Media Centre

Residents are advised to contact Customer Service on 8470 8888 for assistance.

Journalists are welcome to contact:

Dave Bell
Senior Media Advisor
Phone: 8470 8603
Email: dave.bell@darebin.vic.gov.au

MEDIA RELEASES

Draft Council Plan and Draft Budget

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Darebin Council is seeking feedback on its draft Council Plan 2017-2021 which articulates the vision, mission and goals for the four-year council term and its draft Budget for the 2017/18 financial year.

About the Council Plan

The City of Darebin faces a number of challenges and the Plan sets out how council will address them says Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.

“The Plan begins by considering the challenges that our city and community currently face and it also considers emerging issues that will become more significant challenges in the future,” she said.

"For example, we have declared a climate change emergency and the Plan explains how council will respond to it.

“The Plan also explains how we will manage rapid population growth and increasing traffic congestion by advocating for better public transport, roads, and safer cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

“Other focus areas explain how we will tackle the affordable housing crisis and support the most vulnerable people in our diverse community.

“The commitments contained in the draft Plan respond to feedback gathered through an extensive consultative process and analysis of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other sources.

“For the first time it will contain a detailed annual action plan and our performance will be reported against it each year,” the Mayor said.

To view a copy and have your say visit darebin.vic.gov.au or call customer service on 8470 8888.

You can make a written submission by email to council.plan@darebin.vic.gov.au or by post addressed to Jim Barrett, City of Darebin, PO Box 91, Preston Vic, 3072.

About Council Budget

An unprecedented 1200 local people from every part of Darebin have helped to formulate next year’s Council budget, but it’s not too late to have your say.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said she was proud to present the first budget of the new council.

We reached an unprecedented 1200 local people from every part of Darebin and all walks of life to develop it and I thank them for helping us to formulate a budget that meets our diverse community’s expectations,” she said.

“It sets the foundation for delivering the big actions we have committed to over the next four years. Those actions are designed to benefit Darebin now, and well into the future.

“We want our diverse community and future generations to live happy and healthy lives and the global climate emergency means we must now take urgent action to reduce emissions. This is why funding has been increased to expand our community solar power program.

“We’ve committed funds to create a Darebin Nature Trust, along with funds to establish the Darebin Energy Foundation. Both initiatives will help to ensure our ambitious sustainability and liveability goals are achieved.

“The Budget commits funds for infrastructure and services, including building safer and more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly roads and paths. We intend to work towards revitalising the heart of Preston with new open space, street beautification and better transport outcomes through advocacy to expand the Victorian Government’s level crossing removals in Darebin.

“By establishing a new developer contribution scheme, we will ensure developers contribute their fair share to the infrastructure required to meet the needs of our rapidly growing population, and we’ll increase the levy for subdivisions to fund more open space.

“We’ll create the long-term plan for a whole new suburb in Northland that will include great public transport, community facilities, green spaces and employment,” she said. 

Other Budget highlights include additional funds towards:

  • Building better sports and recreational facilities, including a new multi sports stadium to provide more opportunities for women and girls and redeveloping the Northcote Aquatic Centre.
  • Investing more in local parks and green open spaces including the Edwardes Lake Park Boat House, Penders Park, playground improvements and developing a master plan for Mayer Park and Northcote Golf Course.
  • Planting more trees to increase canopy cover across Darebin.
  • Fast tracking improvements to school crossings, walking and cycling paths to ensure safer trips to school and work.
  • Providing more support for local community organisations including sporting clubs and multicultural organisations.
  • Delivering aged care and disability services and support.
  • Ensuring local arts and culture continues to thrive, including reinvigorating Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.
  • Enhancing democratic participation through a Citizen’s Jury.

In line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System, rates will only increase by two per cent. During the month of May, people who live, work or learn in the City of Darebin are encouraged to review the draft budget which is proposed for next financial year and make a submission.

Submissions received may be incorporated into the final budget.To make a submission visit darebin.vic.gov.au or call customer service on 8470 8888. 

Submissions open on 10 May and close at midnight on 8 June.

Media Release - 9 May 2017

Darebin Business Award for Community Contribution

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Nominations are now open for the 2017 Darebin Business Award for Community Contribution.

City of Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said the awards recognise local businesses that help to make Darebin a great place to live by contributing to the community.

“This Award is all about acknowledging those that go beyond delivering their own products and services to benefit the local community,” she said.

“Melbourne City Football Club won the Award last year after partnering with local job service provider MatchWorks on an initiative called City Sisters.

“It provided 23 unemployed and under-employed female MatchWorks clients with an opportunity to learn about active and healthy living and develop employment skills. More than half of them went on to secure work and further education placements at the conclusion of the program.

“Local businesses are encouraged to apply. I also encourage local community groups to nominate a local business that has supported them,” she said.

To be eligible, nominations must be for local businesses that directly benefited people who live, work, study or visit Darebin.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in June as part of Darebin’s annual business event.

For more information about the Darebin Business Award for Community Contribution or to nominate a business, visit darebin.vic.gov.au/Your-Council/Community-Funding-and-Awards/Community-Awards/ or call 8470 8344.

Nominations closed on Friday 5 May, 2017.

Media Release - 13 April, 2017

 

Meet your councillors. Change your city.

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Darebin Council is inviting local people to come along to regular Ward meetings to talk about important issues and share their vision for the City with local councillors.

The Ward meetings will help to improve community participation and enhance transparency says Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.

“Meetings have been scheduled in different parts of the municipality to provide an accessible avenue for the community to have a conversation with councillors about matters that are important to them and the City’s future,” she said.

“Some of the best ideas come from the community we serve. The Ward meetings are an opportunity for us to listen to these ideas and be more open and accountable for the decisions we make,” the Mayor said.

Future meetings will be promoted via advertising in local media and online at www.darebin.vic.gov.au/wardmeetings.

Ward meeting schedule;

Latrobe Ward
Cr Tim Laurence, Cr Gaetano Greco (Deputy Mayor), Cr Susanne Newton

Tuesday 23 May, 7pm-8.30pm
Reservoir Community and Learning Centre
23 Edwardes Street, Reservoir

Cazaly Ward
Cr Steph Amir, Cr Lina Messina, Cr Julie Williams

Tuesday 30 May, 7pm-8.30pm
Preston Shire Hall
286 Gower Street, Preston

Rucker Ward
Cr Kim LeCerf (Mayor), Cr Trent McCarthy, Cr Susan Rennie

Thursday 29 June, 7pm-8.30pm
Northcote Library
32-38 Separation Street, Northcote

 

Media Release - 7 May 2017

 

Enhancing Democratic Participation

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Darebin Council endorsed several initiatives at its meeting on Monday 20 March that will give local people stronger influence on council decisions as part of the council’s wider push to improve governance and community participation in its democratic processes.

The changes will give the community stronger influence on decisions council makes so that they better reflect the community’s preferences says Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.

“We believe community participation in democracy is essential to good governance and good decision making so we are introducing a number of changes which take participatory democracy to the next level,” the Mayor said.

“Local people will be invited to pop along to Ward meetings which provide an opportunity for the community to discuss local issues directly with their local councillors. They will be run in different parts of Darebin throughout the year.

“We will also establish bimonthly forums where the community will be invited to work with us to plan the future of city together. These forums will also help our community to better understand how the planning system works.

“Finally, we have also made a significant change to the council meeting procedure. From April changes will come into effect that enables individuals to make a comment or two-minute submission immediately before an agenda item is considered by councillors.

“It’s one thing to consult the community outside of the council chamber. This change means the community will have a stronger voice inside the chamber to inform the debate and shape the decisions we make,” the Mayor said.

To reflect this change ‘Public Question Time’ will be renamed ‘Question and Submission Time’. The new procedure comes into effect from 3 April, 2017.

The time and location of Ward Meetings and bimonthly planning forums will be advertised in local media and on the council’s website.

Media Release - 22 March 2017

Age-friendly Victoria Declaration

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Darebin Council has become a signatory to the Age-friendly Victoria Declaration to reaffirm its long standing commitment to make the city a better place for older people. The Age-friendly Victoria initiative is led by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.

It aims to promote the inclusion of older people and support services, business and community leaders to better plan for the needs of seniors and enhance the quality of life for people as they age.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said the council has done a lot of great work over many years in these areas through its Active and Healthy Ageing Strategy 2011 – 2021.

“Signing the declaration is about reaffirming our long held commitment that meeting the needs of older people will continue to be a priority,” she said.

“We know active and healthy ageing is more than just delivering services to older people in their homes. It requires all of us to look through an older person’s lens to ensure our services meet their needs,” the Mayor said.

Council creates annual action plans to deliver on its ten-year strategy utilising the World Health Organisations’ Age Friendly Cities Framework in the areas of: 

  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Social Participation
  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Civic participation and employment
  • Communication and information
  • Community support and health services.

For more information about the Aged-friendly declaration visit: seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/get-involved/age-friendly-victoria.

Join Council’s Active and Healthy Ageing Advisory Board

The Board is looking for new members to help make Darebin a better place for older people. For more information or to apply to become a Board member, telephone 8470 8339.

Media Release: 10 March 2017

A better plan for public housing

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Darebin Council’s decision to refuse the Department of Health and Human Services planning application for public housing developments at 16-20 and 29-35 Stokes Street, Preston and 15-19 Penola Street, Preston does not signal a departure from its long standing support for appropriate public housing.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said she met with the Minster for Housing on Wednesday to explain why the decision had no bearing on the council’s long standing commitment and to discuss the council’s concerns about the proposed development.

“I met with the Minister on Wednesday to reaffirm our commitment to public housing and am pleased he was receptive to our concerns about this development,” she said.

“As a result it was agreed that we will now work with the Department to develop a master plan for the site which will involve community consultation and hopefully avoid the original plan being considered by VCAT.

“I am cautiously optimistic this approach establishes a better process that will result in a plan that has community support.

“It will also achieve our mutual objective to address the public housing shortage in our city.

“Research from around the world shows quality housing delivers significant social and environmental benefits and we believe disadvantaged public housing tenants deserve the best design possible.

“With the department confirming it has ear marked another site for public housing in Walker Street Northcote, it is absolutely crucial we set the bar high to secure the best outcome for existing residents and future public housing tenants,” she said.

The grounds on which council refused the original development application include:

  • Inadequate community consultation.
  • A failure to comply with clause 22.04 (Neighbourhood and Character).
  • Negative impact on amenity for residents in the area.
  • Inadequate natural ventilation.
  • Poor orientation and energy efficiency.
  • Inadequate landscaping.
  • Inadequate onsite resident and visitor car parking.
  • Inadequate provision for accessible car parking.
  • Excessive building height and bulk.

Media Release - 9 March 2017

Community Support Program 2017

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Local not-for-profit community groups and organisations can apply for Council funding for initiatives that make a positive contribution to local arts and culture; sport and recreation; community wellbeing; equity and inclusion; human rights; education; and environmental sustainability.

Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said the Support Program helps local groups and organisations run initiatives that meet the needs of the local community.

“Not-for-profit organisations have used these funds to enrich life in Darebin for many years and I encourage you to apply if you have a program or initiative that meets the criteria,” she said.

Funding is available in three categories:

  • Annual Cash Grants (up to $6,000)
  • Annual Facility Hire Subsidy Grants (up to $6,000) for the use of nominated Council venues.
  • Annual-combined Cash Grants and Facility Hire Subsidy Grants (up to $6,000).

How to apply

Download the Community Grants information booklet.

Applications must be submitted online. Support is available to eligible applicants who do not have access to a computer or internet.

Applicants can request translated information or speak to an interpreter via Darebin Council’s Multilingual Telephone Line on 8470 8470.

If you would like further assistance to develop your application, please attend one of the following information sessions:

Session one - Thursday 16 March 2017, 10am-12pm
Shire Hall, 286 Gower Street, Preston.

Session two - Thursday 30 March 2017, 6pm-8pm
Council Chambers, 350 High Street, Preston.

Applications open Monday 27 February and close at midnight on Monday, 24 April 2017.

For more information call the Community Grants Officer on 8470 8504.

Media Release - 21 February 2017

Council contests MAV decision re delegate

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Council seeks and injunction order to contest MAVs decision not to recognise our nominated delegate.

“Darebin Council has today sought an injunction from the Supreme Court in order to contest the MAV’s decision not to recognise Boroondara councillor, Coral Ross, as our MAV delegate.

"MAV’s rejection of Cr Ross as our delegate precludes her from running in the March MAV election for Board and President.

"If the Court grants the injunction it would restrain the MAV from conducting the election without including Cr Ross on the ballot paper, and will enable Cr Ross’ validity as Darebin’s nominated delegate to be determined by the Court. Council believes the matter to be in the public interest.

"We are maintaining a strong stance on this matter because we believe it to be legally sound, and because gender representation in local government leadership falls short of community expectations.” 

Kim Le Cerf
Mayor

Media Release - 13 February 2017


60 years of reconciliation

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Darebin Council has reaffirmed its long and proud history of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the spirit of reconciliation, almost 60 years to the day that Aboriginal leader, Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls, delivered an historic speech in Northcote about entrenched inequality.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said Pastor Nicholls was a prominent Aboriginal Australian, activist, professional athlete, pastor and pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.

"Speaking in Batman Park on Australia Day in 1957, he called for the gulf between White Australia and our First Australians to be bridged, for adequate housing for the Aboriginal community, for Aboriginal representation in government and for equality," Mayor Le Cerf said.

"Today, there is a national debate taking place about how we can make Australia Day more inclusive and use it to bring all the peoples of our country together to heal the deep wounds inflicted on indigenous people.

"It’s a date that has a big history, a complicated history, a history that we grapple with. It's not something we put in our citizenship tests, but Australia Day, which marks the planting of the British Flag at Sydney Cove and the beginning of colonisation, is also a symbol of the unfinished business we have with the First People in this country.

"Standing on stage, together with the Mayor and City Councillors of the day, Pastor Nicholls spoke about the discrimination and the disadvantage that had plagued Aboriginal Australia since Europeans colonised their lands. He made the case that Australia’s First Peoples had been cast aside and forgotten by modern Australia.

"But he did not speak of recriminations or debts. This is what was so powerful about his speech. This is what captured the imagination of the crowd and helped to establish the reconciliation movement in this country – he asked only that we extend the hand of friendship. That we recognise our First Peoples, that we afford them the same chances and opportunities.

"As a Council I want to honour that tradition and reaffirm Darebin Council’s commitment to real recognition and real reconciliation.

"In the spirit of Sir Doug's speech, I want to extend the hand of friendship to local Elders and to say, we are listening. We have open hearts and we are ready to hear what we need to do, to work towards healing.

"Maybe it will mean shifting the date on which we celebrate the nation – to a date that can be owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people just as much as the rest of us.

"It is a conversation we need to have because we all play a role in shaping and building a better and more just Australia. We all play a role in healing wounds, and righting the wrongs of our predecessors.

"As we look to the future and learn from our past, I put it to you that Australia will remain an unfinished project until true reconciliation occurs.

"It is this however, the work of reconciliation – the dedicated work of so many Australians to bridge gulfs, to right injustices, to break down barriers and come together as one people – that makes Australia worth celebrating," the Mayor said.

Media Release: 27 January 2017

Interim CEO appointed by Darebin Council

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Darebin Council Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, today announced Mr Philip Shanahan has been appointed interim CEO to lead the organisation for a period of six months starting on the 2nd of January, 2017.

Mr Shanahan has previously been CEO at several Victorian councils, including Darebin between 1999 and 2005. He also has extensive expertise in governance having provided governance training to the Municipal Association of Victoria and as a consultant to the Victorian Local Governance Association during a career that spans five decades in local government.

Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said Mr Shanahan has worked with more than 50 councils and will lead the organisation while an extensive executive search and recruitment process is undertaken to appoint a permanent CEO in 2017.

“I am very pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr Shanahan as interim CEO on behalf of my fellow councillors. We are very committed to restoring community confidence in Darebin Council and he brings a wealth of experience to the organisation in the areas of governance, organisational reform, managing cultural diversity, urban redevelopment and renewal,” Mayor Le Cerf said.

“We have a challenge ahead to maintain services and invest in the city to meet the changing needs of a growing population with less revenue due to rate capping and funding cuts from both the Victorian and Australian Government. “Mr Shanahan is the ideal person to lead organisation and work with councillors to develop a four-year Council Plan that will meet these challenges.

“It is important that we appointed someone who will hit the ground running for this critical task and he will also help Darebin Council to recruit an ongoing CEO,”

Mayor Le Cerf said. Mayor Kim Le Cerf thanked Mr Andrew McLeod for leading the organisation as acting CEO. Mr McLeod will continue to act CEO until Mr Shanahan starts in 2017.

Media Release - 20 December 2016

Resignation of Darebin CEO

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Chief Executive Officer with the Darebin City Council, Rasiah Dev, has resigned from his position.

Rasiah Dev has today resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer with the Darebin City Council to allow him to spend more time with his family and to pursue other opportunities. His resignation is effective from today (7 December 2016).

Rasiah has served the Council in the position of CEO for more than six years. On behalf of the Council I wish to acknowledge the contribution Rasiah has made to the Council and the ratepayers of Darebin during the term of his employment, and to sincerely thank him for his contribution. We wish Rasiah all the best for the future.

Council has appointed Andrew McLeod, Corporate Services Director, as Acting CEO until 20 December.  Council will hold a Special Meeting on 19 December to appoint an interim CEO while recruitment is undertaken for the role.

I look forward to a busy year ahead in 2017 as we continue to deliver excellent service to our community and work to develop the new Council Plan that will set our goals for the future.

Media Release - 7 December 2016