Time to Extend Route 19 tram to Fawkner and Campbellfield #vicvotes

Extending the No 19 tramline to Gowrie Station in Fawkner has been proposed by the Greens this election. It is part of an initiative to fill missing tram links amounting to an extra 56 kilometres around Melbourne at a cost of about $840 million.

Rather than trams terminating midway between focal points, it is suggested they be extended to meet train stations or shopping centres to improve their functionality and intermodal usefulness.

The proposal for adding a number of tram extensions to the network is not new. The Public Transport Users Association have had plans for several years which they continue urging policymakers to adopt. The Greens proposal for 17 tram line extensions totalling an extra 56 kms was initially unveiled in July 2014.

The Greens also advocate the purchase of another 50 locally built E-Class trams to also alleviate some of the pressure on Melbourne overcrowded trams, especially in the northern suburbs. The Greens cost the extensions at about $15 million per kilometre as against the cost of $1 billion per kilometre for East West Link. Some have raised ‘Can the Greens tram plan be taken seriously?‘ (Alan Davies, Crikey) yet public transport commentator Daniel Bowen argues that Tram extensions: Not as expensive as some claim.

Other than the Route 19 tram, the Route 112 tram extension along Gilbert Road to Edwardes Lake Park, then up Edwardes street to terminate at Reservoir Station also makes a lot of sense to me enhancing intermodal connections. The other routes I’ll leave to others to discuss the merits of.

You can read the Greens tram initiative, routes and maps yourself.

What I want to talk about further is extending the No 19 tramline to, and perhaps past, Fawkner.

Route 19 Tramline extension

The Greens proposal for Route 19 involves extending the tram track up the middle of Sydney Rd to Fawkner Shops (via Gowrie Station). The map seems to indicate it would terminate in the centre of the road near Gowrie Station rather than actually connect to the Fawkner shops in Bonwick street. Taking the tram tracks down Jukes Rd might be a little problematic.

Greens-proposed-tram-extn-Route-19

I would not stop this extension at Gowrie but continue it further across the Western Ring Road and Mahoneys Rd to the Campbellfield shopping centre precinct. This makes enormous sense and provides better public transport and pedestrian access from Fawkner to the Campbellfield shops and avoids the morass of bitumen and cars on the Sydney Road intersections with Western Ring Road and Mahoneys Road (a real nightmare when on foot)

That strip of Sydney Road in Fawkner also features several motels catering to visitors to Melbourne, including the Meadow Inn Hotel-Motel, Hume Villa Motor Inn, Ibis Budget Fawkner, and the Fawkner Star Motel. A tram line on Sydney Road would encourage those visitors to leave their cars in motel car parks to catch the tram to Coburg, Brunswick or even into the city or to the Campbellfield shopping Centre.

The population of Fawkner and Hadfield are also increasing with more medium density sub-development so the tram extension would also cater to this population growth.

Upfield rail line needs upgrading to allow increased services

The railway Stations of Gowrie and Fawkner provide a wide catchment, with many people driving and a few cycling to these stations to commute to work.

The Upfield rail line is already operating at near capacity during peak periods with an increased frequency on this rail line overdue. There is a case for duplication of the track to Craigieburn and electrification from Upfield to Craigieburn to close a loop and enable more freqent service.

Upfield train approaching Gowrie Station

Greens candidate for Brunswick Tim Read suggested at the Moreland Transport forum that the duplication of the Upfield line past Gowrie and possible electrification of the existing track to Craigieburn would close a transport loop to Craigieburn and allow greater capacity and frequency of services on the Upfield Line. He was the only candidate at this forum to raise this potential.

The extension of the Sydney Road tram to Campbellfield would make a real difference in alleviating pressure on the capacity of the rail service to meet peak demand, while increasing public transport patronage.

Trams are especially efficient for smaller journeys and this tramline extension would help connect those living in Fawkner and Hadfield to other urban focal points in Campbellfield, Coburg and Brunswick.

Intermodal connection with High Speed Rail at Campbellfield

The tram extension to Campbellfield would also be a useful intermodal connection to the proposed Melbourne North station at Campbellfield on the preferred High Speed Railway alignment that uses the Upfield rail alignment (underground from Gowrie to Southern Cross). (See High Speed Rail – Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development – Chapter 4 on Alignment and station locations)

There are those who say this tramline duplicates the Upfield rail service, yet both services are popular and well used. It is likely any extension would increase public transport patronage.

The Northern suburbs of Moreland could sure do with a little bit more public transport infrastructure.

Fawkner gives a grilling to Broadmeadows MP Frank Maguire

Collen Jones from Fawkner Strengthening Committee opening the Forum

Collen Jones from Fawkner Strengthening Committee opening the Forum


Broadmeadows is one of the ALP’s safest seats in Victoria with over 20 per cent two party preferred margin to the Liberals. Because it is safe it gets largely ignored by the Liberals when in office, and to a lesser extent, also ignored by the Labor party who direct more funding for projects in their marginal seats.

The electorate is located in northern Melbourne stretching from the northern suburbs of Glenroy, Hadfield and Fawkner in the City of Moreland up to Dallas, Broadmeadows, Westmeadows, and Meadow Heights in the City of Hume. It is located across the Federal seats of Wills and Calwell.

Fawkner is a socially disadvantaged suburb in the southern part of the Broadmeadows electorate. Although historically the suburb was once part of Broadmeadows Council area along with Hadfield and Glenroy before the Kennett era council amalgamations, now it is part of the north eastern ward of Moreland Council.
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Climate change is #OnMyAgenda in Fawkner for the G20

Australia is hosting the G20 and climate change is not on the agenda. Come along to a screening of ‘Reasons for Hope‘ film and a discussion to show that Australians want climate change #OnMyAgenda. Local resident John Englart will lead the discussion.

When: 6.00pm Saturday 15 November
Where: Fawkner Community House, CB Smith Reserve
Bring a plate of food to share.
You’ll join friendly local people who care.

Click here for details and to RSVP:

DSC03793-1500x600-onmyagenda

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was pushing for climate change to be off the agenda at the Brisbane G20 meeting at all. However the United States and France have exerted pressure and it will be listed as a minor item under Energy Efficiency.

As climate change has been taken ‘off the main agenda’ by the Australian Government, the Australian Conservation Foundation is organising for people round Australia (and elsewhere) to put climate change #onmyagenda in self organised events and parties from November 12-15. Anyone can organise an event for their community. You can register your event here.

John Englart, as a member of Sustainable Fawkner and Climate Action Moreland is holding an event called Climate change is #OnMyAgenda in Fawkner on November 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the Fawkner Community House.

If you wish, you may also attend Sustainable Fawkner’s monthly meeting 4pm to 5.30pm, Come a little early to do a little bit of veggie gardening in our community garden.

The #OnMyAgenda event will start about 6pm. All welcome.

John is a member of Sustainable Fawkner, Climate Action Moreland and has been blogging on climate issues for over 10 years.

Thanks!

Broadmeadows #vicvotes candidates forum at Fawkner

vicvotes2014-fawkner-leafletThe Fawkner Community Strengthening committee have organised a candidates Forum for Fawkner for Tuesday evening 11 November, 6.15pm-8pm at John Fawkner Secondary College, 51 Jukes Rd, Fawkner.

Most of Fawkner was previously in the Thomastown state electorate with sitting Labor MP Bronwyn Halfpenny. An Electoral Commission redistribution has moved the suburb of Fawkner into the Broadmeadows electorate held by sitting Labor MP Frank McGuire.

The election is due to be held on Saturday 29th November 2014. Come along and listen to candidates, ask them questions. The person elected to state parliament will represent you for 4 years. This is your chance to quiz them and the policies they are standing for.

RSVP to the event on eventbrite

Fawkner Candidates meeting 11 November Brochure

Tuesday 11 November: Candidate details
Fawkner Candidates Forum for seat of Broadmeadows. 6.15pm-8pm at John Fawkner Secondary College, 51 Jukes Rd, Fawkner
Broadmeadows candidates (so far):
Frank McGuire (Labor) Facebook page
Jaime de LOMA-OSORIO (Greens) Facebook page
Mohamed Hassan (Voice for the West) (website)

Bush Carpentry Workshops

Bush-carpentry workshops

Come build good stuff with us.
No experience? No worries.

We’ll be making outdoor furniture and planter boxes
from recycled materials. All you need is a sense of fun,
willingness to learn, share and practice your building
skills. Everything we make will be used around Fawkner
to create new community garden spaces.

Where: Fawkner Community House, 79 Jukes Rd Fawkner
There are 3 workshops to chose from:
Sun 12 Oct 10-1pm, Sun 26 Oct 10-1pm and Fri 7 Nov 4-7pm
Book: Colleen 0403 744 045 or colfjones@yahoo.com.au.
Book now, numbers are limited.

A free event suitable for anyone over 16 years old.
Please wear sturdy covered footwear, outdoor clothing suitable for the weather, safety glasses and gloves if you have them. Please bring a water bottle, hand tools if you have them (eg wood saw, hammer), these are not essential, we will have a selection.

planter box
Presented by Urban Bush-Carpenters,
Sustainable Fawkner and Fawkner Community House.
Thanks to Moreland City Council for their support.

Building Fawkner Farmers Project

Building Fawkner Farmers Project

Urban Bush Carpenters and Sustainable Fawkner

Funded by Moreland City Council

bush carpenter blog

 

Exciting news! Urban Bush Carpenters and Sustainable Fawkner are holding a series of workshops followed by a Community Celebration where we learn to build planter boxes and furniture from recycled timber which is then placed in the community for everyone to use. Initially we are looking for people to be on an Advisory Committee, which will involve attending a few meetings (probably 2 or 3) in September (and maybe October). The first meeting will be the week of the 22 September, probably Monday or Wednesday evening. If you are interested, let us know what suits. If you can’t make it to those meetings we would welcome ideas about how to promote the project and engage with the community. And if you want to register your interest in attending one of the workshops, that is welcome too!
More details are below. To register for the Advisory Committee or workshops, or any other enquiries email sustainablefawkner@yahoo.com.au

What are we planning to do?

Building Fawkner Farmers is a community building celebration designed to engage a broad cross section of the Fawkner community to meet, connect and learn in fun and engaging workshops, and culminate in a walking tour and celebration. The workshops support novices to build planter boxes and furniture from pre-used timber (pallets). This ‘community infrastructure’ is then placed in community and public places to be used by all. The walking tour and celebration acknowledges the effort, ideas and enthusiasm, and offers a way to participate and build ownership of the broader community by planting a seedling and meeting the builders and farmers.

The workshops will be held in September and October 2014 with the celebration event in late October or as late as mid-November depending on advisory committee advice about timing.

Whereas the workshops will require participants to have a certain level of motor skill and strength, the walk, celebration and ongoing engagement is open to all ages and levels of ability.

Building Fawkner Farmers walking tour and celebration are designed to engage as many local residents as possible. Supported with a pictorial booklet, people will see photos of the boxes in construction, and images of plants to grow and how to sustainably harvest so there’s always something for others. People will see the care and commitment to their community via the idea of building infrastructure for all and planting food for others to harvest.

Building Fawkner Farmers will be a platform to share ideas and build participation in existing food security measures. People will hear what Sustainable Fawkner and the Fawkner Community House do and how to get involved.

Habitat Heroes

Scarlet Robin, blue sky, Mt Wombat small, EuroaMerri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek invite you to help out at this event:
Habitat Heroes
Launch & free BBQ including Vegetarian and Halal food

Sunday 24th August, 10am-12.30pm
Eastern end of Jukes Rd Fawkner, (Melway 18 A2)

Featuring: Wurundjeri Elder Welcome to Country, planting, reptile display (including snakes), self-guided walks to learn about the 10 top plants for providing habitat, followed by a BBQ.

Merri Creek Bird Survey 31st August

Later in the month Friends of Merri Creek have their quarterly bird survey on Sunday 31st August
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August food swap plants some fruit trees

planting our fruit trees

planting our fruit trees

Our small orchard was planted today comprising apple and plum trees in our community garden.

We also enjoyed leftover Ferguson Plarre cake donated to the Empowering Moreland Forum plus fresh coffee and tea and sharing winter produce, mainly winter greens and lemons.

Victoria brought along some exquisite sticky date pudding with warm caramel sauce that simply melted our tastebuds.
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Open Table Community Lunch

Free Community Lunch this Saturday

Everyone welcome

Food will be Vegetarian Halal

Invite your friends, family and neighbours and meet other members of the community while sharing a meal.

Saturday 2nd August 2014
1 – 3pm
Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre
CB Smith Reserve,
77 Jukes Rd, Fawkner

For more information visit www.open-table.org
or call (03) 9357 4631
Everyone welcome – no need to RSVP

Threat to Merri Creek Path with Sale of Lakeside Secondary College site

20140726-Merri-creek-path-sale-lakeside-sc
Merri Creek forms an important parkland for the north-south length of Fawkner and Reservoir. It is also an important corridor for wildlife and for users of the Merri Creek Shared bike path which winds its way along the creek sometimes on the east and sometimes the west bank.

The path uses the east bank of the creek behind the Department of Education site in Reservoir, where Lakeside Secondary College once stood. The title to the this site at 31 Radford St, Reservoir extends down to the creek verge. The Educational Department wants to sell the property and has requested the site to be rezoned for Industrial use.

Several hectares of the site lie outside the school fence on a bend of the Creek and have been planted and managed for about 30 years by Darebin Council, as part of the Merri Creek open space corridor.

If the creek frontage is sold without transfer of title to the Crown or Darebin Council, access to and use of the Merri Creek Shared pathway could be threatened.
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