Mildura Weekly : Friday August 29 Vol 8 No 43
NEWS 07 FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2014 MILDURA WEEKLY.COM.AU By BEN PISCIONERI MILDURA South land own- er Tony Scullino has wel- comed a Mildura Rural City Council decision last night not to allocate future use of his land for a neighbour- hood activity centre. The decision at last night’s monthly Council meeting follows two rounds of public consultations re- lating to the Mildura South Development Plan, which maps out how development should occur in one of the district’s major growth cor- ridors. The proposed location of a neighbourhood activity centre has been the sticking point of the plan. When it was initially re- leased in March this year, it indicated the NAC, which would include a Village Green, providing a central space for the community to meet, as well as possible commercial outlets includ- ing take-away stores, a medi- cal centre and kindergarten, should be established on land at the corner of On- tario Avenue and Sixteenth Street. Council received 18 submissions relating to this plan, including strong objections to the siting of the NAC, amid concerns it would jeopardise the future of prime residential land in the area. An amended version of the plan was released in May, relocating the NAC to the corner of Sixteenth Street and Walnut Avenue, on land currently owned, and farmed, by Tony Scul- lino. This plan attracted more submissions, 29 in total, in- cluding a submission from Mr Scullino. At the time Mr Scullino said the proposal left his property, and his retirement plans, in jeopardy. He said given the NAC wouldn’t go ahead for at least a decade, it would put a hold on what he could do with his land, including any plans he may have had to sell the 20-acre parcel of land as part of his retire- ment. After analysing the 29 submissions, Council has reverted to its original plan, which would see the NAC established on the Ontario Avenue site. The report to Council- lors ahead of last night’s meeting stated “the location of the Activity Centre should be returned to the original recommended location on the southern corner of On- tario Avenue and Sixteenth Street.” Mr Scullino said last night he was relieved by Council’s decision, which would provide him with certainty for his retirement plans. “Common sense has prevailed and I can move on to what I had planned,” he said. Despite welcoming Council’s decision, Mr Scul- lino said he was still disap- pointed he was forced to go through the stresses of the past two months. “Look, I am relieved and happy with the decision, but I’m not so happy that I had to go through this process. “And aside from the stresses and uncertainty of it all, I’ve had to pay money to solicitors as well.” Seven of the 29 submis- sions related to concerns about the consultation pro- cess. In Mr Scullino’s case, he found out his land was ear- marked for the NAC firstly by a member of the commu- nity, and then by a newslet- ter in his mail box, which had gone out to other rate- payers in the area as well. He said he hadn’t been contacted directly by Coun- cil at any stage. In the report to Coun- cil last night, submissions relating to the consultation process were addressed. “While it is understood that there may be some con- cern about whether there should be direct contact made with the landowner, it is considered Council has undertaken appropriate consultation,” it was stated. Mda South activity centre turnaround Riverland rate notices to be reissued THE District Council of Loxton Waikerie is set to reissue first quarter rate notices for the cur- rent financial year after errors were identified in 436 notices issued earlier this month. Defective software has been found to be the cause of the er- ror, resulting in some rateable properties not being rated, some residents receiving doubled up charges, and some service charg- es not being levied. To rectify the errors, Council has met and amended its rates declaration to ensure all prop- erties are rated according to leg- islative requirements, resulting in a slight decrease in the previ- ously adopted differential rates in the dollar across all land uses. The NRM separate rate in the dollar has also decreased. “Importantly rectifying the error and reissuing notices does not increase the total amount of rate revenue Council is budget- ing to collect, it merely ensures that every rateable property con- tributes,” Council’s chief execu- tive officer Peter Ackland said. “Council apologises for the need to reissue rate notices, and the possible inconvenience and confusion this may cause. “We encourage anyone who has a query to contact either our Loxton or Waikerie offices to talk the matter though with our staff. “Council has also resolved to review its corporate software package prior to the end of the financial year.” • A tearsheet of our earlier story featuring Tony Scullino and the less than ideal way he was informed of a planning overlay on his land.
Friday August 22 Vol 8 No 42
Friday September 5 Vol 8 No 44