Author Archives: John Englart

Guest Post: If you care about nature in Victoria, this is your essential #vicvotes2022 state election guide

Daniel Pelaez Duque/Unsplash, CC BY
Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University and Brendan Wintle, The University of Melbourne

If we learnt anything from the past federal election, it’s that Australians care about climate change and nature. A survey released this week suggests the same dynamic is at play as we head into the Victorian state election.

The poll, prepared for the Victorian National Parks Association, found 36% of Victorians say their vote would be influenced by policy announcements regarding saving threatened species and stopping extinction.

The Victorian government’s own surveys have highlighted the enormous number of people who value nature. And research this year for the Australian Conservation Foundation found 95% of Australians agree it’s important to protect nature for future generations.

Despite the weight of public concern, Victoria is failing its wildlife. Last year the Victorian Auditor General’s Office handed down a damning report on biodiversity protection. It concluded that about a third of Victoria’s land-based plants, animals and ecological communities face extinction, their continued decline will likely have dire consequences for the state, and funding to protect them is grossly inadequate.

We know what’s primarily behind Australia’s extinction crisis: land clearing, invasive species and climate change-induced impacts such as extreme bushfires.

So, what have the different political parties promised in the lead up to the Victorian election, and how do they stack up? Here’s a brief guide to what’s on offer.

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2022 Federal Election Scorecards

Climate Analytics rating of Major Parties and Teal Independents.

We know you’ll be wanting to compare the major parties for the 2022 Federal Election scheduled for the 21st May. We are collecting 3rd party scorecards that compare different policy aspects of political parties. We are prioritising scorecards for climate, biodiversity and environment. This page will update as the election campaign progresses.

Note: Climate Action Moreland, Neighbours United for Climate Action and Coburg Uniting Church organised a Meet the Candidates climate forum on April 26 at Coburg Uniting Church Community Hall. See the video recording and images from the night. Climate action is listed as the top issue in surveys, including in Wills. Climate Action Moreland has also ranked the parties for Wills and the Victorian Senate for consistency with Paris Agreement 1.5C target. (see below)

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May 2022 Merri Birdwatching

Merri BirdWatch surveys will be held on Sunday 1 May and Sunday 8 May from 8:45 – 10:30am. 

No need to register beforehand, unless you are going to the Galgi Ngarrk survey (see below).

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Merri Creek Trail seating blitz: submission

Merri Creek Trail at Lorne Street in Fawkner. This path loop has no seating.

After two years of the pandemic, many people have discovered the delights of the Merri Creek Trail. They have also discovered a shortage of seating along long stretches of this path, especially in Coburg North and Fawkner.

Moreland Council has set aside funding for projects from community submissions. Sustainable Fawkner joined with other Moreland Community groups – Walk on Moreland; Friends of Merri Creek; Brunswick Residents Network; Friends of Coburg Lake and Surrounds; Neighbours United for Climate Action – to put in a submission on upgrading the seating along the Merri Creek Path.

We need your VOTE to make the Merri Creek Trail more accessible

Please vote for our proposal to Moreland’s Community Budget Ideas: the Merri Creek Trail: Seating Installation Blitz. 

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Upcoming grasslands planting at Central Creek in Reservoir

Just over the border of Merri Creek in Reservoir from Fawkner is Ngarri Djarrang Grassland, formerly Central Creek Grasslands. The two blocks of native grasslands are bisected by Davidson street and surrounded by suburban houses. There are yellow signs warning that kangaroos cross. A Mob of perhaps 12 kangaroos calls this grassland area home. Here is your opportunity to visit and help in this special area, Courtesy of the Friends of Merri Creek

Sunday 23 May, 10am-12.30pm

Meet at the corner of Davidson St and Orchid Ave, Reservoir – see Google map.
Help restore the endangered grasslands of Ngarri-djarrang and set up seed orchards for threatened grassland plants.
Funded by a Darebin City Council Medium Grant to Friends of Merri Creek and supported by MCMC.

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The Fate of Fawkner’s outside pool in a warming climate

The Fawkner Leisure Centre is about to be refurbished. Included as part of the public engagement is the future of the outside Fawkner pools, although that has not been made explicit.

The pools are ageing, purportedly leaking, and near end of life, according to Council staff.

The outside pools are open during summer and are a popular place to gather and socialise during hot weather.

The pools also contribute to a local cool park effect reducing the urban heat island microclimate of CB Smith Reserve.

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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.
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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?
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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.

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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.

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