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FPM COMMENTARY: Mark Riley 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.The changes to the parking schedule ratios aim to simplify and clarify the process, so that a permit has to be obtained through the planning approval process.

FPM COMMENTARY: Mark remains in favour of Zero Parking rates in Activity Centres – including Glenroy – despite widespread community concern and the recommendations of the Independent Expert Planning Panel.

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 some concerns raised by the community surrounding the amenity of streets close to the developments with less to no parking provision in the building. The use of on street parking permits and restrictions is needed to ensure that these residents do not simply park on the street. Seeking further research and community input on this is good practice, evaluation is good practice.

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 implementation of the new parking restrictions in activity centres and neighbourhood centres will roll out once the COVID crisis is being managed more better, in 2021. The C183 planning panel rejected Moreland Cities approach using new technology and tools and preferred the traditional approach using on street parking surveys. I am fine with Council having to take longer to use this traditional approach.

FPM COMMENTARY: Mark remains committed to rolling out parking restrictions when the Covid crisis is managed better. He has also misinterpreted the findings of the Planning Panel which found that the Victorian Planning Guidelines had not been followed in preparing Amendment C183.

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?

 The Parking Plan’s broader roll out of parking restrictions are intended for the major Activity and Neighbourhood Centres. It won’t be implemented in most neighbourhoods. The usual process of the residents in the street seeking to change the parking restrictions will occur based on a voting system (as per the Council web site). This is based on good democratic processes. The new parking provisions in Activity and Neighbourhood Centres are needed to address the growing population and to discourage those living in homes without carparks, from parking on the street.

FPM COMMENTARY: Mark remains committed to the roll out of 2P restrictions and appears unconcerned about the scale and community impact associated with the implementation of the Parking Plan across large areas of Moreland. He is supportive of the usual community consultation process for making changes to parking restrictions outside of Activity Centres.

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?

 

It’s possible to have general rules and arrangements regarding parking across the city with some local variations. This would make good sense.

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 premise of this question, that the MITS presumes that people ‘choose to drive’, is not capturing the reality for many travellers. The fact is that many people are ‘forced’ to drive because of failures in state government planning and the lack of frequent, reliable and affordable alternatives, including public transport. I believe that the community can take multiple measures to reduce our reliance on cars. In addition to existing measures, we need a strong campaign to increase the frequency and safety of public transport. Most buses run too infrequently and finish to early in the evenings and don't run on Sundays. This isn’t good enough. As a thriving region, we need services to run at least once every 15 minutes or less. 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 can feel safer.

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: Mark has provided an indirect response to this question and has not answered whether he 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’?

I commit to all residents that arrive in Moreland after the August 2011 date to December 2020, who reside in subdivided properties, from a single dwelling, to be eligible for Parking Permit A. This provision was not intended to refer to people living in multi unit developments with reduced parking. It was introduced to assist people who arrived in the City (and were unaware of this rule) to access an interim parking permit measure in the meantime.

NOTE: The "forced" nature of this survey structure is not democratic or fair. Hence I've chosen to submit this survey as a document instead.

FPM COMMENTARY: Mark declined to answer Y/N, so submitted the survey as a document so he could change this option, even though FPM replied to the Greens candidates that doing so would create an uneven playing field with the other candidates. Mark has not directly answered whether he supports 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 open to further consideration of the implementation of the Moreland Parking Plan. As it stands the amendments to the Plan made in the chamber have attempted to address some community concerns and in doing so have further complicated the provisions of the Parking Plan. I have been listening as a sitting Councillor and continue to do so. If re-elected I’ll be working to address the various points of view to have a workable parking regime that makes Moreland more liveable now and into the future.

NOTE: the "forced" nature of this survey structure is not democratic or fair. Hence I've chosen to submit this survey as a document instead.

FPM COMMENTARY: Mark declined to answer Y/N, so submitted the survey as a PDF document rather than complete the online form that all other candidates used, so he could change this option, even though FPM replied to the Greens candidates that doing so would create an uneven playing field with the other candidates. Whilst Mark demonstrates support for revisiting the Moreland Parking Plan, he has not committed to reviewing MITS with an eye to better community engagement.