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Council refuses telecommunication lease at ATC Cook Reserve

10 May 2023

Merri-bek City Councillors have voted to refuse a request to lease land at ATC Cook Reserve for telecommunications infrastructure, following consultation with the community. 

The decision was made by Councillors at the 10 May Council Meeting, following a recommendation by officers to refuse the lease. 

Merri-bek Mayor Councillor Angelica Panopoulos said Council encourages residents to participate in consultation on its projects. 

“We are committed to engaging with the community about important decisions in their neighbourhood. This is enshrined in our Community Engagement Policy,” Cr Panopoulos said. 

“During consultation, we received more than 330 submissions from community members, along with two petitions. The vast majority of respondents told us they were opposed to the proposal.” 

"The main theme in submissions was the loss of open space. Despite the proposed lease only occupying a small area it was still felt by the community to be too much. 

“We know how essential and valued open space is by our community which is why we’ve purchased an additional 153,000 square metres of open space and since 2012, including 60,000 square metres in Glenroy.”  

Two consultation periods were conducted about the lease proposal at ATC Cook Reserve, totalling 12 weeks, with notices published in The Age and on Council's Conversations Merri-bek website. More than 1000 letters were mailed to homeowners and residents in the vicinity of the reserve. 

“I want to thank the community for engaging with us. Merri-bek is a wonderful place to live because of our collaboration with the community.”