Category Archives: news

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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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.”

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,

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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.”

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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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Fawkner residents urge upgrade to the #Upfieldline

Sheridan Tate from Coolaroo speaking outside Gowrie Station

Fawkner residents rely on the Upfield train line as the primary public transport link into the city.

Residents and others from up and down the Upfield line attended a rally on Saturday in Bonwick Street to push for more trains, track duplication and upgrade of the Upfield line. See full report (including speeches) at the Upfield Transport Alliance: Duplicate the Upfield Line needs to be a priority says Fawkner Rally.
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Climate, environment and forest issues in Victorian 2018 state election #vicvotes

Northern Metro region ballot paper

Our state election comes at an important time as we face major environmental issues with accelerating impacts of climate change, plastic pollution, continued deforestation.

The MPs we elect will make important decisions for us in Fawkner, our City of Moreland, and for all of Victoria that will have ramifications well into the future, sometimes for decades.

Most of us are caught up with day to day lives, with work and paying our taxes and our bills, raising our children. But it is so important to ensure that the benefits we enjoy today are maintained for the future, and the future of our children. If we don’t take the requisite actions we leave an enormous economic, social and environmental debt for future generations.

The big over-arching issue of the Victorian election campaign is addressing climate action at the state level. The recent IPCC 1.5C report articulated strongly that we need rapid and transformative social change at all levels of society if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. We are in a climate emergency.

This is so important as the Federal Liberal Government has failed in 5 years of delivering any climate and energy policy, with Australian emissions continuing to rise under the Prime Ministerships of Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.

Here we provide different organisations reviewing the policies of candidates and parties in the 2018 Victorian state election in the hope that you find this useful for making your vote count in the Victorian state election.
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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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Congestion on the Upfield Line: why we need dual track upgrade as a priority

Packed like Sardines on Upfield line due to Craigieburn line closure. Photo by Corey Cresswell @coreycresswell /Twitter

There have been quite a few complaints about congestion on the Upfield rail line this last week from Friday 22 June to Wednesday 27 June. Metro Trains and Level Crossing Removal Authority have badly stuffed up their communications to passengers about closing the Craigieburn train line, provision of replacement bus services, and the implications for users of the Upfield Train line.

“The Upfield line needs track duplication from Gowrie to Upfield as a priority so that increased service frequency can be offered when the Craigieburn line is closed.” said sustainable transport campaigner and Fawkner resident John Englart.

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