East Melbourne residents air vehement concerns at public council meeting

East Melbourne residents air vehement concerns at public council meeting
Carol Saffer

City of Melbourne councillors have engaged with residents in the council’s first community-held Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting in East Melbourne on August 16.

The Pullman Melbourne on the Park was the venue for the meeting, the latest held away from Melbourne Town Hall and open to the public.

These community-focused meetings are designed to keep residents informed about what is happening in their area and give them a chance to raise questions.

Among the 50 attendees at the meeting was James Bartolo who spoke of his emotional concern for the residents living close to the Comfort Hotel and City Edge Apartments, in which he said, “the council starts an investigation but quickly closes the case with no solution or attempt to resolve the issue at hand. Does it take a death before a solution is activated?”


He went on to say, “we are now desperate with elderly residents not feeling safe in their own homes which they have owned and resided in for over 30 years.”


The council’s health, wellbeing and belonging portfolio lead Cr Dr Olivia Ball responded, “[an appropriate council officer] will make contact with you to ensure we clearly understand your concerns, and we will engage the appropriate area to respond.”

Resident Therese Donato’s written question read, “Is there the possibility of providing/installing public amenities in the grounds surrounding the MCG to prevent people attending major events from urinating in surrounding neighbouring streets once they leave the ground?”

As the Melbourne Cricket Club Trust manages Yarra Park, the council will forward Ms Donato’s concern, and Lord Mayor Sally Capp said she would follow up by exploring what better solutions to manage the issue could be raised.

Ian Mitchell of the East Melbourne Group questioned the council’s representation at the upcoming Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearing regarding its approval for developing the Magnolia Court Hotel.

“I think it would be useful for us to know the council’s strength of conviction and what we will be fighting at VCAT,” he said.

“In other words, we would like to know whether the council is going to have QCs et cetera presenting the case which has occurred in the past.”

Lord Mayor Sally Capp advised that a meeting would be set up to share the appropriate information before the VCAT date in October.

Cr Capp acknowledged the recent passing of Melbourne identities Olivia Newton-John, Archie Roach and Judith Durham, saying “it’s artists like Olivia, Archie and Judith who draw thousands of people into our great city for electrifying performances. They told the story of who we are as Australians, and we are grateful for their lifetime work and legacy.” •

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