Submission for improving Moreland Council Local Laws on community action and engagement

July 29, 2017 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Moreland Council is updating their General Local laws, with a review and community consultation. Some of the proposed local laws we take issue with as hindering community action, free expression and engagement of Moreland residents, if enforced.

We think this is an opportunity to bring the General Local Law (2007) into line with current community standards and sentiments. As one of the active community groups in Moreland, we appreciate this chance to improve the local laws and how they are applied with justice and fairness.

We understand and appreciate that Moreland Councillors at their meeting in July have already considered and altered a number of sections of the proposed General Local Law which we had strong concerns on, specifically: on Causing obstruction, distribution of handbills and soliciting of money.

We also welcome the new clauses regarding significant trees, and provisions increasing controls over building sites with regard to noise, dust and other disturbances.

There are, however, several sections which we still find very problematic and we think need to be rejected or totally rewritten to take into account our strong concerns. The nine proposed by-laws we found problematic:

  • (2.7) Camping in public places (may restrict 24/7 protests including union pickets);
  • (5.8) Tie an unsupervised animal to a pole (May contravene other policies);
  • (6.2) Authorisation required for street art (may hinder pavement chaulking);
  • (6.3) Portable advertising signs (suggest this needs to be for commercial signs and exclude community signs);
  • (7.1 and 7.2) Soliciting for trade and selling in a public place (inhibits community fundraising);
  • (7.4) Busking (no justification found in argument for special zones);
  • Facebook Event

  • (7.5) Furniture in a public place (May contravene other policies);
  • (8.1c) Occupy or fence off part of a road (may inhibit street protests or other spontaneous street events);
  • (13.6) Attaching vehicles to a public asset (Implies bicycles can’t be locked up, due to definitional confusion).

Read our full submission for our arguments in detail.

Climate Action Moreland has endorsed the Free Speech Moreland campaign (Facebook) in response to this review of General local laws. This group is organising a protest event:

Busk for Free Speech
Sunday 6 August
12noon – 2pm
Outside Brunswick Town Hall, corner Sydney Rd & Dawson St, Brunswick.
Facebook Event

Moreland Council Community Consultation details
The consultation period will run from 14 July 2017 to 20 August 2017. Visit the Moreland Council consultation page to read the Proposed General Local Laws and to make an online submission. Two drop in sessions will also be run for immediate feedback to staff.

Drop in session one
When: Wednesday 2 August 2017
Where: Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre, Jukes Road, Fawkner
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm

Drop in session two
When: Monday 7 August 2017
Where: Brunswick Town Hall
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm

Entry filed under: meetings, Moreland Council. Tags: , .

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