Urban Design the Moreland Way

Recently, almost overnight, lots of benches suddenly appeared in the streets of Brunswick. They were installed so quickly, and there were so many of them, that we suspect that Moreland Council had a “bucket of grant money” that it had to spend quickly or lose, so it bought the benches. Fair enough. However, most of the benches were installed in absolutely ridiculous places, such as a few metres outside of a park instead of inside the park, and my favourite example, the one pictured, which is outside the electricity substation in Albert Street — not even a seagull would feel comfortable sitting on that bench! Sadly though, this is typical of the “mindless” decisions made by Moreland Council. It seems that near enough is good enough according to the Council. WRONG! However, enough is enough. It’s time for major changes to Moreland Council.

WARNING: Dirty tricks and identity theft

WARNING. We are now known and formally registered as “The Moreland Ratepayers Action Group.” Sadly, our former name, “The Moreland Residents and Ratepayers Action Group,” has been “stolen” by a candidate for the North East Ward (and perhaps others) who is now sending out bizarre and mischievous emails under that banner. We have nothing whatsoever to do with these grubby emails.

Welcome to local government politics in Moreland! Surely, obviously, it is time for a change!

Mr. Frank Timpano & Dr. Derham Groves Straight Talking


In May 2012 another Moreland resident also put a video on YouTube of a Moreland Council garbage truck collecting both garbage and recycling at the same time. When asked about this by Nine News, the Moreland Council’s CEO, “Mr Brown said the incident was being investigated ‘as a matter of urgency. We want to thank the resident who took the video footage for bringing this to our attention,’ he said. ‘It is totally unacceptable that a truck is being used for the collection of household waste and recycling at the same time, which works against all our efforts to increase recycling in Moreland.’”

Moreland Mayor John Kavanagh also told the Herald-Sun that “although no complaints were made the council took responsibility for the mix-up, and efforts were being made to track down the culprit. ‘An incident such as this certainly affects the residents in feeling like their recycling efforts are wasted,’ Mr Kavanagh said. He said landfill fees meant ratepayers would feel the pinch of contaminated truckloads.”

All of that was in MAY 2012. But in AUGUST 2012 the practice was still continuing, as the mrrag.org video indicates. The real so-called “culprits” are Moreland’s sleeping councilors and managers. “Zzzzz … zzzzz” is the loudest noise we hear coming from the Town Hall! WHERE IS THE QUALITY CONTROL IN MORELAND COUNCIL? WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY?

We Need Reasonable People with an Understanding of Architecture and Good Governance on Moreland Council

Mr. Frank (Francesco) Timpano and Dr. Derham Groves are both registered architects. Frank has a local architecture and building disputes practice and Derham teaches architecture at the University of Melbourne. Jointly they have decades of architectural and planning experience in a wide range of projects.

Many of the current Moreland councilors seem to have trouble reading architectural drawings, nor do they seem to have a grasp of architecture and planning issues that comes with years of experience. Sadly, it seems that the same can be said about Moreland’s planning department.

Regarding a massive residential apartment building approved to be built in Albert Street, at one Moreland council meeting Derham asked the question three times “Where are the hundreds of residents going to park their cars?” No answer. Clearly, they had not thought about it, but they made a decision anyway. Unfortunately the same sort of thing is happening more and more all over Moreland.

It is important that councilors who understand the built environment represent the residents and ratepayers of Moreland.

Frank and Derham’s objectives include:

• Eliminate further waste of rates and taxes
• Reduce rates
• Improve basic services and facilities
• Creating opportunities for local people and local business
• Looking after the elderly and disadvantaged
• Improve recreational facilities and the arts
• Promoting good and transparent governance
• Reviewing and fixing bad council decisions

Moreland Council’s Response is Garbage

This was how the garbage was still being collected in Coburg, Victoria only three weeks ago, i.e. the middle of August 2012. However, a spokesperson for Moreland Council denied it yesterday, i.e. the 7th of September 2012. This is what they said:

“To clarify, this truck was sold many months ago and we fixed this problem back then. We’ve since reviewed & improved our waste and recycling service.”

As the ABC reporter Virginia Trioli tweeted in response: “But it’s not the truck that’s the issue! More the operator and the policy!”

How right you are Virginia! Not only can’t Moreland Council collect the rubbish correctly, but somebody there blames the trucks for cocking things up! And as last month’s video demonstrates, they also don’t know there are seven days in a week and four weeks in a month!

In the meantime, we are all faithfully separating our garbage from recyclable material. But really, what’s the point if this happens? So much for Moreland Council’s “green” credentials!

The Sunday Age newspaper picked up the story as well. This is what it wrote:

Council Finds Dirt Sticks

POLITICS can be a grubby business. Or in the case of Moreland Council, downright trashy. In the tradition of the best political scandals, this one even comes with a grainy video that has ratepayers up in arms – and that will have dedicated domestic recyclers everywhere shaking their heads. The video, posted on YouTube, shows a council garbage truck doing its early morning rounds. Responsible residents have left their bins out, their waste carefully separated. But as the title of the video asks, ”Why bother to recycle if this is what happens?” It is indeed gobsmacking: the mechanised arm of the truck lifts and dumps all the rubbish into the back of the vehicle, efforts at recycling apparently ignored. The video has been posted by architects Frank Timpano and Derham Groves, who are running for council under the Moreland Residents and Ratepayers Action Group banner. They say this was standard council procedure until a few weeks ago. We thought there must be more to it than meets the eye, but on Friday the council fessed up in a tweet: ”This truck was sold many months ago and we fixed this problem back then. We’ve since reviewed and improved our service.” We’re amazed it was going on in the first place.

Moreland Way — Why bother recycling if this is what happens?

This is how the garbage is collected in Coburg, Victoria. If you can’t trust Moreland Council to pick up the garbage correctly, then how can you trust them to do anything correctly?

Questo è come la spazzatura viene raccolta a Coburg, Victoria. Se non ti puoi fidare Moreland Consiglio a raccogliere la spazzatura correttamente, allora come si può fidarsi di loro di fare qualcosa correttamente?

Αυτό είναι το πώς τα σκουπίδια συλλέγονται σε Coburg, Βικτόρια. Εάν δεν μπορείτε να εμπιστευθείτε Moreland Συμβούλιο για να πάρει τα σκουπίδια σωστά, τότε πώς μπορείς να εμπιστευτείς τους να κάνουν κάτι σωστά;

هذه هي الطريقة التي يتم جمع القمامة في كوبورغ، فيكتوريا. إذا كنت لا تستطيع أن تثق بها مجلس مورلاند لالتقاط القمامة بشكل صحيح، ثم كيف يمكنك الثقة بهم لفعل أي شيء بشكل صحيح؟


Bu çöp Coburg, Victoria toplanır nasıl. Doğru çöp pick up Moreland Konseyi güvenemiyorum, sonra onlara nasıl doğru bir şey yapmak için güvenebilirim?

Điều này là rác thải được thu thập tại Coburg, Victoria. Nếu bạn không thể tin tưởng Moreland Hội đồng nhặt rác một cách chính xác, sau đó làm thế nào bạn có thể tin tưởng họ làm bất cứ điều gì một cách chính xác?

Dan huwa kif l-żibel jinġabar Coburg, Victoria. Jekk inti ma tistax fiduċja Moreland Kunsill li jittellgħu l-żibel korrett, allura kif inti tista ‘trust biex tagħmel xejn b’mod korrett?

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