January 2013 newsletter

This month: We’ve got a new Facebook page, Moreland Council is starting a Community Plan for the next 15 years, and there’s a whole lot of cultural activities as we head into a new year:


We are now on Facebook. If you’re a Facebook user, please check out our page: Brunswick Residents Network. Please help us reach more people by “Like-ing” our page, adding comments, and sharing news and events. (Or just “Like” us on the sidebar below).

We’ve also improved this website . To have your group added to our list of local organisations, email us a 250 word blurb, including contacts or a web address.


Residents have until Thursday this week (31 January) to submit comments on proposed amendments to the Moreland Planning Scheme for Brunswick, which are now on public exhibition

Amendment C134 will introduce major changes to the local planning scheme. When enacted, it will bring the recommendations of the Brunswick Structure Plan (2010) and the Addendum to the Brunswick Structure Plan (2012) into the Moreland Planning Scheme on a permanent basis.

The changes to the Planning Scheme proposed by the amendment involve major re-zoning of land in the Brunswick activity centre (along Sydney, Lygon and Nicholson Streets), affecting land use and building design controls.

Brunswick Residents Network encourages you to make a submission (however brief) to highlight concerns over issues like:

  • Removal of residents’ rights to notification and review of planning proposals for buildings under the maximum preferred heights
  • impacts on residential properties adjoining the boundaries of the Brunswick Activity Centre
  • access to open space,
  • protection of heritage, and expansion of community infrastructure
  • height controls etc.

For some more detail on these important issues, please read our Brunswick Residents Network submission

For full details of Amendment C134, maps that show how your street will be affected, and information on how to make a submission to Council, see the Council website .

If you have any queries after looking at the maps and plans, technical detail can be explained by Moreland Council planning staff – please contact Brunswick Place Manager Will Coogan on 9240 2221 (email: wcoogan@moreland.vic.gov.au) who can connect you to the relevant staff. If you ask nicely, you might even be able to get an extension to lodge your submission.


The Department of Justice is proposing a major increase in fees for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), which will severely disadvantage ordinary people lodging appeals to planning decisions.

These increases will make it more expensive to lodge an appeal with the VCAT planning panel, and will massively increase the cost of conducting an appeal at VCAT against a Council decision or developer objection.

According to the Environment Defenders Office (EDO): “Objectors in most planning disputes will be hit by fee increases from $322 to over $1000 just to get their matter listed. Then hearing fees of between around $370 and $1800 a day could be charged on top of that. Fee increases would rise under the proposal by an average of 56% and up to more than 2500% in the maximum case.”

For more background, the EDO has published a briefing paper outlining details of the changes and the effects of the fee increase:

We urge you to make a brief submission on the Department of Justice website before 15 February 2013, objecting to the fee increases.


In November, VCAT rejected an appeal seeking a permit for a narrow 5-story building at 135 Lygon Street (near Cocoa Jackson Lane). The ruling includes an interesting observation that:

 “The overall building heights referred to in the Structure Plan are described in terms of recommended maximums. It would be wrong to think that mere adherence to maximum heights will necessarily equate to an acceptable outcome….application of the overall building heights to the maximum extent suggested will not always be necessary or appropriate for every site. Nor, in my view is the achievement of maximum building heights necessary in every case to realise the broader policy intent for intensification of this Activity Centre, although a proposal for a new 1 or 2 storey building may well be regarded as an underdevelopment.”

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has also ruled on a case concerning the effect of tall buildings on solar panels, after a neighbouring property owner expressed concerns about the shadow impacts upon solar panels mounted on his own roof.

The VCAT ruling notes: “With the increasing use of solar panels, it would be desirable for consistent statewide provisions with which to assess impacts through the introduction of clearer guidelines and standards capable of providing greater certainty to all stakeholders.”


Moreland Council is beginning to develop a Community Plan for the next 12 years, looking at changes over three Council terms until 2025.

Locals are encouraged to join a range of activities in January – March 2013, from social media discussions to a series of town hall meetings and discussions.

The first session “Live, play and work in the future” is at 6pm on Tuesday 29 January, with more topics to follow throughout February

  • Our changing planet (implications on the environment, climate change, sustainability)
  • Social connection and safety
  • The built environment (Heritage, height, housing and affordability)
  • Moving around (transportation, accessibility and physical activity)
  • An economy that supports us all

Check the  Council website for details of speakers, venues and times.


On Friday 8 February “Friends of Edward Street” (FOES) will be transforming part of the Edward Street car park into a park for the evening. So bring along your ‘harvest’ picnic and join in the fun and games as the tarmac gets turfed!

Highlights will include Live music; Sand pit; Soccer; Frisbee; Face painting; Sausage sizzle; Icy poles and much more. This is our big chance to show all what a new park could mean for Edward Street.

Time: Friday 8 February from 6 to 9pm
Location: the Edward / Dodds Street Car park near Sydney Road
Further information via the FOES blog at foesblog.wordpress.com
Email: foesblog@gmail.com or call Pia on 0439038288.


You are invited to celebrate the role of the Hoffman Brickworks in the Brunswick community on Sunday 17 February.

The imposing chimneys, kilns and brick pressing shed of Hoffman’s Brickworks on Dawson Street, are a reminder of Brunswick’s past.  The making of bricks, pipes and pottery were the economic backbone of Brunswick well into the 20th century.  They shaped its character – its streets, its parks, and its people.

In an ‘oral history corner’, visitors will be invited to record their own stories of working in, growing up around or living near the Hoffman’s Brickworks. These video recordings will add to the extensive Hoffman’s Brickworks collection in the Melbourne University archive. Please encourage friends, family and neighbours with history in the area to come along and share their stories.

A short film of people who have worked at or are currently involved in the Brickworks will be launched on the day. The event will also feature a performance by Bruce Watson to celebrate the chimneys’ ongoing presence and two decades of campaigning.

Venue: Brunswick Secondary College – enter from Fallon Street (Melways 29:F8)
Date: Sunday 17 February open 2 – 5pm; music and film launch 3 – 4pm

For more information look at the ‘Brunswick’s Historic Brickworks’ page on Facebook, or contact Ruth at brunswickbrickworks@mail.com

Residents organise in Coburg

Residents in Coburg have started to organise around the Amendment to the Moreland Planning Scheme for Coburg, which includes proposals for a series of 10 story buildings along Bell Street near Coburg station and Sydney Road.

On 24 January, about 60 people turned up to a residents meeting in Coburg and voted to:

  • Set up a Save Coburg campaign group.
  • Support Councillor Sue Bolton’s motion to council for an extension of public discussion time and for town hall meetings on the plan.
  • Do another round of letterboxing.
  • Organise a protest outside the next Moreland Council meeting, 6:30pm, Wednesday, February 13, outside Coburg Town Hall.

Foir further information on the Save Coburg campaign, contact Wayne 0438 304 326


“Urbanized” is a great documentary by Gary Hustwit, currently screening at ACMI, which looks at “urban design and urges citizens to take a closer look at the place they call home”.

The film inspires you to think what urban space should look like, profiling innovative low-cost housing schemes in Santiago; efforts to prioritise public transport over private car ownership in Bogotà; re-landscaping the city in Cape Town; and greening New York.  Great ideas for a better Melbourne!

The film (82 mins) runs until 3 February – see ACMI for screening details.


Last year Moreland Council organised “Seize the Day” – a family day at Sparta Place with tattooing, face painting, rock climbing and more. Check out the great video on YouTube


Brunswick Residents Network will be organising a number of activities in coming weeks – you can download full details from our website (https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com/ ) or Facebook page (Brunswick Residents Network).

Information meeting on the Baillieu government’s new Metropolitan Planning Strategy, with presentations on their vision for a “20 minute city” and how changes to Victorian planning will affect inner-city communities

Date: Thursday 21 February, 6.30pm
Venue: Brunswick Bowling Club, 104-106 Victoria St, Brunswick East

  • In March, we’ll also be organising a community BBQ – full details in next month’s newsletter.

At future monthly meetings of the Brunswick Residents Network we’ll be inviting the new councillors to come along to talk about their vision for Brunswick – we’ll be gathering each month at the Sporting Club Hotel (27 Weston St  Brunswick) – if you’d like to get involved, please drop us a line at albertstreet2020@gmail.com


In the past six years, one in 20 new dwellings in established areas of Melbourne have been constructed within 600 metres of the Route 8 tram, which travels from Moreland to Toorak.


Urban Planning Committee: Wednesday 30 January 2013 – 6 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Full Council meeting: Wednesday 13 February 2013 – 7 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Urban Planning Committee: Wednesday 27 February 2013 – 6 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Full Council meeting: Wednesday 13 March 2013 – 7 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Urban Planning Committee: Wednesday 27 March 2013 – 6 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Full Council meeting: Wednesday 10 April 2013 – 7 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Urban Planning Committee: Thursday 24 April 2013 – 6 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

(Check times and location at the Council website )


To contact organisers of the Brunswick Residents’ Network, offer to help with future activities or be added to our resident’s mailing list, please email albertstreet2020@gmail.com, or phone 0421 840 100.

Meeting details and copies of past newsletters are on this website.

Check out our new Facebook page, and please forward this e-letter to neighbours who’d like a say in the way their community is changing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: