Minutes of Meeting August 2019



1. Attendance: J Humphries, S Torsello, J Davies, P Cook, M Mebalds, A Deschepper, B Ratcliff, R Stevenson, F Bridges, M Millers, J Catton, P Buoncristiani, M Buoncristiani, S Gregory, C Britton, S Davies, M Megarry, J van Rooijen, R Betheras, J Styling, J Osborne, P Ravenscroft, T McInerney, M Bowmaker, R Sturley, L Huberts, S Hampson, R Schmidt, C Cullino, K Champness, L Smith, R Fraser, K Burns, F Richards, H Winter, D Bartley, P Maloney, M Jackson, Cr. L Wilmot, P Benazic, D Tyson, L Donnellan, K Groenfeld and D Allen. There were others who did not sign the attendance sheet.

2. Apologies: Barry Eadie, Beatrice Eadie, D Alexander-Hale, K Gallagher, I Gallagher, T Cooper, Cr. B Owen, and Cr. J Springfield.

3. Paradise Hotel Clematis: one of the new tenants of the Hotel, Joe Durant, briefed the meeting on their plans:

The new tenants have an existing business in North Fitzroy The Paradise Hotel is a historic venue in a strong community There will be a small facelift, including lighting, furniture and painting
The TAB and public bar will remain
The dining offer will be a casual bistro style with similar pricing to current.

4. Guest Speakers: Town Planning Issues in Emerald
Peter Benazic
, Cardinia Council’s General Manager Infrastructure and Environment, Debbie Tyson, Cardinia Council’s Manager Development and Compliance Services, and Luke Donnellan, Strategic Planner, addressed the meeting:

An outline of the structure of the Cardinia Planning Scheme – there are many assessment factors in considering planning permit applications, including zoning and the Design and Development Overlay (“DDO4”), which sets out a range of building development objectives attributes which are not mandatory -a flexible “should” approach, not “must”. (see DDO4 central Emerald map and statement of Design Objectives circulated with these Minutes)

A summary of questions to the guest speakers and the responses:

Are new “Tilt Slab” buildings consistent with DDO4? - the permit for the building under construction in the main street was issued in 2013, prior to the introduction of DDO4

Are 3-4 recent new buildings out of character with the town, lacking a proper sense of place? - there is a fine line between history and the present
What are the plans for elsewhere in the main street? - right now there are no current new planning applications

Is traffic a factor in assessment of main street development applications? – yes, each proposed development application has to include a traffic impact study and car parking proposals. It is noted that traffic volumes have increased since DDO4 was introduced

Why was a new building in the main street permitted to cut off views? - DDO4 sets a two-storey height limit
What can be done to strengthen the Planning Scheme? – current zonings are managed through strategic planning policies, but the Emerald District Strategy 2009 (EDS) is not a matter of simple enforcement. Changes in permitted uses and building styles may be likely, particularly in commercial areas When will the EDS be reviewed and will DDO4 be tightened? - the State government has a leading role and encourages new developments. Older strategies for other Cardinia towns are underway as a priority, plus there are some towns which lack a proper strategy. The EDS needs to be reviewed in the next couple of years. A review of EDS is likely to take two years

Will the proposal to build six residential units in Kings Road affect a historic house and also increase traffic problems? – anyone is free to object to permit applications which are advertised

How does Cardinia’s Planning Scheme differ from that of the Yarra Ranges Shire? – DDO4 is a Cardinia Shire policy, and underlying zonings will differ
Why is it difficult to protect heritage sites? – heritage controls over entire townships are rare, usually they focus on individual sites. Note that township “character” is a different matter from Heritage status

Will a review of the EDS strengthen it? – town planners have to interpret the Planning Scheme, so outcomes depend on how well it is drafted. Advertised planning applications can be objected to, and ultimately VCAT is the arbiter

Why doesn’t the new Hills Hub building have any landscaping? – note that the curtilage of the building is not yet completed Will Emerald get more widespread sewage services? – it’s up to South East Water, but the Council is advocating strongly for increases

Doesn’t the new Hills Hub building design clash with the Library building? - the Library is due for an update soon. There will be landscaping between the two buildings. There will not be direct access to the Hub from the Library
Can the Council provide details of approved planning permits in the main street? - D Tyson will try to obtain this information

Why are the design and development provisions for Puffing Billy stronger than DDO4? – this is a State government issue, Puffing Billy has its own Act of Parliament
Can the Council override VCAT? - no. An appeal to the Supreme Court may be made on a point of law

The unattractive roof of the Hills Hub building should not be visible from the main street? – noted
Is there a plan for street tree plantings in Emerald? – Peter Benazic will check and respond.

5. Confirmation of Minutes of the previous meeting: the EVA members present resolved to approve the previous Minutes (Moved by D Allen, seconded by P Maloney).

6. Correspondence

Upper Beaconsfield Bushfire Fuel Management Project – Noted. Please read the submission in the Agenda papers. The author has been invited to the September EVA meeting
Barry Eadie’s essay entitled “The Changing Face of Emerald”– Noted. (see copy in the Agenda papers)

EVA membership applications - from Wendy Muller, Ray Schmidt, Martin Mebalds, Suzanne Gregory, Chris Britton, Martin Buoncristiani, Garry McGough, Ray Spencer, E Spencer, John Humphries, Fiona Bridges, Raelene Stevenson, Lynne Huberts, Ros Sturley, Dennis Alexander-Hale, Bill Pell, Ian Gallagher and Kathy Gallagher. The applications were resolved to be accepted (moved by P Maloney, seconded by H Winter)Cardinia Shire Council - Grant for Township Committees Operational Costs. The EVA has invoiced the Council.

7. Action Items

Emerald Lake Park: land sale to Puffing Billy: the Council has agreed to sell the land for the Discovery Centre to Puffing Billy, at a market value price to be determined by the State Valuer-General. The proposal to swap for land at Puffing Billy Park in Kilvington Drive was not agreed. Discovery Centre construction works will commence very soon; the road across the lake wall will sometimes be closed. Puffing Billy will construct car parking and other improvements and will continue to contribute funds to Emerald Lake Park operations.

Fitness for purpose and safety of Emerald Lake Road: The Traffic Impact Assessment Report (dated 2/8/18) concludes that the Discovery Centre will generate up to an additional 452 vehicles per day (VPD), increasing the traffic volume along Emerald Lake Road to approximately 2,152 VPD (see page 32 of the Report).

The meeting resolved (moved by D Allen, seconded by D Bartley) that

the Council is requested to carry out and report on its own assessment of traffic volumes on Emerald Lake Road.

Hills Hub: update: Kym Ockerby advised that interviews are currently being conducted for the Hub management position, and that Tim Cooper has taken up a new position at the Council. Any enquiries related to the Hub should be directed to Kym Ockerby for the time being. A meeting of the Hills Hub Advisory Committee will be called soon.

8. Communications sub-committee update (P Maloney): P Maloney reported that the Website is up and running, Peter is acting as site moderator. The ongoing issue is the need for a constant flow of “content”.

9. Treasurer’s Report: M Jackson reported that the current bank account balance is $6896.27. The report was resolved to be accepted (moved by D Allen, seconded by P Buoncristiani).

10.Council reports: see Kym Ockerby’s report which was included in the Agenda papers. Kym also reported that following a question at the previous meeting about the Council’s resources for biodiversity management, a representative of this area of the Council is available to address a future EVA meeting.

11.General Business

Congratulation to the Emerald Men’s Shed for their donation of a generator to the Emergency Group
D Bartley reminded the Council that improvement at Puffing Billy Parl (improved seating, drinking fountain) are yet to be implemented

A public tender process is underway for construction of a building at the Pepi’s Land netball facility. It was noted that work by the Council on the structure of local netball competitions is taking place

S Hampson reported that approximately 60 messmate stringybark trees will be removed for the Emerald Lake Discovery Centre development
Petition regarding a review of the Emerald District Strategy 2009 – the meeting resolved (moved by D Bartley, seconded by D Allen) that

That a petition in the required format be submitted to the Council expressing EVA’s concerns about the inadequate architecture and urban design standards of new building,

developments in Emerald, and proposing that an early review of the Emerald District Strategy is urgently required.

12.Date and time of next meeting: Tuesday 24th September 2019.


THE EVC IS NOW THE EVA INC. The Emerald Village Association inc. is the same body same links to the shire but we can produce our own independent communications.

Congratulations and thank you to the Funfest and Pave committees who obviously worked so hard to make these events so successful.


·       Can the Emerald Lake Road cope with the significant increase in traffic that it is expected when Puffing Billy’s Discovery Centre is completed?

·       Creating a skate board park in Emerald.

·       Tree removal in the main street.

·       The provision of new toilets at the eastern end of town.

·       The Worrell Reserve master plan.

·       The proliferation of signage, particularly real estate boards, the number, the size and the location.


We are encouraging local residents to come along to our meetings. Open meetings are                                                                                                                                                                                             held on 4th Tuesday of each month at the RSL at 7.30.Please consider attending, bring an issue and contribute to improving our town and district.

Please contact Dick Bartley   dickbartley08@gmail.com for more details or forward me a concern which we could add to our agendas.  Email me if you like us to send you a copy of the agenda. We will have EVA Reps at the next Emerald market.

2. A MAINTENANCE WALK ROUND EMERALD to inspect and determine maintenance needs. Officers from the Shire of Cardinia, members of the EVA developed a list of repair works that need to be actioned and some improvements identified which include:

·       Seats in the Puffing Billy  playground

·       A drinking tap in the playground

·       Hand rail for some steps near the NAB  bank.

·       Clearing of blackberries along Madigan’s Lane (behind the co op building)

·       Clearing of blackberries and other weeds along the walking track behind the Primary School


The toilets at the Puffing Billy park will have a major refurbish .Work will start on in early May.


The old toilet block at the eastern end of town will be replaced by a new facility incorporated into the new hub building but accessible to the public. The Hub plans have been altered but there needs to be further consultation as concerns have been raised about these changes. The EVA are recommending that the original toilet block be retained until a satisfactory replacement facility can be developed


The President and Secretary of the EVA will meet the new shire general manager Carol Jeffs to discuss the needs of Emerald.


There ongoing concerns about  the future of the Golf Club and its preservation.

7. There is a proposal to name the Men’s Shed facility after the founder Mike Allery who recently passed away.

8. More details on these items please see the EVA   web page our noticeboard, our face book page or come to our next meeting on May 28th at the RSL 7.30


Dick Bartley


Emerald Village Association (formerly EVC)