammar site on the Ridgeway will be used to construct a major Sports Stadium complex off The Boulevard near Wilsons Reserve
under the IGS proposed 5 year Plan which is currently being negotiated with Council, - with Community input.– This is a narrow and treacherous stretch in certain conditions and one that should be reserved for passive enjoyment of the Yarra Valley. It
is an integral part of Victoria’s and Melbourne’s main Scenic Tourist Route (Route NO 2 ) . It is also the entrance, via Wilsons Reserve, to the natural beauty of a diverse and rambling section of the Yarra environs - with many walking tracks and
viewpoints to the river. This sensitive area has been protected by a scenic landscape overlay and other state planning instruments for some time - having more use of the Chelsworth tennis Courts would seem vital for the School Plan to succeed
– Isn’t there a CONFLICT OF INTEREST here ? - for the school as a controller of bookings and as a cashed up competitor for space that is in short supply ?
For more on Chelsworth
Ivanhoe Grammar School Development Plan
Responses to CR Jenny Mullholland’s letter drop of Saturday 21 Sept 2013,
http://banyule.net/ ………. Note this is NOT Councils website – That address is http://www.banyule.vic.gov.au
In Cr Mulholland’s letter-drop of 21 September she referred to her motion of 26 August 2013 proposing that a Resident Interest Group be established and with a maximum of 6 people. However a resident’s meeting resolution
of 8 September 2013 determined that a minimum of 12 resident representatives was necessary. This was sent to Cr Mullholland on the same day
In addition a residents’ petition was
submitted to Council on the 23rd August 2013 which asked for more than one public meeting regarding the IGS Dev Plan, including meetings that addressed a limited range of issues so that some matters could be addressed in more detail and clarification
of the role of the “Interested Persons Group “ referred to by Cr Mullholland
On Monday 23rd Sept 2013 the petition was considered at a Council Meeting, with several
residents addressing the Council. Residents met with several Councilors and the acting CEO prior to that meeting to discuss the petition and the associated resolution.
- A decision was made to INCREASE the number of residents on the “Interest Group” mentioned in the decision above to ten
(This was the number of Resident Reps on an earlier Working Group that looked at the Schools FIRST 5 year Development Plan prior to its approval in the year 2000)
- Council also clarified that the “Interest Group “ - would in fact be aWorking Group that looked closely at the current 5 year Development Plan, with Council Planning Staff and with the
school over a succession of targeted meetings BEFORE the current Plan is approved
- There will also be the possibility of further Public Consultation Meetings as issues arise that may need further
consideration (NOT just one as the previous Council statement implied)
- It was indicated that these extra public meetings could be called by both the Planning staff and councillors OR by the
- Further, it was decided that the choice of members for that working group would be made by Senior Planning Staff - from resident applicants, with a view to qualifications and skills
and a general concern for all issues facing the community regarding the IGS Plan
- The list of chosen applicants would then be voted upon at a subsequent Formal Meeting of Council
What the Community asked for?
( success marked with tick √)
The Petition sought the clarification needed about the role of the “Interest Group” within the DEV PLAN process as a “working group “ which dealt with resolving
issues - √
The Petition sought the understanding of the potential
need for more whole-of-community public consultation sessions on particular topics of concern √
The Petition, (being drafted prior to Councils decision on Aug 26th) - was silent on the make up of the Working Group - However a Resolution unanimously supported at a residents meeting on Sept 8th and asking for approximately
12 people on the working group was forwarded to Council on that day and was brought to Councils attention again on Monday 23rd - It again drew Councils attention the work that would be required to resolve the DEV Plan issues with staff and the representatives
of IGS and asked for a positive framework for the process ( very similar to the previous successful FIRST DEV PLAN process ) that could lead to an ongoing harmonious relationship between the school and its local community .
Council has increased the count to 10 - ...... CLOSE √
Residents also forwarded to Council over the previous weekend an argument for between 15 and 20 Reps so that each area would be even more fairly represented - and included suggested Reps for each area as well as 2nds and 3rds
for when people are ill or have work commitments - We are fortunate to have so many volunteers and for them to have all been seen in action arguing our case and particular aspects of it at Public Meetings that both the residents AND the Council have organised
- WE would have like to see Council consider these arguments seriously and identify like us, parts of Fairy Hills and Ivanhoe, that are particularly impacted by the proposals and seek candidates from those areas in particular - We will see where the process
leads us though ...
Council indicated that 2nds would be possible and that in some discussions maybe specialist attendees from certain areas could be added to the Working Group
If this happens, it could be that we are flexible enough to cover all issues thoroughly and immediately, without wasting time making referrals. We will wait and see how things
develop .. - POSSIBLY √