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This was the Council Meeting. All Councillors attended as Mayor Iskandar had returned from his Sister Cities tour.  For around half of the meeting I found it difficult to hear so parts of this post are incomplete. The meeting was not recorded in full because of problems with the sound system. For the first time since I have been attending Council meetings there was a large screen that showed the recommendations as printed on each business paper. I found this very helpful to fill in the blanks when I was not able to hear.  This new technology is a good addition. Any mistakes are mine.

Review of Community Cultural Events Program – Mayor Iskandar wanted to postpone this item for further discussions. Clr Kontellis & Clr Thanos objected. Clr Thanos said he was against the events program as it costs $450,000 a year & this money could build a new library that Council has been discussing for 12 years. This developed into Clr Thanos asking for a motion of dissent as Chair Mayor Iskandar was calling him out of order.  Clrs Thanos, Byrne, Phillips, Peters, Olive & Kontellis supported the dissent motion which was lost.  The Greens & Clr Thanos voted against deferral. Item deferred on the Mayor’s casting vote.

Management Plan & Budget 2010/14 – A number of issues pertaining to the budget were debated. 3 speakers

lovely colour

from the community spoke in support of the budget with regards to fees for outside seating for cafes/restaurants. They asked fees not be increased above the CPI.

3 residents, 2 of whom were children, spoke against the budget in regards to delaying half-road closure works for Audley Street Petersham that were approved by Council 3 ½ years ago. The speakers wanted works included in the budget, saying 24 children on the street were at risk by through traffic.

The main debate centred on where to find the money to do the Audley Street works & fund the Greenway Co-ordinator’s position. Clr Tsardoulias made an amendment to take $50,000 from the Marrickville Station works & give $40,000 to Audley Street & $10,000 to the Greenway position. Clrs Olive, Thanos, Byrnes, Peters, Phillips & Kontellis opposed the motion, not wanting any money taken from Marrickville Station upgrade works. Carried. Clr Olive said that $100,000 for Wilga Avenue upgrade needs to be returned to the budget allocation.

State Government changes to infrastructure contributions – The NSW State Labor government has capped Section 94 contributions from developers to $20,000. (wow!)

Conditions of a 12 month Licence to Tempe Basin Motor Boat Club Association – 2 people spoke, one representing the current lease holders.  He asked that the 12 month lease continues as is, outlining the work they have already completed at the site & the training opportunities they have offered to TAFE students. Another speaker spoke about what work they would do if the lease was rescinded & given to their organisation &, as a charity, how they would involve the community.  Clr Phillips moved an alternative motion to open the tender to allow all interested parties to apply. He said the process was rushed & other parties were not even included.  He & other members of the Greens spoke of a perception in the community that due process wasn’t followed.  This was debated strongly. The motion to rescind was lost & the motion to continue the lease as is for 12 months was carried with the Greens voting against.

Street lighting – Council wants low voltage lights used, particularly on main roads, to lower greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce the escalating costs of street lighting. Energy Australia has increased costs by 31%. Council will write to NSW ministers & the opposition regarding the crippling costs & seek financial assistance. 50% of Marrickville LGA carbon emissions come from street lighting.

(To read how Victorian Councils are attempting to address this issue, see the first item – )

Greenhouse gas emissions target – Clr Phllips moved a motion that Council prepare a report about greenhouses gasses for 2010 & make budget adjustments to meet targets.  He said Council set a target in 1997 to reduce emissions by 2010. This hasn’t happened & we are either 4,444 tonnes or 2,222 tonnes over, depending on the estimates of a recent report. He was against Council going the way of buying carbon offsets & instead move over to renewable energy as much as possible. Motion lost with all Councillors against except the Greens & Clr Thanos.

Here ends the Report for this week.

Wallangarra White Gum outside 19 Audley Street Petersham

Marrickville Council intends to remove a Eucalyptus scoparia (Wallangarra White Gum) outside 19 Audley Street Petersham.

They give the following reasons:

  • Extensive internal decay caused by Phellinus fungal decay pathogen. The presence of this pathogen is evidenced by numerous ‘bracket’ fruiting bodies along the trunk of the subject tree. There is no cure for this parasitic fungal pathogen & trees affected will eventually fail due to the reduction in strength of the heartwood caused by the spread of the pathogen.
  • Extensive basal decay which has predisposed the tree to predictable failure due to hollowing & reduction in strength of heartwood.
  • Extensive dieback of canopy & excessive epicormic shoot growth indicating extreme/ terminal levels of physiological stress.

They intend to replace it with an Angophora costata (Sydney Red Gum), but don’t say when they plan to plant this tree.

I went to visit the tree today.  It has been poorly pruned in the past with many thick branches on one

The dark half-moon shape is a fungus. There are a number of these along the trunk

side removed & leans as a result.  The tree is quite tall, at least 10 metres & has a lot of foliage at the lower third of the trunk. The upper part of the tree has extensive die-off, which has been happening for a number of years.  The ‘bracket’ fruiting bodies are clearly visible on the trunk & start at an area that looks to me like a past major injury.  This tree is not in good condition & I agree with Council that it should be removed.  I hope they do not wait too long before they plant the replacement tree.

I am pleased to say that once again Council used sticky-tape to attach the notices of removal on the tree & both were still attached.  This looks to be a permanent change away from the practice of nailing the notices, so I thank Council for this. I also thank Council for giving detailed information explaining why the tree should be removed.  This is also a positive & inclusive change.

The deadline for submissions is 23rd June 2010. I will not be putting in a submission.



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