Newsletter no.6 from Ald Anna Reynolds - August 2015
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Springtime street parties!

Spring is nearly here! Everything's coming back to life, including five of our neighborhoods where a series of street parties are happening on the first weekend of September. As well as fun get-togethers, they're also being held to 'road test' ideas for making local shopping streets more people friendly. This is about consulting the community through action, so come along, support the event in your local street, and have your say!

Friday 4 September - South Hobart
4pm - 8pm Beneath the Mountain, Macquarie Street, South Hobart

Saturday 5 September - Elizabeth Street
10am - 3pm Take Your Dog to Town, on Elizabeth Street, between Bathurst & Tasma Sts

Saturday 5 September - Lenah Valley
2pm - 5pm Valley Village arVo, Augusta Road, Lenah Valley

Saturday 5 September - Battery Point
4pm - 8pm Lounge Room in the Street, Hampden Road (near the Battery Point Hall)

Saturday 5 September - New Town
4pm Twilight on the Green, intersection of Cross & Valentine Sts with New Town Road
Don't waste our future

For 40 years South Hobart has hosted the city's rubbish tip at McRobie's Gully, and endured trucks, dust, noise, and pollution of the rivulet. Many South Hobartians were looking forward to 2017 as they'd been promised this was when the tip would close. However, Council's plans changed (before my time), and unfortunately forgot to officially tell the community!

The South Hobart community has organised a public forum on Thursday 27 August to discuss the two inter-related issues of reducing waste, and minimising the impact of the tip on the neighbourhood. Hobart City Council is working on the development of a zero waste to landfill strategy. The South Hobart community quite rightly recognises that the faster this can happen, the sooner the landfill in South Hobart can the suburb has an extra reason to see that zero waste target met quickly!

A crucial initiative to get to zero waste is the separation and collection of food (or organic) waste. Organic material comprises more than half of all waste we landfill, or 10 million tonnes nationally. Organic waste is 500 times more significant (by weight) than plastic bags. It's the single largest waste stream going to landfill, and produces large amounts of methane. Keeping organic waste out of landfill is the single biggest action that a Council can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So the faster Hobart can introduce a organic waste collection service, along with programs to help people compost organic waste at home if they prefer, the better it will be for meeting our zero waste target. South Hobart residents may want organic waste to be processed at a new facility away from the suburb, which will reduce truck movements and other impacts.

Dont Waste Our Future community forum is at 6pm on Thursday 27 September, at the St Francis Xavier's church hall, 30 Anglesea St.
Street trees

Recently Council decided to knock back an application to remove three mature ironbark trees, to make way for the expansion of a car yard on the corner of Argyle and Burnett Streets. It was a sensible decision but not a unanimous one - not everyone on Council recognises the value of our street trees.

As Chair of the Parks Committee, I'm very keen to see Hobart update and refresh its street trees strategy as soon as possible. While the Council has 90 trees listed on our Significant Tree Register, the development of a street trees strategy is a broader and more ambitious plan to recognise the value of trees in the urban landscape and to ensure we protect existing assets from damage. I would like our new street trees strategy to also identify and plan for new areas that need the planting of street trees.

Green streetscape strategies are common for councils around Australia. Melbourne City Council has an 'Urban Forest Strategy', for example. One of their best weapons against the impact of global warming on Melbourne was the development of an urban forest to lessen the effects of extremely hot days and as more effective infrastructure for flood events than stormwater pipes. Their bold goal is to double canopy cover in the city while reducing the use of water needed to keep the trees alive.

That Council undertook four years of community engagement to develop the new strategy, which saw the public select from a choice of resilient species, and identify which carparks can be given up by the community for the placement of new trees.

Please let me know of your interest in the development of a street trees strategy for Hobart - I would love to hear your views!

City to the waterfront...are we
over-engineering the solution?

Recently I spoke against a proposal that Council spend $150,000 to employ a consultant to look at ways for pedestrians to more easily get from the waterfront to the city across the busy arterial roads of Macquarie and Davey Streets. As a pedestrian advocate I agree that we have a problem, but I was concerned we are paying a consultant to do work that the Council has already explored and already spent money on.

Gehl Report is a landmark city planning document, developed only recently at significant cost to the Council. The visionary report dedicates several pages to the problem of walking across the city in Hobart. The report also explores possible options and made recommendations for an improved pedestrian link between the CBD and the waterfront...exactly what the Council proposes we do again!

The Gehl Report and the Council's
Inner City Action Plan identifies that the first priority is to undertake signalling, traffic movement and design changes to Elizabeth Street where it crosses Macquarie and Davey, as the first step to improve CBD-waterfront pedestrian access. However, very few of these ideas have actually been implemented. My question was 'why not implement these proposals first before we spend more money to explore the issue again?'

My concern with the new consultancy is that it appears to be heading in the direction of separating pedestrians from cars via underpasses and overpasses. Cities usually go to these options as a last resort for pedestrians needing to cross freeways. I don't think many people in Hobart, or business owners along Davey and Macquarie, want these beautiful iconic streets to become high speed, freeway style roads. They are busy arterials, but we still want them to be people-friendly roads.

The Australian College of Road Safety details the reasons against providing such facilities, including the "high capital cost, and it has been shown in most countries that in general they are poorly patronised on roads where traffic is already interrupted by traffic signals. Further, there are difficulties in encouraging the use of overpasses and underpasses by the aged and the physically disabled. Pedestrian overpasses or underpasses are not normally employed except where large numbers of pedestrians have to cross freeways."

In my view, if we go down the path of developing one or multiple tunnels or overpasses for pedestrians, we will spend many millions that would be much better invested in the real solutions to Hobart's traffic woes. I believe we should implement the Gehl plans for linking the waterfront to the city, and invest any new money in public transport solutions that would reduce the traffic volumes travelling on Davey and Macquarie Streets.
Buzzing about bees

The Hobart City Council has approved a new by-law to support urban beekeeping. It's taken a while to grind through the bureaucracy, and it still has to be ticked off by the state government, but thanks to the support of many people, we’re on the way.

The old rules only allowed bees to be kept if the hive was 50 metres from a property boundary, which excluded most houses in Hobart. The new rules allow you to keep 2 hives on a property of 400-1000 square metres, 5 hives for 1000-2000 sq m, and 10 hives for 2000-4000 sq m. Your hives must be 3 metres away from a property boundary, unless a fence or barrier of 2 metres in height is erected next to them (to ensure the bees fly up).

The bylaw was informed by the great
Code of Practice developed by the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association, drawing on science and best practice from around Australia and the world.
A history of South Hobart

I'm looking forward to launching "Beneath the Mountain - a history of South Hobart" at 5pm on Friday 11 September. The event is open to all. Written by Dr Alison Alexander, this beautiful book contains more than 700 historical photos, paintings, maps and sketches of Hobart's first suburb. The launch will be held at the former state school at 408 Macquarie Street.





Davey Street, cutting pedestrian access between the waterfront and CBD
From recommendations in the Gehl Report: "it should be communicated to vehicles that at crossings they should drive on the terms of the pedestrians..."
Our railway tracks - a potential public transport solution connecting the northern suburbs with the city - are getting rusty.


Please stay in touch!

I'd love to hear your ideas and opinions, and receive your feedback on Council decisions.

Email me at
Call me on 0423222149
Write to me at Town Hall, Macquarie Street, Hobart 7001.
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Previous editions:
Newsletter 1 (Jan 2015)
Newsletter 2 (Feb 2015)
Newsletter 3 (April 2015)
Newsletter 4 (May 2015)
Newsletter 5 (July 2015)

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