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27 March 2018 Council meeting summary

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018 - 1:00pm

Golden Plains Shire Council now offers residents a condensed version of the Council meeting minutes as a further service to residents who wish to learn about key Council business, but may not have the time to read the minutes.

Our ‘Council meeting summaries’ complement the Council meeting update video from the Mayor, shared the evening after the Council meeting, as well as the detailed meeting minutes, which are made available to the public a few days after the meeting.

Please note these summaries do not outline all of the discussion or decisions from the Council meeting – these updates provide key information and meeting highlights.

New set up – Bannockburn Shire Hall

Our 27 March Council meeting was our first in the new set up in the Bannockburn Shire Hall.  We have reorientated the seating so that the gallery is facing the Councillors and the Mayor. This arrangement better utilises the space and creates a clear and designated space for community seating.

Meah Sharkey – Citizen Recognition Award

Mayor talking about Meah Sharkey - March 2018.jpg

To begin the meeting, Council took the opportunity to recognise the fantastic sporting achievements of Meah Sharkey. Here is some of what Councillor Helena Kirby’s had to say about Meah at the Council meeting:

“It brings me great pleasure to recognise a standout young athlete today, Meah Sharkey. Meah is a 12-year-old Batesford resident, who has recently competed in the Australian Minime Circuit in fencing, in the Under 13s and Under 14s categories.

She is also the daughter of fellow Councillor Sharkey.

Meah competed in Adelaide this past weekend, where she represented Victoria and emerged with a gold medal in the team event and a bronze medal in the individual event – huge well done to Meah!

The Minime Circuit is a competition for young fencers, and is linked with the growth and development of Australian young people. It aims to strengthen and educate fencers as well, so it really is a wonderful program for young fencers.

Meah attends Kardinia International College in Geelong and is a member of the Golden Plains Youth Committee. She loves trampolining, reading, baking and assisting with youth activities in the Shire.

As soon as she started fencing, she loved it – she began pursuing the sport around three years ago. It didn’t long for Meah to progress – her first State competition was in July 2016, where she won gold in the Under 11 and her first National competition was in November 2017.

Meah’s commitment to fencing is impressive to say the least – she trains Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and competes on Sundays. It takes up a lot of her time, but with the support of her parents, she has been able to train, refine her skills and develop into the accomplished young sportswoman she is today – and she is only 12 years old!

Meah, congratulations on representing Victoria so wonderfully, and thank you for your commitment to youth development in Golden Plains Shire. On behalf of Council, we wish you all the best in your future.”

Meah received a certificate of recognition and a grant of $250 for her achievement in sport. 

General business

Council then moved into general business, with the first few reports being procedural.  They adopted the Council Assembly records from the past month, along with a review of a number of policies, including;

  • Revoking the Policy 10.3 Timber Plantations Setback.  This policy was adopted by Council in 2002 to protect the amenity of properties in rural living locations adjoining proposed timber production sites.  This report describes the development of the policy, how it has been referred to in past decision making and, in conclusion, details why the policy is no longer required. 
  • Adopting Policy 4.7:  Condolences – Councillors & Former Councillors, which now makes clear that it only pertains to Golden Plains Shire (not the former Shires) and allows for donations to a Charity as opposed to just Flowers.
  • Adopting Policy 4.11: Display of Australian National Flag without amendment
  • Adopting Policy 7.1: Smoking in Council Facilities and Vehicles without changes.

Councillors Expenses Report

As part of our commitment to transparency, Council will be presenting a Councillors Expenses Report each quarter, highlighting all the costs that the Councillors incur.

Batesford Cemetery Management Plan 2018

Batesford Cemetery - Council meeting update March 2018.JPG

Following some incredible work by staff, Council endorsed the draft ‘Old Batesford Cemetery Management Plan 2018’ for public exhibition.  Residents are encouraged to have a look at the plan and learn about the incredible history surrounding this unique historic cemetery.

View the document today

Planning applications

Council then considered a number of planning applications:

  • Planning Application P17-217 for a dwelling and shed along the Glenelg Highway, Linton.  The report was originally presented to the 23 January 2018 Ordinary Council meeting, however Council deferred determination of the application to allow notice of the application to be given to the owners and occupiers of adjoining land.  Officers recommended refusal, however the Councillors determined to approve the application. A division was called, with four in favour and three opposed to the approval.
  • Planning Application P16-33 for the development of the land for telecommunications facility at 2699 Midland Highway, Lethbridge.  The application has been referred to Council for determination as objections to the application have been received and no resolution found. The tower is critical to improving mobile telecommunication across the district not only to this particular area.  Council approved the application.
  • Planning Application P14-206 for a dwelling along Sutherland Street, Teesdale. Council resolved to issue a Notice of Decision to Refuse to Grant a Permit for the development of a dwelling at this location. The proposal fails to accord with the State & Local Planning Policy Frameworks, in particular Clauses 13.02 & 22.11, and the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay, because the flood risk associated with the proposed dwelling and access presents an unacceptable danger to the life, health and safety of the occupants of the dwelling and emergency services.

Sons of the West men’s health program – report

A report was presented to the Councillors to update them on the Western Bulldogs “Sons of the West” program planned for 2018, acknowledging the value of the program and the funding contribution from the Buninyong & District Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise.

Community Engagement Strategy update

A progress update was provided to inform Council on the implementation of the Community Engagement Strategy (2016-2020) over its first 15 months (September 2016 – December 2017).

One of the highlights of this update was that, over the first 15 months of Strategy implementation, we engaged with over 3,700 community members, which is over 15% of our total population.

We are always striving to improve our engagement with the community, and Council encourages residents to continue having their say and getting involved in consultation opportunities.

The Strategy Progress Report was endorsed for public exhibition and consultation, so stay tuned; it is scheduled to be made available to the public in April 2018.

Contract GPS RFT2/2018

Contract GPS RFT2/2018 for the provision of concreting services was tabled for approval. This contract will provide for concrete and associated construction work services over the next three years. As a result, D & N Hope Construction & Concreting are our preferred provider.

Mayor activities

Towards the end of the meeting, the Mayor highlighted her activities over the past month:

  • G21 Arts, heritage and Culture Pillar meeting
  • Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group Local Government Waste Forum
  • Golden Plains Arts Trail launch
  • Gayle Tierney meeting
  • International Women’s Day luncheon
  • Voice FM interview
  • Wyndham City Council meeting
  • Visit to Surf Coast Shire
  • Press for Progress – International Womens Day
  • Central Highlands Regional Partnership meeting
  • Golden Plains Shire Business lunch
  • Committee for Ballarat Round Table dinner
  • Meredith Community Planning forum
  • Piggoreet, Golden Lake, Grant Trunk and Happy Valley Old Scholars’ Reunion
  • CFA Thank you day for Volunteers and families
  • Voice FM interview
  • Catherine King meeting
  • Committee for Ballarat breakfast
  • Disability, Access and Inclusion Network meeting
  • Linton Primary School District Sports Association Athletic Sports

Midland Highway duplication

Councillor Sharkey raised the issue of the Midland Highway duplication proposed for in and around the Batesford community.  After much discussion, the Councillors agreed they do not support the duplication through the centre of the township, and that this was to be Golden Plains Shire Council’s official stance. Residents should keep in mind the decision to proceed with a highway duplication through the township is out of Council’s hands.

The meeting finished at 8.33pm. 

The full meeting minutes are published within five working days after the meeting here.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018 - 1:11pm


Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.