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Questions to Council 31 July 2012

posted Aug 11, 2012, 8:15 PM by Ed Itor Editor   [ updated Nov 16, 2012, 8:58 PM ]
Mary McDonald asked:
‘When will the concise paper on small lot development in the Green Wedge
Management Plan to discourage further rural development in the green wedge
be available?’

Mayor Young answered:
Whilst there has been significant work completed. the release
of the ‘New Zones for Victoria’ by the State Government earlier this month has
important consequences for planning in the green wedge areas of the
Accordingly the paper on small lot development will be completed and released
for public comment following the finalisation of the ‘New Zones for Victoria.’

Mary McDonald asked:
‘Will Council. irrespective of the outcome of public consultation, comply with
specified power line clearance requirements?‘

Mayor Young answered:
I responded that the 2010 regulations specify that Council provides clearance
around power lines. This is not negotiable. Council is committed to this and all
statutory obligations.

Brian Murray asked:
What is the total cost for the Mayoral messages, printed in the Diamond Valley
'Leader. Could you please list the dates printed and the individual costs per

Mayor Young answered:
Council made a decision to place a regular paid advertisement
in the Diamond Valley Leader last year, following the decreasing coverage of
Council decisions, activities and services in the editorial pages of the local
newspapers over the preceding 12 months.
Suburban newspapers in Melbourne have undergone significant structural
changes over the past year with the closure of local offices. cutting of staff and
increasing advertising content. Councils across Victoria are experiencing the
same issue as Nillumbik in that it is very difficult to get free editorial coverage to
let the communities know what Council is doing.
Council has been placing an ad in the Diamond Valley Leader every two weeks
since November 2011 at an average cost per ad of $2,300. The cost of the
Mayor's message averages $700 per ad.
Those who read the message will know that it is not the Mayor's personal
opinion on matters. but Council's position on issues which affect Nillumbik
Council has surveyed other councils and of the 34 who responded, 30 place a
paid advertisement or column in their weekly newspaper. Twelve of those
include a message from their local Mayor.
Centralising Council’s advertising in this way makes it easier for residents to
find information about Council events and services, as previously separate ads
were placed ad hoc in various sections of the paper and were often missed.
Council has an obligation to communicate to its residents and it has become
apparent across the sector that placing an advertisement in the local newspaper
one of the most effective ways to do this.
In Council's inaugural Community Survey conducted late last year. 31 per cent
of respondents said they preferred to receive information from Council through
the column in the local newspaper.