07 March 2019
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Local Government in the other place.
The action I seek is for the minister to confirm that Kingston City Council has complied with community consultation guidelines, specifically in relation to the council’s plan to plant trees along Beach Road between Charman Road, Cheltenham, and Rennison Street, Parkdale.
Kingston council plans to plant trees on Beach Road nature strips between Charman Road, Cheltenham, and Rennison Street, Parkdale.
I am advised by the CEO of Kingston council that this work will be completed by the end of April this year.
The council, in my view, has a duty to properly consult residents when undertaking projects of this nature, especially when such projects will significantly alter the streetscape of an area, cause disruption to residents and potentially impact upon safety.
I have been overwhelmed by the number of residents who have reached out to me despite the lack of consultation from Kingston council.
I personally wrote to residents along Beach Road between Charman Road and Warrigal Road specifically to ask them for their views.
To quote local home owner Shane:
”The complete lack of consultation and notification that this was even being considered defies the very basic concepts of democracy.”
Beach Road residents believe there has been a lack of consultation, a failure of reasonable governance and there are allegations of breaches of proper governance.
These breaches include actioning formal council motions in contravention of state and local government policies, including but not limited to:
- the Local Government Act 1989
- the Road Management Act 2004
- the Kingston City Council councillor code of conduct
- withholding community consultation results from both the community and relevant government departments
- the failure to use council resources, including ratepayer funds, in the public interest
- indicating via media release an intent to ignore a written directive from VicRoads relating to road safety
- the frequent failure to act in a transparent manner, thereby avoiding reasonable public scrutiny
- the intentional obfuscation of facts
- the failure to present all information to opposing councillors
I therefore ask that the minister cooperate in this matter, and I seek his urgent assurance that Kingston council’s handling of this matter has been dealt with appropriately, considering the overwhelming response from local residents.