Video URL
Tue 16 June 2020
Audio description

Welcome everyone to tonight's special council meeting. My name is councillor Cynthia Watson and I'm the mayor of Boroondara. I will now call upon councillor Sinfield to read the council prayer. 

My apologies Mayor I don't seem to have a copy of it with me. Well we will wait just one moment and that will be provided to you, thank you Councillor Sinfield and apologies that that was not made available to you to read in a timely manner, I believe it's just arriving.

And thank you it has, my apologies. Almighty God we humbly seek your blessings upon this council, direct and prosper its deliberations to the advancement to and to the true welfare the people of the City of Boroondara amen. Amen. 

The city of Boroondara acknowledges the traditional custodians of this land and respects their customs and traditions. The health, safety and well-being of the community has and will always be the paramount consideration of the council. 

Council continues to be guided by the government directives and wants to be able to do the right for the health of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 omnibus emergency services act 2020 passed by the Victorian Parliament on the 23rd of April 2020 included changes to the Local Government Act 2020 which affected the conduct of council meetings.

The changes became effective from the first of May 2020. Council is now able to hold virtual meetings and councillors can participate in meetings remotely by electronic means of communication.

The special council meeting is being live-streamed on the council website so you'll be able to view the Proceedings of the meeting, councillor deliberations and voting. The meeting is also being recorded and will be made available on the council website as soon as practicable after the meeting.

Should technical problems be encountered by the council and everyone please touch wood then the meeting will be adjourned until resolution or postponed. I'll start by introducing my fellow councillors and officers who are present for this meeting. 

Councillor Jane Addis, councillor Phillip Healey, councillor Steve Hurd, councillor Lisa Hollingsworth, councillor Jim Parke, councillor Coral Ross, councillor Felicity Sinfield, councillor Garry Thompson and councillor Jack Wegman.

I'll now ask the councillors to please indicate that they are present for the meeting and my apologies I should have done this when I just introduced you so I will begin with councillor Jane Addis, I'm present thanks chair. Thank you. Councillor Phillip Healey, madam chair. Thank you, councillor Steve Hurd, present madam mayor. Thank you. 

Councillor Lisa Hollingsworth, present madam mayor. Thank you. Councillor Jim Parke, good evening mayor. Thank you. Councillor Coral Ross, present madam mayor. Councillor Felicity Sinfield, present. Councillor Garry Thompson, present thank you. And councillor Jack Wegman, present madam mayor. Thank you.

We have a number of officers who I will also introduce into this meeting, our chief executive mr. Phillip Storer is here with us this evening, the director of City Planning Shiran Wickramasinghe, the Director of Community Development Carolyn McClean, director of environment and infrastructure mr. Daniel Freer, director customer service and business transformation mr. Bruce Dobson, the manager of governance mr. David Thompson and governance projects officer Miss Elizabeth Manou. 

There are also a number of officers in attendance tonight and they will be introduced as they present their reports. I will now move on to the order of business as listed on our business papers. Commencing with apologies, mr. Thompson are there any. Through you madam mayor there are no apologies for this evening. 

Item two of business is the declaration of conflict of interest of any councillor or council officer, are there any conflicts of interest that need to be declared this evening. There being none we will now proceed to the presentation of officers reports and the first item this evening is the proposed budget for 2020-21 and that will be presented this evening  after an introduction by mr. Greg Hall. 

So it's my pleasure to make the introduction for tonight's budget and that is what I will proceed to do now. Tonight I present to you this proposed budget for the 2020-21 financial year. This year we as a community have been presented with unique challenges as a result of the corona virus pandemic that has swept the world.

We have been supporting our community in a declared state of emergency in Victoria and a health crisis not seen for many generations. The impact of the systemic and incidental challenges which have arisen have been far-reaching and touched all Boroondara residents businesses community groups and the wider community in one way or another.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our CEO mr. Phillip Storer for his exceptional leadership and the staff for the outstanding job they have done and continue to do. They have been creative and innovative in finding solutions to pivot the organization's delivery capabilities and ensure that Council has continued to meet the needs of our community throughout this pandemic. 

On behalf of Boroondara Council and the Boroondara community it is my privilege as mayor to extend to every member of staff a heartfelt thank you. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the many thousands of volunteers who have and continue to serve our community providing much-needed care and compassion to those in need. We are blessed and strengthened as a community by the selfless service they give. 

The ongoing challenges we have as a council continue to meet have been the source of much intellectual rigor and forthright debate as we have considered and drafted this year's budget. 

While as councillors we can disagree on many things one principle which unites us all is that we have a responsibility to our residents and we'll deliver on the promises we've made to our community even during uncertain times.

We work hard to balance the needs of our diverse and growing community when developing council's budget each year to deliver services and infrastructure for Boroondara. Under these unique and challenging circumstances we are committed to balancing the needs of our community based on sound principles as outlined in the Boroondara community plan, while providing support and relief those who need it most.

This proposed budget has been prepared in line with council's commitment to sustainable budgeting responsible financial management and under the Victorian Government's rate cap for 2020-21.

Our COVID response is not a single line item in the budget rather it is the focus of every line item in the budget. Meeting the needs of our community requires a whole of organization response. These impacts have been spread right across council's budget from fee waivers for food health registrations to lower green fees at the Freeway golf course and everything in between.

We have been able to tackle these challenges head-on while still delivering a sustainable forward budget position. Included in this proposed budget is funding towards our four and a half million dollar COVID-19 support and relief package which commenced in April comprising multiple initiatives to ease financial burden on Boroondara residents businesses and community groups who have experienced hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Council has been able to pivot to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 which in financial terms total over 16 million dollars across both this and the next financial year. Council remains committed to responding to the community's needs and aspirations reflected in the Boroondara community plan and continuing to invest in programs services and infrastructure that create jobs.

It is indeed more important than ever now to invest in our infrastructure and community assets. As our city begins to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and restrictions are eased to allow our community to come together and reconnect once more we will deliver eighty one point four million dollars in renewed and new community assets over the coming financial year.

We will continue to progress construction on a number of shovel-ready significant major projects like the Kew recreation centre redevelopment, a development of the new community precinct in Canterbury and completion of a brand-new Camberwell community centre which will boost employment during construction phase and create employment opportunities once completed.

We have allocated funding for community facilities and services like our libraries health families recreation and more. Know that we can continue to support and strengthen our community with these important services. We will continue to invest and care for Boroondara's many beautiful and much-loved parks and gardens along with other council assets like roads and footpaths.

You will find many other initiatives within the proposed budget including an investment of 4.04 million dollars on a range of initiatives to minimize our environmental footprint. As part of this investment Council will purchase a hundred percent green renewable electricity for our buildings and street lighting. Plant new trees across the city deliver education programs to the community engage with our community to develop a ten-year climate action plan and upgrade infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We'll spend 1.5 million for shopping centre and streetscape improvements at Cotham village and Highfield Road. One point 7 one million for the continued delivery of council's very first place making projects to revitalize Maling Road in Canterbury and Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn. And 2.6 million for a new regional playground and skate park at Victoria Park in Kew just to name a few.

It is important to us that our community has the opportunity to provide their input on this proposed budget. Following tonight's meeting the proposed budget document will be available for public inspection and comment from Wednesday 3 June to Wednesday 1 July. Copies will be available on our website and at our libraries for those who require a hard copy. 

Written submissions will be presented and considered by council at a special council meeting held online and streamed live through council's website on Monday 13 July prior to the official adoption of the budget.

This proposed budget addresses the clear and present needs of our community during a time of crisis and also plans for a better future. It will ensure that Boroondara remains a beautiful vibrant and inclusive City despite the challenges we are currently facing. Only those who never step will never stumble, let us step forward together as a community and build a better Boroondara. 

Thank you I will now pass the time over to mr. Hall, um councillor Healey, sorry I thought we're getting ready to move the motion for the budget but I'm ready when you're seeking such a motion madam chair. Thank You councillor Healey and at the appropriate time I will turn to you to move a motion and I will now turn the time over to mr Hall for his presentation of the budget.

Through you madam mayor this report presents a proposed budget 2021 for public notice. The proposed budget has been prepared in line with council's commitment to sustainable budgeting responsible financial management the Victorian Government's rate cap for 2021 and Australian Accounting Standards.

Also presented for adoption tonight but not for public notice is the council plan 2017-21 as is required annually by the Local Government Act. I will be brief the officers recommendation is on screen through you madam mayor thank you. 

Thank you mr Hall councillors are there any questions for mr Hall this evening before I return to councillor Healey, there being no questions for you mr Hall thank you very much for your report and councillor Healey you foreshadowed a motion this evening. The motion as printed madam mayor. 

Thank you very much councillor Healey, councillor Hurd. Happy to second madam mayor. Thank you very much councillor Hurd. Councillor Healey would you like to speak to the motion this evening. 

Madam mayor I am happy to speak to it but I think it's been eloquently preambled by yourself and also Mr Hall so I might wait for my right of reply later. Thank you, is there any opposition to tonight's budget. Thank you councillor Addis, councillor Ross as noted. So councillor Healey you have indicated that you would like to speak later, so I will ask councillor Addis would you like to speak now.

Thank you madam mayor look I think I do need to speak and say why I'm taking such an unusual step of not supporting all that we see in this motion. I think there's much to commend in this budget but I do have some issues with it. I I think that it it doesn't respond adequately to the difficulties that many in our community are facing.

We all know that our local businesses are struggling and I think we've all heard from our local shopping centres how much they're finding it a problem to open up their businesses and get back to work and what I'm seeing in this budget is many things that are of great benefit to our community but for me it's skewed it's not it's not keeping money aside to respond to what we yet don't know our community will need.

So there are a couple of things that I particularly wanted to highlight I'm really struggling with a rate rise when in many ways this budget feels like it's sort of business as usual and this isn't a usual time I'd be comfortable with a rate rise if I could see this money more clearly going to support the people who are struggling.

One of the other things I'm finding it hard to support is the allocation of so much money to infrastructure when it seems to me it would be best to delay some of these projects until we do better assess our community's needs it's really too early in the pandemic to fully appreciate what people will need.

And we are allocating a huge amount of money to well one in particular but some other very big projects and I can't really see why these can't be delayed. And related to this and I think I have sort of said this is yes we have allocated money to the COVID package but we actually haven't when I read this got any funds that are just sitting available to pay for what we don't know and it's what we don't know that worries me.

I think I probably could support this budget in normal times but we're really in incredibly unusual times and we just don't know what our community's going to be facing in the next few months and I'd like us to have the capacity to respond to our community's needs at a local government level.

Sure state and federal will have rescue packages but so too does local government. We are close to our community and I'd like us to be able to respond to, so as I said there's much to support here but I can't support it in its current form, thank you madam mayor.

Thank you councillor Addis, um councillor Hurd as the seconder would you like to speak now or. Yes I would I mean I think we sort of changed it where the seconder was supposed to speak after the motion was moved and I thank councillor Addis for her comments. 

I'm a little bit flabbergasted to be honest because last week councillor Addis and councillor Ross and councillor Hollingsworth were arguing that we should pretty much drop everything and respond to a climate emergency. 

I certainly agree that there's a climate emergency but the motion that was moved then was very unspecific and talked about directing officers and yet to deal with climate change and I totally accept that we need to deal with the climate emergency and provisions in place to do that and as you mentioned yourself mayor renewable energy FOGO program and a major community consultation on climate action which will be becoming up as soon as we can get over from the pandemic.

I agree that they're not normal times but council has responded I would say in a very agile way and I'd like to convey my personal thanks to the CEO and staff for the fabulous efforts they did. 

The times I rang on behalf of people in my ward who needed something done quickly and it was done quickly and these are really urgent things these are things such as more car parks around medical services so that doctors could social distance when they were dealing with patients and testing for COVID-19, bins collections all sorts of things shops that needed things done quickly within the rubric of our legislative power we did them quickly and that is a great credit to officers.

And the FOGO release was very difficult and mr. MacKinnon led that with mr. Freer and that was a fabulous effort to again the times that people were ringing up or writing to me with consternation about their bins and the worry that the bins hadn't been collected all sorts of things within a morning it was done during one of the most difficult times and that costs money it costs workers it costs time it costs money.

I think we've spent about three or four million extra then we needed to anyway in this budget so we've already spent quite a bit of money in relation to the pandemic so you know I I think there are things in the budget that I'd like to see.

You know it would be great  for my ward if Kew Rec centre didn't happen and we could do the tuck stand now fabulous but we went through a three-month process as councillors where we looked at those things and I never put the tuck stand forward at this stage because I know that we we wouldn't have got support at this stage to do it and with the Kew rec centre is absolutely actually about to fall apart so literally so it'll actually be dangerous to keep it running for too much longer.

So I just don't see that we we can do that now there are other adjustments we can make the decisions were made it's now up to the community to give us their view and that's what who we need to hear from.

When councillors go through this sort of process we go through over a number of months or we have a number of meetings and we make these calls and we sometimes vote on them sometimes it's by consensus and so what the community is seeing now is the result of a lot of work from mr. Hall and his team as well as a lot of meetings from us but it's up to you now members of the community it's your call now and we're happy to listen to you.

The last thing I'd like to say and it's about to come out soon is a vision for the Glenferrie place making project which is absolutely fabulous it's an intergenerational project which will really liven up the Glenferrie Road precinct and surrounds and I think there's a lot of people who've spoken to me about a lot of issues are going to be really interested to read that vision when it comes out very soon so and that's Glenferrie placemaking is in this budget so I think the people of Glenferrie will be really happy with what we have to offer.

So madam mayor thank you for the opportunity to speak I absolutely commend this budget it's the best we can do in one of the most difficult times and I congratulate mr. Storer mr. Hall all the staff on the great work they've done thank you.

Thank You councillor Hurd, is there other councillors wishing to speak this evening, councillor Hollingsworth. Thank you madam mayor. Look I concur with the sentiment of councillor Hurd's comments and I also acknowledge councillor Addis' comments as well.

With the budget that's before us tonight it's not just based on a foreseeable 12-month future this is based on three and a half years of planning for this council term that was elected in 2016 and it's a holistic well considered approach that has been discussed not just in recent months but over a period of years to realize what's before us here in this budget that we're presenting this evening.

So I concur with your comments madam mayor when you talked about the extensive rigor and debate that we have gone through over the period of time. The budget before us is representative of all wards in Boroondara. It's a balanced budget it puts together infrastructure renewal that's crucial for the city of Boroondara to be sustainable viable and provide services to our community.

As an aging community with the Kew Rec in particular it will be a state-of-the-art facility it's the only facility that offers all-inclusive all ability sports recreation facility with various options for swimming for high ball courts for activities it caters for the Kew support group it offers so much that the various tenants occupancy provisions for growth underground car Parking the design elements in it that as I said offer for all ability for people that are visually impaired for people that have hearing impairments or tactile sensory issues.

It's something that has just been so well considered as has the Camberwell community hub which provides an urgent need for three-year-old kinder services for our younger communities but also for the Canterbury neighbourhood house and in conjunction it improves what will be very close proximity to the United historical societies that will be able to operate out of a building that's been created specifically for their purpose.

It's about growth it's about supporting the community it's about recognizing that how we work through issues that are present but are also issues that have been over periods of time and issues that will face us in the future.

We need to work now as councillor Hurd said the Kew rec centre is at the stage where it would be not practical to invest more money into it. It is basically at the stage where it is ready for demolition and we do need to build a new facility fairly quickly.

I would encourage my councillor colleagues to support this recommendation and I know that due diligence has gone into it where yes COVID has created an impact, COVID is a big concern but this budget projects a lot of money into the various activity centres through placemaking activities to help develop enhance and grow a retail sector and activity centres. And placemaking in one area will benefit all of Boroondara with the learnings that we achieve. So I thank you.

Thank you councillor Hollingsworth. Any other councillors wishing to speak to the budget, councillor Sinfield. Thank you madam mayor. Budget time is never easy it's exciting in many ways but it's about balance and you know we all represent different cohorts within the community, both geographically and based on our areas of interest and our own life history. 

So it's a tricky one we don't always get everything that we want personally for our community in our neck of the woods but it is about balance and I thank councillor Hollingsworth for her comments in relation to the Kew rec centre which is just nestled in Studley ward just over my boundary but it's a project that councillor Healey councillor Parke and I have worked on very hard in recent years and I'm very excited to see it go out to the community in its final design form. 

The other project I'm particularly excited about which the design goes out to the community next week is the new regional playground at Victoria Park which is very exciting. 

And I welcome the community feedback not just on the regional playground and various other aspects of the budget but also on rates, that's something that I'm very willing to listen to and not something that I've got a fixed view on at this point because it is a very difficult time in our community.

So all of these different components of the budget are out for community feedback and we invite the community as we said earlier to give us their thoughts before we reach a final position on that. 

It is a challenging time, council does have very good financial management and does have funds set aside unallocated for the as councillor Addis said what we don't know yet fund. 

And I'm cautious about that because this pandemic will go on for the next couple of years likely perhaps not in the current format that it is but until such time as not only a vaccine is found but the vaccine is distributed through our community it will be a risk to all of us.

So I certainly stand ready with the council officers and my colleagues in an agile way to make those decisions when we need to but right now it is somewhat business as usual in this budget and I commend it should go out to the public.

Thank you councillor Sinfield. Is there anyone else who would like to speak to the budget this evening, councillor Ross. Thank you madam mayor. I've never voted against the budget before so it is with a very heavy heart that I cannot support this budget.

A few months ago this might have been an appropriate budget but not now not following the COVID-19 pandemic. I can't support this budget because it doesn't have package to support my community and our businesses especially after September when job keeper and job seeker will run out. 

Yes we were very responsive and agile in April and approved a four point five million dollar package but that is a package and that's the package which is referred to in our papers. And yes some of the measures do continue into the next financial year but we can't reannounce something that we've already announced.

Numerous councils announced immediate packages as we did and they are now announcing additional packages in their draft budgets. So to give you a quantum around a hundred and fifty million dollars was announced by Victorian councils immediately after the pandemic when we did. 

And so far about two hundred million dollars are in Victorians draft budgets and they're different packages. What many councils are doing is putting all of their rate increase into a COVID-19 response plus more.

So for us that would be 3.1 million dollars. To give an example Corangamite a very small municipality of some sixteen thousand one hundred and forty residents and we're about 12 times the size, they've got in their budget a 2.5 million dollar package in 2021 money that's in money and in inkind it's worth about 4.8 million. 

It includes in it grants to local charities who were responding to community need in response to COVID-19 and that's a common theme of what a lot of councils are doing and is there a need in Boroondara well food relief before COVID-19 three of our charities that they were giving out 148 meals per week and no food parcels. Now they're giving out 736 meals per week and 144 food parcels. 

That's just three of our local organizations and that's while job keeper and jobseeker are in place. We have reported community organizations sporting clubs and optimum arts organizations will continue to suffer from a collapse in revenue which unless restored to some extent will result in them not being able to operate activities that are important for social well being and connection further exacerbating mental and physical health issues if left unaddressed.

There is a need for the availability of grants to businesses and community organizations including sporting and cultural groups. Urgently need funded outreach for rough sleepers across the eastern region, there are no funded services to do this in Boroondara.

Urgent funding need for food and material relief. As I said this is what we know now and it is before jobkeeper and job seeker expire. Our businesses have suffered a huge hit. You only have to walk down our strip shopping areas to see all the closed shops. And yet many of the initiatives in our April package end in September.

What a lot of councils have done is to allocate part of their 2021 COVID package and the rest is unallocated which allows the councils the ability to respond when the community needs. How would we pay for this, well we can't take out a line if needs arise all lines  need to be detailed in our budgets now and they need to be the capital projects. 

In this budget also projects a substantial deficit for 2021. The simplest way would be to delay a major project which is what most councils have done. So for those reasons I cannot support this budget in its current form this is not the budget for these times. 

Thank You councillor Ross. Councillor Parke. Thank You mayor and firstly I'd like to endorse your comments I think you summed it up very well. I had a late minute deputation from a dog wondering if there's a dog park on the horizon I'm not sure about that but certainly keen to make sure that we're not barking up the wrong tree.

I for the life of me can't understand the relevance of what Corangamite might happen to be doing it's simply utterly irrelevant to the city of Boroondara and quite frankly to compare the two councils is gobsmacking I mean our level of resources and the level of officer advice and experience that is at our fingertips far outstrips anything that's on offer at Corangamite with the greatest respect to that council and their officers.

It's just you know I'm not sure when we started saying well those councils are doing this so surely we must too that's never been in the seven and a half years that I've been on this council that's never been the way that we do business and quite frankly it shouldn't be the way that we start doing business now.

Look it's no secret that councillors Ross and Addis have opposed the Kew rec centre from from day one and the simple fact is that deferring that project would be financially irresponsible. We've got a window here to keep that project on track and on budget and if we defer the project as they have said implicitly although interestingly not explicitly then what will happen is the cost will blow out as the construction sector comes under pressure post COVID-19. 

We have clear advice about the implications for deferring that project. It would be utterly irresponsible to the residents that we serve. And one of the good things about the approach that has been taken in this council up until now is that we haven't worried if a particular project is in our own cabbage patch or not we've looked at the whole of the city and treated the needs accordingly.

And the Kew rec centre is long overdue long long overdue. The Kew residents have sat and waited very patiently for something to be done about that by council. Tonight we've got a great budget and it does address the needs of our community as we can reasonably foresee at present.

As the mayor indicated there's four and a half million dollars that's earmarked for COVID-19 response but let's not kid ourselves the city of Boroondara is a council it's not the state government it's not the federal government and many of the responses that councillor Ross referred to are clearly the responsibility of state and federal government and not that of local government.

And of all people councillor Ross should well know the importance for us to be vigilant against cost shifting. The proper response in respect of those matters by the city of Boroondara is for us to advocate to those levels of government to make sure that government response is appropriate not for us to go out and apply band-aids at rate payers expense. 

There's been more than enough cost shifting over the years particularly from state government that we can't afford to tolerate anymore. That would be irresponsible and that would be unfair to the residents of Boroondara. So I wholeheartedly endorse the budget and I also take the time to endorse the comments by councillor Hurd and quite frankly I agree the tuck stand is something that is long overdue and we do need to get there.

As indeed is the Kew library they're both projects that I'd like to see come forward at some point so that those needs can be addressed. But for tonight absolutely and utterly endorse the budget thank you mayor. 

Just one moment councillors we appear to be experiencing some technical difficulties with Councillor Hurd and I'm just seeking some advice on that hold on. Councillors the advice is that we adjourn for a few moments and councillor Wegman I do note that you are moving that motion and councillor Parke you second the motion for an adjournment. 

And councillor Wegman you want to speak when we return, yep thank you very much councillors. Bear with us and we'll be just a few moments. Thank you councillors for bearing with us while we solve the issues surrounding councillor Hurd and he is back wonderful. 

I'm in search of a motion to resume the meeting, councillor Thompson and seconder Councillor Hollingsworth, there being no opposition we are now resumed Thank You councillors.

We are now going to resume the debate and Councillor Wegman you indicated that you wanted to speak and then councillor Thompson after him. Thank you madam mayor I appreciate that I hadn't planned to speak I think the comments of councillors Parke Hurd and others summarize the situation very well and they've done justice to the quality of the budget tonight. 

However some of the comments I heard from councillors Addis and Ross left me quite disturbed because in my opinion they add up or amount to little more than damning with faint praise and this budget is much better than that. 

All councillors had the opportunity to partake in the discussions and the deliberations and the consideration of this budget and if a particular councillors input wasn't accepted and didn't reign on the day you know so be it and that's how this democracy works that's how this council works, you have your input and then you live with the outcome.

I think it's churlish not to support the budget and I think it's little better than a spoiled child taking their baton ball and going home. I'm really quite displeased with what how this has happened on this budget. I expected better of both of those councillors thank you madam mayor. 

Thank You councillor Wegman and if I could please ask people to focus their attention on the issues at hand and not make personal remarks. I will now ask councillor Thompson if you would like to make some remarks. 

Thank you madam mayor and I also agree with my colleagues I think as councillor Parke indicated this is the right budget for this moment in time we can't foreshadow the changes in our community as it develops over the coming months so we need to put a budget out for consultation and this is the one that we're putting out and it has had a number of months of deliberation leading up to today.

And we might not necessarily agree as councillors on every item. And I think just one thing in particular with regard to Kew rec is the timing of putting a project like that out to the market is now it is a project the community and the industry will actually accept with welcome arms because going to have a lot of construction work and generally when that happens the market actually tells you a very competitive price so delaying it will actually increase the cost of this project particularly if it is delayed 12 months and the community won't see a cent of what that costs.

I've heard comments from colleagues about contingencies securing rate interest for COVID fund and those sorts of things. I think I mean obviously the community will have input to this budget and that's something for them to consider and give us the feedback as we go. 

I do recognize that our traders and our businesses are doing it tough as everyone is and has been. Getting initiatives to get them back up and running is good but the advocacy that we should be doing is really to the state on a number of these sorts of things and get the ball rolling on projects and initiatives that really benefit our community directly.

So this may not be the perfect budget that we have in front of us but it is the right budget for this moment in time and I wholeheartedly endorse this going out to the community for them to have a look at this and give us feedback and then we can look at this in a couple of weeks time again so I support this budget. 

Thank You councillor Thompson, before I return to the mover which is councillor Healey I just wanted to reiterate a couple of remarks that I made earlier. There has been the figure of 4.5 million dollars mentioned several times but I wanted to redraw a line under what I said earlier but which said that in terms of what we're spending and the response were giving to COVID-19 it's more than just a four and a half million dollar package.

I said that it was not a single line item budget and to say that we are needing a contingency special slush fund for COVID actually doesn't do the budget in front of us justice. There is planning to respond to our community to deliver the services that they need in every item. It's a whole of an organization response and it's 16 million dollars across this financial year and next financial year. 

We don't know what we don't know and we will cross to quote an old saying we will cross that bridge when we come to it but that's what contingency planning is all about and that has been done in a responsible way in this budget. 

So I want to thank my fellow councillors for their remarks and I would like to commend the budget to my fellow councillors and pass the time now over to councillor Healey as the mover of the motion, councillor Healey.

Thank You Madam mayor and thank you to everyone for their contributions. I think it's worth understanding and resetting the role of local government, the role of local government is not one that's responsible for unemployment benefits or responsible for the economy or responsible for social welfare, these belong to the state and federal governments.

Notwithstanding we are one of the bigger funders for Camcare which is an outreach organization in our area and I have seen the officers working with some of our community outreach organizations propping them up through this and also the fact that everything that we do as a council is for our community.

Every dollar we collect in rates goes back into our community and that's very important. I think I'm not an economist but I understand enough about economics to know if you want to drive the country into recession you can prevaricate over your spending that's the easiest way to cause people to become unemployed.

What we can do is continue with our program and I already would reflect that during the course of this term we've already held back a number of projects the Kew library which really should be starting this year or next year under original plans but was held back on the basis of responsible financial planning for the overall infrastructure projects that we need to do and need to renew for our community.

These are responsible things that are planned so one of the most beneficial things we can do is provide certainty around our spending to the Victorian community and play our part. Now I noticed in 2009 2010 when the GFC hit we were encouraged by the administration to go on a program of capital works that hadn't been seen before in Boroondara's history, and so you saw renewal right up through the centre through Hawthorn and Camberwell then it went over to the south and then it worked its way back.

But in each case everything was done on what is the state of that asset and what needs to be renewed first and what can wait because you can't do it all at once so we have criteria that have us judge that.

For all that time the people in Kew and the northern parts of town paid their rates and saw all of these projects happening they didn't complain and now it's time that we get to a point where the project that's probably the only project since the Kew courthouse that's happened in Kew. 

And I think it needs to happen. It needs to happen to support our community most of all but it will also have a great impact on surrounding businesses as all of those tradies go and buy their coffees and lunches and everything else that happens whether it's their dry cleaning shop at our supermarkets have lunch in the local stores visit a chiropractor whatever it is that money will go around several time in our community and in other communities.

So I think it's responsible that when you have shovel-ready projects that were planned to go as planned and I fully suspect that even we might get some money from the state governments towards our budget because they're calling for shovel-ready projects and I note Walmer Street Bridge is a shovel-ready project in many ways and I hope that they pick that one up but that's not in the that it has an allocation in this budget but it's not for the new budget.

The spending in our budget is based on quality needs analysis and a hierarchy of needs that the officers provide for us through analysis and good planning. The reason that we can do this is we have been very good planners financially I think and even so we're still able to turn around and create 4.5 million dollars in the lead up to the end of June for our traders and small businesses and in this fifteen months across the budget  including that 4.5 16 million so let's say there is another 11 and a half there to go.

Now it's not called a COVID-19 fund but it's equal or better than perhaps what some other councils of our size might be doing I don't know but it's there and a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.

So I would ask councillors to support the budget let's get it out to the community so that they can tell us what they think of the budget. This is a great way for us to show leadership. I think this is leadership to in this time provide certainty so that people have certainty about what's happening in their life with their jobs and this is our way of doing it and I fully commend the budget to go out for community consultation and urge others to do the same thank you madam mayor and thank you to our officers who have toiled long and hard to help us put this together.

Thank You councillor Healey and again want to reiterate a thank you to all the councillors who have participated in this quite difficult process as we negotiated the budget discussions in a new way because we had to do it online to be COVID-19 safe so it has been challenging and I commend all the councillors in the rigorous way that they have approached the budget and also for the officers for all that they have done to support us through this process and provide us with the Frank and fearless advice that is so necessary for us to be able to do this kind of planning and delivery for our community.

So without further ado I will now put the motion to the vote all those in favour as I call your name if you could put your hands down. Councillor Sinfield, councillor Parke, councillor Thompson, councillor Wegman, councillor Hollingsworth, councillor Healey, councillor Hurd and myself councillor Watson. 

All against please raise your hand. Councillor Ross and councillor Addis. Thank you councillors I declare the motion carried and we will now put the budget out for community consultation.

Moving on to the next item on the agenda this evening item 7.2 is revised instrument of delegation from Council to chief executive officer and we're going to hear a presentation from Celia Robinson the coordinator of governance.

Thank you madam mayor. Councillors before you tonight is a revised instrument of delegation from Council to the chief executive officer. The instrument was last amended in March this year in response to COVID-19 to make provision for particular decisions to be made by the chief executive officer in the event that a quorum of council was unable to be formed.

Now that council is able to meet virtually this delegation to the chief executive officer is no longer required and it is appropriate to return to the previous instrument of delegation. In doing so recent advice from Maddocks lawyers about this delegation has been sought and considered.

In accordance with their advice the instrument has been updated to reflect the recent legislative changes as a result of the proclamation of the Local Government Act 2020 including that the chief executive officer is not able to appoint an acting chief executive officer for a period exceeding 28 days, adopt or amend the governance rules which are required to be adopted by council by the 1st of September 2020 and will be the subject of a future report to Council and appoint a chair or members of a delegated committee.

The updated instrument is before you this evening for council's consideration thank you madam mayor. Thank you Ms Robinson. Councillors are there any questions for Ms Robinson this evening, there appears to be ah councillor Hurd. As printed happy to move the motion as printed madam mayor. 

Thank you very much councillor Hurd in search of a seconder I think I saw councillor Parke thank you very much for seconding the motion. Is there anyone opposed to the motion this evening, there being no one opposed to the motion councillor Hurd would you like to speak.

Very briefly welcome to Boroondara Ms Robinson glad you could join us. This motion is procedural it's done by a very competent officer and Department and I don't think I need to take up any more time by saying any more in commending the motion to my colleagues.

Thank You councillor Hurd and councillor Parke with your indulgence I'll put the motion to the vote, all those in favour if you could put your hands down when I call your name councillor Healey, councillor Thompson, councillor Ross, councillor Sinfield, councillor Parke, councillor Wegman, councillor Addis, councillor Hollingsworth, councillor Hurd and myself councillor Watson. I declare that motion carried unanimously.

Councillors that concludes the business of this evening I'd like to thank you for participating and also thank our community members who have joined us this evening for their interest in the council budget look forward to their comments and participation in the consultation process that will now commence.

So this is the end of council business for the evening and I declare the council meeting closed and thank you for your participation this evening goodnight.