Saturday, December 17, 2005

Beyond the minutes - City Council - December 13, 2005

Reflection on the minutes - Melbourne City Council Meeting - December 13, 2005

Item 5.2 City Parking - milking the meter - The City Council moved to increase the cost of on-street parking for the second time in the last 6 months (48%) - Cr Clark moved an amendment to establish an Expenditure review sub Committee of the FCP Committee to assess and recommend expenditure reductions in the 05/06 Budget to overcome the need for an increase in parking fees and report to the February Committee meeting;

Cr Clarke’s amendment was put and lost with Crs. Clarke and Snedden voting in favour of the motion and the John So, Gary Singer, Frazer Bindley, Carl Jetter and Brian Shanahan voting against the amendment. (Councillors Catherine Ng and David Wilson absent. We understand that Councillor NG is overseas on some fact finding trip)

Item 5.3 Waste Transfer Station - Closed Session - Public denied information

Item 5.4 CityWide Furture Directions - Closed Session - Public denied information

Item 5.5 Inner Melbourne Action Plan - Established a new committee - Will this committee be open to the public and all documentation available on the Councils web site as required by the Local Government Act.

Item 5.6 River fest - Open chequebook $30,000 dollars spent from consolidated revenue for 2 days youth conference and other River activities (not disclosed in resolution)

Item 5.7 Sustainable Melbourne Fund - Council forgoes 4.5% return on 5 Million dollar investment - Review every five years only!

That's a loss subsidy of over $225,000.00 a year or ($428,500.00 at 8.57%) Is this responsible management of the cities investments?

Council rejects motion by Cr Clarke “That Council approve the financial statements of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund and invite the trustees to discuss with Council the future of the Fund.” - Why?

Item 5.8 Cooperative Agreement Between City of Melbourne and Southern Province of Sri Lanka - Approval responsibility delegated to Lord Mayor - No budget allocation or indication of costs of agreement. Details not yet finalised. Council signs off without knowing or disclosing the full cost and impact/benefits.

Item 5.9 Tender Evaluation Report: Banner Servicing and Maintenance - $260,000.00 maintenance contract for city banners.

Item 5.10 Proposal to Attend MIPIM Asia Conference, Hong Kong, September 2006 - That Council endorsed in principle, subject to the 2006/07 Budget process, the participation by the City of Melbourne in the MIPIM Asia 2006 Conference subject to:

1.1. a detailed break down of costs of attendance;
1.2. officers providing a report on the format of our participation in
conjunction with business groups and industry associations; and

1.3. a report being provided on anticipated outcomes of Council’s

Should not the anticipated outcome come before any agreement of participation. No budget allocation recorded in the resolution we can expect this to increase as time progresses.

Cr Jetter declared a conflict of interest but failed to declare, as required under the Local Government Act, what the conflict was. Why? What was the nature of the conflict of interest? Did he discuss this issue with other Councillors prior to the meeting? Was it raised in the Councillor Information Exchange Session? Was Councillor Jetter present at any pre-council meeting?

Item 5.11 Redevelopment of Recreational and Sporting Facilities Used by the AFL - previous proposals rescinded $2 million to be spent on upgrading spotting facilities with no financial benefit analysis - Sporting clubs and State Government to match council funding total $6 Million upgrade. Councillor Frazer Brindley voting against the motion.

Item 6.1 Melbourne Childrens’ Garden in TianjinMelbourne Tianjin 25th Anniversary Legacy Project. - Allocation of $180,000 for non budgeted expenditure for Melbourne's Sister City in China

Mean while Melbourne's Peace Garden, located in the Exhibition Gardens, commemorating the Tibetan Dali Lama's visit to Melbourne is left wanting and in need of maintenance.

What is the total cost tally of all expenditure including staff and Council Travel to Melbourne's Sister Cities? Is one sibling, Tianjin, being favoured above and beyond the other seven sisters?

See post Shame Fraser Shame for item 7.1 Council Travel register

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