Category Archives: Moreland City Council

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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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.”

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.
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On the Cemetery Kangaroos and Moreland Council Biodiversity strategy

Campbellfield Creek

When I started raising concerns about the Kangaroos in Northern memorial Park, I thought this was a fairly simple issue about their welfare in the face of cemetery development.

After a meeting with Cemetery staff I am now reassured about their continuing welfare.

But as I made wider enquiries I discovered further issues with regard to Moreland Council’s lack of action in developing a Biodiversity Strategy.

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Moreland’s Kangaroo population facing grave development?

Grave site development in Northern memorial Park squeezing out Native Grasslands and Kangaroos


Over several years I have watched the mob of kangaroos within the Northern Memorial Park. Usually I see them from the Western Ring Road trail, but occasionally when I venture in to the cemetery, they can sometimes be seen among the native grasslands from the northern graves section.

But the cemetery is expanding, and new grave sites are being opened up on the north western area of the Northern Memorial Park. The area of native grasslands is shrinking.

On a cycle ride along the Western Ring road on July 17 I counted at least 18 Eastern Grey Kangaroos. This is perhaps the last mob of kangaroos permanently living within the bounds of the Municipality of Moreland. I think they are worthwhile to conserve and maintain in our municipality.

A little bit of kangaroo wildness in our rapidly urban consolidating municipality.
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VicRoads land sale of open space parkland bordering Merri Creek Trail

Sale of VicRoads land between McBryde street and Merri Creek Trail, Fawkner

VicRoads has declared its intention to sell vacant land linking McBryde street to the Merri Creek parkland in Fawkner.

Sustainable Fawkner strongly believes the State Government should gift this land to Moreland Council to continue to maintain this as open space, and perhaps expand the bordering native grassland reserve into this space.
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Fawkner Festa celebrates diversity in Community

On November 12 Fawkner held it’s community festival in CB Smith Reserve. By all accounts a festive occasion with some beautiful summer weather.
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Saving native trees in the Darol Ulum College – Evans Reserve land swap

Darul Elum College – Evans Reserve landswap

I attended Moreland Council on Wednesday night. One of the items for consideration was the land swap with Darul Ulum College and Evans Reserve. Although I have no in principal objection to the land swap – council will not loose any land as part of Evans Reserve – I am concerned about the seven native trees in part of Evans Reserve that will be swapped.

One tree is located towards the north east corner of the land to be swapped, and the other six are in the south west corner of Evans Reserve.

I did get to ask a question, which prompted an addition in the land swap motion later in the meeting. An extra point was added to the motion for Council Officers in the land swap negotiations to try and ensure the seven native trees were saved as part of the deal.

So more car parking for Darul Ulum College (a good thing) but it adds to the urban heat island effect (a bad thing). Saving these seven trees is important if they can be incorporated as part of the expanded car parking, especially given the recent Urban Forest Strategy adopted by Council which stressed the importance of saving trees in the private realm.

No guarantees at this stage, but I am hoping these trees can be incorporated as part of the new car parking land in Darul Ulum College as part of the land swap deal. If not, then the College will have angered local residents.

The College needs to pull their weight when it comes to climate action, even in such a small thing as retaining seven native trees in an extended car park.

Council rejects development application for Fawkner toxic site

residents oppose development of toxic site

At the Urban Planning Committee last night Council unanimously voted to reject the development application for the toxic site at 102 McBryde Street, Fawkner.

The site owner wanted to erect two 7 metre tall warehouses which would involve drilling 16 holes for the foundations through the clay cap that seals dangerous dioxin contaminated soil.

At a previous information session the environmental auditor that the company employed admitted that test drill holes found levels of contamination consistent with 1995 levels.
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