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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Drysdale Bypass update at public meeting


Andrew Westcot, Team Leader of the Vic Roads Drysdale Bypass project, will be the guest speaker at a public meeting in Drysdale at 7.00pm on Wednesday 19 October 2016.

Andrew will give an update on the Team's work so far and answer general questions about the Drysdale Bypass project.

The occasion is the 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA). It will happen at SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre, 17-21 High Street, Drysdale 3222.

DCSCA Secretary Patrick Hughes said, “Vic Roads has worked hard to keep the local community informed about its work on the Bypass. We appreciate that and we're looking forward to Andrew’s update.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The mural's unveiled!

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A glass and ceramic mural saying, "Welcome to Drysdale" was unveiled officially today on the outer wall of the Senior Citizens Club, from where it is visible across Drysdale's village green.

L to R: Tess Grace, Mercedes Drummond, Uncle David Tournier, Kaye Clancy, Sue Van Everey, Doug Carson
The unveiling ceremony started with a "Welcome to Country" by Uncle David Tournier, from the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op, who has been an advisor to the mural project.

Mercedes Drummond, from the Festival of Glass committee, then told the story of the mural's creation; and Sue Van Everey, President of the Rotary Club of Drysdale, led the official unveiling.

The glass and ceramic mural is an initiative of the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association and its Festival of Glass sub-committee.

Festival convenor Doug Carson said, "The mural is the latest link in the area's long association with glass and we're very grateful to all the local people and organisations that have made it happen. We're grateful especially to the Rotary Club of Drysdale, the Bendigo Bank and Drysdale's Hello World travel agency for their financial support."

The "Welcome to Drysdale" mural unveiled!
Worth waiting for!

Festival of Glass members Mercedes Drummond and Doug Carson ran the mural project, which started in December 2013, when Bellarine Secondary College Students - led by their teacher Tess Grace and local ceramic artist Kaye Clancy - created a collection of ceramic tiles. Each tile depicts a moment in the area's past or present and the whole collection forms the mural's border.

Inside the border, at the mural's centre, is a a single large piece of 'slumped glass' saying "Welcome to Drysdale", which was made by Geelong's Wathaurong Glass Company.
L to R: Tess Grace, Uncle David Tournier, Mercedes Drummond, Kaye Clancy, Sue Van Everey.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

A glass and ceramic mural for Drysdale


The "Welcome to Drysdale" mural will be unveiled officially at 1.00pm on Thursday 29th September in Drysdale Town Square.

The mural will be fixed to the outer wall of the Senior Citizens Club, which faces across the town square and is currently blank.

The mural is an initiative of Drysdale’s annual Festival of Glass. Festival convenor Doug Carson said, “The glass and ceramic mural gives glimpses of Drysdale then and now. It’s the latest link in the area’s long association with glass and we’re very grateful to all the local people and organisations that have made the 'Welcome to Drysdale' mural happen."

A local affair
The project started almost three years ago, in December 2013, when Bellarine Secondary College students – led by their teacher Tess Grace and by local ceramicist Kaye Clancy - created a collection of ceramic tiles, each depicting a moment in the area's past and present.

The ceramic tiles form a border to the mural, which has at its centre a sign in ‘slumped glass’ saying "Welcome to Drysdale", made by Geelong’s Wathaurong Glass. Festival of Glass members in Drysdale built the mural’s steel and wood frame.

Festival of Glass committee members Doug Carson and Mercedes Drummond have led the mural project; and Uncle David Tournier of Wauthorong Aboriginal Co-op has been an advisor. The Rotary Club of Drysdale and local travel agency Hello World have supported the project financially.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

DCSCA suggests community communication strategy to Geelong Administrators

Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) has sent a draft Community Communication policy to the Administrators of the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG).

One of the Administrators' tasks is to design a Community Communication Strategy and the DCSCA Committee has sent the Administrators a draft Community Communication Strategy that was adopted in April 2010 by the Affiliation of Bellarine Community Associations (ABCA).

The draft Strategy was produced because for years, community associations on the Bellarine Peninsula – individually and through the collective forum of the ABCA - had levelled detailed criticisms at the City of Greater Geelong over its handling of public consultation. In 2010, the ABCA decided to go beyond criticism and to propose ways to improve the council's communications with its citizens. It submitted a draft consultation policy to the council, intending that it would be the first step in a joint effort to improve the council's consultations.

The council didn't even show the ABCA the courtesy of acknowledging receipt of the document, let alone respond substantively to it. 

The DCSCA Committee has told the CoGG Administrators that the ABCA draft Strategy reflected community attitudes to community communication at the time and that it will assist them to design a contemporary community communication strategy.
 When ABCA submitted its draft Strategy to the council, it accompanied it with a covering letter summarising the draft Strategy; this appears below.

ABCA draft Community Communication Strategy. Covering Letter.
The Affiliation of Bellarine Community Associations believes that the City of Greater Geelong's public communication and consultation practices could be better than they are now; and that improving them would contribute to building a vigorous local democracy. We are keen to contribute to that process and, in that spirit, we make the following two proposals:

1. The City of Greater Geelong should develop a set of protocols concerning its communication and consultation with communities and other stakeholders; and should list specific communication and consultation targets that should be met before any proposal or report is presented to a Council meeting.

2. Each proposal or report presented to a Council meeting should include a section - ‘Communication & Consultation’ - in which the authors show that they have:
(i) communicated with and consulted relevant communities and other stakeholders in accordance with the Council’s communication and consultation protocols
(ii) met the specific targets associated with those protocols.

Such protocols and targets will enable councillors to see whether and to what extent their officers have communicated and consulted with stakeholders in the manner that the Council has decided they should; and they will enable stakeholders to see whether and to what extent their views have been taken into account in a Council proposal or report.

At present, some reports and proposals to Council list and/or summarise the results of consultations, but this practice isn’t consistent. Implementing our two proposals will give continuity and consistency to the Council’s relationships with its stakeholders.

These proposals require no new spending and this alone should commend them to councillors! Indeed, we believe that making the Council’s public communication and consultation consistent with published protocols and targets will streamline officers’ work, instill new stakeholder confidence in the process and provide tangible evidence that the City of Greater Geelong listens to its constituents and wants to promote local democracy. The outcome will be that the Council's public communication and consultation will be easier and quicker (and potentially less expensive) to perform.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Could "Greening my Geelong" mean destroying threatened species?

The City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) is currently considering an application to destroy a roadside run of native trees that includes members of a threatened species.

The trees are on the eastern side of Grubb Road opposite the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve and the application to destroy them is associated with the construction of the new Kingston estate.

More information about the proposal is available from Ms Bree Lord, Statutory Planning Department, City of Greater Geelong (statplanning@geelongcity.vic.gov.au).

Opposition online
The application has aroused widespread opposition, including an online petition (via change.org) asking Geelong council to retain the trees in Grubb Road. Organisers of the petition hope to gather 1,000 signatures and by 18 August 2016 have gathered 812.

The petition is titled, "Geelong City Council: Stop developers tearing down native trees in Ocean Grove". You can read more and sign the petition here:
https://www.change.org/p/geelong-city-council-stop-developers-tearing-down-native-trees-in-ocean-grove?recruiter=586100525&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

Opposition in person
If you wish to comment on the proposal, you might like to use DCSCA's objection (see below) as a starting point for your own. Indeed, you might like to just copy DCSCA's objection and submit it under your own name, although personal touches always strengthen objections. If you submit an objection, could you please send a copy to DCSCA (dryclift@bigpond.com), so that we can keep a count.

DCSCA's position

The Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association Inc. (DCSCA) objects to this application which, if granted, would lead to the destruction of a significant number of native trees on the eastern side of Grubb Road. Our reasons for objecting are presented below.

1.         Loss of general amenity. Destroying these trees will completely change the character of this entrance to Ocean Grove. The trees are covered by a Significant Vegetation Overlay, because they form a striking entrance to Ocean Grove, enhancing the town’s character and attractiveness and screening an industrial area; destroying these trees would reduce the area from an attractive, semi-rural vista to just another suburban streetscape. However, if the trees were retained, they would actively contribute to the general amenity of the new housing estate.

2.         Loss of amenity at the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve (OGNR). Destroying these trees will isolate the OGNR as an island of indigenous vegetation; and the large car park, together with the road itself, will form a large asphalted zone near the OGNR. This will seriously reduce the amenity of the eastern section of the OGNR, replacing the current view of paddocks and roadside vegetation with a bleak view of a car park. However, if the trees were retained, they would actively improve the area, breaking up and ‘softening’ the view from the OGNR to the new housing estate.

3.         Reduction in environmental health. Geelong council promotes itself with the slogan “Greening my Geelong”, but is considering an application to destroy examples of a threatened species! Many of the trees are Bellarine Yellow Gums (E. leucoxylon ssp bellarinensis), which is listed as a threatened species; and the other large trees are Swamp Gums (E. ovata). Both contribute to the environmental health of the area by providing habitats for many species of birds, invertebrates and small reptiles. These trees effectively act as ‘spillovers’ from the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve, extending its effects without extending its boundaries.

4.         Inadequate justification. The applicant argues that destroying the trees will make way for extra access points onto Grubb Road, as well as the main intersection between Grubb Road and Coastal Boulevard; but gives no clear reasons for creating these extra access points. The aim of destroying all the trees on the eastern side of Grubb Road appears to be to enable the Kingston Estate shopping centre to be built before Grubb Road is widened. However, there is no urgent need for shops to service the estate, given its proximity to the large shopping centre of Ocean Grove.

5.         Undermining the council’s Revised Ocean Grove Structure Plan. At the very least, a decision on the proposed destruction of the trees in Grubb Road should be deferred until after an appropriate urban design/landscape study, informed by community consultation, is undertaken. We agree with the conclusions of a report published in July 2016 by the City of Greater Geelong’s Planning Panel (Greater Geelong Planning Scheme Amendment C346 Ocean Grove Structure Plan and Town Centre Urban Design Framework):
·      An urban design or landscape study, involving consultation with all stakeholders, is required to determine an appropriate treatment for the entry of the town, integration with the new Grubb Road activity centre as well as the rural interfaces.
·      · Community consultation should identify safety and traffic concerns to be addressed in the planning and design phase of the road project.
 


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Who needs SIX liquor outlets?


Dumburra Avenue Cellars in Dumburra Avenue, Drysdale has asked the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to grant it a license for a 'packaged liquor outlet'. Granting the license will give the area its sixth liquor outlet.


The Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association Inc. (DCSCA) objects to this application because granting the license would have an adverse impact on the amenity of the area and on the objector.

1. Granting the license would have an adverse impact on the amenity of the area
1.1       Granting the license would reduce the overall amenity of the area significantly. The proposal would increase local traffic (on roads unsuitable for it); it would increase the noise of customers and their vehicles; and the proposed floodlit signage would change the area’s character. Further, liquor outlets are often associated with increased levels of rowdy and anti-social behaviour, reducing the area’s amenity still further.
1.2       Granting the license would exacerbate existing problems with traffic safety. The proposal would increase traffic in the area, but Whitcombes Road - the access road to Dumbarra Avenue - is unsuitable for heavy traffic. Its edges are unsealed and muddy, so increased traffic is likely to threaten pedestrian safety and to create more motor vehicle accidents. Further, the intersection of Whitcombes Road and Portarlington Road is dangerous already, so increased traffic in Whitcombes Road will only increase that danger.
1.3       Granting the license would exacerbate existing problems with parking. Cars are frequently – and inappropriately – parked on the vacant blocks beside the shop site. As these blocks are built on, cars will be forced to park elsewhere in the area. Each completed block will have one or two cars associated with it; and there will probably also be two employees' cars per shop – and that takes no account of customers’ vehicles! The result would be that customers to the bottle shop will have no alternative but to park inappropriately and illegally.
1.4       Granting the license would create new problems with rubbish removal. At present, all rubbish from the shops is collected in bins placed on Whitcombes Road. A bottle shop will increase the amount of rubbish significantly, as packaging is discarded – perhaps responsibly, perhaps just thrown to the ground. The increased volume of rubbish will require trucks to remove it, but the application fails to address the issue of rubbish at all.
1.5       Granting the license would create a sixth liquor outlet in the area. The area is well served by liquor outlets already: a bottle shop in each of the two Woolworths stores, a bottle shop in the Aldi Store, another at the Drysdale Hotel and a fifth in Pinaroo Avenue. Significantly, this license is being considered at a time when Woolworths is phasing out the use of cash in its bottle shops, because of the recent prevalence of robberies in its bottle shops. Granting this license would only increase the likelihood of such robberies in the area.

 
2. Granting the license would have an adverse impact on the amenity of the objector.
This objection comes not from an individual objector but from a collective objector - local residents, represented by DCSCA.
2.1       Granting the license would reduce local residents’ quiet enjoyment of their homes significantly. The proposal would increase local traffic (on roads unsuitable for it); it would increase the noise of customers and their vehicles; and the planned floodlit signage would change the area’s character. Further, liquor outlets are often associated with increased levels of rowdy and anti-social behaviour, reducing residents’ quiet enjoyment of their homes still further.
2.2       Granting the license would expose children daily to materials promoting liquor. Several school buses pick-up and drop-off each day in Whitcombe’s Road, directly opposite the proposed bottle shop. So granting the license would expose children every day to materials promoting liquor, which is clearly inappropriate. There is growing concern among experts on addiction as well as the general public about the ubiquitous nature of liquor promotion, which presents liquor as a normal, routine and risk-free part of everyday life; and concerns are also growing about the decreasing age at which children are experimenting with liquor. Granting this particular license would fly in the face of all those concerns.
 


 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

DCSCA comments on town square proposals

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DCSCA has lodged a substantial submission with the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) concerning its proposals to remodel Drysdale's 'town square', including extending the shopping complex.


CoGG’s proposals are in a glossy booklet, copies of which are available at the CoGG Customer Service Centre. The council held an information session at the Senior Citizens' club on the evening of Wednesday 6 July and has invited public comment on the proposals by July 29th.

In its submission, DCSCA congratulated the City of Greater Geelong for the thoroughness of its consultation exercise and the resources it has expended on it. It asked how the council would respond to the submissions, to demonstrate that the consultation was meaningful; and it asked how much the exercise had cost and whether the council had borne the whole cost.

A summary of DCSCA's 4-page submission follows.

Benefits
The proposals offer several benefits. They could refresh the area, enhancing its attractiveness and utility, reinforcing its role as a focal point of the town and boosting connectivity within the town centre. They could also resolve the current mix of gradients, improving access by cyclists and by pedestrians. A small children’s play area should be considered; parents/carers could watch children from the rotunda.

Problems
There are two problems with the proposals: they involve the sale of part of the ‘own square’ to support the extension of the shopping complex; and they add no more parking spaces to accommodate increased custom in the extended shopping complex. (The current car park has less than the regulation number of spaces; extending the complex without adding car parking will worsen an already bad situation.)

Omissions
There are several omissions from the proposals. These include the future of the rotunda, the library and the customer service centre; the traffic implications of the proposed new offices in Hancock Street; the relations with the forthcoming upgrades to Drysdale High Street; and any consideration of how the proposals could provide an ‘energy dividend’, e.g. by increasing energy efficiency in lighting, heating and cooling systems.