Lack of consultation on synthetic turf at Hosken Reserve Oval has North Coburg residents crying foul

Residents in North Coburg are crying foul at Moreland Council, as a well loved and used football oval is threatened to become a fenced synthetic field of plastic grass. All without any transparency or public consultation and engagement by Moreland Council with local residents.
Continue reading

Candidate Engagement matrix for Moreland Votes 2020

MorelandVotes 2020

Moreland Council election has come around again.

For North-east ward 4 Councillors are to be elected, from 19 candidates.
For North-west ward 4 Councillors are to be elected, from 17 candidates.
For South ward 3 Councillors are to be elected, from 15 candidates.

I don’t know about you but I want Councillors that are prepared to engage with residents on multiple issues.

We have been tracking candidate responses to community group surveys, pledges and forums on various issues. What we are interested in reporting is engagement, not the respective views of candidates to a particular survey.

This provides a measure for candidate engagement.

Do you really want to elect someone who only talks to their community circle and ignores other significant citizen engagement?
Continue reading

North East Ward #MorelandVotes How to Vote Cards 2020

In past elections candidate how to vote cards had to be registered with the VEC. But during health restrictions during the pandemic How to Vote cards can not be handed out. Also the election is a mail ballot. No central repository of candidates How to Vote Cards has been organised.

So Sustainable Fawkner has offered to host all North East candidate How to Vote cards as a community resource, enabling more informed voter choice.

This page will hopefully grow as How to Vote Cards become available. Please visit again.

See also Candidate Engagement matrix for Moreland Votes 2020 which asseses each candidate on engagement during the campaign through a matrix scoring each candidate.

If you want detailed and nuanced analysis of candidates, I recommend reading Cate speaks blog for North East Ward. She really has done some great research and talks you through all the candidates.

Continue reading

Covid19 restrictions ramp up, and Tips for disinfecting your groceries after shopping

Fawkner Skatepark to close under Covid19 edict on Monday night

The latest announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday 29 March limited public and private gatherings to just two people, closes all public playgrounds, outside gyms and skateparks. (see below for more detailed explanation). The Premier Dan Andrews on Monday said Victoria was moving to Stage 3 restrictions from Monday night, involving the restrictions as outlined by the Prime Minister. People flouting these restrictions on gatherings greater than 2 (excepting families who live together) could be liable for a $1600.00 on the spot fine.

We also have below some tips by a US doctor and health care provider, Jeffrey VanWingen, on cleaning groceries to minimise risk of bringing in the Corvid19 Corona Virus to your home.

Continue reading

Extra 50 trees mooted for Lorne Street reserve near Merri Creek

Moreland Council will consider a report for an extra 50 trees to be planted in the reserve at the end of Lorne Street, in Fawkner at the Council Meeting on Wednesday 11 March, 2020.

During 2015 Moreland Council supported the ‘Move the House‘ project. This involved Council supplying and assisting with the planting of 103 Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) trees on Council land at the end of Lorne Street, Fawkner, for the centennial celebration of the Gallipoli Landing during the first World War.

A meeting held on Tuesday 25 February 2020, between Council officers, the Mayor, Cr
Lambros Tapinos, Kelvin Thomson, former Federal Member for Wills and Alan Yildiz, the lead for the project, formulated that an extra 50 trees be planted and install 150 plaques with names of the fallen soldiers that the trees are planted to commemorate.

According to the Council report, the origins of the Move the House project derive from Australia’s relationship with Turkey and a story about Ataturk, Turkey’s first president:

“The Move the House initiative aimed to celebrate the relationship between Australia and Turkey, formed years later between Prime Minister of Australia, Stanley Melbourne Bruce and the first Turkish President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

“The project title came from the remarks made by Atatürk in 1929, which illustrated his love and passion for the environment. Turkish workers in the city of Yalova asked for Atatürk’s permission to cut the limb of an old oak tree because it was beginning to damage the walls of his residence.

“Atatürk refused to harm the tree, and instead insisted, “Move the House”, ordering for the house to be moved instead of the tree.

The officer recommendation to Council is:

That Council:
1.
Approves the planting of 50 additional trees in Lorne Street Reserve, Fawkner, and provides assistance for site preparation and initial watering, subject to confirmation of no planning overlay restrictions and written support from the:
• Wurundjeri Council;
• Fawkner RSL;
• Merri Creek Management Committee.

2. Considers how the use of the site in Lorne Street, Fawkner fits into to the broader open space activation plan scheduled to be completed 2020/21 financial year, and
whether the further development of this area as a memorial area is consistent with the
activation plan.

3. Following finalisation of the broader open space activation plan, receives a report on the proposal to place plaques naming fallen soldiers at all trees.

Sustainable Fawkner has one query to Council: given Yellow Box trees have already been planted, it would surely make far more sense planting a variety of other trees to enhance the tree species diversity, resilience and habitats in this reserve. We don’t think there is any conflict between having an increased diversity of tree species and use of this area as a memorial with memorial plaques.

We highlight this need as stated in the Moreland Council Urban Forest Strategy 2017-2027 (PDF) which states on page 33:

“To minimise the potential for tree loss through issues of pest, disease, drought, heat, flood etc. diversity within the urban forest is paramount to its survival, longevity and succession. It is generally accepted that the greater the diversity, the lower the risk. Street tree and biological diversity can be achieved through species selection, stock provenance, maturity, and rates of growth.”

Tree diversity planting benchmarks, unfortunately, only apply to street trees and not park trees in this policy. Yet, parkland trees play an important role in nurturing habitat for urban wildlife, especially near the creek corridor where these trees will be planted on the Reserve.

We also refer to the Moreland Council Open Space Strategy 2012-2022 (PDF) Principles which states on Page 18:

“Increasing biodiversity throughout the municipality, including the public realm, through more intensive and appropriate landscaping to create habitat corridors, where possible.”

Food swap at the Fawkner Food Bowls

Fawkner Food Swap is happening this Sunday, 9 February at Fawkner Food Bowls at Creedon St., Fawkner from 10.30am-12.30pm

The Fawkner Food Bowls will be hosting this Food Swap.

Please Bring any surplus home grown food, whether fresh fruit, veggies or preserves and conserves, that you may have.

All welcome

Frogs of Fawkner (well Moomba Park ) – February 6

Growling Grass Frog Source: Wikimedia Commons

Friends of Merri Creek have a frog familiarisation walk and talk in Moomba Park.

And this comes with the news that Growling Grass Frogs have been identified in Fawknwer. Whoo hoo!

When: Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 6:30 PM
Where: Moomba Park Reserve, Fawkner,

Continue reading

Bushfires devastating Australian biodiversity – species extinction likely

Kangaroo in the bushfires

The last four months has been devastating for the Australian Environment with bushfires ravaging forests and habitats: from North Queensland rainforests never expected to burn, to the wet Eucalypt forests of East Gippsland. From the scrublands in Western Australia to the unique ecosystems and habitats on Kangaroo Island off the South Australian Coast.

These bushfires have been driven by clear climate factors. A warming in Australia during 2019 of 1.5C, with more frequent extreme heat events, a record deficiency in rainfall (also partly driven by climate factors) and reduced soil moisture increasing the dry ‘fuel load’ in the environment, and a long term increase in Forest Fire Danger Index and fire weather.

Australia is Burning by the numbers (to 8 Jan): Source: France24

  • 10.7 million hectares now burnt (8 Jan)
  • Over 1 billion wildlife affected (a conservative estimate) Extinction event likely for some species
  • 400m tonnes CO2 Emissions (Australia’s annual emissions are 528MT)
  • Over 2000 homes destroyed (many more sheds & structures)
  • 26 people dead
  • Current fires: NSW 129 fires, Vic 40 fires
  • Smoke air pollution choking capital cities (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne) and many regional towns in SE Australia
  • $700m in insurance claims so far

Six of Australia’s prominent conservation biology, ecology and fire scientists have authored an article at The Conversation published 9 January explaining “We estimate most of the range and population of between 20 and 100 threatened species will have been burnt. Such species include the long-footed potoroo, Kangaroo Island’s glossy black-cockatoo and the Spring midge orchid.”

“The continued existence of such species was already tenuous. Their chances of survival are now much lower again.”

Continue reading

Bird watching along Merri Creek Spring 2019

Red-capped Robin

It’s spring and here is your chance to get out and explore the avian wildlife of the Merri Creek catchment.

The Friends of Merri Creek runs bird surveys along the creek. The early spring bird surveys along Merri Creek are on 15 September and 22 September. Come along and enjoy a busy time of year for the birds!

Continue reading

Does water flow downhill? Merlynston Creek contaminted in Hume, but not in Moreland?

Picture perfect Jack Roper Reserve, just don’t go swimming, fishing, or boating

Merlynston Creek has had continual problems with e-coli contamination for at least two two years, according to a motion at Hume Council meeting in August. The report of the pollution from SKM recycling fire in July 2017 also found high levels of e-coli contamination that has continued.

The following question was asked at Moreland Council meeting on 14 August, 2019 by Fawkner resident John Englart, regarding High levels of continuing e-coli contamination in Merlynston Creek.
Continue reading