Category Archives: Moreland City Council

Oppose development on old NuFarm dioxin manufacturing site in Fawkner

There are plans to build warehouses on the old Nufarm Chemicals site in McBryde St Fawkner. This site was highly contaminated with dioxins when it was operational.

A campaign by local residents who were effected by the toxic fumes, particularly Elsie Snowden from the Fawkner Progress Association succeeded in closing the plant down.

Local residents are opposed to any development occurring on the site because even cement footings for warehouses will pierce the clay cap and could cause the toxic fumes to be released again. Local residents are forming an action group to oppose the proposal and to make sure that the current generation knows how toxic this site is.

The original #EPA audit of the site only audited the two central sites of the old factory and not the surrounding sites which are likely to also be contaminated.

Residents meetings:
When: at 2 PM – 4 PM on Saturday 22 April
Where: Fawkner Community House, 95 Major Rd
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The next meeting of the action group to stop development on the toxic site at 102 McBryde st will be on:
Wednesday 3 May, 7pm @ the 95 Major Road site of Fawkner Community House.

Community meeting – Thursday 11 May, 7pm – 10pm @ Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre
Sue Bolton has initiated a public meeting in her role as a councillor. The meeting is on Thursday 11 May, 7pm at the Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre.
Register at Facebook event

Speakers at the public meeting are: Harry van Moorst (Western Region Environment Centre & long-term campaigner on toxic chemical issues); Percy Pillai (Health & Safety officer for Australian Workers Union & rep for retired workers with serious health effects from spraying the chemicals produced on the Nufarm site in Fawkner); Brian Snowden, local resident; Sue Bolton, plus others (seeking an environmental scientist)

There are more background details both from Cr Bolton and Council officers in the report and motion that was put forward by Cr Sue Bolton at Moreland Council meeting 12 April 2017. I have excerpted the 3 page item from the publicly available Council agenda : NOM19/17 TOXIC SITE IN FAWKNER (D17/109333)
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Extending the Tram through Fawkner – Moreland Council Survey

Sydney Rd Median strip between Major and Lynch Rds

Sydney Rd Median strip between Major and Lynch Rds


Moreland Council have announced a Survey on extending Sydney Road tram through Fawkner. This is gratifying to see, although it is just the first step in a campaign to have the No 19 Sydney Road tram service extended past it’s present Bakers Road, North Coburg terminus.

In November 2014 we argued it was time to Extend Route 19 tram to Fawkner and Campbellfield. There is a strong argument that the tramline should be extended to the Campbellfield shops, and build a public transport interchange linking the tram terminus with the Upfield train line (which also needs upgrading to dual track and electrification to Craigieburn) and east west bus routes along Mahoney’s Rd/Camp Road. (Bus interconnect includes: 902 – Chelsea – Airport West SMARTBUS Service, 530 Campbellfield – Coburg via Fawkner, 531 – Upfield – North Coburg via Somerset Estate, 538 Somerset Estate Broadmeadows via Camp Rd)

This would add substantial amenity to residents in Fawkner and Hadfield in accessing a range of shopping centres, including the Campbellfield shops. It would also add amenity to the various motels along Sydney road in Fawkner, encouraging their patrons to leave their cars parked and travel through Moreland by tram and train.
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Upfield Bike path: shared use upgrade to cemetery footpath does not go far enough for cyclists

This footpath from Lynch Rd will be shared use

This footpath from Lynch Rd will be shared use


One of the anomalies facing cyclists accessing the Upfield Bike Path from central Fawkner was either using Sydney Road in a 70km zone or riding on the footpath next to the cemetery, an illegal act unless accompanying children.

Sustainable Fawkner suggested and lobbied candidates as a quick fix the footpath next to the cemetery from Box Forest Rd to the police station should be made a shared use path. (see End of Post)

We have just heard from our new Councillor Ali Irfanli (Facebook) that the footpath along Sydney Rd near the cemetery will be re-designated a shared path between Lorne St and Lynch Rd.

It will be signposted as such in the next 4 – 6 weeks. The costs of these works has been assessed as minor and is managed within the existing Council budget.

While we appreciate this change, it does not go nearly far enough to resolving an anomalous legal and safety issue for Fawkner cyclists.
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Brunswick: Montfort Park alienation from the public realm

Fencing out the public Montfort Park, Brunswick

Fencing out the public
Montfort Park, Brunswick

The issue of open space and Montfort Park in Brunswick has been raised by the initiation of a community petition and Facebook Group. Although I live in Fawkner, I care about open space and environmental issues across the municipality. This is also a park that I used to use so there is a personal connection.

Montfort Park is at the corner of Henkel St and Wendel St in Brunswick. The park, and the old scout hall next to it, were sold to a community group by Council in 2003, but with conditions on the use of the open space land, that it’s title of Montfort Park continue and that the park and it’s facilities be developed as a basketball court or similar and remain accessible to the public.

It is now all concrete, a basketball court and open space, and surrounded by a 3 metre steel fence. Local residents argue it is seldom used and remains inaccessible for public use.
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Candidate Engagement on community issues for Moreland Council election 2016

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The election was held Saturday 22 October. See the election results.

In my article on candidates standing for NE ward I provided a matrix for what community surveys each candidate had responded to. Other people have also written candidate profiles for Moreland’s three wards:

Candidate profiles:

South Ward:

North West Ward

North East Ward

I decided to broaden my matrix on survey engagement to all candidates across the municipality. This is a relatively neutral way to assess engagement by candidates with community groups on issues, while leaving the content of their responses up to voters to investigate.

Surveys conducted by community groups included: Climate Action Moreland on climate change, sustainability and climate emergency; Moreland BUG on cycling; Bicycle Network; Pentridge Community Action Group on Pentridge Development (NE ward only); Music Victoria on support for local live music; and Alliance for Gambling Reform on Pokies reform.

I have put together this matrix so you can see at a glance who responded to each survey. Candidates are listed in the order they appear on the ballot paper. Current Councillors re-contesting having an asterisk in front of their name.
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Who is standing for NE ward of Moreland Council in 2016?

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For Moreland Council North East ward, which Fawkner is a part of, 4 Councillors are to be elected, from 20 candidates standing. See VEC Moreland City Council 2016 Nominations. The following is the list of candidates as they will appear on the ballot paper. Climate Action Moreland have done a simple survey of candidates on climate and sustainability policies which are worth checking out. Two candidate forums have been organised so far for North East Ward.

The election is on Saturday 22 October. See the election results.

Candidate Forums

Fawkner Community House have invited North–East Ward Council candidates to a community forum with Fawkner residents about how candidates will represent the interests of people in Fawkner if they are elected at the council election this month.
When: Sunday 9 October 2pm to 5pm
Where: 95-97 Major Road Fawkner
Details: Fawkner Community House

Save Coburg and Pentridge Action Group are organising a candidates forum to hear from candidates and ask them questions.
When: Thursday, October 13 at 7 PM – 9:30 PM
Where: Coburg Uniting Church on the corner of Louisa St & Victoria St, Coburg
Registration: Facebook Event details
Storify Report: Urban Development in spotlight at NE Ward #MorelandVotes candidates forum

Pentridge Community Action Group reported: “Show of Hands from Candidates present at the Moreland Council NE Ward Forum re question posed by Prof Hamel-Green on opposing > 4 storey development in the Pentridge Precinct. Candidates with hands raised are George Georgiou, Sue Bolton, David Nunns, Antonio Bonifazio, and Imogen Jubb. A late response was made by Francesco Timpano”.

A third candidates forum organised at Merlynston.
When: Tuesday 18 October 7.30pm to 9pm
Details: Facebook event

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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

Healthscope launches campaign to bully residents and Moreland Council over John Fawkner Hospital re-development

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This story is a little different from my usual fare. It is about a major Health company – Healthscope – launching a campaign against local residents and Moreland Council for the redevelopment of the John Fawkner private hospital.

If you live in Fawkner, or elsewhere in Moreland, you may have been surprised to see a letter sent to your address in your letterbox from John Fawkner Hospital yesterday or today.

So why would John Fawkner Hospital, located on Moreland Road in Coburg and bordering Brunswick be sending these letters out to distant parts of the municipality like Fawkner?

Perhaps they have done a mailing to every address in the municipality? I don’t know.

So this letter explains that they want to redevelop and expand the site including building a multi-level car park. But their development plans have gone to Moreland Council and twice been rejected. Something fishy is going on here.

The first time the plans were rejected by Council in July 2012 as inappropriate. John Fawkner Hospital appealed the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) but lost. Strange, because usually VCAT decisions predominantly support development proposals.
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Planting mini-parade through Fawkner streets

In recent weeks we have had a burst of activity in carpentry through collaboration with Urban Bush carpenters enabled by a grant from City of Moreland Council Celebrating Place program.

IMG_9488-600x900-building-fawkner-farmersWe have had four workshops where people have been able to use carpentry tools to create some useful gardening furniture with assistance of the Urban Bush Carpenters.

At the workshops we created a bench and five wicking planter boxes from old timber pallets. Of equal importance was the process of joining with others to build social community and community resilience.

The planter boxes are located at the Fawkner Community House in CB Smith Reserve, on the nature strip on Jukes Road, and at the Community House new extension at 95 Major Road.

On Saturday we planted summer crops in the new community planter boxes and held a wheel barrow procession through Fawkner streets from one site to another. It was a merry procession with ukelele, singing and various percussion to the enjoyment of the several children as part of the event.

We were joined at the planter box on Jukes Road by Cr Meghan Hopper, Mayor of Moreland, and Federal MP for Wills Kelvin Thomson. Cr Hopper joined in the planting.

The Fawkner Women’s Choir sang two songs as part of the celebrations at Fawkner Community House.

Kelvin Thomson spoke briefly on population and food security saying

The way that we are going in terms of population increase and unsustainable practices means that there are real problems and challenges further on up the road. It is already true that many people around the world don’t have enough to eat on a day to day basis, but this problem is likely to get worse and to be exacerbated by the energy inputs and the amount of carbon required to transport food from where it’s grown to where it’s being consumed.

The message out of all that is that we need to be more self-sufficient and to be able to grow and produce our own food. I think that is a terrific message to be conveying to people here in Fawkner as well as building all manner of living skills as part of that process. I am really delighted to seeing it in action.

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Urban food security

Urban food security is an important issue seldom widely discussed. I did some literature research in this area in early 2014 and wrote the blog article Tackling food security with a growing population, climate change and peak oil. Urban food security was also considered in my literature review conducted earlier this year into Heatwaves, Climate change and Melbourne where I noted:

While there is some concern by government of aggregate impact of climate change on agriculture and food production, little attention has been paid to the fragility of food supply chains and the role urban agriculture could play in urban resilience for urban populations. This has resulted in the upsurge of the Transition towns movement, an increase in suburban farmers markets, backyard permaculture gardening and informal food swaps. Burton et al (2013) detail in a qualitative study the growing interest in urban food security and backyard permaculture utilising two case studies of the Gold Coast and Melbourne as examples. This study provides a window on local communities already responding to climate change by building more resilient communities.


References:
Burton, P, Lyons, K, Richards, C, Amati, M, Rose, N, Desfours, L, Pires, V, Barclay, R, (2013), Urban food security, urban resilience and climate change, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, pp.160. http://www.nccarf.edu.au/publications/urban-food-security-resilience-climate-change

Englart, John (2014) Tackling food security with a growing population, climate change and peak oil http://takvera.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/tackling-food-security-with-growing.html

Solar PV Panel installations in Fawkner exceed 5 per cent of dwellings

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In my travels around the internet I found this site put together by the Australian PV Institute showing the level of installation of solar photovoltaic panel installation by postcode or Local Government area.

In Fawkner there have been about 246 solar PV installations. This amounts to approximately 5.4% of the estimated 4520 dwellings in our suburb with an installed capacity of 571kW.

This is lower than the Moreland average of 6.1%. Moreland Local Government Area (LGA) and is also below other municipal areas in Melbourne’s north. Maribyrnong has 7% solar installation, Moonee Valley is on 6.5%, Darebin is on 6.9%, Banyule on 6.7%, Whittlesea on 9.7%, and Hume on 11%.
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