What a difference a community campaign makes

[By Sue Bolton] Residents were shocked the day before the May council meeting to see workers arrive unexpectedly to dig up a small and much-loved local park, Methven Park in Brunswick East. It turned out that the workers were there to start building a public toilet on the only part of the park that gets the afternoon sun and in the middle of one of the two small strips of grass. Continue reading

Fawkner residents campaign against toxic site

[By Sue Bolton] Fawkner residents have formed Toxic Free Fawkner, to oppose development on the old Nufarm factory site at 102 McBryde St Fawkner and call for an independent environmental audit of the site and the surrounding sites. The group’s first public meeting showed the community concern with 95 people packing out the Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre on May 11 to hear speakers about the toxic Nufarm chemicals site at 100 and 102 McBryde St Fawkner and the development application for 102 McBryde St. Continue reading

Developer ignores concerns about toxic site in Fawkner

 [By Sue Bolton] Toxic sites in Australia are not well known or well managed. One such site is the old Nufarm chemical factory site in Melbourne’s northern suburb, Fawkner.

The factory operated from 1957 to 1974, making a wide range of noxious chemicals including dioxins; DDT; toluline-based emulsifiable concentrate; phenoxyacetic acid herbicide; 2,4-D; 2,4,5-T; esters; dichlorophenol and trichlorophenol and arsenic-based sheep dip.  Read more at Green Left Weekly.

Unanimous council vote for our motion to protect the vulnerable during heatwaves

[By Sue Bolton] In the wake of Victoria’s scorching January heatwave and the more recent fire crisis, I successfully moved at the February 12 Moreland City Council meeting for the council to:

  1. Investigate possible buildings and services in the local area which could be used as ‘heat refuges/relief centres” in time for the 2014-15 summer heatwaves;
  2. Assess the cost to council of the extra staff hours to cope with heatwave responses, the air-conditioning of extra spaces opened up to the public etc.;
  3.  Investigate cost and options to provide targeted material assistance to at-risk groups including water, public transport tickets, sunscreen, ‘heatwave packs’ and, where appropriate, cooling appliances. Continue reading