Helen Davidson - Ind.jpg

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? 

I support the panel recommendations, and I am grateful for both the efforts of the panel members and the submitters. In essence the panel has recommended that much more work is required before any decision is made. 

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?

I am always supportive of having as much information about any Council matter as possible. Moreland introduced a scheme that meant that residents living in apartments where a planning permit was issued after August 2011 would not be eligible for any future parking permit. It was designed to stop this occurrence taking place. 

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 panel found that Council had not adequately assessed the current state of parking in Activity Centres and therefore does not have a proper understanding of the consequences of the Amendment. In all planning scheme amendments, I place great weight on what the independent panel has to say. If I had no intention of taking note of the panel, then the whole process would be a flawed one, and so yes, parking restrictions should not be rolled out until this work is completed. 

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?

 I do not accept that MITS introduces strict 2 hr blanket parking restrictions across much of Moreland. It advocates parking restrictions in some areas based on excessive demand. The are many, many parts of Moreland where no change is anticipated. The Parking restrictions that I will consider is where residents of an individual street demonstrate an overwhelming desire for restrictions. This can be done on a street-by-street basis in consultation with community members of that particular street.

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?

At the February Council meeting, I moved the motion to recognise the different needs of Pascoe Vale and Glenroy. The lack of available transport options in the North compared to areas such as Brunswick and Coburg is the first notable difference. Also consideration to the typography of Pascoe Vale, and specifically Gaffney Street, needs to be taken into account. I have never believed that one parking plan across Moreland fits all. Many suburbs – and not only suburbs but specific areas within suburbs - have differing parking needs.

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 don’t accept the premise of your question. That people ‘choose to drive’ is not a central tenet of MITS, nor is it Council’s intention to make it difficult or more expensive for people to own cars. The central tenet of MITS is to ensure that we maintain the livability of Moreland whilst we experience the anticipated strong population growth over the coming decade. This will require State government assistance with public transport options, and for Council to assist pedestrians and cyclists. 

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’?

Yes

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)

Yes