Maroondah City Council presented three motions at the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) State Council Meeting, held on Friday 19 October, with all carried with overwhelming support.
Councillor Mike Symon, who represented Council at the meeting, said the meetings provided the opportunity for each member Council in Victoria to submit motions which have significance on a state level for all Victorian municipalities.
“Maroondah City Council has once again presented a series of motions that are significant not only to the Maroondah community but across the whole local government sector. This is a vital part of our work in advocating for real improvements in our community,” Cr Symon said.
The three motions presented by Council were:
Cost recovery for properties with hoarding and squalor
The first motion seeks to recover expenses incurred when regulatory action is taken by councils to clean up properties where hoarding and squalor exists.
“People who suffer from hoarding disorder are often extremely vulnerable and isolated. And in many instances residents with few resources are not able to pay for the clean-up, leaving councils to absorb the costs, which can be anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000,” Cr Symon said.
“We hope that by amending the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, this will allow Councils the option to recover the costs and expenses from regulatory action taken,” he said.
The second motion seeks an amendment to existing building regulations that would give Councils the powers to necessary to address vacant dwellings that, while structurally adequate, are in a state of neglect. This would give councils the option, via the Municipal Building Surveyor, to serve a building notice on the owner of the property, requiring them to either repair or demolish the building.
“Vacant dwellings are becoming more prevalent as developers and investors buy properties for future development. Many vacant properties are being left to fall into a state of neglect and dereliction, leaving them exposed to vandalism, tagging, illegal dumping of rubbish and squatting,” Cr Symon said.
“An amendment to the Building Act could help to address these issues by allowing councils to serve notices where a building is deemed derelict so that owners may be forced to either repair or demolish the property,” he said.
Waste management in Victoria
The third motion calls for transformational change to the state’s waste and resource recovery system. This includes giving special consideration to those councils spending a premium to maintain recycling with current contractors, and that they be considered as part of any grant funding.
“Councils recognise that they have a critical role to play in strengthening our waste and resource recovery system. This can be further strengthened by working together with state and federal governments to investigate options to collaboratively procure recycling services that will not only reduce waste but drive industry change,” Cr Symon added.
“Each of these motions has state-wide significance throughout the local government sector and we are extremely pleased that members of the State Council Meeting have voted to continue to lobby for changes.”
The motions will now be taken on by the MAV, who will lobby the Victorian Government on behalf of all councils.