Mayor and CEO Overview

Welcome to Council’s online Annual Report 2018–2019 in which we account for our performance, our achievements and setbacks. We also report on how we have addressed emerging challenges and provided stewardship over how public monies and resources have been utilised in the community’s interests.

Play the video below for our achievements and challenges in 2018–19 including;

  • Community Engagement — we continued to implement our Community Engagement Strategy.
  • Online services and new website — we launched a new website and continued our business transformation work, increasing the number of services that are available online.
  • Developing and managing growth — as part of our Integrated Transport Strategy, we are working towards a 50:50 shift between car and non-car travel by 2031.
  • Key challenges — recycling transfer station closure and our decision to sell our residential aged care facilities.
  • Finances — this year we have spent just over $43 million in capital works and we returned a surplus of $25 million dollars.

ACHIEVEMENT AGAINST OUR COMMUNITY PLAN

In 2018–19, we achieved 45 out of the 59 performance measures in the 201819 Action Plan of the Glen Eira Council and Community Plan 2017–2021 and a further 14 performance measures are underway. This reflects Council’s ambitious agenda for change, the long term nature of a number of the commitments made, and Council’s reliance on other bodies such as the State Government to also play their part. We have reflected on this as part of our planning for 2019–20 and attempted to strike a better balance between our ambition and the capacity to deliver.

See Council and Community Plan

Engagement

We consulted with the community on 54 projects, through advisory groups and committees; community surveys; questionnaires; focus groups; feedback; submissions; public forums; and individual consultations. Community consultation is a vital part of our planning and decision-making processes. It helps us to understand your priorities and issues and ensures community involvement. We are committed to engaging with our community through best practice consultation methods to achieve the best outcomes.

See Giving a voice to the Glen Eira community

Online services

We have continued the great work from 2017–18 in 2018–19 in bringing services online to allow the community to interact with us at a time and place of your convenience. We have continued to streamline our online offerings in conjunction with redesigning and launching our website, which is based on user-centric design, providing flexibility, exceptional accessibility and user experience.

Providing greater online options for our community continues to be a priority for us. We digitised more than 40 of our most used transactions, including online enquiries, building permit applications and illegally parked vehicle notifications. In addition to this, we moved 60 paper-based forms and processes online. Some of the key benefits from this work include: a reduction in wait time to speak to a customer service officer; an ability to complete transactions at your convenience 24/7; a reduction in the time taken to resolve an issue and delivery of ePermits where possible. We received more than 54,260 online requests in the last year. The improvements also mean that we can close the loop when a request is completed and the community can give immediate feedback on our performance. We will continue to engage and work with the Glen Eira community to ensure our service delivery is timely, convenient and meets future expectations.

See Best Value and continuous improvement

Development and managing growth

Following on from the comprehensive and integrated strategic planning program of the previous two years that resulted in Council’s adoption of the Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick Structure Plans and the Quality Design Guidelines, this year we adopted the East Village Structure Plan and have undertaken the additional work to progress the Bentleigh, Carnegie and East Village Structure Plans to the Planning Scheme Amendment stage. The East Village project is an exciting project that aims to deliver on jobs, open space and land for a school in Bentleigh East. We have continued to work with the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) on the Caulfield Station precinct, towards the development of a Structure Plan to guide future development of this precinct. In relation to Elsternwick, the development of a Masterplan is underway for the area known as Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area South along Nepean Highway. When complete this will form part of a broader Planning Scheme Amendment for Elsternwick.

See Structure Plans to support our growing population

Governance

A Bill intended to become the new Local Government Act for Victorian councils was introduced into Parliament in May 2018. The Bill lapsed when Parliament expired before the November 2018 Victorian election. A new Local Government Bill is proposed to be reintroduced into Parliament in 2019. While substantially the same as the 2018 Bill the 2019 Bill is foreshadowed to incorporate further changes, including the abolition of multi Councillor wards, donation reforms and mandatory training for Councillors and candidates for election to Council.

On Wednesday 9 January 2019, the Victorian Electoral Commission conducted a countback for the extraordinary vacancy in Tucker Ward created by Cr Nina Taylor’s resignation from Glen Eira City Council. Anne-Marie Cade was duly elected and was officially sworn in as a Councillor on Thursday 10 January.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning co-ordinates an annual survey of community satisfaction on behalf of the majority of councils across Victoria. The 2019 Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey includes core measures of performance as well as performance in individual service areas. We were pleased to see that perceptions of our performance have improved significantly compared to results in 2018. Our overall performance is higher than the metropolitan average and significantly higher than the state-wide average. We also had a significantly higher score compared to the state average in customer service; community consultation; making community decisions; and advocacy.

See 2019 Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey

Advocacy

An important part of our role is advocating in the interests of our community. In-line with our Glen Eira Advocacy Strategy 2018−2020 we successfully secured one-off State and Federal Government project funding of $5.67million across the year.

Some examples of the projects funded include:

    • $4,155,810 to improve local sporting facilities including: female friendly facilities; pavilion upgrades; new lighting; and a community hub at Murrumbeena Park, Murrumbeena.
    • $489,293 to improve community safety including new laneway lighting and graffiti removal projects.
    • $350,000 to improve early years’ programs including a significant upgrade of the East Bentleigh Kindergarten.
    • $200,000 to review social housing and develop a new strategy to meet future community needs.
    • $100,000 to create a masterplan for growth in Elsternwick.

During the 2018 State election the Victorian Labour Party committed: $2 million towards two pavilion redevelopments at Lord Reserve, Carnegie and Koornang Park, Carnegie; and 40 additional carparks in the Carnegie shopping precinct. There was also a commitment that Woorayl Reserve, Carnegie would be offered to Council to secure its future as community open space and a public space would be provided in Murrumbeena.

During the 2019 Federal election the Federal Liberal Party committed: $4 million for a community hub at Murrumbeena Park, Murrumbeena; and $10.5 million for additional car parking around Elsternwick and Bentleigh train stations.

Announced on 5 August 2018, Minister for Planning Richard Wynne approved new interim controls for activity centres in Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick, with maximum building height and minimum setback rules that respect the areas’ low-scale shopping strips and residential character. The interim controls will protect Carnegie, Elsternwick and Bentleigh while Council prepares permanent controls that reflect the Structure Plans for these centres.

Our Councillors

Our City is made up of three wards, with three Councillors elected for each ward. The Councillors elect a Mayor and Deputy Mayor once a year.

The following Councillors were elected for four-year terms on Saturday 22 October 2016. They took their Oath of Office at a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday 8 November 2016.

Cr Nina Taylor resigned from Council on 12 December 2018 after becoming a Member of the Legislative Council, Southern Metropolitan Region in the Victorian Parliament. On 9 January 2019, the Victorian Electoral Commission held a countback to fill the extraordinary vacancy. Anne-Marie Cade was the successful candidate. Cr Cade was sworn in as a Councillor for Glen Eira’s Tucker Ward on 10 January 2019.

Camden Ward

Councillor Mary Delahunty


CR MARY DELAHUNTY

Cr Delahunty was elected to Council in 2012. She is serving her second term as a Councillor and was the Mayor for 2017.

Cr Delahunty lives with her young family in Elsternwick. She likes to keep fit at the gym and plays and umpires netball. Cr Delahunty is the Head of Impact of an industry super fund, an authority member of the Emergency Services Telecommunication Authority and Chair of the Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality. She is also a 2015 Churchill Fellow, awarded for the study of equity provisions in international pension systems.

Councillor Joel Silver

DEPUTY MAYOR 2019
CR JOEL SILVER

Cr Silver was elected Deputy Mayor for the 2018–19 Council year.

Cr Silver was called to the Victorian Bar in May 2014 and practices mostly in commercial law (focusing on building, construction and property disputes). He has used these skills in several community organisations, including Peninsula Community Legal Centre in Bentleigh, where he worked as a volunteer lawyer, and the Law Institute of Victoria, where he served as Young Lawyers President.

Councillor Dan Sztrajt


CR DAN SZTRAJT

Cr Sztrajt and his young family live in Caulfield, where he has been a resident for more than 30 years.

Since he was 16, Cr Sztrajt has volunteered in a range of roles in Glen Eira. These include five years with a local youth movement, seven years with the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and continuous involvement with many charities and educational initiatives.

Rosstown Ward


CR MARGARET ESAKOFF

Cr Esakoff is a long-time Glen Eira resident. She went to school in Rosstown Ward and has lived there almost all of her adult life. She is married with two children and three grandchildren.

Cr Esakoff has experience in business administration — having run a small business with her husband — and has worked in publishing, advertising and radio/television.

She is serving her fifth term on Council, serving as Mayor in 2005, 2007 and 2011, and Deputy Mayor in 2008 and 2010. She now devotes her time to Council, in addition to her voluntary work, which includes membership on the Ethics Committee for Calvary Health Care Bethlehem.

Councillor Clare Davey


CR CLARE DAVEY

A desire to play a larger role in her community was one of the reasons Glen Huntly resident Clare Davey decided to run for Council.

One of our five new faces from the 2016 election, Cr Davey has worked as a Local Government traffic and transport engineer for more than seven years.

She grew up just across the border in Bayside and has lived in Glen Eira for seven of the last nine years.

MAYOR 2018
CR TONY ATHANASOPOULOS

Cr Athanasopoulos joined us in 2016 and was Mayor in 2018. He was born of two migrant parents from Greece and Italy. They worked hard to give their three boys the life they envied and taught the importance of service.

Cr Athanasopoulos lives and works in Carnegie, running a family business with his wife Katherine. They both share a position on the Chrisalis Foundation board, a not-for-profit foundation supporting young people with disabilities.

Tucker Ward

Councillor Jamie Hyams

MAYOR 2019
DEPUTY MAYOR 2018
Cr Jamie Hyams

A long-time resident of Glen Eira with a keen interest in sport and recreation, Cr Hyams is serving his fourth term on Council and was Mayor in 2012 and 2013 and Deputy Mayor in 2011 and 2018. Formerly a solicitor and executive director of a community sporting body, he is now a senior policy analyst at a not-for-profit public affairs organisation.

Until 2011, Cr Hyams was President of the City of Moorabbin Historical Society, having served an eight-year term.

Councillor Jim Magee



CR JIM MAGEE

Cr Magee emigrated from Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1970. He is married with two sons and has lived in Bentleigh East since 1988. Cr Magee’s weekdays involve work and Council commitments and on weekends he is a keen bowler with the Coatesville Bowls Club. Cr Magee served as Mayor in 2015 and Deputy Mayor in 2017. Over the next two years on Council, Cr Magee will be focusing on better public transportation in Bentleigh East (trams and buses) along with establishing a Men’s Shed in Bentleigh East.



CR ANNE-MARIE CADE

Cr Cade is a lawyer who has lived in Glen Eira for more than 14 years. She has three children between the ages of 16 and 25.

Cr Cade ran her own law firm for more than 12 years and now works as a family law mediator and mentor. She is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

Cr Cade has a strong sense of community, having lived and worked in the area. She wants to make a valuable contribution by addressing residents’ concerns at Council level.

The Executive

The CEo leads an Executive team which includes four directors. The team plan, co-ordinates and monitors the progress of Council’s goals and strategic direction and manages day-to-day business activities.

The directors are accountable to the ceo for effective and efficient management of their portfolios and the collective delivery of council’s internal transformation program and the glen eira council and community plan.

 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
REBECCA MCKENZIE

Started position in February 2016

Rebecca is an accomplished leader with a successful executive career across three countries and three sectors. Before joining us, her roles included CEO at Mitchell Shire Council and Director of Corporate Services at Yarra Ranges Council.

During an eight-year stint overseas, Rebecca held director-level roles in human resource management at Swindon Borough Council in the United Kingdom and the National University of Ireland in Dublin. In her early career, she worked in various roles with the Queensland State Government.

Rebecca has a Bachelor of Arts (Griffith University), Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (Griffith University), Master of Science (Sheffield Hallam University UK) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Director Community Wellbeing
Peter Jones

Started position in 2003

Peter joined us in July 2001 as Human Resources Manager. His career has spanned human resources, education and community services. His extensive community services experience has covered both the not-for-profit and public sector. He has also held human services management roles in children’s services, youth services and community development.

Peter has a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons), Master of Business Administration (Monash University) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Director Corporate Services
Peter Swabey

Started position in July 2016

Peter has more than 30 years’ experience in senior executive leadership roles, including general management, financial and company secretarial responsibilities in Local Government, banking and finance, and legal services industries. He has vast experience in financial and general management, including treasury, payroll and internal and external financial reporting requirements. Peter was our Chief Financial Officer from 2004 to 2016.

Peter has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) (Monash University), CPA.

Director Environment AND
Infrastructure
Samantha Krull

Started position in May 2016

Samantha started working in Local Government in 2007 and has experience in metropolitan and growth councils. She has led Local Government teams to sustainably plan and deliver a range of community infrastructure projects and programs.

Samantha also has 15 years’ private sector experience as a professional consulting structural engineer and project manager in Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.

Samantha has a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma in Engineering.

Director Planning and Place
Ron Torres

Started position in 2015

Ron joined us in 1996. He has more than 20 years’ experience in urban planning for inner-city and middle-ring municipalities. His career includes a range of management roles.

Ron has experience in statutory and strategic urban planning, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and planning panels. He has also successfully delivered programs in strategic transport, sustainable development, animal management, activity centres and structure plans. Each of these aimed to safeguard and develop community services and wellbeing.

Ron has a Bachelor of Planning and Design (The University of Melbourne).

Organisational structure*


*Organisational structure as at 30 June 2019.