Category Archives: community

Toxic site angers Fawkner residents

Two properties in McBryde street Fawkner were the location of a NuFarm factory which manufactured herbicides, agent orange and other chemicals in the 1960s with dioxin a noted byproduct. The site has been called one of the top 10 most toxic sites in Australia.

Although residents forced the closure of the factory in the early 1970s, it was another 15 years before any site cleanup was done. The last time there was any official inspection was 1995. It is believed that the contaminated area is larger than the two properties where a clay cap keeps much of the contaminated soil contained.

This week the EPA Victoria have taken some soil samples to test for an array of toxic chemicals. What we really require is a thorough environmental audit of the entire site with community input to ensure full transparency on the testing regime. It is suspected that the area of contamination is much wider than the boundaries of the two properties being talked about, so testing should encompass this broader area.

One of the fears is that any development on either site risks penetration of the clay cap and exposure of contaminated soil to the air. This may pose a wind blown toxic danger to residents over a wide area.

The EPA says the clay cap is currently sound but plans shown in the permit application indicate “works for the proposed redevelopment are likely to penetrate the clay cap”. The question that needs to be asked: Are you okay with developers gambling with the health of residents and workers on a known toxic site? Continue reading

Upgrade for Merri Creek Park at Campbellfield while connecting cycling paths remain missing

Panorama of Merri Creek and Merri Gorge, Campbellfield

The State Government announced $1.7 million upgrade to develop visitor infrastructure, including 6km of new bike and walking paths, at Merri Creek Park in Campbellfield. But we are still to see any commitment to build important bicycle shared use paths in Campbellfield: the extension of Merri Creek Trail and Extension of the Upfield bike path to Barry Road at Upfield.

The Money for the Merri Creek Park facilities comes from the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) fund. The 6 km of new paths will improve some community access to the 650 hectare green space in Campbellfield, which hosts nationally significant native grasslands. It is a real pity there is no public commitment from state MPs to fund the missing links that would help connect the park and local residential suburbs.

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Consultation on Camp Road Level Crossing Removal (implications for Upfield bike path)

Looking north up the railway line at Camp Rd Level Crossing

Loomking north up the railway line at Camp Rd Level Crossing

Today I went on a scouting trip along the Upfield railway line to Camp Road, the site of a level crossing removal to start in the later part of 2017 and be completed by 2019.

I have come to the conclusion:

The Upgrade of the Camp Road level crossing needs to include either a tunnel for cyclists as part of the railway in trench design, or pedestrian lights to allow cyclists to cross Camp Road in safety.

The consultation and community engagement is at The Meadows Greyhound Racing track.

  • Monday 6 February 2017, 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The Meadows, 80 Northcorp Boulevard, Broadmeadows.
  • Saturday 11 February 2017, 10:00am to 12 noon. The Meadows, 80 Northcorp Boulevard, Broadmeadows

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Fawkner Festa 2016

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Are you ready to rumba with the Bongo Brothers? Or be mesmerised by the sweet voices of the Moomba Park Primary school choir or Fawkner Community House Choir? Or watch the incredible music of Ustad Khalil Gudaz, a Master sitar player performing traditional Afghani and Indian music. Maybe you just want to do some middle eastern hip hop, or try some circus skills.

Come along for an afternoon of inclusive performance and community entertainment at this year’s Fawkner Festa.

The Fawkner Festa 2016 will take place on Sunday 6 November 2016 at CB Smith Reserve from 12 – 4 pm.
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Flax Lily & Blue-banded Bee Wild Pollinator Count

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Ever wanted to be a citizen scientists? Here is your chance to help out in Fawkner.

Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek invite you to participate in the Flax Lily & Blue-banded Bee Wild Pollinator Count.

What: Flax Lily & Blue-banded Bee Wild Pollinator Count
When: Sunday 13 November, 10am-12.30pm
Where: Meet in the Parklands at the east end of Jukes Rd Fawkner
(Melway 18 A2).

Visit the Lily and Blue Banded Bee project sites, place a Bee Hotel & count the wild pollinators!

Refreshments will be provided.

Phone Ray or Monica at MCMC 9380 8199. This project is funded by Victorian Government’s Threatened Species Grant and the many generous donors of a crowdfunding campaign!

Matted Flax-lily (Dianella amoena) at Bababi Djinanang native grassland Fawkner

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016 Federal Election

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016 at Fawkner Community House on Major Rd

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016 at Fawkner Community House on Major Rd

The second meet the candidates forum for the inner northern Melbourne electorate of Wills was organised by the Fawkner community house. The main contest is between Labor and the Greens, but 10 candidates are standing. An apology was received from the Liberal candidate.

John Englart from Sustainable Fawkner asked the first question.
Question: It is World Environment Day today. How many of you have visited the Bababi Djininang grasslands at the end of Jukes Road in Fawkner? How many of you realise we have an endangered species in that grasslands area?

Response: Only Samantha Ratnam and Zane Alcorn had indicated they had visited or passed Bababi Djininang, and no one was aware we have endangered species right here in Fawkner.

The Matted Flax-lily (Dianella amoena) is a nationally endangered species found along the embankment of Merri Creek. Further up Merri Creek (outside of Wills) the endangered Golden Sun Moth and Growling grass frog can also be found.

Read an account here including questions and candidate responses:
https://storify.com/takvera/wills2016-candidates-meeting-fawkner-ausvotes

The ten Candidates in the order listed on the Wills ballot paper:

Kyung Moo (Kevin) HONG (Liberal Party of Australia) Facebook
Ashley BLACKWELL (Drug Law Reform Party) Facebook, Drug Law Reform website
Tristram CHELLEW (Australian Sex Party) Facebook
Samantha RATNAM (The Greens) website | Facebook
Dougal GILLMAN (Renewable Energy Party) Renewable Energy Party Facebook
William FULGENZI (Socialist Equality Party) SEP Facebook
Zane ALCORN (Socialist Alliance) Facebook
Camille SYDOW (Animal Justice Party) Facebook
Francesco TIMPANO (Independent) Facebook
Peter KHALIL (Australian Labor Party) website | Facebook

When you vote I urge you to take into account the environment and climate policies of the candidates, as well as their social and economic policies.

Scorecards:

See also the ABC Promise Tracker: How does the Coalition’s record stack up as the nation heads to a new election? and

Abbott/Turnbull Government record on environment and climate action

Don’t forget the Federal election sausage sizzle map:
not too late for schools to do some sizzling fund raising at polling booths.

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016: Zane Alcorn, Samantha Ratnam and Peter Khalil

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016: Zane Alcorn, Samantha Ratnam and Peter Khalil

On Mother’s Day, help Mother Earth with Habitat Heros in Fawkner

Tree planting August 2014

Tree planting August 2014


Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek have another tree planting in Fawkner on Mother’s Day, Sunday 8 May, 2016

Everyone is invited to help out at this event:

On Mother’s Day, help Mother Earth by planting to add to the habitat along Merri Creek.

There’s also skin art for children and you can learn about local Aboriginal culture. Later, enjoy a free barbecue with vegetarian and Halal options.

When: Sunday, May 8 at 10 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: East end of Jukes Road, Fawkner (Melways Map 18 A2)

In the past these plantings of trees and native grasses have been enormously successful. Come along and meet your neighbours. Help restore the habitat and ensure wildlife diversity along the Merri Creek.

Some late August Fawkner events

It’s Craft Afternoon time again, this Saturday 22 August. Drop in any time between 12 and 3 and make some new crafty friends. Bring along something you are working on, an unfinished project, something you are stuck on, anything crafty! or make stars with us for the 1 Million Stars to End Violence project (we have lots of ribbon to share!)

Also this weekend, Merri Creek Management and Friends of Merri Creek are having a planting at the Creek near the Jukes Road end on Sunday 23 from 10.30 till 12. There will be a free BBQ (including Halal and vegetarian), walks, info about birds and plants. See attached flyer for more info.

And then on Sunday afternoon there is a celebration of the Tree of Faith project that artist Angela Stock has been doing with the community. It’s at the Fawkner Community House, 95 Major Road. Here is the info from her:

Just a reminder that we’re gathering to celebrate the completion of The Tree of Faith Project this Sunday 23 August. Please bring along some food to share and a cushion to sit on to watch the film (there will be chairs too).

So you can plan your afternoon, I’ll let you know that the festivities around the community art work will kick off from about 2.15pm including an appearance from the fabulous community choir “The Brunswick Rogues”.
The film screening of “Mary Meets Mohammad” will follow – running from 2.40pm – 4pm.

Planting event at end of Jukes Road

Tree planting August 2014

Tree planting August 2014


Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek are holding a planting event at the end of Jukes Rd, near Merri Creek this weekend. Much of the creek vegetation has been assisted by regular plantings over the last 50 years to restore a semblance of native habitat along the creek corridor.

You are invited to join this ‘Habitat Heroes’ planting on Sunday 23rd August.

Planting, walks & free BBQ
including Vegetarian and Halal food
Sunday 23rd August,
10am-12.30pm
Eastern end of Jukes Rd Fawkner, (Melway 18 A2)

Featuring planting, Wurundjeri Elder Caring for Country presentation, guided bird watch, self-guided walks to learn about 10 top plants for providing habitat, and BBQ.

These planting events are a lot of fun to do together. Bring kids along to help too.

For enquiries phone Ray or Monica at MCMC on 9380 8199 or 0421 683 926 on the day.

The plantings are Funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the State Government’s Communities for Nature. Supported by Moreland City Council.

Bababi Djinanang planting Aug 2015 poster

Bonwick street Fawkner was buzzing on Saturday

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The second Saturday of the Fawkner piazza, a temporary pop-up park and town square a Con Temporary Place (Visit and Like on Facebook) in one of the alleys of the Jukes Rd and Bonwick street shopping precinct, drew shoppers and local residents together to chat and muse and listen to music, and let their kids play for a while. The alley was throbbing with talk, home grown veggies, activity and music on Saturday.

The smells of sausages sizzling wafted down the street tempting people to come and have a little look at this new community social space while they were doing their Saturday morning shopping.

The soaring sounds of a saxophone playing the saxophone solo from Gerry Rafferty’s song ‘Baker Street’:

This city desert makes you feel so cold
It’s got so many people but it’s got no soul
And it’s taken you so long to find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything

Sweet musical sounds floating on the morning sunshine as cars arrive, search for parking, disgorge their occupants to do their shopping for a while, and then depart. Perhaps a few lingered a while longer curious about the music, the sausage sizzle, the alley filled with people.

And when you wake up it’s a new mornin’
The sun is shinin’, it’s a new mornin’
But you’re going, you’re going home

Interspersed with saxophone was the gentle sounds of an electronic piano. Other musical acts followed, including a community choir, a young boy who did some cool harmonica solos, a guitar duet with some sweet singing.

If you stayed until mid afternoon, you may have heard Meredith from the Community House on her button accordion jamming with Rachel, a violinist. But by that stage most of the shoppers had gone, traders had closed or were in the act of closing, and most of the young children had melted off home with their parents. Rachel is scheduled to perform this Wednesday afternoon.

The Foundling archive put together this compilation video:

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