Brunswick Residents Newsletter, September 2020

Including: Bunnings blunder. Meet our 15 candidates for Moreland South Ward on 6 October. Planning expert critiques Moreland strategy. High-rise horror. Council communications upgrades; parks, culture and stuff for kids.

Read below in plain text – sorry, we are having some problems pasting into the new WordPress editor – or click here for the formatted version with pictures and quick links.

Bunnings blunder. 15 candidates for Moreland South Ward. Planning expert critiques Moreland strategy. High-rise horror. Council communications upgrades; parks, culture and stuff for kids

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Congratulations Brunswick! East and West Brunswick have zero Covid cases. There are currently just two cases (no new cases) in Brunswick. Well done and thank you.

** Meet your 15 South Ward candidates for Moreland Council
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Voters in Moreland’s South Ward (Brunswick, south of Albion Street) will choose three out of 15 candidates to represent us on Moreland Council for the next four years (There are even more candidates for the two northern wards). A postal ballot will be mailed to registered voters between Tuesday and Thursday next week.

** BRN Candidates Forum on Tuesday 6 October
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Brunswick Residents Network is not affiliated to any political party, and we do not endorse candidates for the Council elections. However, we think it’s important to get to know potential candidates and their policies. Seeing them speak and answer questions in a public meeting is a good start, with all 15 candidates accepting our invitation to speak – thank you all very much!

This year’s forum will be via a Zoom Webinar for South Ward candidates, from 7.00 to 9.00 pm on the evening of Tuesday 6 October. Please register now (https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xXdYLVxcR3u10Mqtul1KEA) . We plan to livestream the meeting on our Facebook page, and to make a recording available, but we urge you to join the Webinar if possible.

We will offer each candidate two minutes to introduce themselves. Our facilitators, Joanna Stanley and Nic Maclellan, will ask questions on our main areas of interest, and we will also have time for audience questions which can be registered on the night.

We hope you’ll join us: we aim to start on time, at 7.00pm.

WHAT: South Ward Candidates Forum for Moreland Council elections
WHEN: Tuesday 6 October, 7pm to 9pm
WHERE: Online through Zoom (plus Facebook live stream, and a recording available after the event)
REGISTER NOW https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xXdYLVxcR3u10Mqtul1KEA .
After registering, you will receive a confirmation.
INFO: Queries to brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com (mailto:brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com)

** Check out your Moreland South Ward candidates
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We’ve posted details on our website for each candidate – including the contacts given on the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) page and any Facebook or website links – so you can check their views and affiliations, and ask about their policies. Here’s the list in the order it will appear on your ballot paper:

GALVIN, Pauline (Sue Bolton Moreland team)
JACKSON, Shirley (Labor)
BREIER, Helen (Labor)
CONLAN, James (Greens)
YUAN, Melissa
PAYNE, Rachel (Reason)
TAPINOS, Lambros (Labor)
JIMENEZ, Nahui (Victorian Socialists)
TARABY, Sultan
ANDREWARTHA, Jacob (Sue Bolton Moreland team)
RILEY, Mark (Greens)
GEORGIOU, George
DURKACZ, Robert
DURRANT, John
EVANS, Shea

** Getting your vote posted in time
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Note that although the election date has been announced as 24 October, the Victorian Electoral Commission states that your vote must be in the mail or hand-delivered to your election office before 6 pm on Friday 23 October 2020. As mail services have recently been cut back and clearance times changed, check on the mailbox, or at your local post office, and don’t wait till the last minute. Note also that voting is now compulsory (there used to be an exemption for over-70s in Council elections).

** More information on candidates
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Candidates for all Moreland candidates – including North East and North West wards – are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot paper, and with phone and email contact details, at the Victorian Electoral Commission website (https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/voting/2020-local-council-election/elections/moreland-city-council/nominations#South%20Ward) . To find candidates’ Facebook and website links, if available, check Walk On Moreland (http://walkonmoreland.org/) and Climate Action Moreland (http://climateactionmoreland.org/) .

The Walking Working Group (hosted by Brunswick Residents Network with Walk On Moreland (http://walkonmoreland.org/) ) have sent a questionnaire to all Moreland candidates, on their pedestrian strategies and priorities. Climate Action Moreland have also circulated a questionnaire to all candidates, on climate and sustainability issues. Responses will be published on the relevant websites, and announced on Facebook.

There are also climate/sustainability focused Candidates Forums next week, for the two northern wards:

NORTH EAST WARD FORUM
WHAT: Neighbours United for Climate Action (NUCA) online North East Ward Candidates Forum
WHEN: 7pm–8.30pm Wednesday 30 Sep
CHAIR: (Chaired by Cinnamon Evans, CEO of CERES) – 90 minutes
WHERE: online Zoom meeting, and streamed via NUCA Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/neighboursunitedforclimateaction) .
REGISTRATION: Essential for zoom: Registration on zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwsdOqvrz0vEtYuvZ7qEBnRRpn7ZDjdNaBy) . You can also submit a question when you register.

NORTH WEST WARD FORUM
WHAT: Climate Action Moreland online North West Ward Candidates Forum
WHEN: 7pm–8.30pm Tuesday 29 September
CHAIR: Alison Rowe, CEO of Australian Energy Foundation
Where: online via Zoom, and streamed via Climate Action Moreland Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CAMoreland) .
REGISTRATION: Essential for zoom: Registration on Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAlfuqqpj0qHt1-2hCHwQvEOppEsU7jZDzj) . You can also submit a question when you register.

** Ward boundaries
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The South Ward boundary runs down the middle of Albion Street. Northern Brunswickians are divided into North East and North West wards by a line that runs down the middle of Melville Road, according to the map available at the VEC (https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/electoral-boundaries/local-councils/moreland-city-council) .

** The bridge is open!
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Brunswick Residents Network has been a long-term supporter of the community campaign for a new footbridge over the Merri Creek to join Northcote to Brunswick, north of Arthurton Road.

The suspension bridge is now open, after a long and successful campaign by local residents that won support (and funding) from both Darebin and Moreland councils. You can access it either via the Merri Creek path, or from Kingfisher Gardens (a street running off Stewart Street). It leads to Beavers Road on the Northcote side. The bridge is located on the north side of Ceres, who will soon open a new gate for bridge users at Kingfisher Gardens. The bridge will allow people to cross the creek without risking life and limb on Arthurton Road and other busy roadways. Congratulations to Helen McDonald, Juliet Hall and many other residents who worked for years to make this happen
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As an added bonus, the Northcote golf course is currently open to all, so we have acres of beautiful parkland within walking distance. It’s a pleasure to cross the bridge to the east, and discover this wide open space – perfect for a stroll during your daily escape from lockdown. Get down there soon, as this chance only lasts while golf is banned. Darebin Council owns the golf course and there is a growing campaign for the council to turn it into a public park when the current lease expires. Hundreds of people have been enjoying it during the lockdown, and with dozens of apartments under construction nearby, public parkland seems like a priority.

Bike-riders have pointed out that the bridge fills a missing link, to create a relatively safe bike route through mostly quiet streets from Essendon to the Darebin Creek path, and from there to south-bound paths through Kew, or north towards Bundoora and La Trobe University. This route includes a principal bicycle route defined in the Moreland Bicycle Strategy. Moreland Bicycle Users Group will raise this with Council and the Department of Transport (DoT), to have this route recognised and to encourage signage and upgrades.

The completion of the bridge has highlighted the need for a safe crossing at the corner of Stewart and Nicholson Streets, an intersection managed by the Department of Transport. Local group Safe Streets has been campaigning for this, as has BRN’s joint Walking Working Group with Walk on Moreland.
* Our Walking Working Group meets at on the second Tuesday of the month: new members welcome, but you need to register (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZElf-2hpj8vGNO2MIEP6t3IqyoxB7BTN2rK) the first time.

FEATURE ARTICLE

** Glenlyon Road: Bunnings blunders
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Bunnings Warehouse – a subsidiary of the Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers – has lodged a planning permit application to convert an old factory site into a warehouse and retail complex. The proposed site is at 145 Glenlyon Road, Brunswick, not far from the intersection of Lygon Street and Glenlyon Road.

Bunnings has been in discussion with Moreland Council planning staff for months about the project, but the planning application was only lodged just before Council goes into caretaker mode before the local government elections.

There has been a massive response from angry residents, given the proposed site is surrounded by apartment blocks, homes and small businesses. Residents are concerned they will be affected by overshadowing, noise and the number of customer vehicles and delivery trucks entering and leaving the site. The Planning Assessment Report acknowledges these impacts on neighbours, stating: “The proposal has the potential to result in amenity impacts on adjoining residential properties due to noise, visual bulk, overshadowing and loss of access to daylight.”

Based on discussions with local residents living next to the site, BRN believes there are a number of grounds for Moreland Council to reject the application completely. The proposed Bunnings project will breach provisions of the Moreland’s Planning Scheme, relating to:
* setbacks to adjacent residential land
* zoning (the interface between different zones; use across various zones – Mixed use and INZ/C3; transitioning to a commercial zone).
* inappropriate scale and use for the location, interfacing with apartment buildings and homes.
* inadequate information in the application on crucial policy issues (waste management plans, jobs creation, environmental assessment etc).

Local residents around the proposed site have already lodged hundreds of detailed objections, setting out direct impacts on their amenity.
* Say NO to Bunnings! (https://stopbunningsglenlyon.org/)
* Stop Bunnings Glenlyon-Brunswick Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/stopbunningsglenlyon/)

BRN has also lodged an objection, highlighting broader questions of traffic management in this area, and the impact on public transport, bike lanes, traffic congestion and rat-running through the neighbourhood. We object to this application at this site, because it fails to properly address traffic volumes and types of vehicles, rat running in nearby residential streets, parking, pedestrian and cyclist safety. In a suburb that has a high number of cyclists, they’re actually seeking to reduce the number of required bike spots for the complex, which will feature two levels of underground parking.

The traffic planning assessment included as part of the permit application is totally inadequate. BRN conducted a quick survey of affected residents on their experience of traffic and mobility in the area around the proposed site. You can find our submission and the resident survey on the BRN website:
* BRN objection to Bunnings planning application (https://brunswickresidents.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/brn-objection-to-bunnings-planning-application-2020.pdf)
* BRN resident survey on traffic impacts (https://brunswickresidents.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/glenlyon-bunnings-traffic-observations-report-.pdf)

The evidence of local residents directly contradicts the desk-top study of traffic in the Bunnings application, which purports to show “the additional traffic generated by the proposed Bunnings Warehouse will have no impact on the road network and any queueing that occurs is relatively short in length.”

This is nonsense, given there is a bus route, bike lane, single-lane car movement and pedestrian network priority along the Glenlyon Road frontage of the proposed site. The Lygon/Glenlyon intersection is already clogged at peak hours, with cars backing up past the proposed entrance to the Bunnings site. The plan proposes that 19-metre long delivery trucks will exit through the Pitt Street and the Pitt/Lygon intersection – great news for the trams, cars, cyclists and pedestrians moving north-south along this major arterial road!

Here’s a photo (below) taken just this month of an accident at this intersection, as a car tried to turn right out of Pitt Street, cutting across the tram lines and traffic in Lygon Street (all trams were re-routed along Moreland Road and Sydney Road while authorities cleaned up the mess).

Wesfarmers – the conglomerate that owns Bunnings – should think again. Bunnings hardware and timber warehouses are very popular, and non-vegans like the sausage sizzle. It’s time for Bunnings to withdraw the application and begin discussions with the incoming council, to find a more suitable location. They should look at industrial sites west of the Upfield rail line that have plenty of space, and less families living right next door to be affected by overshadowing, traffic chaos and the noise of early morning deliveries.

The company should also think of its reputation. At a time that local small businesses in nearby Lygon Street are doing it tough during the pandemic, are you seriously planning to drive them out of business?

** Planning news
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**
Yet another giant proposed for Lygon Street
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The Cypriot Community (495–497 Lygon Street) have submitted plans proposing a 10-storey building to replace their existing buildings, retaining just the facade of the heritage-listed Liberty Theatre. The application predictably argues as precedents, the other recent tall buildings which are turning Lygon Street into a canyon.
The application includes three levels of basement carparking, with access from Albion or Stewart Streets via Stanley Street through the back lane. There are shops planned for the ground floor, a function centre on the first floor, and a floor of offices. The top floor includes a bar and cafe, and is surrounded by a terrace. Interestingly, most apartments are 3-bedroom.

Shadowing diagrams show that houses to the west of the building will be substantially affected. There is no traffic report, no acoustic report, and no report on anticipated wind tunnel effects.

The proposed building is much higher than the levels set for this location in the Brunswick Structure Plan (17 metres). The planning application claims as justification all the other 10-storey buildings that breach preferred heights in Lygon Street, approved by Councillors over the last decade! Existing tall buildings shade the street in winter, and cause wind tunnels. The maximum heights should be mandatory.

(We don’t yet have any links to resident groups but you could check the post from Bronwyn Waters on the Brunswick Good Karma Network to connect with concerned residents).

** Planning expert criticises C190
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Dr. Stephen Rowley is a leading expert on Victoria’s planning laws and a lecturer in Urban Planning with RMIT’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. He is author of the key study: The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects ( Federation Press, Annandale, 2017).

Rowley has made a submission regarding Moreland Council’s proposal for Amendment C190 to the Moreland Planning Scheme, criticising the amendment and concluding: “I believe the proposed Amendment C190 is fundamentally misguided and should be abandoned.”

Amendment C190 proposes to introduce an additional class of application into the state government’s ‘VicSmart’ planning provisions. This amendment will introduce provisions for people planning to replace one dwelling with two units or townhouses. The amendment will go to Panel Directions Hearing on a 29 September 2020, with the full hearing in the last week of October.

Amendment C190 – Better Outcomes for Two Dwellings on a Lot (https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/planning-building/planning-scheme-amendments/current-amendments/amendment-C190-betteroutcomes/)

In a letter to BRN, Council argues that “Amendment C190 encourages applicants to take a difference approach for two dwelling applications, whereby the brief to the architect would be one to ensure full compliance with mandatory residential development requirements in return for a faster decision via the VicSmart application stream.”

But Stephen Rowley is blunt about the problems with C190: “It misuses both the VicSmart provisions and the ResCode provisions. It creates considerable risks for council, including increased likelihood of process errors in assessment, heightened workloads, potential cost impacts to council from VCAT failure appeals, and potentially bad outcomes.”

The changes proposed in C190 will have greater impact on sub-divisions for re-development in the northern wards (which, on average, have larger blocks than Brunswick). However, BRN raised concerns about the amendment in the June edition of this newsletter. Echoing our concerns, Rowley’s submission suggests that what “the amendment seeks is faster processing times for such applications, not better outcomes.”

He suggests that the state government’s recent model for VicSmart is losing community input in the restructuring of communities: “The use of VicSmart in this manner – i.e. for quite complex applications that have long been subject to notice and appeal rights – sets an undesirable precedent. The approach to notice and review rights I think undervalues the contribution of that such rights make to the transparency and quality of decision-making.”

** Flaws in Design Excellence Scorecard
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At their September meeting, Moreland councillors voted 6-5 to extend the operation of the Moreland Design Excellence Scorecard for High Density Developments until September 2021. In a worrying decision last February, this planning mechanism was extended to Medium Density developments, as well as major High Density projects.

The Scorecard is designed to speed up the planning process for developers, by allowing Council staff, not elected councillors, to approve planning permit applications that meet set criteria on ESD standards, height etc. Long promoted by Moreland Council’s planning staff, this scheme is championed by Cr. Dale Martin of the Greens (who will not be running again for Council in October).

Since the trial of the Scorecard commenced in February 2019, only five planning permits have been issued for developments that have achieved Scorecard compliance.
* Moreland Design Excellence Scorecard (https://conversations.moreland.vic.gov.au/moreland-design-excellence-scorecard)

BRN is concerned that this planning tool means objectors’ views are solely considered by officers under delegation instead of a Council made up of elected community representatives.

In our submission to Moreland Council on the Scorecard, we argued that it runs against the grain of objector rights: “This streamline is great for cutting red tape at residents’ expense. We are concerned that the outcome will be zero councillor involvement in controversial developments. At worst, where there is an anticipated detrimental effect (either social or amenity) on a community, the scorecard process cannot ensure the community a fair ‘hearing’ or chamber style debate. Even in the event of a very large number of objections, there does not seem a mechanism for the elected reps to become involved.”

Planning expert Stephen Rowley (see above) agrees there are a number of flaws in the proposal to remove elected councillors from decision making over major projects. Commenting on the Design Scorecard, he suggests:
* It’s fundamentally problematic to use ‘going to council’ or ‘not going to council’ as a bargaining chip to try to incentivise developers to do things. The planning powers are politically vested in councillors, who should be responsible for deciding to delegate decision-making powers to staff. It sends a terrible message about the role of councillors in the planning system to use non-involvement as a carrot to developers!
* The Design Scorecard seems based on a similar flawed assumption to amendments to the state planning scheme VicSmart over dual occupancies. This amendment assumes Councils can come up with simple formulas for what you do and don’t want to call in. It makes no allowance for an unusual situation in which some unanticipated ground makes Council want to get involved in a matter that otherwise qualifies for the Scorecard.
* The rules have such an element of judgement about them that it subverts proper delegation (E.g. a council officer can decide something qualifies for the scorecard process due to an unspecified community benefit).

Rowley argues: “Requiring officers to assess applications faster, without public scrutiny (accountability to councillors), and with a vague set of assessment provisions, can reasonably be expected to result in worse outcomes.”

At their September meeting, councillors finally agreed to a number of conditions on developers’ use of the fast-track process, requiring applicants to undertake “an additional early pre-lodgement phase of consultation with surrounding properties and key stakeholders.”

This fails to address the core problem – that Council planners often seem reluctant to draw on community knowledge of their neighbourhoods, as an asset rather than a hindrance in the re-development of our suburbs. Given many developers are reluctant to put forward applications that enhance community amenity, this Scorecard is part of a broader problem. It leaves planning decisions to the planners, without proper engagement with the people who have to live with the consequences of a profit-driven, adversarial planning system.

** VCAT ruling on Pentridge tower
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Pace Development Co 10 Pty Ltd v Moreland CC [2020] (http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2020/905.html) VCAT 905 (26 August 2020)

VCAT approves permit application MPS/2018/972 granting approval for a major project on the land at 9S Wardens Walk, Coburg (on the south side of Pentridge Boulevard). The developers applied to build two towers grouped around a public and communal open space, ranging in in height from three levels up to fifteen or sixteen levels.

This decision approves revised plans, after VCAT issued an interim order last May, calling for a significant reduction in the height of Building B and a more graduated step down to the south, removing at least three storeys (9.6 metres) from the mid-level of the building.

** Council policy update
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** Consultation or engagement?
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In December 2018, Moreland Council adopted a policy on “Community Engagement and Public Participation in Moreland.” Now it’s being rewritten.

Changes to the state government ‘Local Government Act 2020’ require all councils to amend existing policy for Community Engagement to include new provisions. The Act defines the Community Engagement Policy as including “deliberative engagement practices which are capable of being applied to the local laws, the budget proposal, policy development and the development of the community vision, council plan, financial plan and asset plan.”

Moreland Council must develop a new, updated community engagement policy – in consultation with the community (Section 55 of the Act) – by March 2021. As always, it’s taken some time to actually engage the community in discussing the engagement policy! However work is well underway, and staff are preparing a new draft of the Community Engagement Policy by November. Then there will be a brief “community consultation.”

To meet state government deadlines, the new draft policy must be adopted at the December Council meeting (if we might comment to state and local government: holding a community consultation in a rush – in the middle of a pandemic – may not be the best way to engage with the community on a community engagement policy!).
* Moreland Council: Let’s talk about public participation!
https://conversations.moreland.vic.gov.au/publicparticipation

** Improving Council communications
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Council finally has a regular e-news: the My Moreland e-newsletter. You can subscribe (https://confirmsubscription.com/h/t/d9507de1def7a441) to receive news on Council projects, events and initiatives happening in your local area.

Council is also planning to upgrade its website and make it more user-friendly. A user survey was briefly available online, but truncated when the Council entered the pre-election caretaker period. Although Council staff are not permitted to seek your opinions for the next few weeks, there is no reason you shouldn’t tell them what you think. We suggest you write to the Council to tell them what you regularly look for on their website, and how it can be improved. Email kcook@moreland.vic.gov.au. (mailto:kcook@moreland.vic.gov.au) Hopefully we will soon be able to quickly find out whether it’s green bin night!

** Rates relief
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Moreland Council has extended the date for the first payment installment of council rates until 9 October, after a delay in issuing 2020-21 rates notices. After an increase in the rates in this year’s budget, Council has extended its system to request a rates deferral until June 2021 or a part-payment arrangement. If you are a pensioner you will automatically receive a $50 rates waiver in 2020-21. If you are a Health Care Card holder you can apply for this discount.
* Late rates payments and payment arrangements (https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-us/council-rates/rates-late-payments/)

With many people doing it tough during the pandemic, a key question is to promote greater transparency and efficiency on how Council spends your rates. BRN supports the principles advanced by colleagues south of the Yarra from Progressive Port Phillip:

“There is no question about who would financially benefit most from a reduction in rates. It would be the high-wealth people who own the most valuable properties. The rest would pay with a reduction of services. Would that be fair? …. Further rate relief should be provided for people doing it tough. This is far preferable to an across the board rate freeze, which would overwhelmingly benefit people who own the most expensive properties.”
* Progressive Port Phillip: “Rates reflect Ethics”, (https://www.progressiveportphillip.org/rates_reflect_ethics) 27 August 2020

** Pat on the back over governance
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Earlier this year, BRN made a submission to Council (https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com/other-resources/) regarding the new Governance Rules and Public Transparency Policy, which were adopted at the 12 August 2020 Council meeting.

We were pleased to see that councillors watered down some of the more outrageous attempts to limit community participation in monthly Council meetings (the draft proposed reducing the time allowed for residents to look at the agenda for the meeting, and required questions to councillors to be submitted in writing hours before the meeting). Thanks to Council staff who engaged in a Zoom discussion over how Council could be more open to community participation, and also to the Mayor, Lambros Tapinos, for writing us a very nice letter with a pat on the back for our input:

“Your comments, particularly those in relation to public question time and access to meeting agendas along with the availability of data, timeliness of transparency and the complexity and intent of the Public Transparency Policy helped form the final drafts of the Rules and policies that were presented to Council for consideration. They will also influence the implementation.”
* Read our submission on our webpage (https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com/other-resources/)

** People and places
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Shared Zone for Fleming Park

As we reported in our August newsletter, Moreland Council is proposing a trial shared zone to calm traffic alongside Fleming Park, an idea we first proposed for the 2013 Brunswick Integrated Transport Strategy (BITS). The park is the major piece of green, open space in the suburb, beloved of footballers, dog walkers, gym nuts and children of all ages.

A Shared Zone is a road or network of roads where the road space is shared safely by vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. The maximum speed limit is 10 km/h. A Shared Zone is designed – with paint, signage, traffic bumps or greenery – to show that pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles have equal rights to move through the area, with drivers giving way to pedestrians at all times. A shared zone near Fleming Park could help slow traffic, assist bike movement along the East Brunswick Shimmy, and reduce accident risk for children and the elderly accessing the park from nearby apartments (such as the nearby East Brunswick Village complex).

It’s great to see that Moreland Council are now progressing with initial design work. Council are looking at a shared zone at the intersection of Victoria Street and Elesbury Avenue, and along Albert Street from the John Street to Hutchinson Street intersections. BRN members, including residents living near the park, met by Zoom this month with Moreland Council traffic engineers and designers, to discuss creative designs that will now be prepared as a submission for consideration by the Department of Transport. Thanks to Council staff Gordon, Tri and Carla, as well as locals who have come up with great ideas to make this possible.

Brunswick Street, not Brunswick Road

Despite widespread community interest in a trial of protected bicycle lanes on Sydney Road, progress on this initiative has been stymied.

After a two year consultation with Moreland Council, community groups, cyclists and traders, the City of Moreland voted to support a trial on a section of Sydney Road. Despite this, the State Government has deferred any trial until after the Level Crossing Removal project on the Upfield Line has been completed. The Sydney Road Traders Association remains opposed to the loss of parking, resolutely refusing to engage with evidence about the potential for improved business from cyclists and pedestrians.

Given the potential for increased traffic congestion in coming months (as people shift to cars rather than pack into public transport), other neighbourhoods are picking up the idea. Streets Alive Yarra has developed plans for the re-design of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

They say: “Brunswick Street offers a unique opportunity to leverage the great work of the City of Moreland and VicRoads/DoT regarding Sydney Road. The extensive work completed to date deserves a trial on a tram-based shopping street, somewhere in Melbourne. This means that we in the City of Yarra have an opportunity to offer Brunswick Street as a location for a trial, with funding sourced from the DoT and TAC.”
* Check out the Streets Alive Yarra proposal for Brunswick Street (https://streets-alive-yarra.org/brunswick-street/)

Or this online polemic about Melbourne streets from Mikael Colville-Andersen – a Canadian-Danish urban designer and urban mobility expert, who established the Copenhagenize Design Company.
* 5 Minute Urbanism – Melbourne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ_urYOBNcs&feature=youtu.be) – with Mikael from The Life-Sized City

Fleming Park grandstand

Moreland Council has begun construction of a new grandstand in Fleming Park, East Brunswick, with work expected to be completed over the next 3 to 4 months. The oval footpath adjacent to the Grandstand will be closed for public safety during construction hours. Park users are advised to check the construction signage on site regarding the hours whilst using the park.
* New grandstand design (https://s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/hdp.au.prod.app.more-conversations.files/9315/8267/6087/Fleming_Park_Grandstand_-_Final_Design.pdf)

Covid underlines need for more green spaces

A European study (https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/fee.2230) confirms what we have been observing in Brunswick is a world-wide trend – that more people are flocking to parks under Covid – and concludes that the crisis “underscores the importance of preserving and further developing urban green infrastructure”.

** Culture Corner
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**
Colouring fun for kids big and small
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Moreland Council artist-in-residence Carla Gottgens has created a delightful project involving colouring and cutting and joining animal parts. You can print the My Creature project (https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/globalassets/areas/arts-festivalslib-4055/arts-moreland-mycreaturemyway-flyer.pdf) and enjoy hours of fun on the kitchen table. Then take a picture and send your work to CGottgens@moreland.vic.gov.au (mailto:cgottgens@moreland.vic.gov.au) !

** Books to your door
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Moreland libraries are now able to deliver books to your home. You can find out more or sign up (https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/libraries/covid-19-temporaryclosure/Books-to-your-door/) for this service. You need to have a Moreland library card (or apply for one online). The library drops off the books, and you return them post-lockdown.

** Live music venues get help
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The State government has announced a new policy to protect live music venues during the pandemic and beyond.

Announcing a $13 million package for the sector, Victorian Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: “Proposed new permanent planning controls will allow councils across the state to identify significant live music precincts and consider the social, economic and cultural importance of live music venues as they make decisions on local planning permits. This will mean that when a site that is home to a live music venue is slated for redevelopment, councils will have strengthened power to protect the music venue as part of any new proposal.”

Brunswick has a proud tradition of being a creative and artistic hub. Some years ago, the Australasian Performing Right Association declared our suburb is the song-writing capital of Australia!
* Read the Australasian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA) and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited (AMCOS): Postcode report (http://www.apraamcos.com.au/media/corporate/postcode-rankings-whitepaper.pdf)

So which live music precincts and venues in Brunswick deserve support? Please send us your thoughts at brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com (mailto:brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com)

** Moreland Council stuff
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All Council meetings – held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month – are normally held at: Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg. 2020 regular meeting
dates are:
* Wednesday 14 October 2020 (during the “caretaker” period before the 24 October council elections, which limits decisions that can be made)
* Wednesday 9 December 2020

Meeting details are posted at the Council website (http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-council/council-and-committee-meetings.html) .

Council meetings can be watched online, either live, or later – you can find details here (https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-us/your-council/council-and-committee-meetings/council-meetings/nextcouncilmeetingagenda/) along with the agenda for the next Council meeting when it’s posted on the Friday before the monthly meeting.

There is no public question time because of COVID-19 rules, but you can submit a written question through a link on the website page above.

** Email us!
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Please note our email address: brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com (mailto:brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com) . And write to tell us what you think of the newsletter. We love feedback.

If you are able to offer some time to volunteer to help organise our campaigns, and support our work, please get in contact. Our work includes organising meetings, leafleting and letter boxing, graphic design and publicity, and research; on planning, greening Brunswick and traffic management.
* Contact us on: brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com (mailto:brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com)

[Wondering why this email comes to you from nfip@optusnet.com.au? Our Mailchimp email service doesn’t like a gmail sender’s address, so we use a member’s address. Add this address your contacts so our emails don’t get filed as spam, but don’t write to it)

** MAILING LIST AND FURTHER INFORMATION
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Welcome to new readers! To contact organisers of the Brunswick Residents’ Network, or to offer help with future activities, please email brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com (mailto:brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com) . (This gmail is our preferred address, rather than replying to this email).

Please forward this e-letter to other Moreland neighbours who’d like a say in the way their community is changing. It’s easy to sign on, or edit your details to include your interests – just go to http://eepurl.com/VX4a9.

For meeting details, survey and newsletter archives, go to: https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com

Check out our Facebook page for a range of lively discussions: Brunswick Residents Network (https://www.facebook.com/Brunswick.Residents.Network) . Help us reach more people by liking our page, commenting, forwarding this newsletter, and tweeting it using the links below.

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2 comments

  1. Is the webinar recording for the South Ward council elections available anywhere? I’d be interested in seeing it.

    1. Yes, it will still be on our Facebook from the livestream, and/or if you email us at brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com we’ll send you the link and password for the Zoom recording – which we actually should download and post to Youtube as a permanent record!

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