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Council Meeting Summary - December 2018

The Mount Alexander Shire Civic Centre is located on Lyttleton Street in Castlemaine

Read the summary of key decisions and matters raised at the latest Council Meeting.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Mount Alexander Shire Council held its Ordinary Council Meeting at the Civic Centre in Castlemaine on Tuesday 18 December. The following decisions were made under council plan pillars of Our People, Our Place and Our Economy.

Our People

Library agreement*
Council agreed to enter into a five year agreement enabling the Goldfields Library Corporation to continue to provide library services to Mount Alexander Shire. Council invests more than $500,000 in the library service each year. The average cost per visit is the second lowest in Victoria.

With more than 9,100 members and more than 3,000 visitors a week, Castlemaine Library is a highly valued service in the shire that caters to people of all ages with its many different programs. The City of Greater Bendigo, Macedon Ranges Shire and Loddon Shire councils are part of the North Central Goldfields Regional Library Corporation Agreement 2019 – 2023.

Early Years Plan adopted*
Council adopted the Mount Alexander Early Years Plan 2018-2021 directing the provision of Early Years programs, services and partnership activities in the shire. The plan supports the needs of families and children from 0 – 8 years under the vision of creating an innovative and connected community that works together to support children to reach their full potential.

The plan was developed in partnership with the local community and service providers. It is structured around the themes of collaboration, services and support, learning and literacy, and environment and wellbeing. There are 34 actions under nine objectives to guide implementation of the plan. Actions include identifying the gaps in local childcare, looking at ways to improve kinder enrolments and establishing an Early Years Expo to create awareness of the local services.

The plan will be launched in February and the community will be kept up-to-date with programs.
A steering group will be established to ensure the plan remains inspirational and progressive.

Our Place

Maldon streetscape designs*
Council adopted the Maldon Streetscape Plan and Design Standards to improve the character and function of the historic town centre. The plan provides a strategic approach to improving pedestrian connections, safety and access, street tree planting and public spaces, and design standards for plantings, street furniture, paving materials, crossovers and bins.

It includes short and long term projects shaped by community feedback. Priorities include safety and access improvements, asphalt removal from the base of trees, street furniture replacement, the installation of bike racks and the restoration of kerbs and channels. Options for the ‘Old Bank Corner’ and developing a wayfinding strategy will be explored in the future.

The plan is part of the Maldon Streetscape Restoration Project which aims to underground power, restore historic shopfronts and improve public spaces. Cr Gardner said the project has been a community wish for nearly 40 years, and this plan and state government funding to develop a business case will bring this one step closer. He thanked everyone including the Maldon Streetscape Steering Committee for their time and expertise on the project.

Our Economy

Future of Wesley Hill Business Park
Council agreed to authorise the CEO to sell a vacant lot of land at Wesley Hill Business Park to support its vision to stimulate economic activity in the shire. The sale of Lot 3 is subject to an agreement on price that is equal or above an independent land valuation, in accordance with the Local Government Act. Public notice was undertaken to sell the land, and no submissions were made to the proposed sale.

At the same time, council officers are undertaking a feasibility study to identify options for the relocation of the Council depot in Bull Street, Castlemaine. While not yet finalised, the study suggests that council owned land at the industrial park offers an opportunity to house a depot on the remaining lots. Council agreed to withhold the sale of these lots until the outcome of the feasibility study is known.

Planning decisions
Council approved the following matters as recommended, subject to conditions:
• Planning permit application PA216/2018 for the development of a new shed in the Farming Zone at Muckleford-Walmer Road, Muckleford, to be used as a storage for goods, machinery or vehicles.
• Planning permit application PA145/2018 for the use and development of a dwelling on each of two consolidated lots on Bubbs Lane and Old Chapel Lane in Elphinstone.
• Planning permit application PA202/2018 for a two lot subdivision at 27 Binghams Road, located in the Township Zone in Harcourt.

Other matters raised

Dogs at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve
Council passed a Notice of Motion to make an order to designate the Elsie Palmer Field at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve as a dog free area and provide public notice of the order. Cr Petrusma raised the notice of motion on the basis of public health and safety issues at the sports ground due to an increasing number of dogs and a few irresponsible dog owners over the past 12 months.

The issues include dogs not under effective control, damage to the cricket pitch resulting in the cancellation of games, and residents not picking up after their dog despite signage at the reserve. Affected user groups include local cricket and soccer clubs, and school groups, as well as volunteers maintaining the grounds. The resolution follows the declaration of a dog free area at the Doug Powell Oval after a safety incident occurred at the velodrome last year, and the declaration of the netball courts as a dog on lead area in November 2017.

Vale Mr Alan Elliot
Mayor Bronwen Machin acknowledged the recent passing of former Mount Alexander Shire Council Mayor and Councillor Mr Alan Elliot, and the contribution he made to the community. She conveyed her condolences to his family on behalf of Council.
Public question time

Items raised during public question time included support for the Bubbs Lane planning application, Council’s tree planting program in Barker Street Castlemaine, worry about dogs and irresponsible pet owners at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve, and concerns about road shoulders, drains and road maintenance across the shire.

Council meeting minutes

Council meeting minutes are available by close of business on the Friday after the meeting.

Council Meeting summary - December 2018 (PDF, 152KB)
Council Meeting summary - December 2018 (Word, 128KB)

The next Council Meeting will be on 19 February 2019. For more information visit our Council Meetings page or read our media releases under latest news.*

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