Council meeting 10 November 2014

Tonight was my first Kingborough council meeting. I spent most some of the weekend reading over 200 pages of agenda for the planning meeting feels on the same night.

It didn’t feel all that strange walking in, as I’ve been in the room plenty of times before to watch meetings. The other councillors were welcoming and one of them showed me around, which I appreciated as I had no idea where the biscuits were. I knew I had a pigeon hole somewhere do it was a relief to have it pointed out to me.

The meeting itself was mostly procedural, setting starting times and nominating for committees. As I’d hoped, I’m on the Infrastructure and Recreational Services Committee and the Community, Arts and Environment Committee. I’m also now Deputy Chair of Community, Arts and Environment. All councillors are also on Planning and Development.

The Planning Meeting was intimidating, but not as trying as I anticipated. My main concern was that I hadn’t been to a planning meeting, so want sure of the format. To make it worse there as a ‘sealed plan’to deal with, whatever that meant. I as glad I’d done nearly all the reading.

The sealed plan was about removing a covenant on a block of land. This part of the meeting had the applicant and the appellant both having a chance to present their cases and be questioned by council and one another. As is apparently the tradition with these thing, the decision was deferred until the officers prepare a report.

The rest of the Planning Meeting was falling with Development Applications. There were two huge ones regarding Bruny Island Cruises new visitor centre and continuation of their current arrangements until it’s built. These were both passed with only slight alterations such as adding bicycle parking.

There was one unusual application from the Council itself to build a was at Woodbridge cemetery. The debate was around whether there were any graves under the proposed wall site. Although we were assured that Council has plans of the grave sites, several councillors (and me, because I watched the meeting) remembered quite clearly that they were previously told the plans were destroyed in the 67 bushfires and that ground penetrating radar was needed to be sure of the grave locations. The DA was pissed with an additional provision that it must be ensured there are no human remains under the wall site.

And that’s about it for my first official duties. Perhaps it doesn’t sound much, but it’s a huge milestone for me.

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