Top 10 Reasons to Vote Green in Brunswick this Election

Other parties have been releasing policies late in the campaign. The Greens have had 32 policy documents online since last Christmas here.  And our policy initiatives are here .

The Greens think about the future, not just the next election. And we’re not for sale: we don’t take donations from developers. We need to plan medium density development along transport routes to accommodate a range of family sizes and incomes in buildings that are sensitive to the surrounding side-streets. The Greens want:

  • Mandatory quality standards for apartments
  • Height limits in Brunswick
  • Zones that respect neighbourhood character
  • Transport and schools to keep up with population
  • Ensure affordable and social housing is included in developments over a certain size

At this election, the only way to stop the East-West Tollway is to vote for the Greens. We’ll put the money saved by not building this disastrous project into more trains, trams and buses, running more often, on a larger network and connecting with one another. Victoria’s population grows by 2,100 people every week. Trams and trains are built by Bombardier in Dandenong, creating jobs and pulling cars off the road.
In Brunswick we need better transport solutions that can cope with the needs of our growing suburb, including:

  • more than 3 trains per hour on the Upfield line
  • longer trams on crowded routes like Lygon St and Melville Rd
  • a bus along Brunswick Road every ten minutes between Footscray and Elsternwick
  • more bike paths, more bike cages at train stations, legal protection for cyclists

The old parties have spent 10 years making ads about public transport and toll roads, but the Greens have a practical plan you can trust to cut congestion on roads and trams.

The Greens will put $100m into prevention, refuges, services and safer courts. Political and community leadership is required on this issue, which is the leading cause of preventable death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15-44.

We all know animal cruelty is wrong, yet across Victoria there are still practices that cause terrible pain and death. The Greens are the only party you can trust to make this right. 

Animals may not be able to speak, but we have been, and will continue to be their voice. And you can depend on us to introduce reforms that will improve animal welfare in Victoria.

We will ban jumps racing and duck shooting and abolish cruel puppy farms. We will prohibit battery cages, sow stalls and the de-beaking of hens. We will also ensure truth in labelling so when you buy ‘free range’, you’ll know you’re getting exactly what you paid for. 

The Greens will take on the monopoly power of the big energy companies, unleashing investment in wind and solar that will reduce power bills, create jobs and reduce pollution. We’ll:

  • Remove the laws that have stopped the wind energy industry in its tracks
  • Ensure people with solar panels get a fair return for electricity they produce. 1 in 10 Victorians already has solar panels but it’s 1 in 4 in South Australia.
  • Introduce pay as you go solar - free rooftop panels funded by future power savings.
  • The Greens are committed to cleaner energy and can be trusted to follow through. The old parties have old thinking about power – they are stuck in the brown coal era.

School funding should be decided away from election campaigns, at arm’s length from candidates in marginal seats. We are investing in our future, not buying votes. The Greens will prioritise funding of public schools according to need.

As old industries close, education and training become more important. Regional and outer suburban TAFEs have closed or downsized, key services and courses have been cut, particularly those predominantly taken by women. Students face increasing debt. At the same time profit for private institutions continues to grow.

The Greens will restore TAFE as the core of our Vocational, Educational and Training system, reversing the Liberal government’s drastic cuts and the market approach of the preceding Labor government which diverted funds to private businesses.

The Greens support equal access to publicly-funded health care, with investment driven by need, not by votes. We know that prevention is better than cure, but both Liberal and Labor governments spend less than 1% of the health budget on preventative measures. We’ll invest in keeping people healthy and out of hospital, through:

  • restricting the advertising of junk food and alcohol, especially to children,
  • A $100 million public health strategy to tackle preventable chronic disease through education, screening and chronic disease prevention and management,
  • Investing in community and mental health care, especially in under-served areas.

Let’s save Victoria’s tallest trees in the Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands. This new national park will protect the Leadbeater’s possum habitat, saving it from near-extinction, and secure clean water catchments for Melbourne. The project has widespread public support, as well as the endorsement of David Attenborough and Jane Goodall!  The Greens are the only major party supporting the creation of the Park this election.

The Greens are the only party refusing to accept donations from property developers. We want a cap on all political donations and real time disclosure of donations over $1000. The anti-corruption commission (IBAC) needs teeth to enable it to launch investigations and investigate politicians. Politicians must be held to account and represent you, not big business. The Greens are the party you can trust to fight to restore integrity to our Victorian parliament.


Don’t just take our word for it though! This election the Greens have been very fortunate to receive the endorsement of a number of important groups: The Public Transport Users Association, Environment Victoria, Animals Australia, family violence campaigner and Victorian of the Year Rosie Batty, No More Deaths Alliance, and the Tunnel Picket.

As a voter in Brunswick you have a great opportunity: you could help get the first Green into the lower house of Victoria’s parliament. In this seat, the Liberals will most likely come third out of the three major parties, so you need to decide whether you trust the Greens or Labor to represent your values.

Brunswick only needs a 3.5% swing (about 1500 votes) to go Green. Why not preference the Greens first this election, and help put a member in the middle of parliament who will stand up for what matters.

Authorised by Dr Tim Read 1/362 Lt Collins St Melbourne

Improving Cycling Infrastructure in Brunswick

Over a thousand people were counted riding past the Brunswick Baths on a weekday morning earlier this year. Nearly all were coming down the narrow Upfield bike path on their way to work or school.

Brunswick has one of the highest proportions of commuter cyclists in Victoria. I’ve been riding to work for years and over the last five years more and more workmates are joining me. We’ve had to get a second bike rack at work.

Bike facilities are certainly getting better. We’re seeing more bike racks and bike lanes, and more courtesy from drivers. But now that cycling is an accepted way of travelling, we need to do more.

The Upfield path is dangerously tight at several points; a good friend had three weeks in hospital with fractures earlier this year after a bike on bike collision. We need more work on safe north-south bike routes through Brunswick.

Cycling keeps us healthy, cuts carbon emissions, and you get to work with a spring in your step. But we need our road builders and councils to think about cyclists as adult commuters, and we need a state government that wants to support them. The Greens want to:

1.     Speed up building the Principal Bicycle Network. We’ll give councils up to $5 per person per year to spend on bike lanes and racks.

2.     Increase clearly designated road space for cyclists and protected cycleways where demand and risk are high.

3.     Give cyclists priority over motor vehicles in high concentration zones such as schools.

4.     Reform road laws to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, such as the a metre mattters law. We want more TAC money spent on improving cycling safety.

5.     Better integrate cycling with public transport, including bike access to trains and secure bike storage at public transport stops and stations.

6.     Boost regional and rural cycling and cycle touring. Some people choose a large 4-wheel drive for occasional holidays of the year and spend the rest of the year driving it around town. Let’s get more people putting their bikes on buses and trains and heading out into the country.

If you want better cycling infrastructure and support here in Victoria, vote for the party you can trust to stand up for bikes. 

A Public Transport Network We Can Count On: Tim’s Speech at the Moreland Transport Forum

On 29 September, the day the contract was signed to build the 18 billion dollar East West link, candidates for Brunswick spoke at a forum at the Brunswick Town Hall. Here is an edited version of my speech and do share this video with your friends.

A boom in car-ownership in the 1950s led to new suburbs with looping crescents and cul de sacs, designed to slow traffic; they were not designed for walking. Isolated from services, jobs and public transport, their residents had to rely on cars.

And we continue to build suburbs like it’s still the 1950s: both of the other parties in government have added thousands of hectares to Melbourne’s urban sprawl. As a result Melbourne is awash with cars and trucks, emitting CO2, endangering kids and cyclists.

We need a world class public transport network to reduce the amount of traffic and we need to promote walking and cycling, for a quieter safer city. We don’t need a massive polluting toll road that encourages driving and creates congestion at off ramps.

The Greens have been standing up against the road lobby’s East West toll road since it was first proposed. I’m delighted that a few weeks ago Labor tentatively approached our position, albeit depending on a courtroom gamble.

The Greens put the Construction company on notice well in advance: “do not sign the contract, - we will not honour it.” If we have to legislate to void the contract, we will. We will not support any government that intends to build the road.

In Brunswick, you can grow old waiting for buses, you have to squeeze onto trams – especially in the south of Brunswick, and there are only 3 trains per hour on Upfield line. The old parties are sitting on their hands, watching population grow and making ads about transport.

We’re committed to seeing a PT network that more people can reach, trust enough to use - and to plan transport together with new housing. We will:

  • Fix overcrowding on trams by buying an extra 50 of the 210 person E-class trams ($350m) to go on the most crowded routes such as Lygon St and Melville Rd.
  • Commit to an engineering and timetabling study of how to optimise the Upfield transport corridor, and increase the frequency of trains above 3 per hour. This could lead to duplication of last 4km of the Upfield line (Gowrie to Upfield).
  • Turn the 504 bus along Brunswick Rd into an inner city orbital smart bus – running ten minutely from Elsternwick to Footscray.

We’ll encourage cycling to train stations, by increasing the number of bike cages at stations. And we’ll get the state government to match council spending on bike paths up to an extra $5 per person annually. We also want bikes to have a greater share of TAC safety funding.

Beyond Brunswick we want to see some overdue rail projects get under way, including Doncaster rail and Melbourne Airport rail. We’ll invest $3-400 million over next four years to fast track new generation signalling to increase the capacity of existing tracks on Melbourne’s rail network. See the greens transport initiative for more detail.

And we’ll fund this with the money that would have disappeared into the East West Link tunnel – financed by an opaque Public Private Partnership with capital cost of 10% much more expensive than government borrowing at 4%.

The Greens vision is one of roads you can ride on, of quieter traffic, of CO2 falling every year, and of a public transport network you can use.

If that’s your vision, then voting Green will give you a local member you can trust to stand up for it in parliament.