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Friday, December 18, 2009

Looking back ..... and forwards

Like most people, the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) has had a busy year! We continue to encourage local people to express their views on local issues and we've responded to their concerns, but we've made a special effort to involve more local people in our activities. For example, we are exploring collaboration with local schools and youth organizations; our public meeting on December 2 about local shopping attracted 100 people and we're planning another in March 2010 about local transport; we've initiated a quarterly print/electronic newsletter; and we've just launched our 'blog', Dryclift Days (

This year, DCSCA has worked hard to encourage the City of Greater Geelong to improve its public communication and consultation processes. We participated in Council-run public meetings about reshaping Drysdale town centre and yet - like many local residents - we believe that the final proposals fail to reflect the range of local views and ideas. We are concerned that the Council's 2009 Structure Plan for the area does not reflect the range of local views that an earlier draft attracted; and that its vision of future business and employment is limited to a few more shops and some tourist accommodation. These won't provide the high-skill, high-wage jobs that offer young people real alternatives to commuting to Geelong or Melbourne.

These experiences led DCSCA to propose improvements to the Council's public consultation processes and to circulate them to councillors and to other associations. We also initiated Bellarine 10-20 - a community review of the Council's Bellarine Strategic Plan, to be convened in 2010 by the Affiliation of Bellarine Community Associations.

Finally, DCSCA has started to plan a Drysdale Festival of Glass! This major social and cultural event brings together art, craft and industry in late 2010. To find out more, see the separate posting - 'A Drysdale Festival of Glass'.

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Council consultation procedures

The Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) believes that the City of Greater Geelong's public communication and consultation practices could be better than they are now; and that improving them would contribute to building a vigorous local democracy. We are keen to contribute to that process and, in that spirit, we make the following two proposals:

1. The City of Greater Geelong should develop a set of protocols concerning its communication and consultation with communities and other stakeholders; and should list specific communication and consultation targets that should be met before any proposal or report is presented to a Council meeting.

2. Each proposal or report presented to a Council meeting should include a section - ‘Communication & Consultation’ - in which the authors show that they have:
(i) communicated with and consulted relevant communities and other stakeholders in accordance with the Council’s communication and consultation protocols
(ii) met the specific targets associated with those protocols.

Such protocols and targets will enable councillors to see whether and to what extent their officers have communicated and consulted with stakeholders in the manner that the Council has decided they should; and they will enable stakeholders to see whether and to what extent their views have been taken into account in a Council proposal or report.

At present, some reports and proposals to Council list and/or summarise the results of consultations, but this practice isn’t consistent. Implementing our two proposals will give continuity and consistency to the Council’s relationships with its stakeholders.

DCSCA's proposals require no new spending and this alone should commend them to councillors! Indeed, we believe that making the Council’s public communication and consultation consistent with published protocols and targets will streamline officers’ work, instill new stakeholder confidence in the process and provide tangible evidence that the City of Greater Geelong listens to its constituents and wants to promote local democracy. The outcome will be that the Council's public communication and consultation will be easier and quicker (and potentially less expensive) to perform.

A Drysdale Festival of Glass

Planning has started for a unique cultural event for the Bellarine Peninsula - the Drysdale Festival of Glass. To be held early in 2011, the Festival will combine art, craft and industry in a celebration of the beauty, usefulness and adaptability of glass.

The Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association has initiated the festival, which it sees as a community-building event. Association President Doug Carson said, 'Many towns have become associated with a cultural event such as a festival or exhibition and the Drysdale Festival Of Glass will be a unique and distinctive annual event. We think that it offers great scope for people from all walks of life to come together to create something really different and special.'

Carson said that the Association has just started the lengthy process of planning the Festival, but has a clear vision of what the event will include. 'We want to invite makers and users of glass from across the region to assemble at Drysdale and celebrate their work and their skill', he said. 'The Festival will feature stalls by local artisans and craftspeople who are making and using glass, plus demonstrations of their techniques, including glass blowing and enamelling. There will be displays of historical and contemporary glass objects, optical instruments, glass collectables … and bottle-neck guitar playing!'

The Drysdale Festival of Glass will include competitions for all ages, such as the best glass-related photograph, painting, creative writing and music; the best glass sculpture; and the best example of recycling glass. There will be special features and classes, including 'Glass in Architecture', 'Glass in Industry', 'Glass in Climate Change' and 'The Old Glass Road Show' (bring yours to be valued!). There will even be a competition to find the worst local traffic bottleneck!

'At present, we are spreading the word about the Festival as widely as we can', said Carson. 'In the New Year, we will call people together, ask them what they think of the idea and, if they like it, form a group that can plan the first Drysdale Festival of Glass.'

Anyone who is interested in participating in the Festival or who just wants to find out more about it should contact Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association - by mail at P.O. Box 581, Drysdale, or by e-mail at

Monday, December 14, 2009

Richard Marles MP - an update

Now that the 2010 federal election has been decided, here is updated information on Richard Marles, MP, who represents the seat of Corio, which includes Drysdale & Clifton Springs.

The Hon Richard Marles MP
Member for Corio (Vic)

PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6277 4330; Fax: (02) 6277 8488
Electorate Office
17A Yarra Street, Geelong Vic 3220
Tel: (03) 5221 3033; Fax: (03) 5222 4505

Parliamentary Service

2010, 2007: Elected to the House of Representatives for Corio, Victoria.

Ministerial appointments
  • From 14/9/10: Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs
  • From 9/6/09 to 14/9/10: Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry.

Committee Service
House of Representatives Standing Committees:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (19/2/08 to 15/6/09. Chair from 13/3/08.)
  • Economics (19/2/08 to 15/6/09)
  • Employment and Workplace Relations (19/2/08 to 15/6/09).

Party positions
  • 2004 and 2007: Delegate, ALP National Conference.
  • From 2006: Member, ALP International Projects.

Born 13 July 1967, Melbourne, Vic.
Qualifications: BSc, LLB (Hons) (Melb).

Previous employment
2000 - 2007: Assistant Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
1998 - 2000: Federal Assistant Secretary, Transport Workers' Union of Australia
1994 - 1998: Federal Legal Officer, Transport Workers' Union of Australia
1993 - 1994: Solicitor.

Introducing 'Dryclift Days'

Hullo and welcome to Dryclift Days, a blog run by the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA).

Dryclift Days aims to introduce the DCSCA and its current activities. It is one of several points of contact between DCSCA members and their elected committee; and it shows non-members just why they should join!

Later on, Dryclift Days will have more interactive features, including:
  • 'mini-polls' on local events and issues
  • a 'chat room' for DCSCA members to discuss issues with each other
  • 'instant messaging' so that DCSCA members can e-mail the DCSCA committee, their local councillors and their state and federal MPs.

At present, if you wish to contact DCSCA, there are two options:
  • Mail: P.O. Box 581, Drysdale, Vic. 3222
  • E-mail:
We welcome your views about events and issues in Drysdale & Clifton Springs and on the Bellarine Peninsula more broadly. We'd also be grateful for your views on Dryclift Days. Is it easy to use? Is it easy to find your way around it? And so on.

To learn more about DCSCA, go to 'About us'.

Lake Lorne pathway

Lake Lorne is a Crown Land Reserve, owned by the Department of Sustainability & Environment (DSE). The City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) acts as its Committee of Management and performs continuing asset management, e.g. removing weeds, revegetating areas and erecting new fences.

Stakeholders to date
• The City of Greater Geelong
• Local councillors (??)
• The Steam Preservation Society
• The Drysdale Pony Club
• Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association
• Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (for formal approval)
• Bellarine Little Athletics Club
• (Each of the 3 neighbouring schools ??)
• Residents (opposite the reserve)

• Terraculture p/l (to prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan)
• Thompson Berrill Landscape Design (to prepare a Concept Plan, detailed designs & costs for the project)

Action to date
July. The Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) suggests that a pathway should be created around Lake Lorne and around McLeod's Waterholes.
August. CoGG asks DSE for advice; informs DCSCA that it has done so.

CoGG letter to DSE seeking consent to undertake the pathway project.
Letter from DSE allowing the project to be investigated, subject to obtaining a Cultural Heritage Management Plan.
CoGG holds meetings with members of the Steam Preservation Society & of the Drysdale Pony Club to discuss the project & seek consent to use part of the Steam Preservation Society land for the path.
CoGG letter to Steam Preservation Society seeking its formal support.
Steam Preservation Society Council states that it will survey the land to check that the fence follows the title boundary.
CoGG letter to Vic Track seeking its consent to use the railway land.
CoGG invites tenders to prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan.
Survey found that title pegs & fence alignment do not match. CoGG letter to Steam Preservation Society stating this and also that the CoGG's preferrence is to leave the eastern section of the fence where it is and to move the remaining section 3m to the north (to facilitate construction of a pathway between the top of the embankment a new fence).
CoGG appoints Terraculture p/l to prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

Dial Before You Dig searches show a Telstra line running through parts of the site. Service locaters mark the line.
Steam Preservation Society approves the proposal to move the boundary fence to facilitate construction of a pathway.
CoGG discussions on-site with Terraculture p/l lead to agreement to the pathway being re-aligned in two places to avoid Aboriginal artefacts at the site.
CoGG receives final Cultural Heritage Management Plan from Terraculture p/l. Copy sent to Aboriginal Affairs Victoria requesting its formal approval. (It has 30 days in which to respond.)
CoGG invites Thompson Berrill Landscape Design (Matt Bolton) to provide a quote for preparing a Concept Plan, detailed designs & costs for the project. (Quote will arrive within a week or so.)

Action proposed in late 2009
On receipt of quote from Thompson Berrill, discuss whether/how to fund the Concept Plan and detailed designs. N. B. There is no dedicated budget for this project.
If funding is available, ask Thompson Berrill to prepare a draft Concept Plan.
Discuss draft Concept Plan with stakeholders (Ward Councillors, Drysdale/Clifton Springs Community Association, Steam Preservation Society, Drysdale Pony Club, Bellarine Little Athletics Club, each of the 3 neighbouring schools).
If stakeholders agree with the draft Concept Plan, give copies of the draft Concept Plan to residents opposite the reserve.
Subject to agreement from all parties, CoGG officers will prepare a business case for CoGG funding.
CoGG officers will prepare a budget request for funding.

Action proposed in 2010 - 2011
If CoGG agrees to fund the project, work can commence in the 2010 - 2011 financial year and the project can be promoted in the local media.

Public meeting 1. December 2 2009

On 2 December 2009, over 100 people attended the DCSCA Public Meeting, Shopping in our community: what could Aldi mean for Drysdale & Clifton Springs? Aldi has applied for permission to build a supermarket in Drysdale's Murradoc Road, which generated a lot of discussion about local shopping options.

Jamie Ellery, Manager of Drysdale Safeway, said that the store had 250 employees, mostly locals. He talked about Safeway's efforts to reduce its energy use and to recycle its waste. Nationally, Safeway aims to recycle all its general waste by 2015; and the Drysdale branch wants to link with local farmers to re-use its waste fruit and vegetables.

Nigel Uren, Property Manager of Aldi, also stressed his company's 'green' credentials. He gave some background information about Aldi and suggested that Aldi's home brand range complemented other supermarkets' broader range. He outlined what an Aldi supermarket in Drysdale would look like and offer and said that they are awaiting a Council decision on building a store in Drysdale.

Finally, Jill Pring and Mark Telfer from Drysdale's Farmers Market group described their 'Harvest Basket' venture - a swap-meet for home grown fruit, vegetables and other produce. The swap-meets happen outside Springdale on the first Saturday of each month and have been well supported. Investigations into starting a Farmers Market continue and the group is learning from Portarlington's 'Port Produce'.

Community Association President Doug Carson said that the association was very pleased with the meeting. 'We set out to inform people about events and give them a say and the response has been magnificent', he said. 'Several people joined the Association and several more asked to received our newsletter.'