Moonee Valley City Council Urban Agriculture Policy Snapshot

Moonee Valley City Council Policy Snapshot

Background and Overview

The City of Moonee Valley is a primarily residential municipality in Melbourne’s north-western suburbs. The city is divided into three wards – Rose Hill, Buckley and Myrnong. Council has a number of policies and strategies that mention urban agriculture and food security within their aims and objectives, without having a specific policy that addresses them holistically. These policies and strategies include the Next Generation 2035 – Community Vision, Council Plan 2013-2017, Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013, City Sustainability Policy 2013, Open Space Strategy 2011, and the Urban Ecology Strategy (2014)

Avondale Heights Community Garden (Imahe Via MySmartGarden)

Avondale Heights Community Garden (Image via MySmartGarden)

Moonee Valley City Council provides a number of resources that promote and support urban agriculture in the municipality. In collaboration with Hobsons Bay City Council and Maribyrnong City Council, Moonee Valley’s My Smart Garden program has proven to be a successful behaviour change initiative that promotes urban agriculture through workshops and events, online resources, incentives and community connections, and takes a holistic approach to sustainable gardening. Council website provides information relating to gardening and food waste, links to existing community gardens in the municipality (for which there are currently nine), a calendar of upcoming events and a directory of environmental groups in the community.

 

 

Review of Policies, Plans and Procedures Addressing Urban Agriculture and Related Areas

Name of Document Reference to Urban Agriculture and Related Areas
My Smart Garden Program The My Smart Garden program is a joint initiative of Moonee Valley City Council , Hobsons Bay City Council, and Maribyrnong City Council. My Smart Garden is a sustainable gardening behaviour change program that supports residents to adapt to a changing climate and resource scarcity by turning their outdoor spaces – backyards, front yards, balconies, courtyards or pots – into productive, functional gardens

The free program promotes urban agriculture through workshops and events, online resources, incentives and community connections, and takes a holistic approach across five elements of sustainable gardening:

  • Food: Home grown produce to minimise emissions from food production, packaging and transport
  • Shelter: Protecting homes from sun and wind to reduce the need for air conditioning
  • Waste: Converting food scraps and pruning’s into compost and mulch to avoid kerbside waste, and reusing grey water
  • Water: Water sensitive garden design to minimise potable water usage, reduce flooding and improve health of local waterways
  • Habitat: Encouraging native plants and animals for improved biodiversity

(2016, Moonee Valley City Council)

Public Health and Wellbeing Plan (2013-2017) Theme Three of the Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan; ‘Healthy People’, makes a number of references to food growing. As an action of Strategic objective 1; ‘Promote Positive Mental Health’, MV Council aims to assist residents in gaining the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening through growing food, recycling waste and creating homes for wildlife through opportunities such as participation in My Smart Garden. Strategic objective 2; ‘Increase Physical Activity and Healthy Eating’, aims to educate the community about food and nutrition, reduce food insecurity and improve food access, affordability, safety and choice through actions such as those that support community gardens, and strategies that promote and support local production and consumption of foods (i.e. Moonee Valley Planning Scheme).

(2013, Moonee Valley City Council)

Open Spaces Strategy (2009) The section in the Open Spaces Strategy;Open space management and maintenance: community gardens’, recognises the positive social, educative and environmental benefits of community gardens, while acknowledging the issues surrounding their establishment in public open spaces when access may be limited to only some of the community.

Evaluating the need for additional community gardens in the municipality and identifying appropriate sites is labelled as a recommendation of ‘high priority’ at the time the document was adopted. The section also establishes a set of guidelines to govern existing and future proposals for community gardens.

(2009, Moonee Valley City Council)

Urban Ecology Strategy (2014)
Moonee Valley Urban Ecology Strategy

Moonee Valley Urban Ecology Strategy

The Urban Ecology Strategy was developed to guide Council in enhancing the local natural environment and to provide a basis for the support of their annual urban ecology implementation plans. Food and food growing are themes than run throughout the document. Urban agricultures role in supporting the broader goals of the strategy is specifically addressed;

  • Encouraging pollinator species and beneficial insects which aids pollination and provides food for birds
  • Increasing the diversity of flora as many of these species can only exist in a managed environment
  • Improving soil moisture and soil carbon content
  • Turning otherwise ecologically poor land where weeds thrive into land with a higher diversity of flora and insect fauna
  • Involving our community in healthy living practices and social networking

(2014, Moonee Valley City Council)

City Sustainability Policy (2013) The strategic vision of this document is for Moonee Valley in 2035 as a city of clean, green and beautiful, vibrant, diverse and sustainable community that people experience as friendly and safe to live in. The documents recognises calls from the community for Councils assistance in growing and sourcing food locally using community gardens, nature strips, land share options and food swaps. The need for food growing areas in new developments, the use of flat roofs to grow food and ongoing opportunities to learn about vegetable gardening and composting, are key action areas that are identified.

Supporting urban agriculture and local food is stated as a guiding principal for the Policy. The need for more resilient urban environments in the context of global environmental change is a running theme, with urban agriculture viewed as a key mechanism for achieving food security in our cities.

(2013a, Moonee Valley City Council)

 

Review of Existing or Developing Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Strategies

Snapshot & Summary  
Strategy / Framework / NA Framework
Does the Strategy or Framework integrate existing policy documents that explicitly address or make reference to urban agriculture and related area? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to the Council Plan and appear to be integrated into the achievement of the Plan’s major objectives? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to and integrate the objectives of The Municipal Health and Wellbeing Act (2008) into its framework? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework recognise and address the ecological, economic, environmental, social welfare, cultural, and social benefits of urban agriculture and local food systems? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework recognise the interconnectedness of urban food systems (from production, processing, distribution, access, consumption, nutrient/waste capturing, and recycling)? NA
Does the Strategy or Framework have an action or implementation plan, a set of indicators, or feedback mechanisms that will allow it to evaluate its development, achievements, successes, obstacles, barriers and lessons. NA
Is there an educational component of the Strategy or Framework? NA
Is the Strategy being overseen by a dedicated Food Policy Liaison Officer? NA 

References:

  1. 2016, Moonee Valley City Council, My Smart Garden, Available From; http://www.mysmartgarden.org.au/~/media/Files/My%20Smart%20Garden/My%20Smart%20Garden%20%20Evaluation%20Report%202015%20with%20HBCC%20style%20guide%20changes.PDF
  2. 2014, Moonee Valley City Council, Urban Ecology Strategy, Available From; http://www.mvcc.vic.gov.au/~/media/Files/Environment/Urban%20Ecology%20Strategy%20Final%202014.pdf
  3. 2013, Moonee Valley City Council, Public Health and Wellbeing Plan (2013-2017), Available From; http://www.mvcc.vic.gov.au/~/media/Files/Community%20Planning%20and%20Development/Community%20health%20and%20wellbeing/Health%20Plan%202013%2017/Health%20plan%20%20final%20designed%20document%20%20web%20friendly%20version%20%20CMV2365%20Big%203%20%20September%202013.pdf
  4. 2013a, Moonee Valley City Council, City Sustainability Policy
  5. 2009, Moonee Valley City Council, Open Spaces Strategy (2009), Available From; http://www.mvcc.vic.gov.au/~/media/Files/Urban%20Design/Open%20Space%20Strategy/MVOSS%20Final%20170809_090311_Part%201_Overall%20Direction_V2.pdf

Henry Crawford, Sustain: The Australian Food Network, 2016.

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