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).Continue reading
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).Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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:
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
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.”
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.
Updated 5th October: with a response from Frank Maguire MP, and response from Level Crossing Removal Authority. Update 9 October with response from Metro Trains re disability access for replacement bus service
Public Transport Victoria and Level Crossing Removal Authority have failed to explain why trains will terminate at Coburg Station instead of Gowrie Station.
Due to Level Crossing Removal activity at Camp Road trains will terminate at Coburg station from 8.30pm Thursday 26 October to the last service on Monday 30 October. A bus service from Coburg to Upfield will replace the train. This disruption will be repeated during November and December.
Unfortunately buses aren’t as friendly for wheelchair users, or for cyclists who use the train. What about people who use mobility scooters? Will they be catered for? These people are particularly negatively affected, as well as regular users of Batman, Merlynston, Fawkner and Gowrie stations.
I don’t see why trains can’t terminate at Gowrie, where there are points north of the station before the M80 bridge allowing a train to go beyond the station then come back heading to the city.
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.
I understand the the Victorian Government has brought forward 11 level crossing removals, two of which – Buckley Street in Essendon and Camp Road in Campbellfield – will be fast-tracked with work commencing next year and complete by 2019.
Camp Rd railway level crossing is just 300 metres along the road from the Campbellfield shopping centre. It is this Level Crossing upgrade which concerns me the most here.
The 11 level crossings have been split into two packages with both now out to tender, according to this report in Urban Melbourne. My check of the Level Crossings removal website shows the Upfield line crossing removals as at 27 September, 2016 are currently under tender.
The “North Western” package has five sites. As well as the two fast-tracked projects, the package includes Glenroy Road in Glenroy, Bell Street in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick.
The Upfield shared bike path parallels the Upfield railway line. It provides a relatively safe off-street bike path running down the spine of the municipality of Moreland. It connects people in Moreland with local schools, shops and businesses, and links with the Capital City trail in the south and routes into the Melbourne CBD.
But the problem in the north is the gap connecting shared bike paths: the Upfield path stops at Box Forest Road and does not connect to the Western Ring Road Path that borders the northern boundary of the municipality.
For those Fawkner residents wanting to shop by bicycle at Campbellfield there are presently two options: attempting to brave the horror of the Sydney Rd and Western Ring Road intersection, or the pedestrian bridge over the Western Ring Road a 100 metres east of this intersection. If you take the Pedestrian bridge, then once across Mahoney’s Rd at the Pedestrian lights there is a problem of lack of a path to cycle to the Campbellfield Plaza.
Upgrading level crossings at Moreland Road, Bell Street and Camp Road is an opportunity to also clear bottlenecks and give priority to the increase in cycling in the municipality.
I believe the Munro Street crossing may be included when the Bell Street Crossing is upgraded. (This needs to be verified)
The level crossing at Camp Road especially, needs to incorporate facility for cyclists to cross, and have the shared path extended down to Box Forest Road. This is important as the intersection of Sydney Road and Western Ring Road is simply not safe for cyclists to navigate across. VicRoads have provided no on-road or off-road facility for cycling through this intersection.
Extending the Upfield shared Bike path could connect with a path to the Campbellfield shops providing a safe route to cycle north for people from Hadfield and Fawkner and further afield.
The railway bridge across the Western Ring Road was built with a capacity to take a second railway line and also with enough space for a shared path to extend the Upfield Bike path further north.
But it is imperative that level crossing removal at Camp Street should also include works incorporating a cycle crossing.
Now is also the time the State Government should join City of Moreland and City of Hume in extending the Upfield shared bike path at least up to Camp road with a vision of extending it further north and incorporate a short path to the Campbellfield shopping plaza.
Providing off-road cycling facilities is a sure way to get more people cycling more often. It makes our communities more sustainable, and more climate friendly, while providing health benefits to individuals and society as a whole.
Outer suburbs like Fawkner, Hadfield and Campbellfield need cycle friendly infrastructure just as much as inner suburbs. Indeed, because there is more of a culture built around roads and the car, it can be argued more cycling infrastructure might be needed in these suburbs to get people transitioning to lower emission transport and to change transport behaviours.
There are other problems for cyclists from Fawkner, especially in the northern end around Anderson Rd, in finding a safe route to access the existing Upfield Path. These perhaps need to be considered in depth at Council and Vicroads level for resolution. For middle Fawkner the footpath on the western side of Sydney Rd next to the cenetery really needs to be declared a shared path, as Sydney Road has a speed limit of 70km per hour and is unsafe to cycle on, to access the Upfield path.
So how about better bike facilities and extending the Upfield bike path further as part of the Camp Road Level Crossing Removal, Frank Maguire (Facebook), Member for Broadmeadows, and Lizzie Blandthorn (facebook), Member for Pascoe Vale?
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.
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.
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.
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
Extending the No 19 tramline to Gowrie Station in Fawkner has been proposed by the Greens this election. It is part of an initiative to fill missing tram links amounting to an extra 56 kilometres around Melbourne at a cost of about $840 million.
Rather than trams terminating midway between focal points, it is suggested they be extended to meet train stations or shopping centres to improve their functionality and intermodal usefulness.
The proposal for adding a number of tram extensions to the network is not new. The Public Transport Users Association have had plans for several years which they continue urging policymakers to adopt. The Greens proposal for 17 tram line extensions totalling an extra 56 kms was initially unveiled in July 2014.
The Greens also advocate the purchase of another 50 locally built E-Class trams to also alleviate some of the pressure on Melbourne overcrowded trams, especially in the northern suburbs. The Greens cost the extensions at about $15 million per kilometre as against the cost of $1 billion per kilometre for East West Link. Some have raised ‘Can the Greens tram plan be taken seriously?‘ (Alan Davies, Crikey) yet public transport commentator Daniel Bowen argues that Tram extensions: Not as expensive as some claim.
Other than the Route 19 tram, the Route 112 tram extension along Gilbert Road to Edwardes Lake Park, then up Edwardes street to terminate at Reservoir Station also makes a lot of sense to me enhancing intermodal connections. The other routes I’ll leave to others to discuss the merits of.
You can read the Greens tram initiative, routes and maps yourself.
What I want to talk about further is extending the No 19 tramline to, and perhaps past, Fawkner.
The Greens proposal for Route 19 involves extending the tram track up the middle of Sydney Rd to Fawkner Shops (via Gowrie Station). The map seems to indicate it would terminate in the centre of the road near Gowrie Station rather than actually connect to the Fawkner shops in Bonwick street. Taking the tram tracks down Jukes Rd might be a little problematic.
I would not stop this extension at Gowrie but continue it further across the Western Ring Road and Mahoneys Rd to the Campbellfield shopping centre precinct. This makes enormous sense and provides better public transport and pedestrian access from Fawkner to the Campbellfield shops and avoids the morass of bitumen and cars on the Sydney Road intersections with Western Ring Road and Mahoneys Road (a real nightmare when on foot)
That strip of Sydney Road in Fawkner also features several motels catering to visitors to Melbourne, including the Meadow Inn Hotel-Motel, Hume Villa Motor Inn, Ibis Budget Fawkner, and the Fawkner Star Motel. A tram line on Sydney Road would encourage those visitors to leave their cars in motel car parks to catch the tram to Coburg, Brunswick or even into the city or to the Campbellfield shopping Centre.
The population of Fawkner and Hadfield are also increasing with more medium density sub-development so the tram extension would also cater to this population growth.
The railway Stations of Gowrie and Fawkner provide a wide catchment, with many people driving and a few cycling to these stations to commute to work.
The Upfield rail line is already operating at near capacity during peak periods with an increased frequency on this rail line overdue. There is a case for duplication of the track to Craigieburn and electrification from Upfield to Craigieburn to close a loop and enable more freqent service.
Greens candidate for Brunswick Tim Read suggested at the Moreland Transport forum that the duplication of the Upfield line past Gowrie and possible electrification of the existing track to Craigieburn would close a transport loop to Craigieburn and allow greater capacity and frequency of services on the Upfield Line. He was the only candidate at this forum to raise this potential.
The extension of the Sydney Road tram to Campbellfield would make a real difference in alleviating pressure on the capacity of the rail service to meet peak demand, while increasing public transport patronage.
Trams are especially efficient for smaller journeys and this tramline extension would help connect those living in Fawkner and Hadfield to other urban focal points in Campbellfield, Coburg and Brunswick.
The tram extension to Campbellfield would also be a useful intermodal connection to the proposed Melbourne North station at Campbellfield on the preferred High Speed Railway alignment that uses the Upfield rail alignment (underground from Gowrie to Southern Cross). (See High Speed Rail – Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development – Chapter 4 on Alignment and station locations)
There are those who say this tramline duplicates the Upfield rail service, yet both services are popular and well used. It is likely any extension would increase public transport patronage.
The Northern suburbs of Moreland could sure do with a little bit more public transport infrastructure.
Australia is hosting the G20 and climate change is not on the agenda. Come along to a screening of ‘Reasons for Hope‘ film and a discussion to show that Australians want climate change #OnMyAgenda. Local resident John Englart will lead the discussion.
When: 6.00pm Saturday 15 November
Where: Fawkner Community House, CB Smith Reserve
Bring a plate of food to share.
You’ll join friendly local people who care.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was pushing for climate change to be off the agenda at the Brisbane G20 meeting at all. However the United States and France have exerted pressure and it will be listed as a minor item under Energy Efficiency.
As climate change has been taken ‘off the main agenda’ by the Australian Government, the Australian Conservation Foundation is organising for people round Australia (and elsewhere) to put climate change #onmyagenda in self organised events and parties from November 12-15. Anyone can organise an event for their community. You can register your event here.
John Englart, as a member of Sustainable Fawkner and Climate Action Moreland is holding an event called Climate change is #OnMyAgenda in Fawkner on November 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the Fawkner Community House.
If you wish, you may also attend Sustainable Fawkner’s monthly meeting 4pm to 5.30pm, Come a little early to do a little bit of veggie gardening in our community garden.
The #OnMyAgenda event will start about 6pm. All welcome.