FPM Commentary: Adam Pulford from The Greens is Fail on the Fair Parking Moreland Test. We have added some commentary to provide context for this outcome.
Moreland proposed a planning law amendment, C183, however a State-appointed independent planning panel determined council had not adequately conducted surveys and parking plans to understand the consequences of this change. Do you support this proposal to change planning laws that would allow developers to build Zero Car Parking developments in Activity Centres without requiring a planning permit?
Yes, the proposed changes to the parking schedule ratios work to simplify and clarify the process. Currently, every new development in Moreland requires a minimum amount of car parking, while a permit is required for developers to provide less than the minimum. The proposal is for every new development in the Brunswick, Coburg and Glenroy Activity Centres (not the entire suburbs) to have a maximum number of car parks set, with a permit required for developers that want to provide more. This would still allow car parking to be built. It does not signify a substantial shift in how current developments work: developments that seek to have fewer or no parking provisions already exist.
This policy also aims to provide greater choice in the housing market. Rather than be required to build a car park with their homes, this gives some residents in these areas better choice over the location, quality, size and affordability of their homes.
FPM COMMENTARY: Adam’s response fails to acknowledge any of the shortcomings of Amendment C183 identified by the Independent Expert Planning Panel, including a lack of evidence regarding the impacts of existing Zero Parking developments on local communities, which led to its ultimate abandonment.
A tribunal revealed that a recent Zero Car Parking development in Moreland had 7-9 cars secretly parked on the street. In order to trust these developments, residents need to better understand their impact on local amenity. Are you willing to support an urgent survey of existing Zero Parking developments, to ascertain their impact on parking in adjacent streets?
Yes, I support conducting a survey to better understand the impacts of low parking developments on neighbouring streets.
The Zero Parking amendment, C183, failed in part because it did not follow the Planning Minister’s guidelines – the need to conduct parking surveys and understand impact on local amenity, and local input. Would you support that the parking restrictions are not rolled out until the parking survey work is completed, so that the use and needs of proposed restricted areas are better understood?
The Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy introduces strict 2hr blanket 8am-8pm parking restrictions across much of Moreland. 2P restrictions Moreland-wide have never been debated in Council Meetings, or had any community consultation. Do you support these Parking Restriction Zones, and would you be open to restrictions going through community consultation for co-design?
Most neighbourhoods won’t have those levels of restrictions, they are intended for the major Activity and Neighbourhood Centres. Yes, I support the community having a say in the issues that affect their lives, their homes and their neighbourhoods.
FPM COMMENTARY: While it is good that Adam supports the idea of community consultation, his response indicates a lack of knowledge or concern for the scale of impact associated with implementation of 2P restrictions across large areas of Moreland.
Many residents feel that the needs of Glenroy, are different to the needs of Brunswick, are different to the needs of Coburg. Do you believe in the idea of one parking plan across all of Moreland, or that areas should be evaluated based on their local usage and needs?
I believe city-wide plans should have the option to be tailored to local needs, ensuring the best outcomes for both local neighbourhoods and the city as a whole.
One of the central tenets of MITS is that people ‘choose to drive’, and council should make it difficult and expensive to use a car in Moreland, to discourage car use. Do you think this approach is the best way to discourage car use, or are you open to a less punitive approach?
The reality is that many people are forced to drive -- to travel to and from work, to get groceries or to go to medical appointments -- in just living their everyday lives. This could be due to age, disability, or the fact that, despite being part of inner Melbourne, public transport services in our city are still too few and far between.
We are also in a climate emergency. I believe Council should be looking at all the policy levers it has to be able to be part of a quick transition to zero-emissions technologies, including transport.
I want a Moreland where it is easy and enjoyable for everyone to get where they need to go by walking, cycling or on fast and efficient public transport, and I will work hard to secure more public and active transport infrastructure for our community. But even in this Moreland, there will still be the need for cars, for some people, at some times. Council policy must reflect this.
Zero Parking developments were constructed and approved on the premise that residents would not impact on local street amenity. This changed in Feb 2020, when council approved ‘Permit A’, which will allow these developments to buy an on-street parking permit. Do you commit to restricting all zero parking developments from obtaining ‘Permit A’?
Given the level of community concern, including our own petition of 1200 signatories, and disregard for the views expressed in community consultations, do you commit to redrafting MITS and the parking restrictions, with an eye to rebuilding the strategy with better community engagement? (Y/N)
I support reviewing the parking plan with further community input.
FPM Commentary: Adam declined to answer Y/N, so submitted the survey as a PDF document rather than complete the online form that all other candidates used, even though FPM replied to the Greens candidates that doing so would create an uneven playing field with the other candidates. Whilst Adam demonstrates support for to revisiting the Parking Plan, which we commend, he has neglected to commit to reviewing MITS with an eye to better community engagement.