City of Merri-bek
|City of Merri-bek|
|Coordinates||37°44′S 144°57′E / 37.733°S 144.950°E|
|Population||181,725 (2018) (33rd)|
|• Density||3,560/km2 (9,230/sq mi)|
|Area||51 km2 (19.7 sq mi)|
|Mayor||Angelica Panopoulos (Greens)|
|Website||City of Merri-bek|
The City of Merri-bek (/ˈmɛriː bɛk/) 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.
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.
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. This historical information was contained in the 2010 Moreland Council publication Thematic History, and published in books and articles as far back as 1944.
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 from the late 1760s to the early 1790s, which was involved in slave trading, and kept up to 500 to 700 enslaved people in the operation in any one year. Greens Mayor Mark Riley said "The history behind the naming of this area is painful, uncomfortable and very wrong. It needs to be addressed". 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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."
City of Merri-bek is a member of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, the Cities Power Partnership, Climate Emergency Australia (CEA), Climate Active, The Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), and has declared pledges in the TAKE2 scheme with Sustainability Victoria.
Council declared a climate emergency on 12 September 2018.
Council operational emissions reduction
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.
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.
In 2014, City of Moreland joined with the City of Melbourne and several other institutions and established the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP). 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.
Net zero by 2040 community emissions target
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%).
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.
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
During 2021 City of Moreland supported a climate disaster levy on coal exports, and endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, the first government jurisdiction in Australia to do so.
Merri-bek City Council
Council political groups
| Greens (3) |
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:
In order of election by ward, is:
|North-East||Labor||Annalivia Carli Hannan|
|Socialist Alliance||Sue Bolton|
|Socialist Alliance||Monica Harte|||
|Independent||James Conlan||Left Greens in February 2023|
|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
|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||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|
|2004||Mark Higginbotham||Labor||Kathleen Matthews-Ward||Labor||John Kavanagh||Democratic Labour||Milad El-Halabi||Labor|
|2008||Oscar Yildiz||Labor||Enver Erdogan||Labor|
|2012||Helen Davidson||Independent||Lita Gillies||Labor|
|2020||Milad El-Halabi||Labor||Angelica Panopoulos||Greens|
|2022||Independent||Monica Harte||Socialist Alliance|
|2004||Joe Caputo||Labor||Alice Pryor||Labor||Josephine Connellan||Greens|
|2012||Meghan Hopper||Labor||Samantha Ratnam||Greens|
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.
2020 election results
|Sue Bolton Moreland Team[a]||5,062||4.92||+0.21||1|
|Sue Bolton Moreland Team||Sue Bolton[b]||4,079||11.04||-1.99|
|Greens||Muhammad Ul Murrtaza||531||1.44||+0.24|
|Sue Bolton Moreland Team||Meghan Street||153||0.41||-0.41|
|Sue Bolton Moreland Team hold||Swing||-1.99|
|Independent (Helen Pavlidis-Mihalakos) gain from Independent (Ali Irflani)||Swing||N/A|
|Victorian Socialists||Daniel Taylor||1,490||4.21||+4.21|
|Sue Bolton Moreland Team||Monica Harte[b]||1,286||3.63||+3.63|
|Animal Justice||Chris Miles||935||2.64||+2.64|
|Independent||Shanaka T. Perera||932||2.63||+2.63|
|Independent||Baris A. Duzova||438||1.24||+1.24|
|Independent||Darren Leslie Grindrod||427||1.21||+1.21|
|Independent (Oscar Yildiz) hold||Swing||+7.94|
|Independent (Helen Davidson) hold||Swing||+3.70|
|Victorian Socialists||Nahui Jimenez||2,578||10.00||+10.00|
|Sue Bolton Moreland Team||Jacob Andrewartha[b]||181||0.70||+0.70|
Townships and localities
At the 2021 census, the city had a population of 171,357 up from 162,558 at the 2016 census.
|Pascoe Vale South||10,069||10,534|
^ - 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.
- Xianyang, Shaanxi, China
- Solarino, Italy
- Canterbury, New South Wales, Australia
- Aileu, East Timor
- Mansfield, Victoria, Australia
- Sparta, Greece
- ^ Made up of independents and Socialist Alliance members
- ^ a b c Socialist Alliance member
- ^ When compared to 2016 results of Greens councillor Dale Martin
- ^ 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.
- ^ "Renaming Moreland". Conversations Merri-bek. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
- ^ "Changing Moreland's name". Brunswick Community History Group. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
- ^ "Minutes of the Special Council Meeting - 13 December 2021" (PDF). Moreland City Council. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
- ^ "City of Moreland Thematic History" (PDF). City of Moreland. City of Moreland. 1 May 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Lesh, Dr James (13 April 2022). Report on the place name: Moreland (PDF) (Report). Deakin University. ISBN 9780646858272. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
- ^ "Council asked to consider Moreland name change". City of Moreland Council. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- ^ "Melbourne council to ditch slave-link name". NITV. 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- ^ Fowler, Michael (24 November 2021). "'Shocked' Melbourne council to change name after discovering slavery link". The Age. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
- ^ Geraets, Nell; Fowler, Michael (14 May 2022). "New Indigenous names for Moreland Council proposed". The Age. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
- ^ "Community demand more consultation". The Age. The Age. 9 August 2022. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
- ^ Council, Moreland City. "With new Merri-bek name, Council is a step closer to reconciliation". Moreland City Council. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
- ^ "Order Altering the Name of Moreland City Council" (PDF). Victorian Government Gazette. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
- ^ Proudlove R, Bravo C, Denis-Ryan, A (January 2020). "Net zero momentum tracker – local government report". ClimateWorks Australia. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Global Covenant of Mayors City Dashboard - Moreland". Global Covenant of Mayors. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Moreland City is a Power Partner". Cities Power Partnership. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Our Sustainability Story". City of Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Media Release: Moreland Council adopts Climate Emergency". Climate Action Moreland. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Moreland City Council slashes its carbon emissions". Zero carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Use an Electric Vehicle". Zero Carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
- ^ Jewell, Cameron (1 December 2015). "Melbourne consortium forms to drive renewable investment". The Fifth Estate. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Melbourne Renewable Energy Project: A new generation of energy". City of melbourne. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
- ^ "Moreland 2019 municipal emissions snapshot". Snapshot Climate Tool. Ironbark Sustainability. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "About Zero Carbon Moreland". Zero Carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Moreland Council supports a Climate Disaster Levy". Climate Action Moreland. 11 March 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
- ^ "Moreland City Council says no to fossil fuels". Zero Carbon Moreland. City of Moreland. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
- ^ "Fossil Fuel Treaty". Fossil Fuel Treaty Initiative. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- ^ "Results for Moreland City Council Elections 2016". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
- ^ 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.
- ^ "Second socialist elected in Moreland, after Labor property developer steps down". 23 March 2022.
- ^ "First Council". Moreland City Council. Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ^ "Second Council". Moreland City Council. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ^ "Third Council". Moreland City Council. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ^ Mayne, Stephen (30 January 2006). "The Green mayor who kept his council car". Crikey. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ^ a b Cooke, Dewi (25 March 2010). "ALP suspends trio for breaking ranks". The Age. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ^ 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.
- ^ "Mayor of Moreland". Moreland City Council. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
- ^ "Census | Australian Bureau of Statistics". www.abs.gov.au. 11 January 2023.
- ^ "Former Merri-bek councillor to face trial over voter fraud". The Age. 7 March 2023. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
- Media related to City of Moreland at Wikimedia Commons
- Official Merri-bek City Council website
- Moreland Online Community Directory
- List of Moreland's Friendship cities
- Moreland Community Profile: census information and demographics
- Metlink local public transport map
- Link to Land Victoria interactive maps
- Merri-bek City Libraries website