Hello everyone. Earlier this month I was invited to speak with Virginia Trioli on ABC Radio Melbourne. This was a fantastic opportunity to talk about what we're doing in Manningham and to also hear about some things that are important to our community. If you missed it, ABC Radio Melbourne have kindly allowed us to upload it here on our website. You can listen to the full interview below.
We had a great chat about the need for a dedicated youth mental health service in Manningham and we talked with residents about transport, traffic and planning issues.
In fact, those issues are linked: limited public transport means our youth are facing travel times of around two hours to access Commonwealth-funded youth mental health services — often involving multiple bus routes and long walking distances.
We want to improve safety across Manningham. And that means better roads, footpaths, naturestrips and parks, and better access to services that improve our community’s mental wellbeing, health, and connectedness.
There were also a few really important questions in the Facebook comments that Virginia and I didn’t get a chance to chat about. Thank you for sending those through. I’ve put together my responses here and look forward to more conversations with you on the radio, online and out in the beautiful suburbs of Manningham.
Cr Andrew Conlon MAYOR
Mornings with Virgina Trioli: Interview with Cr. Andrew Conlon
Courtesy: ABC Radio Melbourne
Broadcast: Tuesday 4 May 2021, 8:30am
Why doesn’t Manningham Council have a robust Urban Design Framework?
This is a fantastic question and something we’re really passionate about.
Right now, we are working on the Liveable City Strategy 2040 (LCS). That’s our plan to improve the liveability of Manningham. We’ll be getting feedback from the community, asking what you care about in regards to urban design and liveability.
Your feedback will help us create a high-quality urban environment for our long-term future; a place where people feel safe and connected and have choice in where they live work and play.
The LCS provides an aspirational long-term vision, framework and implementation plan for the preferred urban structure, built for public realm outcomes.
The LCS will be out on public exhibition later in the year.
What are you planning for your citizens to get into the city without three changes of buses?
I often speak with residents who have the same concerns about buses to the city and our local Park and Ride facilities.
We’ve been advocating for the State Government to undertake a review of the bus network in the Eastern suburbs. We know — and we agree with you — that it is a matter of urgency.
We’re also advocating for a dedicated bus way and mass transit solution for our City.
Recently, the NELP announced that the new Bulleen Park & Ride is being fast-tracked and will be open by late 2022.
Can we please get a metro train station?
I know a lot of our residents are keen to see a train station in our area — and that’s why we’re advocating for the Stage 2 Suburban Rail Loop Project to include a metro station in Doncaster Hill and Bulleen.
We want to see early planning to preserve underground entry points to a station in Doncaster Hill. We are keen to work with the SRL Authority as soon as possible so we can lock in a site for the station.
We are also advocating for a bus route along the future Stage 2 SRL route to build demand along the North/South route.
What are you doing to help the infrastructure keep up with the increased housing density you are approving in Manningham?
This is a topic that our residents are passionate about and we are too.
We’re working closely with the State Government to get the best outcomes for our residents as they deliver major transport infrastructure projects to meet the growing population. The North East Link will take pressure off many local and arterial roads throughout Doncaster Hill.
We’ve told the State Government that we want a train station in Doncaster Hill, a dedicated Busway along the Eastern Freeway and Bus Rapid Transit high-capacity bus route along Doncaster Road. We’re continuing to advocate for general improvements to the bus network and bus services to and from Doncaster Hill.
We’re delivering a new park on Hepburn Road, new bike path connections in and around Doncaster Hill and more bus shelters and pedestrian crossing points on Tram Road and Doncaster Road.
When will more than one parking space per new dwelling be mandatory to get some parked cars off the roads so we can actually drive on them? I’d hate to drive a garbage truck on some of those streets!
Parking requirements are mandated by the Victorian Planning Scheme and apply state-wide.
Clause 52.06 of the Manningham Planning Scheme requires new developments to provide two off-street car spaces for every dwelling that has three or more bedrooms.
It can be a challenge in some of these roads for garbage trucks. If needed, we will make changes to parking restrictions to ensure traffic is able to flow and that essential large trucks (like garbage and fire trucks) are able to access these areas.
What are the traffic management plans for when the Bunnings and hotel next to Westfield opens up?
With the new Bunnings development, the Department of Transport required a number of changes along Doncaster Road and the nearby intersections. These roadworks are almost complete and will cater for the expected flows. We’ve seen a lot of issues with workers parking in the nearby streets. Hopefully these will ease when the development is completed. We’ll be monitoring the traffic once it is completed and will make changes if needed.
Why doesn’t Manningham collect food waste for composting?
We’re really passionate about this and are currently working with the State Government’s Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group to get this done. A Food Organic Waste (FOGO) facility would process garden waste material as well as food organic waste.
We need help from the State Government to access an organic processing facility and we’re investigating how and when such a service could commence across the municipality. Stay tuned.
What are you doing to protect our green wedge?
As part of the Council Plan, our goal is to ‘protect and enhance our environment and biodiversity’. And we’re doing a lot of work to protect Manningham’s Green Wedge area:
- maintain 40 Council bushland reserves and other green spaces with weed and pest animal control and revegetation
- support landholders with Local Environment Assistance Fund (LEAF) grants and advice for weed and pest animal control and revegetation
- support landholders with woody weed removal and bushfire mitigation
- support landholder and environment group pest deer monitoring and control program with LEAF grants and advocating for more State Government leadership and support for this growing problem
- provide biodiversity protection advice for Council capital works projects including the Jumping Creek Road upgrade and for State projects such as North East Link and the Fitzsimmons Lane upgrade
- provide advice with planning permit applications and vegetation removal compliance work
- community engagement programs such as the recent City Nature Challenge
- support for local environment and landcare groups.
What's the percentage of Council employees, managers on up, who are actually residents of Manningham?
We do have a significant number of employees who live locally. However, our recruitment policy supports appointing the best candidate for the job. Locality of the employee is not a selection criteria. We make sure that we engage the person with the relevant qualifications, appropriate prior work experience and who are a fit for the culture of the organisation. We do not discriminate by only employing people living in the Manningham Council area.
Who cuts your hair?
My wife cuts my hair!