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 oppose Zero Parking developments and our lead candidate, Sue Bolton, has consistently voted against Zero Parking developments on Council. Ideally Zero Parking developments would go through a planning permit process with the community having notification and objection rights, in order to provide feedback on the appropriate nature of individual Zero Parking permits.
There are a number of problems with Zero Parking developments. The lack of parking bays for residents moving their belongings in and of units, for tradespeople doing work on the units or for health or home care workers visiting people in the units to provide care. People also have different car needs over the course of their lives and residents who initially did not need a car space may find they later do due to changed circumstances including a new job distant to their home, changing to a job that requires a car, becoming unable to ride a bike, walk or take public transport, etc.
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 support doing a survey to understand the impact of Zero Parking developments on the neighbouring streets, although the results of such a survey are likely to vary depending on whether it is a standard Zero Parking development or one where the residents have committed to not owning cars. It's important to ascertain whether the Zero Parking program is actually reducing car usage or just pushing car parking to neighbouring streets and causing issues.
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 definitely support delaying the parking restrictions until this survey work is carried out. It is vital to gather this data in order to appropriately plan and also to ascertain if such an initiative is actually decreasing car usage and not unduly negatively affecting residents.
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 support community consultation in different parts of Moreland on where parking restrictions are appropriate. There are some areas where there is a high demand for parking such as near restaurant strips, where residents often want restricted parking. But there are other areas where residents don’t want parking restrictions. There also needs to be discussion about what are appropriate parking restrictions around places like community centres and sports grounds.
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 obvious that the parking needs of the various parts of Moreland differ. From the different suburbs to the different types of parking (i.e. residential, shopping precincts, industrial). Parking restrictions need to be worked out on a precinct basis, according to what sorts of centres and activities exist within a precinct as well as access to public transport.
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?
Shifting away from car dependence and car usage is an important part of taking action to combat the climate emergency, however taking a punitive approach to decreasing car usage is not the answer and is an approach that ignores the obvious issues of access to a reliable, frequent and convenient public transport system and access to safe and networked walking and bike pathways. It also ignores that fact that in some households, especially those further away from the city centre, a car is an essential mode of transport due to small children, distant jobs, trades that require a car and mobility for disabled residents. A punitive approach often simply pushes car usage to other suburbs, not effectively decreasing usage overall.
In cities throughout the world where car usage has successfully been reduced, a large, frequent, reliable and affordable public transport network has been the key factor in reducing car usage or getting people out of their cars altogether. Although council is not directly involved in public transport infrastructure, it must advocate more strongly for investment in public transport and support programs to this end.
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)