Give us trees, not flagpoles!

14 December 2019

Nillumbik Economic Development and Tourism Unit is proposing the erection of five 8m high flagpoles, with 1,8m high x 0,9m wide banners for ‘promotional signage’ in Eltham. These are to ‘decorate’ Main Rd and ‘add vitality’ to the town centre, according to planning permit application No. 543/2019/17P, currently being advertised.

One flagpole is to be erected in Main Rd at its intersection with Luck St and two flagpoles at the intersection of Pryor and Arthur Streets (see aerial photo below).

These will be similar to the flagpoles seen in other centres, like Templestowe, as shown below.

Whilst banners will be only used to advertise public events (with space for direct sponsorship recognition limited to 10% of the area of the banner) one must consider whether these banners will add to, or detract from, our shared and valued environment.

“Visual pollution is an aesthetic issue and refers to the impacts of pollution that impair one’s ability to enjoy a vista or view. Visual pollution disturbs the visual areas of people by creating harmful changes in the natural environment.” Wikipedia


The Nillumbik community places a very high value on the natural environment and the Eltham town centre is, unusually, protected by a Significant Landscape Overlay.

One must ask if the erection of large promotional signage strengthens what is unique and special about this place or if it, instead, leads to its homogenisation with the rest of Melbourne and the world at large. Shouldn’t signage, in a place like Eltham, be limited to what is essential? Shouldn’t it be secondary to the enhancement of the natural environment through the planting of trees and provision of landscaping, as has occurred in the Eltham town centre and which the residents of, and visitors to, Eltham relate to and enjoy?

The Shire Plan 2050 Research Paper states: “Council should provide infrastructure that the community values”. Is the erection of flagpoles in Eltham consistent with what this community values?

To voice your opinion on planning permit application 543/2019/17P, contact your local councillor or submit an objection via Council’s website or via email to [email protected] before 23 December 2019.

© Copyright Eltham Community Action Group 2024