City of Merri-bek

Coordinates: 37°44′S 144°57′E / 37.733°S 144.950°E / -37.733; 144.950
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(Redirected from City of Moreland)

City of Merri-bek
Location within Melbourne metropolitan area
Coordinates37°44′S 144°57′E / 37.733°S 144.950°E / -37.733; 144.950
Population181,725 (2018)[1] (33rd)
 • Density3,560/km2 (9,230/sq mi)
Area51 km2 (19.7 sq mi)[1]
MayorAngelica Panopoulos (Greens)
Council seatCoburg
RegionGreater Melbourne
State electorate(s)
Federal division(s)
Merri-bek logo.png
WebsiteCity of Merri-bek
LGAs around City of Merri-bek:
Hume, Brimbank Hume Whittlesea
Moonee Valley City of Merri-bek Darebin
Moonee Valley Melbourne Yarra
Previous logo of the City of Moreland

The City of Merri-bek (/ˈmɛr bɛk/[2]) is a local government area in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. It comprises the inner northern suburbs between 4 and 11 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. The Merri-bek local government area covers 51 km2 (20 sq mi), and in June 2018, it had a population of 181,725.[1]

The local government area was created as City of Moreland in 1994 during the amalgamations of local governments by the state government, being created from the former local government areas of the City of Brunswick, the City of Coburg and the southern part of the City of Broadmeadows. It was renamed to Merri-bek in September 2022.

In 2004 the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), an independent authority created under Victorian state legislation, conducted a representation review of the council's electoral structure, resulting in a recommendation that the 10 single councillor wards be replaced by three multi-councillor wards. A consequence of the change from single-councillor to multi-councillor wards was a change in election method from Instant runoff voting to proportional representation via Single transferable vote. Elections are held every four years.[citation needed]


In November 2021, it came to the council's attention that Moreland's namesake was indirectly associated to a Jamaican plantation site that had traded slaves up to the 1800s.[3][4] This historical information was contained in the 2010 Moreland Council publication Thematic History,[5] and published in books and articles as far back as 1944.[6]

In October 1839, Scottish surgeon and settler Dr Farquhar McCrae was sold land between Moonee Ponds Creek and Sydney Road by the Crown in the area's first colonial sale. McCrae gave the land the name Moreland, some suggest he may have named this after a Jamaican sugar plantation that McCrae's paternal grandfather Alexander McCrae worked at[7] from the late 1760s to the early 1790s, which was involved in slave trading,[6] and kept up to 500 to 700 enslaved people in the operation in any one year.[8] Greens Mayor Mark Riley said "The history behind the naming of this area is painful, uncomfortable and very wrong. It needs to be addressed".[9][10] In May 2022 a choice of three proposed names said to be derived from the Woi-wurrung language was announced by Riley and Uncle Andrew Gardiner, deputy chair of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation: Wa-dam-buk, meaning “renew”; Merri-bek, meaning “rocky country”; and Jerrang, meaning “leaf of tree”. The names were scheduled to be decided by July 2022 following community consultation.[11]

The community consultation for the renaming commenced in May 2022 and ended June 2022. Some residents expressed dissatisfaction with the process resulting in a petition to council.[12]

On 3 July 2022 (coinciding with the start of NAIDOC Week) the Council voted at a Special Council Meeting to officially endorse Merri-bek as the preferred name.[13] The name was submitted to the Minister for Local Government for consideration and the Minister's decision to alter the name was gazetted on 13 September 2022 and came into operation on 26 September.[14]

Council services[edit]

Merri-bek Council runs the Counihan Gallery at the Brunswick Town Hall, a free public art gallery named after the local artist, Noel Counihan. Other art events supported by Council include the MoreArt event, an art in public spaces show located along the Upfield transport corridor. The council also sponsors various street festivals around the municipality, the best known being the Sydney Road Street Party.

One of the highlights of the Merri-bek City Council is the public library. Merri-bek City Libraries has five branches.

Other services provided by Merri-bek Council include maternal and child health service, waste and recycling collection, parks and open space, a youth space called Oxygen, services for children, and aged services.

Climate action[edit]

Merri-bek/Moreland Council has been one of the leading municipal councils in Australia in adopting policies on climate action and sustainability. A January 2020 Climateworks Australia local government report identified City of Moreland as one of 3 out of 57 municipal jurisdictions in Australia to have a "fully aligned net zero by 2050 target that addresses both operational and community emissions."[15]

City of Merri-bek is a member of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy,[16] the Cities Power Partnership,[17] Climate Emergency Australia (CEA), Climate Active, The Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), and has declared pledges in the TAKE2 scheme with Sustainability Victoria.[18]

Council declared a climate emergency on 12 September 2018.[19]

Council operational emissions reduction[edit]

For operational emissions, Moreland Council was certified as a ‘carbon neutral’ council in 2012. This required purchase of carbon offset credits. Moreland was the second council in Victoria, and the third in Australia, to receive this certification. A target of 30% less emissions than 2011, with a stretch goal of 40% by 2020, was over-achieved with an emissions cut of 69% by 2020, which will reduce the carbon offsets required to be purchased.[20]

Moreland City Council installed Victoria's first EV fast charge station in 2013. This has now grown to a network of 16 public EV charging stations around the municipality which are powered by 100% zero emissions renewable energy from the Crowlands Wind Farm, near Ararat.[21]

In 2014, City of Moreland joined with the City of Melbourne and several other institutions and established the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP).[22] This project developed and funded the construction of a purpose-built 39 turbine, 80 MW Crowlands windfarm, which started supplying 100% renewables power to Council facilities and buildings in 2019.[23]

Net zero by 2040 community emissions target[edit]

Moreland's community wide municipal emissions in 2019 were 1,609,000 tonnes CO2e, composed of sectoral emissions of: Waste (3%), Transport (17%), Gas (21%), Electricity (59%).[24]

The City of Merri-bek has set a community emissions reduction target of net zero emissions by 2040 and established the Moreland Zero Carbon 2040 Framework Strategy and the first 5-year action plan to achieve that target.[25]

Climate related policies and strategies[edit]

Other key climate and sustainability policies and strategies driving climate action include: Climate Emergency Action Plan (2020 to 2025), Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy, Waste and Litter Strategy, Achieving zero Carbon in the Planning Scheme, Sustainable Buildings Policy, Urban Heat Island Effect Action Plan, Urban Forest Strategy, Watermap, Procurement policy, Cooling the Upfield Corridor Action Plan, Food Systems Strategy, Fossil Fuel Divestment Strategy, Moreland Nature Plan.

Climate action endorsements[edit]

During 2021 City of Moreland supported a climate disaster levy on coal exports,[26] and endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, the first government jurisdiction in Australia to do so.[27][28]

Suburbs of City of Merri-bek


Current composition[edit]

Merri-bek City Council
Angelica Panopoulos
Deputy Mayor
Helen Davidson
Australia Merri-bek Council 2023.svg
Council political groups
  Greens (3)
  Independent (4)
  Labor (2)
  Socialist Alliance (2)

Councillors are elected from three multi-member wards, two electing four members, and one electing three, for a total of eleven councillors. The current council was elected in October 2016, and its composition is:[29][30]

Party Councillors
  Independent 4
  Greens 3
  Labor 2
  Socialist Alliance 2
Total 11

In order of election by ward, is:

Ward Party Councillor Notes
North-East   Labor Annalivia Carli Hannan
  Greens Adam Pulford
  Socialist Alliance Sue Bolton
  Independent Helen Pavlidis-Mihalakos
North-West   Independent Oscar Yildiz
  Independent Helen Davidson
  Greens Angelica Panopoulos
  Socialist Alliance Monica Harte [31]
South   Labor Lambros Tapinos
  Greens Mark Riley
  Independent James Conlan Left Greens in February 2023
Single-member wards, 1996–2004
Ward 1996–1999[32] 1999–2002[33] 2002–2004[34]
1999 2000 2001
Box Forest Tony Abela Ken Blair (Re-elected in 2002)
Glencairn Chris Iliopoulos Robert Larocca (Re-elected in 2002)
Grandview Rosemary Kerr (Re-elected in 1999) Stephen Roach
Hoffman Mike Hill Andy Ingham (Vacated seat in 2001) Joe Caputo (By-election in 2001, re-elected in 2002)
Lincoln Mills Rod Higgins (Re-elected in 1999, vacated seat in 2000) Vicki Yianoulatos (By-election in 2000, re-elected in 2004)
Lygon Glenyys Romanes Leigh Snelling Fraser Brindley
Merri Anthony Helou (Re-elected in 1999 and 2002)
Moonah Andrew Rowe (Re-elected in 1999) Mark Higginbotham
Newlands Stella Kariofyllidis (Re-elected in 1999 and 2002)
Westbreen Geoff Lutz Melanie Raymond Joe Ficarra

Multi-member wards, 2004–present[edit]

North-East Ward
Year Councillor Party Councillor Party Councillor Party Councillor Party
2004   Anthony Helou Labor   Mark O'Brien Labor   Andrea Sharam Greens   Daniel De Lorenzis Independent
2008 Michael Teti Labor Toby Archer Greens   Stella Kariofyllidis Labor
2012 Lenka Thompson Greens
2012   Sue Bolton Socialist Alliance   Rob Thompson Independent Liberal
2016 Annalivia Carli Hannan Labor Natalie Abboud Greens   Ali Irfanli Independent
2020 Sue Bolton Moreland Team Adam Pulford Greens Helen Pavlidis-Mihalakos Independent
2022 Socialist Alliance   Victorians
2022   Independent
North-West Ward
Year Councillor Party Councillor Party Councillor Party Councillor Party
2004   Mark Higginbotham[35] Labor   Kathleen Matthews-Ward[36] Labor   John Kavanagh[37] Democratic Labour   Milad El-Halabi Labor
2008 Oscar Yildiz Labor Enver Erdogan Labor
2012[36]   Helen Davidson Independent Lita Gillies Labor
2016   Dale Martin Greens
2018   Independent   Independent
2020   Milad El-Halabi Labor Angelica Panopoulos Greens
2021   Victorians
2022   Independent   Monica Harte Socialist Alliance
South Ward
Year Councillor Party Councillor Party Councillor Party
2004   Joe Caputo Labor   Alice Pryor Labor   Josephine Connellan Greens
2008 Lambros Tapinos Labor
2012 Meghan Hopper Labor Samantha Ratnam Greens
2016   Mark Riley Greens
2017 James Conlan Greens
2023   Independent


The current Mayor is Angelica Panopoulos and the Deputy Mayor is Helen Davidson. They were elected by council in November 2022 and will serve the 2023 year.[38]

Election results[edit]

2020 election results[edit]

City of Moreland: Party totals
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Independent 41,866 44.60 +4.16 4 Steady
  Labor 20,901 20.30 -8.30 2 Steady
  Victorian Greens 16,396 15.92 -13.92 4 Steady
  Sue Bolton Moreland Team[a] 5,062 4.92 +0.21 1 Steady
  Reason 4,637 4.50 +4.50 0 Steady
  Victorian Socialists 4,068 3.95 +3.95 0 Steady
  Animal Justice 935 0.91 +0.91 0 Steady
City of Moreland: North-East Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
  Greens Adam Pulford 5,618 15.20 -7.42
  Labor Annalivia Hannan 5,983 16.19 +4.94
  Sue Bolton Moreland Team Sue Bolton[b] 4,079 11.04 -1.99
  Independent Paul Failla 2,307 6.14 -2.40
  Independent Helen Pavlidis-Mihalakos 2,271 6.14 +1.65
  Independent Jason Clarke 1,979 5.35 +5.35
  Labor Ismene Thiveos 1,736 4.70 +4.70
  Independent Anthony Helou 1,420 3.84 -1.80
  Independent Hamza Dhedy 1,278 3.46 -3.46
  Labor Rebekah Hogan 1,197 3.24 +3.24
  Independent Francesco Timpano 1,149 3.11 -0.26
  Independent Lynton Joseph 1,059 2.87 +2.87
  Reason Margee Glover 1,039 2.81 +2.81
  Independent Dean O'Callaghan 652 1.76 +1.76
  Independent Haissam Naim 622 1.68 +1.68
  Greens Muhammad Ul Murrtaza 531 1.44 +0.24
  Independent Rasheed Elachkar 500 1.35 +1.35
  Independent Gloria Farah 391 1.06 +1.06
  Sue Bolton Moreland Team Meghan Street 153 0.41 -0.41
Turnout 36,957 79.41%
  Greens hold Swing -7.42
  Labor hold Swing +4.94
  Sue Bolton Moreland Team hold Swing -1.99
  Independent (Helen Pavlidis-Mihalakos) gain from Independent (Ali Irflani) Swing N/A
City of Moreland: North-West Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
  Independent Oscar Yildiz 12,884 36.38 +7.94
  Independent Helen Davidson 5,155 14.56 +3.70
  Greens Angelica Panopoulos 3,361 9.49 -6.20[c]
  Labor Milad El-Halabi 2,109 5.95 +2.17
  Labor Praveen Kumar 1,826 5.16 +5.16
  Victorian Socialists Daniel Taylor 1,490 4.21 +4.21
  Independent Shaun Minehan 1,326 3.74 +0.34
  Sue Bolton Moreland Team Monica Harte[b] 1,286 3.63 +3.63
  Independent Lou Tenance 1,058 2.99 +2.99
  Animal Justice Chris Miles 935 2.64 +2.64
  Independent Shanaka T. Perera 932 2.63 +2.63
  Independent Mohamad Elmustapha 779 2.20 +2.20
  Independent Georgios Karantzalis 586 1.65 +1.65
  Independent Alesio Mulipola 499 1.41 _1.41
  Independent Baris A. Duzova 438 1.24 +1.24
  Independent Darren Leslie Grindrod 427 1.21 +1.21
  Independent Catherine Bonacci-Rocca 326 0.92 +0.92
Turnout 29,338 64.90%
  Independent (Oscar Yildiz) hold Swing +7.94
  Independent (Helen Davidson) hold Swing +3.70
  Greens hold Swing -6.20
  Labor hold Swing +2.17
City of Moreland: South Ward
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
  Labor Lambros Tapinos 4,924 19.11 +4.88
  Greens Mark Riley 4,621 17.93 +15.86
  Victorian Socialists Nahui Jimenez 2,578 10.00 +10.00
  Greens James Conlan 2,265 8.79 +8.79
  Reason Rachel Payne 2,247 8.72 +8.72
  Independent John Durrant 2,018 7.83 +7.83
  Labor Helen Breier 1,532 5.94 +5.94
  Independent Shea Evans 1,351 5.24 +5.24
  Labor Shirley Jackson 1,095 4.25 +4.25
  Independent Melissa Yuan 1,037 4.02 +1.60
  Independent George Georgiou 788 3.06 +3.06
  Independent Pauline Galvin 649 2.52 +2.52
  Independent Sultan Taraby 424 1.65 +1.65
  Sue Bolton Moreland Team Jacob Andrewartha[b] 181 0.70 +0.70
  Independent Robert Durkacz 60 0.23 +0.23
Turnout 29,338 64.90%
  Labor hold Swing +4.88
  Greens hold Swing N/A
  Greens hold Swing N/A

Townships and localities[edit]

At the 2021 census, the city had a population of 171,357 up from 162,558 at the 2016 census.[39]

Locality 2016 2021
Brunswick 24,473 24,896
Brunswick East 11,504 13,279
Brunswick West 14,159 14,746
Coburg 26,185 26,574
Coburg North 7,601 8,327
Fawkner^ 14,043 14,274
Fitzroy North^ 12,339 12,781
Glenroy 22,245 23,792
Gowanbrae 2,773 2,971
Hadfield 5,610 6,269
Oak Park 6,205 6,714
Parkville^ 7,409 7,074
Pascoe Vale 17,051 18,171
Pascoe Vale South 10,069 10,534
Tullamarine^ 6,605 6,733

^ - Territory divided with another LGA


In 2023, former Councillor Milad El-Halabi is set to face trial after being accused of stealing and forging votes in the last eletion. El-Halabi was a ward of the Moreland City, where over 80 ballots were reportedly forged. El-Halabi's wife, Dianna, and daughter, Tania, have also been accused by the police.[40]

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Made up of independents and Socialist Alliance members
  2. ^ a b c Socialist Alliance member
  3. ^ When compared to 2016 results of Greens councillor Dale Martin


  1. ^ a b c "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Local Government Area (ASGS 2018), 2017 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Renaming Moreland". Conversations Merri-bek. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  3. ^ "Changing Moreland's name". Brunswick Community History Group. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Minutes of the Special Council Meeting - 13 December 2021" (PDF). Moreland City Council. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  5. ^ "City of Moreland Thematic History" (PDF). City of Moreland. City of Moreland. 1 May 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b Lesh, James (2022). Report on the place name: Moreland : Legacies of Slavery. City of Moreland. Coburg, Victoria. ISBN 978-0-646-85827-2. OCLC 1313068942.
  7. ^ Lesh, Dr James (13 April 2022). Report on the place name: Moreland (PDF) (Report). Deakin University. ISBN 9780646858272. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Council asked to consider Moreland name change". City of Moreland Council. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Melbourne council to ditch slave-link name". NITV. 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  10. ^ Fowler, Michael (24 November 2021). "'Shocked' Melbourne council to change name after discovering slavery link". The Age. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  11. ^ Geraets, Nell; Fowler, Michael (14 May 2022). "New Indigenous names for Moreland Council proposed". The Age. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Community demand more consultation". The Age. The Age. 9 August 2022. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  13. ^ Council, Moreland City. "With new Merri-bek name, Council is a step closer to reconciliation". Moreland City Council. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  14. ^ "Order Altering the Name of Moreland City Council" (PDF). Victorian Government Gazette. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  15. ^ Proudlove R, Bravo C, Denis-Ryan, A (January 2020). "Net zero momentum tracker – local government report". ClimateWorks Australia. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Global Covenant of Mayors City Dashboard - Moreland". Global Covenant of Mayors. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  17. ^ "Moreland City is a Power Partner". Cities Power Partnership. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Our Sustainability Story". City of Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Media Release: Moreland Council adopts Climate Emergency". Climate Action Moreland. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Moreland City Council slashes its carbon emissions". Zero carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Use an Electric Vehicle". Zero Carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  22. ^ Jewell, Cameron (1 December 2015). "Melbourne consortium forms to drive renewable investment". The Fifth Estate. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  23. ^ "Melbourne Renewable Energy Project: A new generation of energy". City of melbourne. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  24. ^ "Moreland 2019 municipal emissions snapshot". Snapshot Climate Tool. Ironbark Sustainability. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  25. ^ "About Zero Carbon Moreland". Zero Carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Moreland Council supports a Climate Disaster Levy". Climate Action Moreland. 11 March 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  27. ^ "Moreland City Council says no to fossil fuels". Zero Carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  28. ^ "Fossil Fuel Treaty". Fossil Fuel Treaty Initiative. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  29. ^ "Results for Moreland City Council Elections 2016". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  30. ^ Korssen, Tiffany (31 October 2016). "Former mayor Meghan Hopper ousted as Labor lose two seats in Moreland Council election". Moreland Leader. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  31. ^ "Second socialist elected in Moreland, after Labor property developer steps down". 23 March 2022.
  32. ^ "First Council". Moreland City Council. Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  33. ^ "Second Council". Moreland City Council. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  34. ^ "Third Council". Moreland City Council. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  35. ^ Mayne, Stephen (30 January 2006). "The Green mayor who kept his council car". Crikey. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  36. ^ a b Cooke, Dewi (25 March 2010). "ALP suspends trio for breaking ranks". The Age. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  37. ^ Tessa, Hoffman (27 October 2012). "Moreland Council elections 2012". Moreland Leader. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 4 April 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  38. ^ "Mayor of Moreland". Moreland City Council. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  39. ^ "Census | Australian Bureau of Statistics". 11 January 2023.
  40. ^ "Former Merri-bek councillor to face trial over voter fraud". The Age. 7 March 2023. Retrieved 7 March 2023.

External links[edit]