Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Council votes to allow car access to small area of Travancore park
Another sad day for open space in Travancore at Council this evening. Our Council policy not to grant access to vehicular traffic on parkland was ignored by all but two Councillors (myself and Cr Chantry). Council resolved to give access to a property owner in Mooltan St to drive over parkland to access the rear of his property where he has built a gate without a planning permit. Other councillors said it was merely moving a rail and posts. I see it as moving a commitment to protect open space into a shredder. Vale another patch of Travancore parkland.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Events coming up:
Fundraiser this Friday 29th Oct - 6:30pm at the Moonee Ponds Bowls Club. $50/$35 conc. Adam Bandt, Colleen Hartland, local artisits, Come along! RSVP to

Planning Debate: Nov 6th 2pm Ukrainin Hall, Essendon - All Essendon candidates invited

Early voting: starts Nov 15th

It's been busy! Visit us at our office at 728 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds. Office open daily.

Monday, October 11, 2010

France's planning rules - sound pretty straightforward
3.1.2. Planning Rules
This part of the plan will set out the general planning rules that will apply within each development area. In particular, it will set out rules on change of use, permitted height of buildings, building arrangement, any architectural requirements, and public utility services and requirements.
It will also set out the maximum permitted density of development on a site for new and existing buildings. These rules are called the coefficient d’occupation des sols (COS).Using these rules it is possible to calculate the density of permitted development on a particular site, e.g. on a 800m² site a COS of 0,25 allows construction of 200m² of net surface area, called surface hors oeuvre nette (SHON).
If the property is located on a lotissement (housing development) then, in addition to the general planning rules, there are specific rules that apply to the lotissement, which are set out in a cahier de charges.
If you are considering buying such a property then it is important you read and understand these rules as they govern the management of the whole development.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A script for changing the climate
Interviewer: So Mr Bumby, you have taken great action on climate change. Is that right?
Mr Bumby: Oh yes - without a doubt. Victoria is leading the way, not only in per capita emissions, but also in action. We are still on the move - moving forward and we are the place to be.
Interviewer: What have you done?
Mr Bumby: We have created jobs.
Interviewer: Anything else?
Mr Bumby: Yes - we have drought proofed the state. With our big desal swamp, it never needs to rain again. In fact, we don't want it to rain again.
Interviewer: But it uses lots of power doesn't it? Is that a problem for you?
Mr Bumby: We have taken care of that - we have renewed the power at Hazlewood. All that energy was renewable and we renewed it.
Interviewer: What about other renewable energy - like solar power?
Mr Bumby: Well, it might not rain again - and it might never be sunny again. It's climate change after all.
Interviewer: And transport - what about peak oil and carbon from cars?
Mr Bumby: We have absolutely looked after that - cars will never stop again as they go around on all the links we have linked - from Westlink to Eastlink and all the links we will link them with. Moving forward all the way will mean fewer emissions. No stopping. No stopping us at all.
Interviewer: Thank you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Council meeting tonight -
High lights and low lights: investigation into supersonic jet plan at Essendon airport; successful Notice of Motion to engage community in budget discussions and ten year capital works plan; dealt with two dreadful planning applications that contrvened at least ten ResCode standards (we need clear rules!! - shouldn't be looking at an application in a residential street for 75% site covergae when the standard is 60%); and finally supporting e-waste collection eighteen months after my notice of motion on the issue was lost. Lowlight - again being interrupted by the Mayor and told that what I was saying was wrong...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A busy week!
An exciting week as our first Greens federal member of the House of Reps, Adam Bandt, gave his first (of many!) stiring speeches.
Locally, things have been very busy. We have been looking at a new policy for street art after Jane-Louise was told to remove her beautiful mural.
We are looking for a venue for a Toy Library. We are trying to finalise where we go with heritage overlays in Flemington, Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds and Essendon. We are dealing with car parking adn the open space contribution - and a new CEO has been appointed at Moonee Valley City Council.
On Monday, I will have some exciting annoucements about the Essendon campaign. Stay tuned. And enjoy the second Grand Final.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oromo Women and 1 Ascot Vale Rd
Today I was asked to speak at the Graduation ceremony for Oromo women who had completed a leadership course. Wingate Community Centre was its usual hub of activity, aromatic cooking, children playing and young people hanging around in their hoodies. I based my short speech to the women on Nancy Reagan's (of all people!) quote: "Women are like a tea bag: you never know how strong they are until you put them in boiling water." We talked about the boiling water that they might have been in or might find themsleves in as they start to run their own incorporated association - conflict within the group, competing commitments, badly run meetings... starting to sound a bit like Council!
Earlier in the week, I sat at VCAT listening to residents defend their neighbourhood against CBD infiltration - 20 storey proposal at 1 Ascot Vale Rd. I look forward to the time when both new and older arrivals to Australia can plan their neighbourhood together at well run meetings and have VCAT respect their vision.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

EID Festival
Eid festival at Debneys Park. Building a bigger crowd each year - but all wrong when speeches begin. next year, no specches - just dancing and serving good food and celebrating.
All the while, the residents of the housing estate invited for the party are struggling with windows that don't open or close, cockroaches, washing machins that break and mould growing where the rain falls inside.
No-one asked them if they wanted a new swipe card systme or an intercom installed. They would prefer maintenance that comes when they call and an Office of Housing office on site.
Instead -sausages and bad long speeches were on offer instead.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Solar bulk buy at Moonee Valley
I wish Julia Gillard had been at Moonee Valley last night. She could have had a Climate Change conversation with the 200 people who turned up to hear about how they could be part of a bulk purchase of solar panels. We didn't have enough chairs. People had to strain to hear and see what was on offer. People want to do their bit to use something other than dirty, brown coal. If a local government can do something about that, surely a federal government can do something more.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Public Transport Quiz - try it!
Following very good evening with Colleen Hartland talking public transport in Essendon, I invite you to take my quiz.
1. From Essendon to South Bank, which is quicker: Craigieburn train or 59 tram?
2. Major events and public transport: who is responsible for coordinating the two?
3. What is the percentage of old infrastructure that travels north and west compared to south and east?
4. Do you have to 'touch off' a Myki card on a tram?
5. Have new Clearways times improved tram travel?
6. Are new stations built with ramps, not stairs?
7. What is the average wait between trains in Melbourne?
8. How old is the Passenger Information technology in Melbourne?
9. Do five year olds have to pay for a ticket?
10. Is tram inaccessibility like apartheid?
For answers 1-9, send me your guesses. For 10, ask Greg.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To intervene or to not intervene...
I understand that asking the Planning Minister to intervene in a local issue might sound a little strange - but this is what I did on behalf of residents in Strathmore last night at Council. The background explains why.
In 2007, the Planning Minister intervened to put an Interim Heritgae Overlay over parts of Moonee Valley. Like all Interim HO, the idea was to protect homes while consultation took place on a Heritage Planning Amendment.
Following consultation, Council decided that Strathmore did not warrant Heritage protection. But the Minister would not agree to removing the Overlay until further information was provided. Council took its time providing further information, but has finally done so. for the third time, last night we asked the Planning Minister to please remove the Interim HO.
However, rather than the Interim HO being removed through a reversal of the Intervention process, Council has been asked to go through the Amendment process - a process that normally takes months. Even with an exemption from consultation, the timeline is usually longer than the 6-8 weeks we are hoping for.
We have received verbal assurances that the Interim HO will be removed - and I am confident that these have been made in good faith and that residents will finally have the Interim HO taken off their homes.
However, there are some important lessons from this: a) all Interim HOs need to have a sunset clause that operates to remove the IHO when a decision on the HO is made; b) Ministerial interventions to achieve a positive outcome for residents are considered politically risky; c) a Minister standing for election walks a difficult path between executive responsibility and political imperative - and therefore residents miss out.
Transitioning communities
On Monday night I enjoyed listening to the ways in which we can transform urban communities to be peak-oil resilient and part of a safe climate future. Love the way the transforming communities movement (transition towns etc) has adopted the phrase "Parties not protests". The central idea is to get people together to enjoy each other's company while transforming community behaviour: through skill sharing (getting together and learning how to cook again!); through swap meets; through fruit tree planting; through chook education sessions.
So many possibilities locally. And put 10/10/10 in your diary as a day of action. Look out for lcoal events to take us to a new and more sustainable way of living in a safe climate.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Heritage Overlays -
In 2007, Interim heritage controls were put over parts of Strathmore and Nth Essendon - without any notice given to residents. The Ministerial Direction approving this amendment stated: “The interim controls will be replaced once a decision is made on Amendment C66.”
In 2008, C66 was approved implementing HO over some 16 buildings, but not the Strathmore and Nth Essendon precincts. The Interim controls were not replaced, however, and Council was asked for more justification for removing C76.
For two years, no further reasons were put forward by Council. Instead we had frustrating committees, expensive reports and resident angst. Finally, giving up on Council, residents wrote their own (excellent) report and took it to the Minister.
On Tuesday, Council will (for the third time) ask the Minister to remove C76 - this time with some reasons.
Strangely, the recommendation is to request the authorisation of an Amendment to remove the Interim Controls. The reason for this lengthy process is unclear to me at this stage. The Interim controls should ahve been replaced when the C66 was introduced in 2008.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Clear planning rules required
Another Deputations meeting at Council tonight. This application is for 14 apartments on top of a cafe/bar on Mt Road. The main issues raised by objectors include: lack of car-parks for patrons of the bar; use of a laneway for car-park entrance; amenity issues arising from bar in the adjacent residential area; construction plan; garbage plan; loading zone.
ResCode applies to applications three storeys or less. But the rules are less clear for four storeys and above. ResCode proffers standards - but these can be varied. The guidelines for higher buildings are even more discretionary.
Residents tonight asked some simple questions: how many car parks should the development have given the dual use of dwellings and bar? Three possible answers were given.
No wonder tempers flared and people shook heads wearily. This development may or may not be appropraite for the site. Without clear planning rules, it is anyone's guess and probably VCAT's decision.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Helping Hands Mission
One of the nice parts of Council work is receiving invitations to community functions that might otherwise pass me by. Last night I attended a fundraising dinner for Helping Hands Mission. Run by Melanie, it is an emergency support organisation that hands out food parcels, clothes, toiletries to families and individuals in need. She runs a Mobile Op Shop and has taken goods to communtiies throughout Victoria helping farming families. She now wants to help local families and we are going to work together to set up Mobile Op Shops locally.
Working at the policy level is important, but when policy lags and lumbers along, people like Melanie just make good things happen to change lives of people in hard times.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An awkward encounter
Today, Wingate community centre in Ascot Vale launched its recycling program for public housing residents. Council staff have worked on beaut looking boxes for residents. The Wingate staff are working on community education and soon all residents will be able to do their own household recycling. All very rosey. Right?
Enter the state and federal elections to complicate the cheerful event. The retiring state MP brought along the new candidate for the area - he is the Minister for Re....spect after all. Respect for milk cartons and cat food cans and public housing residents and anything else beginning with 'R'.
That's all fine - not a big deal. Except that someone at Council was upset that Council was felt to be sidelined in the event. Wingate staff were already upset that political protocals and egos potentially upsetting the recycling bin before the day had begun.
I accepted an invitation to attend, was informed the Mayor was not attending and turned up with some stats on recycling in Moonee Valley up my sleeve.
All smiles. Photos snapping. Not sure whether to move right into the frame or left out of it: "Did you want me in or out of this shot?"
An unexpected response: No. Rose just wants to be in photos because she is standing in the state election. You'll get your chance later Rose.
"I am here filling in for the Mayor and didn't know if you wanted Council in the photo."
"You can be in 40 photos later" and some more about me wanting to be in photos for the election. It's hard to think of a punch line when ambushed in front of four cameras. Now feel sorry for all Chaser victims. I should have stood firm and said cheese. But I walked away.
Does this petty behaviour really happen? From sitting Victorian MPs? Lucky it wasn't from the Minister for Respect.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Politics and parties
Moonee Valley Council may not be perfect, but on election eve and again tonight I sat with a Socialist left Labor, two Labor right, an ex-Liberal independent and then me, a Green, and talked through council issues. We shared a drink and planned a few reforms for Council business; discussed local issues and wished each other well the next day. Anyone doubting the potential of multiparty decision making can take a look at how people talking together about ideas can reach balanced consensus. It's a good democracy we live in when our federal politicians need to talk outside their party. Having said that - we are not perfect!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Did I hear someone say 'indigenous rights'?
The sound is quite unfamiliar - haven't heard it much since we all said 'sorry'. Heard it today from The Greens candidate for NT - a big blackfella who shed a tear when he talked about the impact of intervention on indigenous communities in the NT.
Say it loud; say it clear - indigenous rights are about more than a word and a TV opportunity. The first Australians are out of sight and out of mind in this election. And for that, I am sorry.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Planning - enter the ring
Sometimes planning mediation meetings are a emotional affair - like the one tonight. Six units in a three storey complex with 75% site coverage (standard is 60%) and built to boundary at back and front.
Old lady living behind has nurtured her vegie garden for 30 years and is worried about whether it will still get sun. A couple in street opposite already have difficulties getting the rubbish collected because the truck can't get down the street for the cars. A heavy industrial design in an Edwardian Street - unified by the use of red brick. Not a water tank or solar panel or garden bed on site. All justified under the banner of mitigating urban sprawl.
The old lady walked out disgusted. The couple left early. No compromise on design, density or setbacks. We will meet again... at VCAT.
A well designed, environmentally sustainably designed, landscaped and integrated set of 3-4 units could work. With a tank or panel or four. Carrots and regulations required to induce better homes and gardens.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Council meeting - yes we can!
Ah the sparks flew tonight. It's hard to keep quiet - well I find it difficult, anyway. When the Chair has lost control, Crs are all talking over one another, and a motion is being challenged and debated before it has even been seconded, I have to speak. "Could we just ..."... "How about we..."... trouble was I couldn't get a word in. Chaos ensued - people talking, arguing, chatting ... desperate times called for desperate measures... "Can I call a point of order?" I was rather startled by the repsonse from the Chair: "No you can't." Sorry? "No you can't".
Oh yes I can! Tonight, colleagues and I voted for 360L Recycling bins to be available for residents; voted to support the importance of three year old kindergarten; voted to tell property owners if we are considering planning amendments affecting them; voted to have tram stops in Racecourse Rd improved; voted to develop policies about road closures so residents have certainty; and I presented a rubbish bag of bottles left in a residential street .... oh yes we can!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Toy Library needed in Moonee Valley
A parent apporached me last week hoping to set up MV's first Toy Library. She was aware that for a brief time many years ago, I was President of the Kensington Toy Library. Toy libraries are an excellent resource for parents - I recall my children's delight at the new toys we borrowed - as well as another point of contact with other parents for those working through the trials of parenting. We will see what we can do in MV to progress this idea. I am also exploring CD stock in our libraries in MV.
I walked the streets of Essendon for three hours today sharing the pictures of Richard and Tim with locals. A beautiful walk past some well established and heritage homes and gardens. Essendon certainly is a diverse electorate.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Still campaigning on childcare
A Council is threatening to close down a childcare centre; a federal election is ignoring childcare; private operators have the ear of the government over parents; three tiers of government and no clear responsibility for childcare... sounds like 2006 State election when I first campaigned on childcare for The Greens after convincing the City of Melbourne not to opt out of childcare. But it is 2010 and not much has changed.
We have welcomed quality reforms and new standards. And 38 or so of the 260 childcare centres promised in 2007 have been built, but the rest gives a great weighty sense of déjà vu.
Today I attended a forum on Early Childhood Education and care run by Sue Plowright – Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports. A new national model for the delivery of childcare is needed... and has been needed for over 30 years. There was an academic present today who remembers carrying her daughter to a childcare rally. Her daughter is now in her 30s.
We talked about how childcare centres become a family’s ‘village’ – an extended setting of care for a child that is a healthy replacement for the ‘village’ provided quality is high and places can be found. This election, we haven’t heard enough about reforming the delivery of childcare. Let’s try the State election.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Early voting for the federal election
Early voting for the Federal Election has been going on for two bitterly cold weeks. Today, I was rostered to smile through blue lips and hand out How to Vote cards in Hall St, Moonee Ponds for four hours. The wind was ferocious and even my snow-jacket couldn't prevent bone-chill and shivers.
After an hour of racing after blow-away cards down the street and fumbling with numb fingers, I retreated across the road for a hot-chocolate. I entered the toasty warm cafe and was accosted by two older gentlemen who had been watching from the bar stools at the window.
"So, you're a Green. I won't be voting for them," said one. I let him continue partly becuase I still couldn't move my frozen lips.
"Bob Brown and Christine Milne - where were they on Black Saturday."
We chattered for a while and I offered to find him an answer if he emailed me his contact details. His friend, Wayne, smiled quietly as he listened. Hot chocolate then beckoned. I ordered the largest available and eyed the cakes. I felt a tap on my shoulder.
"Let me pay for that. You've been working hard picking up all those papers." I thanked Wayne and wondered if chatting in coffee shops was more worthwhile than standing in the wind - but out I trooped.

1 Ascot Vale Rd
Council has received amended plans ahead of the VCAT hearing commencing on September 20th. The plans are not significantly different from the plans council rejected last month – 20 storeys reaching a similar height. Council will make a decision on the amended plans in early September. The plans are on Council’s website. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Community Grants
Council’s Community Grants will be opening soon. There are information sessions throughout August. Look out for details in Valleyview: August 3rd, 10:30am at Flemington community centre; August 11th, 6pm at the Civic Centre; August 23rd, 1pm at Niddrie Hub. Applications for grants close August 30th.

Flexicar in Moonee Ponds and Flemington
From : Moonee Valley City Council and Flexicar have joined forces to give residents and businesses another sustainable transport option by introducing a local carshare scheme. The scheme enables residents and businesses, who do not own a vehicle, to book and access a four-door Honda Jazz, when they need to make certain trips by car. Flexicar and Council will on Monday (2 August) launch one car in Margaret Street, Moonee Ponds near Moonee Ponds train station, and another in Racecourse Road, Flemington near Newmarket train station and tram route 57. Later in August a third carshare car park will be available in Union Road, near the intersection of Maribyrnong Road in Ascot Vale. Residents who sign up for the program receive a personal access card and can book online or over the telephone to hire a vehicle by the hour. Anyone interested in signing up to the program should visit or call 1300 36 37 80.

Energy Efficient Streetlighting
From : Moonee Valley City Council is calling on the community to get behind Council’s efforts to replace street lighting with new energy-efficient lights on all local roads. Moonee Valley has joined the Municipal Association of Victoria and 40 other councils to call on the Victorian and Federal Governments to help fund a bulk changeover to energy-efficient lights. The Give Our Streets the Green Light campaign aims to achieve a 78,000 tonne greenhouse gas emissions reduction and a $7 million cost saving to Victorian local government each year. Over the life of the lights, that equals 31.2 billion black balloons, or 341,917 cars off the road for a year. You can visit the campaign website at to fill out the online petition, download fact sheets, posters and other resources, and send a letter of support to local MPs and Ministers.

Win a set of bike lights
Enter a council competition to win one of 50 sets of bike lights. Check out the MVCC website for competition details then email entry to Competition ends August 15.

Spirit of Moonee Valley Awards Open
From : The Spirit of Moonee Valley Community Awards gives us the opportunity to honour our local community members who have gone beyond what is expected of them to contribute to the wellbeing of our City. The awards recognise volunteers within the community, including individuals, groups and businesses and celebrates their commitment to improving the quality and sustainability of the Moonee Valley lifestyle. The 2010 categories are:• Contribution to Arts and Culture• Contribution to Sport• Contribution to Neighbourhood• Contribution to Family• Contribution by Youth (under 25 years)• Contribution to Older Persons• Contribution to Environment• Contribution by Business to the CommunityFrom one of the above category winners, Moonee Valley’s Citizen of the Year will be selected. Nominations are now open and will close 5pm on Friday 20 August 2010. Download a nomination form (pdf, 77kb) or get a hard copy from the Civic Centre, Libraries and Community Centres, or by telephoning the number below. Nominations can either be posted, hand delivered, faxed or emailed.


Mt Alexander Road Precinct Action Plan
Council is seeking feedback on a plan to balance residential amenity with business activities. The draft plan can be found on the MVCC website. Comments are required by 24 September.
Draft Municipal Parking Strategy
Council is also seeking feedback on a draft parking strategy. The draft plan can be found on the MVCC website or at Council libraries. Comments are required by 16 August.


Early Years Forum: August 4th

From : Following extensive community consultation, Moonee Valley City Council has adopted its new Municipal Early Years Plan (MEYP) and has organised to officially launch the document at an important forum on Wednesday 4 August at 3pm at Windy Hill. The MEYP aims to ensure local children’s services are effective, targeted, robust, and meet the needs of families in Moonee Valley today and into the future. The MEYP focuses on services for children birth to eight years.

Environment Forum – Transitioning Communities: September 6th
Join me on Monday 6 September at 7pm for Council’s Environment Forum – Transitioning Communities

Council meetings – August 3rd and 17th
Meetings for August are on Tuesday 3rd August (6pm Citizens’ Forum and 7pm Planning Meeting) and Tuesday 17th August 7pm (Ordinary Council Meeting). All meetings are held at the Civic centre and are open to the public.

Planting days
Sunday August 1st 10am Aberfeldie Park – National Tree Day Event
Saturday August 7th 11am Spring Gully Reserve, 200m downstream from Keilor Rd Carpark – West Side of Creek E Keilor, Melways Ref. 15 G20
Saturday August 7th 2pm 5 Mile Creek Reserve, End of Government Rd Essendon, Melways Ref. 28 J2

Hockey Lane Consultation: August 9th
Monday 9th 6pm, venue TBC Residents in Hockey Lane have been notified of this meetings.

Eid Festival Event: September 18th
Debneys’ Park – from 12pm with morning prayer event.

And finally: a Media Release
Water saving infrastructure needed to drought-proof ovals and parks
Relaxing water restrictions on sports ovals without providing necessary funds for drought-proofing open space is short-sighted, says Rose Iser, Greens Councillor and candidate for the state seat of Essendon.
“Moonee Valley and Essendon sports grounds need real investment in effective, sustainable water infrastructure, not just a short-term allowance to water during Spring” Cr Iser said.
“With our water supplies at no more than 36%, the Victorian Government today irresponsibly announced that from 1 September 2010 councils will be able to water 100 per cent of sportsgrounds. The Thomson dam is only at 23% of capacity. The short-term allowances during the wet months of Spring will not assist community members in the long-run.”
“Funding is needed for stormwater harvesting and other sustainable infrastructure to ensure the health of our parks and sports ovals long-term, not just ahead of this year’s state election.
“Many of our ovals have struggled over the past ten years of drought, but using our precious stores of potable water this spring won’t solve the problem for the years to come,” Cr Iser said.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Media release from Protectors of Public Lands Vic Inc


This morning Planning Minister Madden’s revised Planning Amendment, now re-badged VC 68, was fast tracked through Parliament with the support of the coalition - Liberals and Nationals – who had, over the past year, held out against inducements to approve this toxic planning amendment. (Only the Greens and DLP MP’s stood firm.) This represents a catastrophe for Melbourne as it will see rezoning of land from rural to residential on the City’s fringe and so extend our notorious urban sprawl.

Brian Walters SC, President of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. comments:
” The community opposes these changes. Extension of the urban growth boundary will destroy green wedges, the lungs of Melbourne. This amendment will take 43,600 hectares out of the western, northern and Cranbourne South green wedges for housing development, freeways and freight terminals. The losses include: 5,000 hectares of environmentally significant Western Basalt Plains grasslands; the grassy woodlands of the Maribyrnong and Merri Creek catchments, with their magnificent red gums; and 4,000 hectares of the South East food-bowl, where highly productive market gardens using recycled water double as Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat. Our Green Wedges have been sacrosanct for generations. There was no mandate from the people to dispose of this legacy.”

Community groups are now waiting for another bombshell from Planning Minister Madden – he is reported to be attempting to put through another planning amendment which will approve high rise (22 stories plus) along tram, bus and light rail routes as a means of accommodating the expected 1.5 million more people in Melbourne by 2036. This will result in further congestion of the major transport routes and condemn the population of flat dwellers to ill health. (Anyone who lives within 500 metres of a main road is threatened by developing asthma and cardiac-respiratory diseases.) The Brumby Government is fast turning Melbourne into one of the great unliveable cities of the world.

Inquiries: Julianne Bell Mobile 0408 022 408 Brian Walters SC Mobile 0411 020 967

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Planning rally – Sat 5th June 12pm Queens Park
Are you concerned about over-development in your area? I have seen far too many planning applications rejected by Council only to be approved at VCAT. We are seeing neighbourhood character eroded and local policies over-ridden. We all understand the need to mitigate urban sprawl with smart inner-urban housing, but excessive development is resulting in housing of poor amenity being squeezed onto suburban blocks. Voice your views on Saturday June 5th.

1 Ascot Vale Rd
As predicted, this application has proceeded to VCAT ahead of a decision by Council. It will be heard at VCAT in early August. Council will make its decision ahead of the VCAT hearing and this decision will then be defended at VCAT.

Heritage in Strathmore
You may have read about the ongoing issue in Strathmore. We are working hard to find a solution to the matter – and looking at heritage issues in other areas as well where an overlay is felt to be appropriate by residents.

Cycling and Walking Committee
We have many new members on this committee to help us revise the 2004 Cycling and Walking Strategy, advocate for more state and federal funding for infrastructure and engage with the community to make our city a safe place for cycling and walking for commuters and families. If you would like more information, please let me know.

Racecourse Rd Structure Plan
Structure Plans have taken a new form with the introduction of the new Activity Centre Zoning – which exempts many developments from notice – and the push for wider boundaries. We have the situation around Racecourse Rd where Flemington is within the proposed boundary, but Kensington is not. This seems unworkable and illogical. If such arrangements continue, it may well seem to many that the pursuit of a Structure Plan is ill-advised.

Reconciliation Action Plan
Tonight, Council will consider its draft Reconciliation Action Plan. I am very pleased that this is coming before Council and it includes many actions to improve our relationship with local indigenous community members. Please take some time to have a look at the Plan. It coincides with ‘Sorry Day’ last week and the Western Indigenous art show which is currently on at the Incinerator Arts Complex.
Exhibition Dates: Wednesday, 26 May to Sunday, 13 June
Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm
Venue: Incinerator Arts Complex
The exhibition is an opportunity for local Indigenous artists to showcase their artwork to the wider community.

ReNew Collection – Flemington/Ascot Vale this week
Don’t forget that it is time again for the ReNew Collection the day after your recycle bin goes out this week. Place your goods in bags in your recycle bin – books, clothes, household items, toys, plastic bags, mobile phones etc. See Council’s website for more details.

Public Housing
Unfortunately Flemington and Ascot Vale Housing Estates did not receive any funding in the latest state government announcement of more funding for public housing. We will continue to seek support for upgrades to housing for residents in these precincts.

Issues and complaints
Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding issues, queries or concerns. I will endeavour to respond and seek appropriate advice and action.

Greens Candidate for the state seat of Essendon
You may be aware that I standing for the state seat of Essendon to be contested at the state election on November 27 2010 as The Greens’ candidate. Councillors can continue as candidates and Councillors, but must resign from Council if elected to Parliament.

Essendon is a diverse community – with public housing, an airport, waterways, beautiful suburbs, trains and trams and treasured open space. Residents need reliable and safe transport, better cycle paths, well funded schools and urgent action on climate change at the state level.

Given that the Labor candidate for the election will be Justin Madden, the Minister for Planning, planning will be a hotly debated issue. The Greens would create a democratic planning system where communities and councils could plan their own neighbourhoods together, and write planning rules that could not be overridden. People tell us they want sustainably designed housing with access to high frequency public transport, with more high quality open spaces, and government-funded services for families like community health centres, schools, childcare centres etc.

If you would like more information about the Essendon campaign or would like to assist in any way, please let me know on or 0414 959 427


Fairbairn Park Saturday 26th June 2pm

Meet with me and others at Fairbairn Park at 2pm on Saturday 26th June to discuss the ongoing issue associate with the use and upgrade of this precious open space.

Local planting opportunities
Saturday 5 June 10am Fairbairn Park
Sunday 6 June 2pm 5 Mile Creek reserve – end of Government Road
Saturday 19 June 10am Napier Park Strathmore

Refugee Week
Look out for events during Refugee Week Sunday, June 20 (World Refugee Day) to Saturday, June 26.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Protect our Public Land! – Public Meeting Saturday April 17, 2pm
Join Brian Walters, members of Protectors of Public Lands and me at the Flemington Community centre to discuss the threat to public land and planning in Flemington, Travancore and Ascot Vale.

1 Ascot Vale Road Flemington – Consultation Meeting April 14, 6:30pm
The Consultation Meeting for the proposed development will be held at the Civic Centre, 9 Kellaway Avenue Moonee Ponds on Wednesday 14 April from 6.30pm to 8pm. The main purpose of the consultation meeting is to give objectors and the applicant the opportunity to speak to Council about their objections and the application respectively. For more information, see

Supafest Melbourne Wednesday 14 April
Supafest Melbourne 2010 will be held at the Showgrounds on Wednesday, 14 April 2010, between 5.30pm and 10.30pm. A resident hotline (9281 7400) will be in operation at all times during the event to report any complaints or concerns residents may be experiencing.Draft Fees and Charges Policy UpdateCouncil is now consulting on a draft fees and charges system for sports grounds and pavilions. The deadline for comments is Wednesday, 2 June 2010 in line with Council’s Annual Budget 2010/11.

Ormond Park Master Plan information day May 1, 10am-1pm
The 2009/10 Council Budget included the development of a new master plan for Ormond Park. An information stall will be held at Ormond Park on Saturday, 1 May 2010 from 10am to 1pm to seek initial feedback from park users.

Ride to School – Great results for Moonee Valley!
See the site for details on our participation in Ride to school day. Moonee Valley was ranked 7th out of 79 Councils!

Kindergarten Central Enrolment Booklet
From the Moonee Valley website: “The booklet is now available you can also get a hard copy at the following locations: Kindergartens, Maternal and Child Health Centres, Community Centres, Libraries, Council Offices or call 9243 8888. Or it is available at There is new enrolment scheme that aims to:• improve how kindergarten placements are managed across the Municipality• develop a consistent approach to allocating places across Council managed and community managed kindergartens• ensure the system is more efficient and fair.

Our Children- Their Journey, Municipal Early Years Plan 2010-13
Moonee Valley City Council has developed a draft Municipal Early Years Plan (MEYP). Our Children - Their Journey, MEYP 2010-13 focuses on making sure Moonee Valley's Family and Children's Services. The draft MEYP is on consultation until 5:00 pm Friday 7 May, 2010.

Other events....

Steve Biddulph
April 12, 7:30pm
Clocktower Centre, Moonee Ponds

ANZAC Ceremony
There will be a service at Queens Park on Sunday 18th April at 2:50pm

Sustainable Gardens
Monday April 19, 6:30pm
Flemington Library

Internet Marketing Secrets Exposed for Businesses
Monday April 19, 7pm
Gannawarra Conference Centre, 132 Keilor Rd, Essendon

Annual St George’s Day service
with Dr Zoe Morrison from the Brotherhood of St Laurence on the theme of social inclusion
Thursday April 22, 7:30pm
St George’s, Flemington
Contact – Duncan Reid -

Peace Network
Wednesday June 9, 7:30pm
Contact – Chris Moffat -

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Update March 2010

Solar panels in heritage Overlay
Council has approved the second lot of solar panels rejected by planners for being visible in a Hertiage Overlay area. Council has found a good way of bypassing strict heritage guidelines to ensure sustainability is priorisied where panels do not permantly damage or impact on the architechture of a home. Common sense and sustainable practices prevail!

Fairbairn Park Master Plan
Council has approved the master Plan including moving Essendon Cricket Club to Fairbairn Park. I opposed this supporting the 1000 plus resident who have expressed concerns. I am continuing to work with residents to pursue any changes that can be made.

Proposed Sale of Parkland in Flemington
Council will soon consider the sale of 420 sq m of parkland to create an extra lane of traffic on Mt Road. This is to accommodate realigning the tram lines and a right hand turn lane at Boundary Rd. I have expressed views on this matter particularly about the impact of creating an extra lane for only 80m before the traffic funnels into a shared car/tram space at Mooltan St.

Litter Ninjas
Kath Lockett has established a community program to help clean up Flemington. If you think you have what it takes to be a Flemington Litter Ninja or want to find out more about the project, contact Kath Lockett on 9376 1942 or via email:

Sustainable Suburbs
This program can help you assess your home and apply for rebates for products including solar hot water and solar panels. See

Public Housing
I recently provided evidence at the Inquiry into Public Housing. I am continuing to work towards better standards of housing through involvement in the Neighbourhood renewal program and advocacy work.

Traffic calming measures
Are you interested in traffic calming measures in your area? Let me know so that we can see what can be included in this year’s budget. The Flemington Hill Residents Traffic Action Group and I have been working with council staff to see what can be improved in the next round of capital works.

Street sweeping in Flemington
Council will have a resolution to this at next week’s Council meeting. Check the agenda at for the officer’s recommendation and let me know if you have any concerns.

Top Cuts
The hearing will continue on April 12th at VCAT. Residents with concerns are advised to contact me asap.

Events at Racecourse and Showgrounds
With the new signs in Edinburgh and Illawarra Sts, we will hopefully eliminate parking in residential streets during events. We are still working with event organisers to improve measures to stop patrons from damaging property, leaving rubbish and making sure that noise is within regulations and that hotlines are working when residents need to lodge complaints.

Bouverie Centre Land
How would you like this land to be used after 2011? The State Government has declared the land surplus. I would like the State Government to work with Council to keep the land as public land with a community facility. Let me know what you would like to see there? Evidence of strong community support for a facility will help convince the State Government that this is essential.

Racecourse Road Structure Plan
I am continuing to work to reduce the boundary of the Structure Plan so that Flemington Hill is not covered by an Activity Centre Zone. I will advise of the next meeting which is on hold due to resourcing issues at council.

1 Ascot Vale Road
Council is waiting for the officers to complete their report on this 27 storey application. Objections can still be lodged at Council. Information is on the Council website.

Budget Considerations
Council will be considering the 2010/11 budget soon. If you have projects or suggestions for the budget, please let me know as soon as possible.

Cycling and Walking Committee
If you would like to attend, let me know as we are seeking members. The Committee meets bi-monthly on a Monday at about 6pm at Council.

Caring for our trees
A resident suggested that Council hire out the large plastic containers that are used to drip feed trees over summer. Council staff are looking into making these available for next summer. Thanskf for the suggestion! Other residents have suggested a boost to the Adopt a Tree program and I am looking into this.

Dates to note:

Moonee Valley Classic Fun Run
March 13th 3pm Moonee Valley Athletics Centre, Corio Street, Moonee Ponds

Cycling and Walking Committee
Monday March 15th, 6pm Moonee Valley Civic Centre

Ride 2 School Day
Wednesday March 17th

Microchipping day
Saturday March 20th, Aberfeldie Park

Pooches in the Park Fundraiser
Sunday March 21st Flemington Primary School

Earth Hour
Saturday March, 27th, 8pm

2010 Concert for Peace and Harmony
Sunday March 18th, 11:30am

Moonee Valley Climate Change Action Group
March 24th, 7:30 Sam Merrifield Library

Melbourne Inner Northwest Transition Initiative - MINTI
Inaugural Film Screening The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.
Flemington Neighbourhood House 28 Farnham Street, Flemington
Monday March 22nd 7.30-9.30pm
Entry by gold coin donation
Would you like to be part of an exciting new initiative working towards effective local responses to oil depletion and climate change in Kensington, Flemington and North Melbourne?
Or would you just like to learn more about the power of communities to make positive change, even in a crisis? Join us for film viewing, discussion and supper.
For more information & to rsvp contact mintitransitioninitiative@gmail.comKind regards,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Become a friend of Myrnong Ward on facebook!

Dates to note

Renewable Energy Forum
Monday February 8th, 7pm
Moonee Valley Civic Centre

Citizens Forum and Planning Meeting
Tuesday February 9th, 6pm
Moonee Valley Civic Centre

Transition Decade
Sunday February 14th, 12pm
Melbourne Town Hall

Ordinary Council Meeting
Tuesday February 16th, 7pm
Moonee Valley Civic Centre

1 Ascot Vale Rd Application Information session
Thursday February 18th, 2:30-4pm, or 6-7:30pm
Moonee Valley Civic Centre

Transport for Sustainable Cities
Professor Ross Garnaut
Thursday February 18th, 3pm
BMW Edge, Federation Square

Sustainable Living Festival
February 19th- 21st
Federation Square

Moonee Valley Climate Change Action Group
February 24th, 7:30
Sam Merrifield Library

Moonee Valley Festival
February 28th
Queens Park

Clean Up Australia Day
March 7th
Debneys Park

Moonee Valley Classic Fun Run
March 13th 4:30pm
Moonee Valley Athletics Centre, Corio Street, Moonee Ponds

Friday, January 22, 2010

Newsflash - South Ward now Myrnong Ward

Council has been advised that the Governor in Council on 19 January 2010 made an order in Council under S220Q(m) of the Local Government Act 1989 to alter the names of the wards of Moonee Valley as follows.

1. South Ward is altered to Myrnong Ward;
2. Central Ward is altered to Buckley Ward; and
3. West Ward is altered to Rose Hill Ward.

The Order in Council was published in the Victorian Government gazette G3 on 21 January 2010 and comes into effect immediately.

Welcome to Moonee Valley 2010!

I hope you have enjoyed a break from normal routines over summer.

This year will be an interesting one with both state and federal elections - a good time for lobbying for those things we have been waiting for for years: action on climate change, better public transport, better cycling routes, improved planning mechanisms, safeguards for public open space, transferral of surplus crown land to local councils for public use(like the Travencore land), improved maintenance of VicTrack land and assets, improved public housing and community health - the list goes on.

This is the year to get vocal and seek commitments to improving our community. We have seen some positive improvements over the years, but too often we see outcomes that are over-sized, ill-considered, concrete intensive and light on community benefit. May 2010 be a year for nourishing our community.

Contact me at any time with queries or concerns.

Reagrds, Rose

Fairbairn Park Masterplan process

Many, many residents have expressed their concerns to me about the proposal to move the Essendon Cricket Club to Fairbairn Park. Council has not yet made a decision on the Masterplan.
Residents can write to or ring councillors to express their views. There is also a council meeting at 6pm February 9th at which anyone can ask questions of councillors and officers or make a five minute presentation. These meetings occur monthly and are a good way of commuunicating with councillors and officers.

1 Ascot Vale Road planning application – community consultation 18th February

New plans were submitted to Council on December 23rd - details should be on the MVCC website:

At this stage, a consultation meeting is planned for 18th February - TBC.

Proposed sale of land at Debneys’ Park – submissions to council by 23rd February

While Council voted in December to sell 420 sq m to VicRoads to widen Mt Alexander Rd, I was alone in voting against this proposal. Cr Giuliano and I worked hard to have the plans redrawn to reduce the amount of park up for sale, but I argued that it is still unnecessary to sell any land at all for road space. The new plans encompass all roadway within the previously sold land and the new sale is for essential services and a shared bike/footpath - these are already contained on Council land from what I understand. If land is sold, some cyclists would like to see at least an on-road bike lane.
Submissions to Council by February 23rd. Email me for more details.

Moonee Valley Festival, Queens Park – Sunday 28th February

Lots of fun for kids and families - have a look at the Moonee Valley Website for details:

Clean Up Australia Day, Debneys’ Park – Sunday 7th March

Sign on a Debney Meadows Primary School or other sites along the Moonee Ponds Creek between 10:00 - 12;00 then join us at 12:30 for a multicultural Lunch at Debney Meadows Primary School there will be a special celebration to say thank you to all volunteers.

Flemington Housing Estate – heatwave conditions

Over 130 residents have signed a petition for urgent action to make unrenovated flats at the Flemington Housing Estate tolerable during heatwaves. Unrenovated flats suffer from unopenable windows, poor air circulation, lack of fans etc. Residents have no options during heatwaves as the etsate does not have a cool place for people to stay if their flats are 40degrees plus. An immediate maintenance audit is required with the worst flats prioritsed for urgent renovations.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What The Greens Senators are doing about the CPRS

A message from Bob Brown:

This morning, Christine Milne and Bob Brown moved to break the political deadlock on climate action.

We have written to the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and the key Senators proposing that we adopt Professor Garnaut's suggestion of a two year interim scheme with a fixed carbon price with no trading and no offsets.

Our proposal is a building block for future climate action that's got real teeth. If adopted, it paves the way for a much better climate change outcome.

The proposal gives half its revenue back to Australia's householders and is still in the black. Mr Rudd's CPRS pays polluters to keep polluting and ends up deep in debt.

We Greens are putting forward a constructive proposal to get Australia moving towards the zero carbon future and you can see all the details on our website.

Please help us break the deadlock by spreading the word.

By passing this message on to your friends you can help us build the public support we will need to convince Mr Rudd's government and two more Senators to embrace this interim solution and get Australia moving.

On our website you will find all the details on this proposal and resources to email the Minister, send letters to the editor and help out in other vital ways.

Help our Senate team make a crucial breakthrough in national climate change action!

Senator Bob Brown
Leader of the Australian Greens.

PS: We know this solution isn't perfect, but, unlike the CPRS, there is no way it can hold back climate action. It can only help get Australia moving towards a zero carbon future.