Council Elections, School Safety, Gas, Federal Budget, Metre Matters and Local News
In this edition,
- Council elections
- School safety survey
- State Parliament update
- The problem with gas
- Federal Budget - New Jobs or public money for mates?
- Metre Matter Laws
- Local News
If there is anything else you think I should be aware about, contact me here.
This week you will get a postal voting pack in the mail for the local council elections. To avoid the fine for not voting, I recommend completing and posting it as soon as possible. If your ballot pack hasn’t arrived by this Friday, call 8619 1452 during office hours for a replacement, if you live in Moreland. For other municipalities check here.
Most people in the Brunswick state electorate live in the municipality of Moreland (meet your Greens council candidates here) but people in Parkville Gardens, are covered by Melbourne City Council (Greens candidates here), and those in North Fitzroy (South side of May St & Pleasance St), live in the City of Yarra (Greens candidates here).
It’s easy to overlook the importance of councils in our lives, and they will only become more important as they confront challenges from climate change, COVID, and a growing population.
Please do your own research, but for me, I’ve been impressed with how Moreland’s Greens councillors have worked to:
- Declare a climate emergency and launch a zero community emissions target by 2040
- Deliver new parks and open spaces
- Work to cut emissions from household waste
- Double the spend on bike lanes
- Spearheaded council supporting protected bike lanes on Sydney Road
Whoever you vote for, don’t forget to vote!
SCHOOL SAFETY SURVEY.
Do you have a child starting back at Primary School next week? Tell me how they’ll be getting to school this Spring, by completing this quick survey. I’m keen to work on improving safety on the way to school, especially as more Brunswick residents are leaving the car at home and walking, riding, skating or scootering. And thanks to those who’ve already filled it in!
You may have seen reports on the “Omnibus Bill”, currently before State Parliament’s upper house, part of which would give police and protective services officers the right to detain people at high risk of spreading coronavirus in the community.
After I raised amendments to this in parliament last month, a growing community campaign (which included hundred of emails to me and other MPs) I felt the need to explain some of the issues in this ABC interview and in this series of tweets, last week.
So I was pleased to see the state government yesterday released a much-altered bill in which police and PSOs will no longer have powers of detention.
Hopefully the number of cases will keep falling and this will become theoretical, particularly as we don't have a COVID-positive president driving around town.
THE PROBLEM WITH GAS.
Are you at all suspicious about Prime Minister Morrison’s gas-led recovery? There are so many reasons why this is wrong. I recently published a 4 part video series with Tim Forcey, an energy expert with 30 years experience about what’s wrong with gas, what governments should be doing, how renters can save money, and finally, how homeowners can save money.
Also, this is a great twitter thread that debunks the need for new gas and why prices will never go down, and if the videos above weren’t enough, the Australian Energy Foundation based in Brunswick, has heaps of cost-effective ways to stay warm in winter and cut energy bills.
FEDERAL BUDGET - NEW JOBS OR PUBLIC MONEY FOR MATES?
The Federal Budget should have been a budget of hope. But the Morrison Government's Budget favours the super-wealthy over the rest of us.
There was plenty of money for hard hat road-building projects, and some long overdue public transport projects and deregulating construction.
These are male dominated industries that actually employ fewer people per dollar invested, than the caring professions and other face-to-face roles, such as teaching. So I’m keen for investment in our caring economy to be part of our post-COVID employment stimulus.
While the federal budget missed so many opportunities, along with the other Greens MPs, I’ll be pushing for some of our Green New Deal to appear in the Victorian state budget.
For those of you out of work, or on JobKeeper payments, last week’s cuts to JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments will have hit hard. You may want to add your voice to our campaign against the cuts to JobKeeper here and to JobSeeker here.
METRE MATTERS LAW.
Next year parliament will introduce laws making it mandatory for motorists to keep their distance when overtaking cyclists. They will have to give them a clearance of at least 1m when overtaking on roads with speed limits of up to 60km/h.
Victoria was the only state without either current or planned laws. The Greens have tried to get these laws through parliament three times, the first 5 years ago and most recently in August this year.
The Amy Gillett Foundation, along with Bicycle Network, have also long campaigned for such laws, I thank them for their advocacy and congratulate them on this fantastic outcome.
If you live near the corner of Glenlyon Rd and Lygon St, you probably already know about a Bunnings store proposed to replace the old Chamton building on Glenlyon Rd. The news of 50 new jobs is welcome, but, I’m worried that the traffic generated by such a large store at this site will discourage or endanger bike riders and pedestrians on Glenlyon Rd. Customer vehicles and large delivery trucks squeezing round tight corners will worsen the usual traffic congestion on both Lygon St and Glenlyon Rd. This is likely to come to the newly elected Council later this year. Local residents have more information on this website and their facebook page.
You’ve probably seen the Brunswick East Entertainment Festival; four performers who started dancing in their Nicholson St front yard, during this lockdown. Last week I chatted to one of the team, who told me how this pandemic has affected so many performing artists and all those who work with them (photographers, technicians,venues etc). This year we’ve had almost no live performances in a city that prides itself on our theatre and music, a scene that set Melbourne apart from other Australian cities, and hit harder than almost anything else. As the number of COVID cases falls and we cautiously reopen society, it’s clear that indoor performances will be last to reopen, as indoor gatherings are still risky. Brunswick is home to many who work in performing arts and, along with Greens MP colleagues, I’ve pushed for more support for performers and artists. So thanks to the Brunswick East Entertainment Festival for your positivity and showing us the power of performance to heal.
That’s it for now,
Dr Tim Read
Greens MP for Brunswick
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