- East-west ramp at Brunswick Road . . .
- 40 kph restrictions for residential streets . . .
- Feature: Jewell Station redevelopment . . .
- State elections forum . . .
- Public meetings on planning, bluestones, East-West link, trams . . .
East West link connects to Brunswick Road
The Napthine government has signed the contracts for the East West tunnel and the connection to Citylink, but there’s a new sting in the tail for Brunswick residents: the newly released design reveals for the first time that there will be an interchange and access ramps at Ormond Road and Brunswick Road. These connections to CityLink will funnel more vehicles into Brunswick West, and increase the potential for rat running through residential streets.
For a map of the latest proposal see:
There will now be a full interchange at Brunswick Road/Ormond Road, with on and off ramps in both directions (East West Link to CityLink northbound; East West Link to Ormond Road and Brunswick Road; Ormond Road and Brunswick Road to East West Link; CityLink southbound to East West Link):
On 29 September, the State Government signed contracts with East West Connect, the private consortium proposing to build the road and tunnel complex. The deal was completed just hours after the High Court rejected a bid by Brunswick resident Tony Murphy for an injunction to delay the signing until mid-October (for updates on Tony’s Supreme Court process see: http://www.murphyvewl.org/.)
The final design for the East West Link ignores key planning issues identified by the Napthine government’s own hand-picked experts. The government’s planning panel made several recommendations that were ignored in the final design, including the removal of the southbound connections to CityLink and the Tullamarine Freeway over Ross Straw Field in Parkville. The latest design includes four new roads added to the spaghetti junction at the end of the tunnel, a large car park at Melbourne Zoo and the loss of further parkland. The East West Link and its connecting roads will pave over playgrounds, sporting ovals, community gardens and homes.
This Thursday 9 October, Moreland Community against the East West Tunnel (MCAT) will hold a public meeting “Stopping the East-West Link – where to from here?”
The meeting will provide updates on the joint initiative by Moreland and Yarra councils, which have launched a legal challenge to halt construction (the next hearing for this case is on 15 December, after the state elections). In round one of the case, the Supreme Court ruled against the Government, requiring the Minister for Planning to disclose the documents which he had in his possession and considered in deciding to approve the East West Link.
The meeting will debate next steps in the campaign, with speakers:
- Andrew Herrington, author of East West Link blog and former advisor to the Brumby government
- Sue Bolton, Moreland Community Against the East West Tunnel
- Mike Naismith, Tunnel Picket
For further information, contact Councillor Sue Bolton on 0413 377 978. Updates from Moreland Community Against the East West Tunnel: https://www.facebook.com/MorelandCAT
WHAT: Public meeting on the East West Tunnel
WHEN: Thursday 9 October, 7pm
WHERE: Coburg Court House, 1A Main St, Coburg (near corner of Bell St)
FURTHER INFO: Councillor Sue Bolton on 0413 377 978
40 kph zones extend across suburb
In 2011, Brunswick Residents Network (BRN) conducted its first traffic survey in central Brunswick and one of the major concerns raised by locals was rat running through quiet residential streets (while major arterial routes like Lygon Street includes many 40kph zones, many adjoining residential streets had 50 kph speed limits!)
After lobbying by BRN and other resident groups, Moreland Council transport staff approached VicRoads in 2012, who approved the introduction of 40kph restrictions on most residential streets in the area bounded by Nicholson Street, Sydney Road, Blyth Street and Glenlyon Road. This important step was the direct result of residents’ campaigns to address the hazards to cyclists, pedestrians and parked cars from speeding traffic in quiet residential streets.
Over the last year, Moreland Council has continued discussions with VicRoads to introduce 40 kph limits for other suburban streets across much of Brunswick. Residential streets in the areas bounded by the following roads now have 40 kph speed limits:
- Sydney Road / Glenlyon Road / Nicholson Street / Blyth Street (introduced July 2012).
- Moreland Road / Melville Road / Albion Street / Moonee Ponds Creek (March 2014).
- Sydney Road / Blyth Street / Nicholson Street / Albion Street (June 2014).
- Dawson Street / Grantham Street / Brunswick Road / Moonee Ponds Creek (September 2014).
An application to VicRoads for the area surrounded by Blyth Street / Merri Creek / Balmoral Avenue / Jones Park / Albion Street was submitted in August 2014 and is currently being considered. Moreland Council will consider lodging an application for the area south of Glenlyon Road towards Brunswick Road early next year.
BRN members have also been holding regular quarterly meetings with Moreland Council transport staff, to discuss further implementation of the Brunswick Integrated Transport Strategy (BITS) and other traffic management issues around the suburb. Council has been updating a number of traffic counts in residential streets – BRN will display the latest results on our website at: https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com
If you have issues related to traffic management that you’d like us to raise with Council staff, please contact us through our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature: Jewell Station redevelopment
The State government’s Plan Melbourne, adopted last July, will increase population and housing density along traffic corridors in Brunswick. Plan Melbourne includes a commitment to expand development around Jewell station, Brunswick station and other areas north along the Upfield railway line.
Under the yet to be finalised Amendment C134 to the Moreland Planning Scheme, Moreland Council is currently proposing major rezoning in areas between Sydney Road and the railway line, with new height limits ranging up to 8 stories.
The Napthine government has introduced the Station Precinct Enhancement Program, managed by the state government agency VicTrack, to redevelop station precincts. VicTrack has now appointed developers Neometro to manage the redevelopment of the area around Jewell Station. The group 3000 acres (an initiative of Planisphere planners) has already established a community garden near Jewell Station as one example of possible initiatives.
According to State Transport Minister Terry Mulder: “Neometro has embraced the community feedback that was captured through the initial place making process and incorporated initiatives such as cafes, art installations, active studio spaces and edible community gardens.”
Nice rhetoric, but the danger is that without proper community involvement in the project, public space will be privatised and new areas surrounding the stations will include restrictions on certain types of public activity (for example, many supposedly public access spaces ban leafleting or gatherings by community or political organisations – and look out young skateboarders!).
There are already new projects along the railway line such as Breathe Architecture’s apartments at “The Commons” (located next to Anstey Station). Moreland Council rightly celebrates this building as a great example of sustainable design – but you need very deep pockets to live there! How many working people will be able to afford eco-sympathetic apartments along the railway line unless developers make a commitment to affordable housing in Brunswick? By 2013 only three percent of Moreland’s rental accommodation was affordable and only three percent of dwellings in Moreland were social housing (this is far less than other municipalities across the northern region of Melbourne, with an average 11 percent of affordable rental accommodation and five percent of housing stock as social housing.)
There are other crucial questions about the impact of redevelopment along the Upfield line (for example, what land will be taken that could limit future expansion of the Upfield bike path?).
There are significant issues of pedestrian and cyclist safety, if the area between Sydney Road and the railway line is transformed by numerous seven or eight storey buildings, which will disgorge cars into narrow residential streets. Just look at the proposed 14 story shopping and residential complex at 282-294 Albert Street – located between Sydney Road and the railway line – which has one exit for cars straight onto Albert Street!
The next round of “community engagement” on the Jewell Station precinct will occur before Christmas, so keep an eye out for meetings to make your contribution. To sign on for VicTrack updates on the project, you can call 1800 095 800 or email: email@example.com
Premier Dennis Napthine: “Jewell station precinct set to shine with appointment of Neometro”, media release, 16 September 2014
3000 acres community gardens
Government rejects rezoning plan
Moreland’s planning processes have once again been thrown into turmoil after Planning Minister Matthew Guy rejected amendment C153 (a change to the Moreland Planning Scheme which would have brought in new Residential Planning Zones).
After extensive consultation over the last year, Moreland Council prepared the draft planning amendment using a mix of three new residential zones; the Residential Growth Zone, the General Residential Zone and the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.
The proposed changes were submitted to the state government’s Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee (RZSAC) in a supposedly “fast track” process. However the committee rejected much of Moreland submission, stating in its June 2014 report that the RZSAC “considers the General Residential Zone is the only zone that can be strategically justified at this time, as a ‘transition mechanism’.”
Matthew Guy has now formally rejected the proposed rezoning and directed Moreland to ‘undertake further strategic work.’ With the state election looming in November, the process has been delayed once again. If your property was previously in the Residential 1 Zone it has now been rezoned to the General Residential Zone as of 1 July 2014.
Residential Zones (Stage One) Standing Advisory Committee Report
Moreland Draft Amendment C153, 20 June 2014
Council reaction to the Minister’s decision:
Review of local government structure and voting
Earlier this year, former Liberal MP Petro Georgiou conducted the landmark Local Government Electoral Review, looking at a range of proposals to improve voting methods and electoral structure for local government. The independent Review Panel has made 55 recommendations for reform.
Melbourne citizens can give feedback on the recommendations until Monday 3 November 2014, which the government will consider before finalising a response.
Local Government Electoral Review
STAGE 1 REPORT
Local Government Electoral Review
STAGE 2 REPORT
You can download a feedback form and submit it to the government before Monday 3 November:
Council reviews meeting procedures
Moreland Council is currently revising its meeting procedure, looking at requirements for apologies, conflicts of interest and community participation at Council meetings.
The review of council process comes as Moreland Council launched an application to the Municipal Association of Victoria to have the North East Ward councillor Michael Teti investigated for his lack of attendance and use of council resources. Councillor Teti will face a councillor conduct panel after failing to explain his behaviour to Moreland Council.
City of Moreland Draft Meeting Procedure Local Law
People wanting to comment on the process can make a submission by Monday 13 October and then present at a special Council meeting to be held at 6 PM on Monday 20 October 2014 in the Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg.
Review of industrial land
Moreland Council has initiated a review of the current Moreland Industrial Land Use Strategy (MILUS), looking at old factory and industrial sites to see whether they are suitable for industry and jobs or whether they should be opened up for redevelopment as housing sites.
The review includes a significant area in Brunswick West to the west of the Upfield railway line (from Victoria Street in the north to the southern side of Dawson Street). Another major area for review is in Edward and Weston Street Brunswick, together with factories located between Albert and Victoria streets to the east of Lygon Street (along Gale, Sedgman and Cross streets) and east of Nicholson Street.
Check out this map to see if your neighbourhood is affected by the review:
Then send in a submission or complete an online survey before the end of this week:
Moreland 2025 Community Plan
Moreland Council has completed the Moreland 2025 Community Plan, which will be presented to Council this week, then distributed publicly.
The Community Plan is supposed to guide all future decision making and planning in the municipality, with Council strategies aligned with the Community Plan. This vision is hampered however by the way in which state government policies and the private interests of developers to override any community focus. The key challenge will be implementing this plan, like so many other Council policies – the production of “State of the Municipality report cards” is designed to allow monitoring of the objectives.
Copies of the plan can be found at pages 107 – 347 of the October 2014 Council meeting agenda:
Public meeting on bluestone lanes
On 2 October, a public meeting discussed the status of Brunswick’s bluestone lanes, following a 2013 campaign to protect the heritage, amenity and practicality of the 67 kilometres of laneways that connect the southern ward of Moreland.
The City of Moreland has created a Bluestone Laneways Community Reference Committee, which “will advise Council on the best ways to replace and repair bluestone laneways to ensure the final outcome is in line with community expectations”.
The group “Support Bluestone lovers” will nominate to become a member of the new committee but other interested parties can also nominate before 20 October. For more information contact Shannon Best at firstname.lastname@example.org or see Council’s web site at: http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/parking-roads-and-transport/bluestone.html
There is also a new initiative called the Bluestone Collective Laneway Revitalisation Project, initiated by Community Oriented Design (CoDesign Studio). Funded by City of Moreland and Department of Justice, the Bluestone collection will launch their first project on 15 November as the first of three laneways to be upgraded. Watch for future developments through the Bluestone Collective Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BluestoneCollective
The meeting received an update report from Council on implementing the “Making Moreland a Bluestones City” resolution. Council has agreed to amend sections of its 2011 Rights of Way Strategy regarding the reconstruction and repair of bluestone laneways in order to maintain the entire bluestone laneways network in the municipality of Moreland and establish appropriate specifications for the laying procedures. A Council report presenting the updated Rights of Way Strategy is likely to be presented to Council later this year
At the meeting, councillors and community members raised issues about the standards of workmanship, accountability, transparency and value for money.
Thanks for this information from Suzy Pinchen of “Citizens Protecting Bluestone Lanes”: https://www.facebook.com/SaveBrunswicksBluestoneLaneways
More car sharing across Brunswick
In spite of the rising number of cyclists in Moreland, private motor vehicles still dominate the roads. According to the 2013 Moreland Household Survey, 63.6 percent of respondents travelled to work as a driver of a car; 19.1 percent used trams and 16.4 percent used the train, while 13.9 percent of respondents used a bicycle. For students, 42.4 percent of respondents travelled to school or university as a passenger in a car while 24.2 percent walked.
In spite of the lack of investment in public transport, there are over 8,000 households in Moreland with no car. The suburbs of Brunswick, Brunswick West and Brunswick East have significantly more ‘no car’ households compared to the rest of Melbourne.
One positive initiative by Moreland Council is to support car sharing services (Moreland’s car share policy is documented in a report to Council this week). At least 856 people who live or work in Moreland are car share members and there are currently 48 car share vehicles in Brunswick, Brunswick West, Brunswick East and Coburg, run by four private providers (Flexicar, Go-Get, GreenShareCar and Car Next Door).
Population and planning
Federal MP for Wills Kelvin Thomson has long argued for population limits to address pressures on urban growth and density, a stand contested by many planning and policy experts. In October, Thomson will debate Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle about the link between immigration, population and urban growth.
WHAT: The Great Population Debate between Kelvin Thomson (MP for Wills) & Robert Doyle (Lord Mayor of Melbourne)
WHEN: Monday, 13 October 2014, 7.00pm
WHERE: Deakin Edge (formerly BMW edge), Federation square, Flinders Street, City
History of trams
For fans of public transport, the Brunswick Community History Group will present a talk by Keith Stodden on “The Trams of Melbourne”, in celebration of History Week 2014.
WHAT: History of Melbourne’s trams
WHEN: Saturday 25 October, 2 PM – 4 PM
WHERE: Private Function Room, Bridie O’Reilly’s Irish Pub (former Sarah Sands Hotel), 29 Sydney Road (corner of Brunswick Road).
If you’re riding along the Upfield bike path later this month, check out MoreArt, the annual contemporary art exhibition appearing in unique public sites along the railway line. The MoreArt exhibition will be launched on Sunday 26 October and will run until Friday 19 December.
For examples of last year’s Art on the Upfield line, have a look at MoreArt 2013:
WHAT: launch of the MoreArt exhibition
WHEN: Sunday 26 October, 2:30 PM
WHERE: Brunswick Mechanics Institute Forecourt, 268 Sydney Road, Brunswick
State elections forum
On Friday 14 November, the Brunswick Uniting Church in Sydney Road will host a forum of candidates contesting the seat of Brunswick for the 29 November state election.
Sitting Brunswick MP Jane Garrett of the Australian Labor Party is being challenged by the Australian Greens’ Dr. Tim Read and there will likely be other independent candidates throwing their hat in the ring. The Brunswick Residents Network encourages BRN supporters to come along to find out more about the Brunswick candidates’ policies, personalities and promises!
WHAT: Candidates’ forum for November state elections
WHEN: Friday 14 November, 7:30 PM
WHERE: Brunswick Uniting Church, 212 Sydney Road, Brunswick (corner of Merri Street)
FACTOID OF THE MONTH
“Approximately 85 per cent of apartments in the City of Melbourne are bought by investors. This means that many apartments are being designed and built to meet an investor friendly price point of around $450,000, resulting in an increase in the proportion of one and two bedroom apartments. In an environment of increasing construction costs this has been achieved through making apartments smaller. It is harder to achieve a good apartment layout, good levels of internal amenity, flexibility and storage in smaller apartments.”
Understanding the Quality of Housing Design, City of Melbourne, February 2013
NEXT MORELAND COUNCIL MEETINGS
Full Council meeting
Wednesday 8 October 2014 – 7 pm
Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg
Special Council meeting
Monday 20 October 2014 – 6 pm
Coburg Town Hall, 90 Bell Street, Coburg
(Check latest times and location at the council website: http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-council/council-and-committee-meetings.html)
MAILING LIST AND FURTHER INFORMATION:
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