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Climate and sustainability Comment on Council agenda 10 August 2022

Climate Council graphic on sustainable transport

Our comment on Moreland (Merri-Bek) Council agenda for 10 August 2022, sent to all Councillors.

Dear Councillors, 

There are a few agenda items of significance at Council meeting in August. Two deal with improving cycling infrastructure, one with advocacy for improving public transport (buses) as part of a northern region assessment. These three agenda items are important for addressing transport emissions in Moreland.

Transport is about 16 percent of Moreland’s community emissions profile, with automotive emissions being 12 percent. (Refer Snapshot July 2019-June 2020 https://snapshotclimate.com.au/locality/municipality/australia/victoria/moreland/2019/fy )

The Councillor NOM on a Council policy on surfaces for sportsfields and open spaces is also important for climate and sustainability considerations.

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August 10, 2022 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Climate and sustainability Comment on Council agenda 13 July 2022

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:

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

Submission: Setting Victoria’s 2035 climate target

Projection of carbon emissions reduction pathway for 1.5C, net zero by 2035.

What should Victoria’s 2035 emissions reduction target be? We strongly believe it should be science based taking into account our carbon budget with global equity considerations. The Victorian Government called for submissions by June 5, 2022. Our submissions concentrated on Transport, as we see that is a major policy blind spot with regard to public transport, active transport and aviation.

  • Victoria’s target for 2020 was to cut emissions by 15-20% below 2005 levels. That target was achieved two years early.
  • Victoria’s target for 2025 is to cut emissions by 28-33% below 2005 levels.
  • Victoria’s target for 2030 is to cut emissions by 45-50% below 2005 levels.

Read our submission for 2025 and 2030 targets in which we argued for at minimum the emissions cuts identified by the Combet review matching the science: of at least 43% by 2025 and 67% by 2030 to have any chance of limiting warming to 1. 5°C. (Download PDF version)

The next short-term target, for 2035, must be set by 31 March 2023. An independent panel of experts will advise on a target for 2035, the best action to reach that target and what the pathways to net zero emissions by 2050 could look like. The Panel will prepare a report with their advice to government by 1 March 2023.

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June 6, 2022 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Submission: Keep building Protected bike lanes in City of Melbourne

William street Protected bike lane (2021) Photo by Philip Mallis/Flickr, Creative Commons licensed.

City of Melbourne Future Melbourne committee will be considering a proposal to defer new protected bike lanes construction in the Hoddle grid for the next financial year at its meeting on 7 June 2022. Many Moreland residents cycle into the city and use the present cycling infrastructure, and to grow the numbers of people cycling now is not the time to stop building safe protected cycling infrastructure in the Melbourne CBD. The Climate Action Moreland submission is below.

Recent published peer review study focused on Melbourne by Pearson et al (2022) concluded: “Our results show the potential for substantial increases in cycling participation, but only when high-quality cycling infrastructure is provided.”(1) The recent IPCC 6th assessment report also highlights the importance of prioritising cycling and walking as part of urban solutions to reduce emissions and act on climate. See the Extend the Upfield Bike Path blog post.(2)

Update: in an email to those who made submissions, Cr Rohn Lepport explains that the deferral was needed as there are no major new protected bike lanes shovel ready within the Hoddle Grid, hence the prioritisation of Arden St, Macaulay Rd, Grattan St and Royal Pde lanes, while working on design and approval of further protected bike lane infrastructure in future years. The politics and process is little messy but a way forward was found by City of Melbourne. Read the full email at the end of this article.

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June 5, 2022 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

In the depth of winter an urban heat campaign on Fake Grass launches for Victoria

With an overcast sky and temperatures barely in the double digits a small crowd gathered beside the synthetic grass pitch at Clifton Park in Brunswick. This was the launch of the Campaign to Turf out Fake Grass in Victoria.

Climate NGO Sweltering Cities, which focusses on urban heat and solutions to mitigating and adapting to increasing urban heat, had initiated this campaign as a result of several meetings with residents in suburban Melbourne and a large heat survey that was conducted over the summer.

Sign the petition to Turf out Fake Grass addressed to Victorian Minister for Suburban Development Shaun Leane.

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June 5, 2022 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Moreland Council questions Melbourne Airport expansion in a climate emergency

Image: Aviation emissions and targets (PDF) – No 3rd Runway Campaign

On Wednesday night (11 May, 2022) Moreland Council passed a motion authorising a submission to the 2022 Draft Preliminary Melbourne Airport Master Plan and Third Runway Major Development Plan. An amendment changed a rather insipid submission to one that correlated with Moreland’s forward thinking and past resolutions on the climate emergency and advocacy for sustainable transport.

Melbourne Airport are currently collating submissions by 16 May 2022. A report will then be prepared for the Federal Transport Minister to consider the Draft Airport Masterplan and the Major Development Plan and all the feedback. There is an active campaign against expansion of Melbourne Airport.

Some candidates for Wills electorate for the Federal election have answered a question on expansion of Melbourne airport.

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May 13, 2022 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Regenerating Australia at Merlynston: visioning a net zero future

On a Friday afternoon and evening threatening rain 80 people came together at Merlynston Progress Hall in North Coburg to watch the film Regenerating Australia by documentary film maker Damon Gameau (FB).

It was a capacity crowd for this community hall. We advertised to Come early for dinner from 5pm-6pm as Tuka Tuka KothuRoti Man was attending to supply some delicious food. The food met our expectations. Our choir entertainment had to sadly cancel due to isolation requirements.

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May 8, 2022 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Climate Risk mapping for Moreland: climate impacts and insurability

The Climate Council has just put out a new report: Uninsurable Nation: Australia’s most Climate Vulnerable Places. Along with this report they have produced a climate risk map for Australia in which they list the hazards: riverine flooding, bushfire, surface water flooding, coastal inundation, and extreme wind. They also project properties at high and medium risk for 2030, 2050 and 2100.

The Climate Risk map allows you to drill down to the suburb level, or Local Government Area or Federal Electorate. Moreland is not one of the top municipalities for climate risk, but the mapping is surprising for what it reveals.

This report highlights climate impacts are already ocurring and having an economic impact on insurance and insurability. Unless we take action, costs will continue to escalate. Climate Action Moreland has recently held a climate forum with Candidates for Wills, and also compared Party climate policies for Wills and the Victorian Senate for consistency with the Paris Agreement 1.5C target. We urge you to consider voting in the Federal election for candidates with strong climate policies and use your preferences wisely.

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May 4, 2022 at 1:59 am 2 comments

Climate the hot issue in Wills and across Australia

Early March poll in Wills on climate action (before the records flood events)

Addressing climate change is a top priority for citizens in the Wills Electorate in Moreland as well as across Australia.
That is why Climate Action Moreland, Neighbours United for Climate Action and Coburg Uniting Church have organised a Meet the candidates forum with a focus on climate and sustainability on Tuesday 26 April at Coburg Uniting Church Hall.

Polling done in every electorate of Australia in March 2022 asked people living in Australia about the
cost of climate action and the results are optimistic. Over 15,000 people were surveyed, which allowed a statistical sample from every electorate. The results in Wills are above the national average.

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April 23, 2022 at 11:46 am 1 comment

Moderating the urban heat of car parks in Moreland

CB Smith Reserve asphalt car park adding to urban heat

As a highly built up municipality Moreland tends feel the heat of Summer and extreme heat events exacerbated by the urban heat island effect. The extensive car parks and roads around our municipality contribute to this amplification of high temperature effects.

New research from University of Western Sydney throws new light on the urban heat island effect on microclimates and especially the role of asphalt car parks. Asphalt is particularly bad for building up heat inertia to warm the micro climate during both the day and night. But the researchers also outlined solutions.

How does this apply in Moreland? Well Moreland Council should be implementing heat mitigation solutions for all Council car parks, and also advocating for these solutions when Businesses provide parking, or the State Government expands parking, such as at Merlynston Station. Moreland Council is expanding parking at Hosken Reserve as part of the Hosken Reserve Masterplan, but have paid little attention to limiting urban heat from car parking. When putting in new car parking is the ideal time to implement urban heat solutions.

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March 29, 2022 at 12:00 am 1 comment

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