This month's e-news includes:  Our 10 May forum on trees and open space in Brunswick. A new playground, new meeting rooms, plus meetings, festivals and a bike safety survey.
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Brunswick Residents Network News, April 2016

Brunswick Residents 10 May forum


"Trees, parks and greenery – open space in Brunswick"

The next community forum organised by Brunswick Residents Network will be “Trees and parks” – a discussion of green open space in Brunswick.
Moreland ranks 26 out of 29 Melbourne Councils, for the amount of open space! We don’t have much open space or parkland, especially in Brunswick and Brunswick East.
Moreland Council’s Municipal Strategic Statement forecast the municipality’s population is to increase by 31,000 persons (12,000-15,000 dwellings) over three decades. Brunswick is one of three centres identified in local policy to accommodate significant housing density. Together with housing, however, the growing population requires better and more social infrastructure.
What can we do to create green, open space in Brunswick? Pocket parks, rooftop gardens, better tree canopy, urban forests, upgrading facilities at Fleming Park and the Merri Creek?  Bring along your ideas for action
Speakers will include Alex English (Open Space planner for Moreland Council), Friends of Edward Street and Communities for Nature.
WHAT: Community forum on "Trees, parks and greenery - open space in Brunswick"
WHERE: St. Ambrose Community Centre (287 Sydney Road, just north of Dawson Street)
WHEN: Tuesday 10 May, 6.30pm to 8pm
INFO:  Brunswick Residents Network Facebook  for any final details, or 0421 840 100
ENTICEMENTS: All welcome! Tea and biscuits served.

Pictured above is one of Moreland's approved street trees - Eucalyptus Leucoxylon "Rosea".

Changes to Council election rules

Council elections will held this year on Saturday 22 October, and the State Government has proposed changes to the Local Government regulations “to ensure the elections are fair and inclusive”. The proposed changes include:
  • Candidates’ indication of preferences to be no longer included in postal ballot packs sent to voters at postal elections.
  • Increase candidate statements sent in postal ballot packs, from 150 words to 200 words
  • Allow votes cast by post at both postal and attendance elections to be received up to nine days following election day
You can find out more on this government website. Submissions on the proposed changes close 5.00pm, Friday 6 May 2016 and can be sent to:

Bikes and prangs

Melbourne is still striving to become a world-class cycling city. Is our fear of riding holding us back or is it genuinely unsafe on the roads? A lack of safety is the major barrier to people getting on their bikes. How safe, or unsafe, it feels to ride a bicycle has an impact on people’s willingness to ride. Here are two places where you can record accidents, or highlight road conditions that create hazards for cyclists, as well as activities to practice safe cycling:
BikeSpot: do it now please!
BikeSpot's  CrowdSpot map, mentioned in our last newsletter,  is running until 30 April 2016. You can ‘Add a Spot’ on the website at locations where you feel 'safe' or 'unsafe' riding a bicycle. There are already over 2000 spots entered on the map, with  2,800 'supports' and more than 1,700 comments - a whopping 6,500+ submissions
Feel free to add multiple spots or comment and 'support' others. The data collected will help understand the perception of riding risk and inform future bicycle planning decisions. It's supported by Moreland Council
Moreland crash stats
As not all vehicle crashes are recorded, Moreland City Council has also developed a crash reporting system that allows us to gather more information on crash and accident hot spots in Moreland. Through this system, residents are able to report property damage crashes, which are minor crashes not recorded by Victoria Police, and provide details like date of the crash and weather conditions. We hear that that lots of cars are damaged by drivers speeding through narrow streets: help the Council build a record of these crashes here:
Bikes-on-buses trial

You can now your bike on the Moreland Rd bus! We are part of a trial – you can now carry your bike with you on a bus bike rack, on route 510 – Essendon to Ivanhoe.

It's also being trialled on the Munro/ Harding St bus in Coburg; near Bendigo; and on the Cowes to Wonthaggi service. There's room for two bikes per bus.
Merri Creek Bridge study happens

The community campaign for a pedestrian and bike bridge over the Merri creek has reached another stage with the two Councils, Moreland and Darebin, funding a study by engineers Pitt and Sherry.

BRN was one of the groups invited to a productive community consultation meeting on 22 March along with local Bicycle User Groups, Brunswick East Primary school parents (from across the creek, who kicked off this campaign) and Ceres.

A bridge will be expensive. It would need to be high – above the 1 in 100 year flood level – be disability compliant, and also long enough to span the wide gap across the creek between Beavers Road and Kingfisher Gardens.

Bridge supporters need to persuade both Councils:
  • to find the funding
  • to build the bridge now, rather than in the longer term
  • that it would be used
  • that improving the Arthurton Rd bridge won't be enough
They're especially interested in hearing about any collisions, near misses or safety incidents on the bridges at Arthurton or Moreland Roads.

If you'd like to help:
Lighting the Upfield path
As part of improvements to the Upfield shared path, Moreland Council will spend $100,000 this financial year on more lighting along the path. Check out the Council video for the lighting near Hope Street.

Fawkner Cemetery Discovery Tour
It’s a bit up the road from Brunswick, but what better way to spend your Sunday than touring a cemetery with other cyclists.  Organised by the Squeaky Wheel, beginner riders, families and hipsters can all join the Fawkner Cemetery Discovery Tours. There will be three tours at 11:15, 12:30 and 1:45pm and each tour runs for one hour. The weather forecast's looking perfect. Tours are FREE but you must book!
WHAT: Fawkner Cemetery Discovery Tours
WHEN: Sunday April 24, 2016, 11:15, 12:30 and 1:45pm
WHERE: Mortuary Train Carriage - Fawkner Memorial Gardens, 1187 Sydney Road, Hadfield
BOOKINGS: Squeaky Wheel

VCAT: key decisions

Just one, this month:
CBD Developments Pty Ltd v Moreland CC [2016] VCAT 325 (2 March 2016)
VCAT overrules Moreland Council, to approve construction of an 8 storey building between Sydney Road and Albert Street, allowing partial demolition, alterations and additions to a building with a Heritage Overlay, construction of an 8-storey building comprising dwellings and retail, reduction of the standard provision of car parking and waiver of loading bay requirements.

New community facilities for Brunswick

Kirkdale Park beautified

The new bit is called the "Kirkdale Park Nature Play Space", it's open now, and was full of happy kids and parents when we went past late on Tuesday afternoon.

The old playground has been replaced with new equipment, and there's even a little hill with a cubby-house to play in.

WHERE: On the Merri Creek, East Brunswick – enter from Albert, Kirkdale or Victoria Streets or via the creek path.

Saxon Street opening
A new community facility “Siteworks on Saxon Street” is opening next month, just behind the Brunswick Library
The Saxon Street precinct includes a 19th century residential home and stable, and a school building constructed in the 1960s.  From May 1, people will be able to access facilities such as a Common Room, five workrooms (housed within classroom facilities which can accommodate either large or small groups) or the grounds around the centre which can be used for meetings or events.
The official launch of the Siteworks facility will be on Sunday 1 May, with welcome to country, music, and a tour of the facilities.
WHAT Launch of Community Centre
WHEN: Sunday 1 May, 1pm, speeches at 2pm
WHERE: 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick (behind the Library).

Community meetings and festivals

Forum:  Does ‘good development’ really exist?
Three Moreland councillors from across our municipality are organising a public forum next Thursday, 28 April, to discuss “Does ‘good development’ really exist?”
Samantha Ratnam (Mayor and south ward Councillor), Lenka Thompson (Portfolio Councillor for sustainable transport and north east ward  Councillor) and Helen Davidson (north west ward Councillor and Chair of Council’s Urban Planning Committee).
The meeting will start at 7pm with presentations, followed by a panel discussion and open forum.
WHAT:  Public forum on development
WHEN: Thursday 28th April, 7pm-9pm
WHERE: Brunswick Town Hall, 233 Sydney Rd

Anstey Village Festival

Join in the Anstey Village Festival – a family day with music, art and culture from around the world. Taste Lebanese sweets and drink Serbet, experience the art of henna and join in the Dabke with The Jafra Dabke Group who embrace the Palestinian dance culture.
Get crafty with Crafternoon Cafe and the Multicultural Women's Sewing Group, create your own comic zine with local artists from Squishface Studios, make some art with the White Rabbit Collective and meet Brunswick’s own Scarf and hijab Stylist The Haya Atelier.
Performances by Afghani pop musician Reza Fazeli, Brunswick’s own Greek performance troupe Pontiaki Estia and the O’Ziriguidum Samba School, ensemble Sultan inspired by music of the Turks, Balkans and Middle East and the local gospel FFM Global choir presenting ‘African praise’.
WHAT: Anstey Village Festival
WHEN: Saturday 23 April, 11am – 5pm
WHERE: 688 Sydney Road Brunswick (car park just south of Albion Street)
Women and the vote against conscription
The Brunswick / Coburg Anti Conscription Commemoration Campaign is organising a range of historical and cultural activities to commemorate the Centenary of the 1916-17 anti-conscription referendum.
On Tuesday 2 May, historian Dr Judith Smart will speak on women's activism during WW1.
Judith will talk about food riots, anti-conscription campaigning, and the 1917 workers' commune in what's now Storey Hall (in Swanston St); and leaders including Vida Goldstein and Adela Pankhurst.
For more information about the 1916-17 referenda, see Michael Hamel-Green: “When Australia voted no to war: the 1916-17 conscription referenda”, in the latest Green Left Weekly, 15 April 2016

WHAT: Opposing war: Women's protest in WW1 - public lecture
WHEN: Tuesday 3 May, 6.30pm
WHERE: St. Ambrose Community Centre (287 Sydney Road, just north of Dawson Street)
WEBSITE: See the Facebook Page and Event
E-NEWS: Sign on at

Next Moreland Council meetings

All Council meetings - held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month- and Urban Planning Committee meetings - held on the 4th Wednesday of each month - are now held at: Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street*, Coburg. Council meetings  are on:
  • Tuesday 26 April at 6pm (Consider Proposed Budget)*
  • Wednesday 11 May at 7 pm
  • Monday 23 May 2016 at 6 pm (adopt the Councillor Code of Conduct)*
  • Monday 6 June (Consider Budget Submissions)*
  • Wednesday 8 June at 7 pm
  • Monday 20 June at 6 pm (Budget Adoption)*
Check for all meeting details at the Council website. Council meetings can now be watched online, either live, or later - you can find details here along with the agenda for this week's Council meeting. However the special meetings (*asterisked) won't be videoed.
  • Hint: If you go to an evening meeting at 90 Bell Street and find the doors locked, you can probably get in through the back door via Urquhart Street.


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