Cr Mayne

Cr McMillan question about On Luck transcript

September 11, 2020

Here is a transcript from a council meeting in 2010 about state government intervention over the On Luck Nursing home and the call in of Manningham's $38 million civic precinct project.

Cr McMillan: No it's just the issue that I would like to raise with councilor Mayne, who was quoted in the Manningham Leader, Stephen, as saying that the call in of the civic centre by the minister, that you were quoted as saying that it was warranted on the circumstances.

Yet in the case of the On Luck nursing home, you were opposed to the minister calling it in. On what criteria do we have as a council on calling in matters, where the minister can call-in matters?

Is it based on whether it is the council's interest?

Because as far as I was concerned, there were very legitimate objectors to the civic centre, based on parking requirements, and that won't go through the due process. Yet you concurred with the council it requesting that it be called in.

Cr Mayne:
thanks councilor McMillan. I guess I see the two issues in starkly different lights.

With the On Luck nursing home, we were talking about nursing homes being a prohibited use in the green wedge, and you were talking about a direct approach to the minister to build the largest nursing home in Manningham when it's a prohibited use in the green wedge.

It didn't go through what would be a normal ministerial amendment process, and I was very disturbed about the precedent issues that were created there, where some councilors were condoning a change to our planning scheme. A change to our planning scheme dealing with an issue which is a prohibited use, under our planning scheme.

If you look at what's been proposed out here with the civic precinct, its not requiring a change to our planning scheme. It did go through the council process. It was advertised in the normal way. It was passed seven votes to two – I know you voted against it, as did councilor Downie. There was four or five objectors, some of whom had been what I would call serial objectors around projects on Doncaster Hill, and there was potentially $5m worth of federal grants, to supporting the project, a wonderful integrated community youth project, that were at risk if we didn't get this project called-in.

You also had the situation where the officers were actually recommending that we approach the minister for a call-in, and I certainly, in reading the report that the officers provided on the On Luck matter, noted that they expressed very strong concerns about the planning tools being used and the process.

So there are a raft of differences: officer endorsement, prohibited use, levels of involvement with the normal planning process, and I, frankly, am surprised that you still see that these issues are in any way comparable, when I see them as being profoundly different, and I don't see any inconsistency.

As a general rule, you want to have control over your planning scheme, and you don't want the state government coming in willy-nilly. But you never-say-absolutely-never, and in these circumstances, given everything that I have explained, I think the situation was justified. And in expressing that, I was supporting the officers, and I was supporting the majority of my councilors.

So if I had come out and slammed this, I would have been criticising the hard-working officers, and I would have been pretty much on my own – or I wouldn't have been supported by some of my council colleagues, and this was the considered position that certainly I think the mayor supported?

Mayor Pick: I supported, but I've consistently supported several of those.

Cr Mayne: yeah, and the CEO support it and the planning department support it, and I was simply offering support in the media to what the officers and the majority of the council felt. So that is why I took that position.