Sustainable Moreland Community Ideas Exchange

There are lots of active community groups in the City of Moreland, and they have lots of good ideas to share around. That’s what we found out when Moreland Zero Carbon Evolution held its annual Community Ideas Exchange in early July.

The Exchange was attended by representatives from 20 local groups, covering issues from cycling to food gardens, urban forests, community solar, recycling, local microgrids, climate change activism, social justice and childcare. A full list of the groups represented is below.

Discussion centred on 5 main topics that were identified as priorities:

Composting

How composting can be supported and promoted across the whole community – businesses, schools,  apartments, community groups. How council, social enterprises and established groups can lead and mentor.

Solar

How to spread greater awareness of the success stories – community solar and microgrids. More information is needed on what is permitted in heritage areas, and promotion of MEFL’s role as a community information hub.

Energy efficiency

Body-corporates can play a role, e.g. external shading on apartment buildings. Local action is required as government action is too slow. There is still community mistrust of insulation, need to rebuild awareness and trust. Importance of automated solutions, e.g. appliance timers.

Transport

Possibility to learn from European cycling experience, e.g. ‘twinning’ with Coburg and Brunswick in Germany. Concern that Council bicycle strategy has not been funded or delivered. Council able to share that there is an opportunity to get involved in the year ahead on the review of the Moreland integrated transport strategy, in addition to the bicycle initiatives delivered last financial year or funded for the year ahead.

Update 20/07/2017: Last financial year Council installed 75 bike racks, spent $200,000 on road bicycle facilities including green paint treatments, a shared path on OHea Street, Pascoe Vale and line marking improvements. Additionally, Council made lighting and other improvements on the Upfield Shared Path. There was a delay with the approval to undertake the next section of the Craigieburn Path, but this is due to be completed shortly. The total expenditure for 2016/17 was $890,000.

In the draft 2017/18 budget funding for a further extension of the Craigieburn Path ($500,000), more bicycle parking and on road improvements ($270,000), Upfield Lighting improvements ($100,000) and a study into Ronald Street bridge options has been planned, for a total budget of $950,000.

Urban heat island & trees

Making it easier to plant nature-strip trees, Council can help. Promoting benefits of urban trees. How to protect trees on private land threatened by development. How under-used spaces such as lanes can be used for ‘green spaces’.

The Ideas Exchange was a great opportunity for local groups to network, share their experiences and have their say in a forum attended by representatives from Zero Carbon Evolution and Moreland City Council. And even better, it was held at Milparinka in Brunswick, a disability services organisation that also hosts the “Seeds” Community Garden and is one of the community groups that MEFL helped to install a solar system on its roof.

To find out more, see the Moreland Zero Carbon website

Groups represented

  • Moreland Zero Carbon Evolution
  • Beyond Zero Emissions
  • Halpin Street Microgrid
  • Moreland Bicycle Users Group
  • Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children
  • Upfield Urban Forest
  • Moreland Community Solar
  • Boomerang Bags
  • Good Karma Networks
  • Climate Action Moreland
  • CERES
  • Merri Murnong group
  • Moreland Community Gardening network
  • Walsh St Waste Not project
  • Peppertree Place
  • Climate for Change
  • Moreland Community Child Care Centres
  • Urban Orchard
  • SEEDS Communal Garden (Milparinka)
  • Friends of Talbot and Henkel Streets

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