Public question time at Hume Council

Among the questions put to Hume City Council by residents on Monday 29 April covered Sunbury’s Aquatic & Leisure Centre, a request for a list of large council projects, and questions over a weapons manufacturer in Campbellfield…

We have listed Sunbury-related Q&As first…

Q: MELINDA O’NEILL (Sunbury). How did the council identify the need to remove the SALC outdoor toddler pool and replace it with 0m depth water play equipment?

A: The positioning for the Outdoor Water Play Park was identified as the preferred location by the project team, which included council officers and specialist design consultants. In determining the position regard was had to the utilisation of toddler pool, its construction and accessibility concerns.

The new outdoor water play park aims to redevelop the outdoor toddler pool space to upgrade access, new seating, water features and water play equipment to meet current and future community needs.

Q: MELINDA O’NEILL (Sunbury). Following the community consultation for the SALC outdoor toddler area works, what changes were made based on community feedback?

A: Consultation was conducted in September 2023 with 486 people providing feedback. The outdoor water play park features to be installed were selected based on public feedback preference. The most popular elements identified by the community through the consultation were incorporated into the design. These include a tipping bucket, slides, spraying loops and various water jets.

Q: BRIAN MILLET (Sunbury). Following the approval of the 50m pool (SALC) to be open all year round. Why does the 50m pool need to be closed now prior to the commencement of the outdoor works?

A: The trial will commence once works associated with the outdoor water play space are complete. These works commence shortly. Council extended the outdoor pool season by two weeks to accommodate the school holiday period.

Q: CHRIS O’NEILL (Sunbury). Can council provide a list of the three largest new capex spends for each ward in the Hume city council draft budget 2024/25.? In the table please provide name of project, cost of project, ward and a short description of what the spend is for.

A: The draft 2024/25 Budget is scheduled for approval for public exhibition following the council meeting on 27 May 2024. Information will be available after this date.

Q: CHRIS O’NEILL (Sunbury). In the Hume city council 24/25 draft budget, what is the total spend broken down by ward? In the table please provide a breakdown of total spend, percentage of total spend and ward.

A: The draft 2024/25 Budget is scheduled for approval for public exhibition following the council meeting on 27 May 2024. Information will be available after this date.

Q: DAVID NEWTON (Sunbury). In the 2021 Hume City council indoor sports plan adopted by council shows that courts within the Jacksons Creek ward were operating at peak capacity (97%). Since the reports adoption what investment has Hume City Council made in the Jacksons Creek ward to alleviate pressure on Eric Boardman courts.

A: Council is aware of the high demand on indoor sports courts in the Jacksons Creek ward during peak times and is developing its Active Living Service and Infrastructure Plan to guide and assess future availability in growth area locations. The plan will also assist council to explore future funding opportunities to meet the significant costs associated with the provision of new stadium infrastructure.

Council continues to invest annually in existing facilities including the Eric Boardman Courts to ensure they remain available for the community, clubs and user groups.

Officers have also worked with user groups to expand all abilities and pre-school programs to maximise usage at existing facilities during off peak times which has increased participation across Hume.

Q: DAVID NEWTON (Sunbury). Since 2015 developers have contributed approximately AUD$27M in levies to Hume City Councils Budget. What are the forecasted total developer levies ($AUD) for the Jacksons Creek ward over the next 10 years to 2034?

A: Over the next 10 years from 2024/25 to 2033/34, the council anticipates receiving cumulative developer contributions of $183.19 million for the Jacksons Creek ward.

This sum includes contributions for Community and Recreation, Transport, and Supplementary Transport. In addition, an extra $73.4 million is projected to be paid to the council as a land equalisation levy, which will be used to reimburse developers (or other property owners) who provide more land than specified in the Sunbury Infrastructure Contributions Plan (ICP).

Q: SUSAN IMAM AND SASHA DARA. On an Ethical and moral perspective why hasn’t council contacted Maria Vamvakinou MP (chairman of Human Rights committee) to voice our concerns in regards to HTA weapons manufacturing facility that violates all ethical, moral and human rights?

What initiatives have councillors led to hold Maria Vamvakinou MP to account in her advocacy or lack of, for Palestine and the HTA/BDS motion?

A: The role of Hume City Council, and indeed that of all council’s in Victoria, is highly regulated and relates specifically to the zoning and the use of land in relation to permits that have been allocated.

Unless an occupant has breached either the Planning and Environment Act 1987 or the Hume Planning Scheme, or is in breach of any planning approvals issued, Council is unable to take action against a business or operators.

To-date, Council has not been notified of any breaches with regards to the above and therefore has neither the power or policies to take any action.

Q: SUSAM IMAM. Council represents Hume residents. Why hasn’t council actively under (international/humanitarian law,) implemented or advocated the BDS on behalf of the indigenous Palestinians whom reside in Hume (whom are not able to grieve for their massacred loved ones) to state and federal governments?

A: This is a matter for Council to consider which has not yet been considered.

Q: SASHA DARA. Given Hume is home to the largest Islamic population in Victoria, and in light of the rise in Islamophobia, what has the council committed to in order to combat this and educate communities and keep our people safe?

A: Council’s Social Justice Charter guides programs and services to advance equitable access and participation for all Hume residents. The Charter aims to address prejudice and racism and guides the actions of Council.

Hume City Council supports an active Hume Interfaith Network and works closely with Faith leaders to support the education of the broader community. Last weekend the HIN hosted a successful come try sports community event – providing members of the community to interact with leaders from all faiths. Events like these are hosted throughout the year.

Council also have a range of programs such as Community Hubs and Community Change Makers that aim to facilitate the inclusion of all faiths and challenge the negative stereotypes that community may face. Council has partnered with Victoria University to address racism and are hosting workshops in May. All the initiatives mentioned are provided in more detail on Council’s website.

Q MICHAEL RUSSO. Regarding the roundabout at Dawson St & Micheline St Tullamarine, council advised line marking around the central island has faded and will be re-line marked and Landscaping will also be inspected to determine whether any planting needs replacing. Can council please provide an update as to when these tasks will be completed?

A: The roundabout has been inspected and line marking around the central island has been determined that the Tulbaghias that were planted two to three years ago are suitable and these plants flower multiple times from mid-spring to late-summer. The site receives monthly inspections and maintenance.

Q: MICHAEL RUSSO. Regarding the two roundabouts on Broadmeadows Rd in Tullamarine, residences have noticed the roundabout has displaced in certain sections and landscaping is unsightly. Residences have made several requests to look into this but have no response. Can you please provide some information about what is being done?

A: Maintenance inspections of the roundabouts on Broadmeadows Road at the intersections of Dalkeith Avenue and Spring Street have been undertaken. The roundabout kerbs were found not to be displaced however there is some minor displacement of a section of the internal concrete within the island of one of the roundabouts, but it does not exceed road management plan intervention levels.

Some sections of the line marking at the roundabouts have faded and have been scheduled to be re-line marked within the next 4 weeks. A stormwater pit lid within one of the roundabouts was found to be damaged and arrangements have been made for its repair.

Regarding landscaping, the roundabouts have limited area for landscaping to take place. As a result, the roundabouts have been planted with Lomandra ‘Tanikas’ which provide strappy foliage. These receive an annual prune which will generate new growth. These sites are serviced monthly.

Source Hume City Council minutes.