Climate and sustainability Comment on Council agenda 13 July 2022

July 14, 2022 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

Monthly comment on the Council Agenda, forwarded to all Councillors.
Dear Councillor,

I call your attention to a number of issues in the agenda for 13 July which I would like to provide comment on behalf of Climate Action Moreland:

  1. Draft Brunswick Central Parklands and Integrated Water Management Plan. We are broadly supportive of the many landscape design elements in the Brunswick Central Parklands given that it is an important green open space with increasing high density residential development in the surrounding area. The continuance of the Synthetic turf pitch with its amplification of urban heat, reduced biodiversity and production of microplastics pollution appears to be greatly at odds with the rest of the proposed Parklands and Integrated Water Management Plan. The report says resurfacing of Clifton Park Synthetic soccer pitch will cost $650,000 from CAPEX in 2023/24.

    I suggest that in accordance with good governance a triple bottom line assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts be undertaken of replacing the Clifton Park synthetic surface. I also think it should assess resurfacing the present synthetic soccer pitch against return to natural turf soccer pitch or the need for a second municipal (synthetic) hockey pitch? I know that Hockey only has one pitch in Moreland (Merri-Bek) being at Brunswick Secondary College and this sport has a need for a second pitch which would need to be synthetic. This is an opportunity to assess that need, benefit and impacts.

    You may be are aware an in depth reading and research on synthetic turf was prepared (Literature Review | Update for flood/bushfire risk) This argues that a triple bottom line assessment is needed that adequately assesses all the benefits and impacts. In some instances use of synthetic turf may be justified, and knowing all the negative impacts means measures can be taken to mitigate negative impacts to some extent.

An independent report on synthetic surfaces could also assess impacts and benefits of conversion of community tennis courts from en-tout-cas surface to sand filled synthetic, which appears to have gone under the radar.

  1. Tender Award – Construction of Moomba Park Wetland. Comment: Great to see this going out to contract. Storm water harvesting and creation of biodiversity wetland habitat (for threatened Growling Grass Frog & other species) at Moomba Park in Fawkner. “expenditure approval for Contract RFT-2022-267 Moomba Park Wetland Construction to $1,019,016.24 (excluding GST).” $500k funded by Melbourne Water Living Rivers Program grant. Contributes to reducing the total nitrogen entering Port Phillip Bay from the Moreland municipality, filtering litter and other street pollution from Merri Creek, increasing biodiversity habitat supported by Moreland Nature Plan.
  2. Banning Fossil Fuel Advertising on Council-Owned Property
    Comment: Perhaps a little on the timid side but Climate Action Moreland appreciates the direction of this motion. It will probably be largely symbolic, but even symbolic actions are important to do. 
  1. Signalised Pedestrian Crossing Between Hallam Reserve And Pascoe Vale Gardens Retirement Village
    Importance: Increase walkability and access to parkland. Excellent crossing placement.
  2. Safety – Wheatsheaf Road and Plumpton Avenue Intersection And Lighting Improvement for Access to Glenroy Community Hub
    Comment:. Improving Cycling access is not mentioned in this motion. Plumpton Ave and Wheatsheaf Rd intersection definitely needs to be improved for active transport, both walking and cycling. Lighting Improvement also necessary. Transport Unit should be working on integrating access to Glenroy Hub with Coburg-Glenroy cycle route.
  3. Improve Public Secondary Education in Moreland’s North
    Comment: Should also incorporate Council action for safe routes to schools with implementation of crossings, footpaths, bike routes and 30km/h zones. This is important for improving student independence, less pickup and drop-off traffic congestion, within 2km of schools. See https://safe-streets-to-school.org/ 
  1. Pedestrian Safety at Laneway Adjacent to 185 Moreland Road, Coburg
    This is important for local residents increasing Safety and walkability. Local residents requested Laneway become a shared zone, with adequate signage and traffic calming.

Some of the comments above have focussed on improving cycling and walkability in Merri-Bek. These are consistent with the Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy. I’d also like to highlight the recent Climate Council report on Sustainable Transport Policy Recommendations (June 2022) that emphasises the need for enhancing public transport, walkability and cycling solutions to address transport emissions and liveability. 

John Englart
Convenor, Climate Action Moreland

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

Submission: Setting Victoria’s 2035 climate target Moreland Council orders report to consider Fossil Fuel Ad Ban

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