In this month's e-news: Legal challenge to East-West Link; Uncertainty over residential zones; New traffic action in Brunswick; Feature: Community safety initiatives
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Brunswick Residents Network newsletter,
July 2014

Legal challenge to East West LinkE-W-demo-kids

Moreland Councillors have decided to seek judicial review of the Minister for Planning’s decision to approve the initial phase of the East West Tunnel project. The case before the Supreme Court is supported by neighbouring Yarra Council, which voted unanimously to support the legal challenge.
At the June 2014 Council meeting, Councillor Sue Bolton moved a resolution calling on the “Chief Executive Officer to seek independent legal advice about options Council may have to challenge the determination given the impact of the East West Link on open space and residents in the City of Moreland.”
The legal advice suggested that Council would have grounds for action, and at a special Council meeting held on Friday 18 July, Councillors voted 6-2 in favour of launching legal action, at an estimated cost between $100,000 and $340,000.
The legal challenge follows the 30 June report by an Assessment Committee on the East West Link Comprehensive Impact Statement. Planning Minister Matthew Guy subsequently rejected many of the Committee’s findings and issued a decision to approve the East West Link subject to conditions. The Napthine government has approved a new interchange between the East West Link and Flemington Road, and flyovers connecting the East West Link to CityLink at Ross Straw Field which will require a net loss of parkland in Royal Park.

Uncertainty over new residential zones

For more than a year, residents have been awaiting a decision on the establishment of new residential zones covering the whole of the municipality.
Earlier this year, Moreland Council agreed to participate in a so-called “fast track process” established by state Planning Minister Matthew Guy, allowing for the preparation of a municipality-wide map of new zones, consultation with a standing advisory committee and then ministerial decision.
Council joined this process and presented to the panel in late May 2014. The panel presented its report to the Minister but as we go to print a final decision has not been released. The 1 July 2014 deadline for the introduction of the new zones has now passed and as a result all affected properties have moved to the general residential zone, rather than the three diverse zones (Neighbourhood Residential Zone, General Residential Zone and Residential Growth Zone).
Further development may occur along the Upfield railway line because the State government’s “Plan Melbourne” designates Jewell Station and the Brunswick to Batman corridor as ‘urban renewal’ areas
The final Plan Melbourne was released by the State Government in May 2014 and incorporated into the Victoria Planning Provisions as part of the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) on 30 May 2014. It therefore has effect in the Moreland planning scheme.
Plan Melbourne’s urban renewal areas are supposed to accommodate a significant amount of population and housing growth, so this will add land alongside the Upfield railway line to the major north-south traffic corridors currently facing significant housing densification. Plan Melbourne gives no detail of the extent of population to be based in these areas or the boundary for these urban renewal areas, but Brunswick residents should continue to monitor the way that Railtrack and Victorian Railways land may be privatised for the benefit of developers.
Council are in discussion with the Metropolitan Planning Authority about the implications of how Plan Melbourne may override the still ongoing C134 planning scheme amendment (this amendment is supposed to introduce the Brunswick structure plan into the Moreland planning scheme, but the long delay in passing the amendment has been overtaken by the state government’s new planning zones - and with an election due in November, it could all be transformed again if there is a change of government!).

Traffic and bike newsNash street bike treatment

Better traffic management in Brunswick
Since the adoption last year of the Brunswick Integrated Transport Strategy (BITS), Brunswick Residents Network representatives have been invited to meet quarterly with Moreland Council traffic and engineering staff to discuss implementation of traffic management around the suburb.
Council has already begun to implement a number of initiatives, including the introduction of 40 kph limits in residential streets between Blyth Street and Stewart Street. The 40kp limits will be extended to West Brunswick near Union and Wyuna streets in the next few months, and Council is currently investigating the requirements for rollout south of Glenlyon Road to Brunswick Road, which may be implemented over the next 12 months. New bicycle lanes - which were a high priority item in our recent residents' survey - have been welcomed in Nash Street (pictured) where locals hope they may help slow rat-runners.
Over the next two months, there will be some calming measures introduced to Victoria Street, with speed humps, signage and road marking, and landscaping works already started near the Lygon Street corner. Similar measures planned for Albert Street are delayed because of building sites including three multi-story towers being constructed at the corner of Lygon and Albert streets (see our Fleming Park story below).
Council is planning to conduct some fresh traffic volume and speed counts to compare with their last surveys in 2011 (please contract BRN as soon as possible if you know of streets with volume and speed increases that need documenting).
Council initiative: Documenting all accidents
Following the Council resolution introduced by Councillor Sam Ratnam, Council is also developing a new system of incident and accident reporting, which will be implemented in about 2-3 months, to record incidents not required to be reported to police. (Our survey earlier this year showed accident numbers far exceed those reported).
Bike rules survey: closes Sunday
The Victorian Government is asking your opinion through an online survey on bike rules and laws. It’s quite long (20-30 minutes, but you can save it and come back later. It needs to be done by Sunday. Would you like to see some laws changed? They want responses from all road users, including drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians, as well as from bike riders.
Forum on cycling in Brunswick/Moreland
The Greens’ next monthly Politics in the Pub will tackle cycling. Speakers from MorelandBUG and Bicycle Network join Moreland Greens Councillor Samantha Ratnam, member Tim Read. Includes discussion time.
WHERE: The Alehouse, 100 Lygon St, Brunswick East
WHEN: Tuesday 5 August at 7.30 pm
BUG regular bike events
The Moreland BUG (Bicycle Users Group) meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. It also organises fortnightly rides at a leisurely pace, on alternate Wednesdays, with the next one on 6 August.
JOIN THE BUG E-LIST: You can view or join at!forum/MorelandBUG

Better parks for Brunswick

Fleming Park landscaping

If you’ve wandered along Albert Street recently you will have noticed a lot of activity. Construction has begun on three major development projects: the old Sires factory, the East Brunswick Hotel, and the factory on the corner of Albert and Lygon streets. Opposite the factory, the Pedders site has also been approved for demolition.
Walking east along Albert Street, Council has begun some work on landscaping in Fleming Park, including repairs to the fence along the southern boundary, and the removal of the old fence to the nursery site. After extensive consultation with friends of Fleming Park and local residents, Council has resolved to retain the Fleming Park Grandstand in its current form, but to demolish the surround pavilion – demolition will begin soon.
Wilson Avenue to Jewell Station: a new park on the way
On 7 July, Moreland Councillors voted to close the intersection of Sydney Road and Wilson Avenue in Brunswick and create a new public space along Wilson Avenue towards Jewell station.
In February and March 2014, Council closed a section of Wilson Avenue to vehicles and opened it to people. After the trial, 356, overwhelmingly positive, submissions were received about the “pop-up park”.
Construction of the new open space will begin in January. Council is seeking VicRoads approval for a new pedestrian crossing on Sydney Road between Wilson Avenue and Barkly Street. The area will be within the range of CCTV cameras to be installed over the next year.


Community Safety Initiatives

In response to resident and community concerns about lighting and safety in Sydney Road, Moreland Council has approved a number of initiatives in Sydney Road and neighbouring streets. At its July meeting, Council reallocated $245,000 from the roads budget to be spent on lighting projects in Brunswick, including increased use of brighter LED lighting.
Council has also confirmed the locations of four illuminated taxi ranks along Sydney Road. The ranks will operate from 10pm-7am on Friday and Saturday nights at:
• 412 - 420 Sydney Road Brunswick
• 165 - 173 Sydney Road Brunswick
• 108 - 132 Sydney Road Brunswick
•  Brunswick Road (north side) immediately west of Sydney Road.
At a workshop in February 2014 the Community Safety Leadership Group resolved that family violence is a priority community safety issue in Moreland and that Council’s investment should focus on primary prevention programs. Last month, after a tender process, Council issued a Special Community Safety Grant to the ‘Active Fathers’ project proposed by Kildonan Uniting Care and Merri Community Health Service.
Victoria Police have also announced that protective service officers (PSOs) will operate from late August at Moreland and Jewell stations, from 6pm to last train, with other stations to follow.
Perceptions of security and community safety were heightened following the murder of Jill Meagher, but the response needs to be directed by evidence as well as emotion.
Data from the Moreland’s Community Indicators Survey shows crime against the person in Victoria for 2012/13 was 1026.7 per 100,000 population In comparison with Victoria’s rate, Moreland’s crime rate at 892.6 per 100,000 was 13.1 per cent lower than the State’s. In comparison with Victoria’s rate of family incidence violence, Moreland’s rate was 13 per cent lower than the State’s. In contrast, Moreland has very high rates of petty theft and burglary, especially theft from cars (with police reporting that 25 percent of people don’t lock their vehicles!)
Reporting on violence in the home and community has increased significantly over five years: not only has a culture shift to less tolerance of family violence taken place but also increased advertising and media attention has raised people’s awareness of the signs of violence. The establishment of a family violence officer within the Moreland area has also had an effect on reporting and the way in which family violence cases are handled.
In the Moreland Community Indicators Survey 2012, 91 percent of those surveyed agreed “Your area is a safe place to live during the day” but this figure dropped to 77 percent at night. The effect of being able to use a car affected perceptions of safety. Of households that had no car, 27 per cent disagreed that their area was safe during the day (compared with 4-6 percent disagreement from households that had at least one car).
There was also an effect of ancestry: 21 per cent of those with Asian ancestry and 16 per cent of those with African/Middle Eastern ancestry did not agree that it was safe during the day (which compares with 3-5 percent of other ancestry groups). Disability was also found to have an effect on the perception that it was safe at night: 41 per cent of those with a disability did not agree that it was safe at night compared with 18 percent of those who did not have a disability.
  • Get a copy of the latest community survey
  • Later this year, Brunswick Residents Network will organise a community meeting to discuss resident involvement in community safety - details to follow in future newsletters.

More events and stuff

Book junkies get the shakes
Last year, we reported that the renovation of the Brunswick Library was running behind schedule and way over budget. Council promised earlier this year that the library would be opened by July. Library staff now say that the move to the new library will definitely be completed by the end of August. We look forward to the time when Brunswick’s hard-working librarians will have room to stretch.

New space for community use
With community space hard to find in Brunswick, there may soon be an opportunity to use the building at 33 Saxon Street, behind the Brunswick Baths. Council will soon release an expression of interest document for organisations to undertake community and/or other uses at 33 Saxon Street. For further information, contact Brunswick Place Manager Will Coogan on 9240 2221.
Brunswick students organise human rights forum
Students from Brunswick Secondary College are organising “A Question of Rights”, a community forum on human rights and are inviting parents, students and the broader community to attend.  This is an opportunity to examine Australia’s past and current approaches to human rights in relation to asylum seekers and refugees and to consider ways that the human rights of these people can be better protected in the future.
Key note speakers include: Tri Nguyen (Brunswick Baptist Church pastor and former asylum seeker), Julian Burnside QC (Human Rights lawyer and asylum seeker advocate ) and Gabriella Bornstein (Asylum Seeker Resource Centre).
For tickets and further information email
WHAT: Brunswick Secondary College human rights forum
WHEN: Wednesday 6th August, 7 - 9 pm
WHERE: Brunswick Secondary College Auditorium, Dawson Street, Brunswick
Empowering Moreland
On Thursday 7 August, Climate Action Moreland is organising “Empowering Moreland”, a Community Climate Action Forum.
Local communities are leading the way in showing government how to take meaningful steps to address climate change. Over 1.2 million households across Australia have installed solar PV, many more have installed solar hot water systems, or found ways to implement energy efficiency. The forum will discuss ways to continue community organising on energy and climate responses.
WHEN: Thursday 7 August, 7 pm
WHERE: Coburg Concert Hall at the Coburg Town Hall, 90 Bell St, Coburg
RSVP: Join the event page on Facebook to give an idea of numbers attending

Coming Council meetings:

Full Council meeting
Wednesday 13 August 2014 - 7 pm
Senior Citizens Centre, 11 Cromwell Street, Glenroy
Urban Planning Committee
Wednesday 27 August 2014 - 6.30 pm
Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street*, Coburg
Full Council meeting
Wednesday 10 September 2014 - 7 pm
Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre, Jukes Road, Fawkner
Special Council meeting
Monday 22 September 2014 - 6 pm
Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street*, Coburg
Full Council meeting
Wednesday 8 October 2014 - 7 pm
Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street*, Coburg
Special Council meeting
Monday 27 October 2014 - 7 pm
Coburg Town Hall, 90 Bell Street*, Coburg
Check latest times and location at the council website:

(* Hint: If you go to an evening meeting at 90 Bell Street and find the doors locked, rather than getting annoyed and going home you can probably get in through the back door via Urquhart Street.)
Factoid of the month
A Melbourne City Council study has estimated 55 per cent of the city’s tallest apartment buildings over 15 storeys are of “poor” quality, with common design flaws such as cramped layouts and a lack of natural light. Meanwhile, windowless bedrooms exist in almost a quarter of new residential developments studied.
Source: The Age


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