FPM COMMENTARY: Angelica Panopoulos 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?
The full detail of the proposal is as follows. Currently, every new development in Moreland requires a minimum number of car parking, while a permit is needed (above all the ones already obtained to build the development in the first place) when developers want to provide fewer car parks than this number. 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, of course, still allows car parking to be built. This does not mandate no parking spaces, nor does it signify a substantial shift in how these developments come about. Developments that seek to have less or no parking provisions already exist. This provides the option for some people to then have a choice of location, quality, size and affordability of their home, rather than be required to include a car park in their homes. The policy aims to provide greater choice in the housing market and simplify and clarify the parking schedule process.
FPM COMMENTARY: Angelica has provided an indirect response by explaining the logic behind the failed planning scheme amendment, but has not answered whether she is supportive of changes that would allow developers to build Zero Parking developments in Activity Centres (including her own suburb of Glenroy) without requiring a planning permit.
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?
There have been quite valid concerns raised by the community surrounding the amenity of streets close to the developments that have low to no parking provision in the building. That is why I support the conducting of this survey.
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?
I support working with residents who are experiencing problems with parking in their streets, through the Council conducting required survey work in a timely manner.
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?
One of the Greens founding pillars is participatory democracy and I fundamentally believe in the power of the grassroots. That is one of the reasons that inspired me to run with this particular political party. Thus, there should be meaningful community consultation on as many Council related issues as possible, including on parking policies.
FPM COMMENTARY: Angelica supports participatory democracy principles but has not answered whether she supports MITS parking restrictions going through community consultation for co-design.
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 most definitely agree that each of the suburbs within each of the wards in Moreland have different needs. That’s why it’s so important to have local voices on Council and to open up communication between councillors and the people within their wards. I believe that we need to tailor all Council strategies as much as possible, so that we can get the best outcomes for as many people as possible.
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?
I believe that we can take multiple approaches to reduce our usage of cars. It is indeed difficult to rely solely on active transport when frequent, reliable, safe and affordable alternatives to driving are not readily available. The state government needs to step up here.
In addition to pre-existing measures, we need a strong campaign to increase the frequency and safety of public transport. Take the 542 bus route, for example. It is one such bus that takes you to the Broadmeadows shopping centre, the Pascoe Vale Road shops in Glenroy, Pascoe Vale station and numerous strip shops along the way. This is an incredibly useful bus route. However, it often comes once every 50 minutes. The last service from Pascoe Vale Station on a weeknight, is at 7:32pm. This isn’t good enough. As a thriving region, we need services to run at least once every 15 minutes. We need specific night shuttle services. We need more visibility and safety measures introduced around our train stations and bus terminals, so that when we are using them after dark, we feel safe.
Ultimately, the lack of investment here is a failure of the state government. If elected onto Council, I will be using my voice and platform to demand that we finally get the public transport investment that we deserve.
FPM COMMENTARY: Angelica expressed concerns regarding the provision of State public transport services but has not answered whether she is supportive of Council taking a less punitive approach to reducing car use than those contained in MITS.
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 am in favour of reviewing the parking restriction aspect of the Parking Plan, with a strengthened and renewed focus on community engagement
FPM COMMENTARY: Angelica declined to answer Y/N, so submitted the survey as a Word 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 Angelica demonstrates support for revisiting the restrictions aspects of the Parking Plan, she has not committed to reviewing MITS with an eye to better community engagement.