I hope that you had a safe and happy Christmas and your new year has started well. We have a number of community festivals coming up this month in Kew, Ashburton and Balwyn North. I hope to see many of you there.

There’s a lot to read in this month’s edition of the Boroondara Bulletin; highlights include an update on our strategy development for tree protection and management of graffiti, advice on how you can object to a planning application online, and information about our arts programs. I particularly like the story on page 2 which takes an art program into Maranoa Gardens, allowing participants to experience and sketch the plants from the extensive native collection. If only I had some artistic ability I’d enrol myself.

The Victorian Government’s annual satisfaction telephone survey will be conducted across Victoria this month. Five hundred Boroondara residents will be telephoned by JWS Research and asked to rate our performance, so if you are contacted please take the 15 minutes to give your candid feedback. We have topped the State in the past two years in satisfaction with overall performance but issues such as inappropriate development, traffic management and parking availability continue to be a challenge for the City.

One area flagged for improvement over the past few years has been communication. Thanks to the many who told us, through our recent communications audit, what was of interest, how they wished to receive information and how they wanted to engage with us and each other. We will report on our findings in the March edition.

We are also undertaking a digital transformation to move many of our transactions online. Recent improvements include providing your rates and instalment reminders electronically, online processing of Land Information Certificates, online claim forms for injury, property or vehicle damage relating to Council and online lodgement of submissions to strategic planning amendments. This is part of a four-year plan to improve the way residents and businesses interact with Council to enhance our efficiency. We are working very hard to ensure that the way we run our business is contemporary and meets your needs.

With best wishes,

Councillor Jim Parke
Mayor of Boroondara

Boroondara Mayoral Blog