Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pedestrians first

This footpath outside a newly completed development in Esplanade West has been re-instated at the developer's cost according to Council's new standard specifications. These require that the footpath be continuous and not interrupted by crossovers. Before the adoption of these specifications, the driveway/crossover would have crossed over the footpath.
This is to show that where any new works are done - even if not by council - pedestrians should be considered first.
It may appear a small thing - but we are proud of this intervention in favour of pedestrians.
It also shows how a planning permit condition is implemented.
The street tree was also required as a condition of the planning permit.

Port Melbourne Library

At Port Melbourne Library there are
  • 91,515 transactions a year [that is loans/renewals]
  • 116,886 visits a year
  • 32,063 items in the collection
  • 7 personal computers and wireless

You can also access the library catalogue online here

Monday, August 30, 2010

Childcare update

The 160 place childcare centre with 28 carparking spaces, cnr Crockford/Ingles, approved by Council in 2005 is finally nearing completion, with invitations to register for places.

Meanwhile, two appeals to VCAT have been lodged against Council's decision to issue a permit for the construction of a new family and children's centre on the Lady Forster and adjacent site in Liardet St. It is hoped the appeal will be heard before the end of 2010.
To review Council's decision, see posts of 19 and 20 July at http://portfocus.blogspot.com

Where's the Council?

The Council calls our customer service 'Assist'.
But according to the staff at the counter, people want to know 'Where's Council?'
Council's presence at Port Melbourne has been improved through creating a counter that is separate from the Library for service and payment requests.
This is not the only way to contact Council, however.
You can

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fishermans Bend Planning & Economic Development Strategy

Close to the Port, the City and the freeway network, Fishermans Bend is also the largest area of industrial land in the City of Port Phillip. It is changing fast. Heavy industry has made way for an array of business parks and high-tech industries.
The strategy will support ongoing engagement by Council with the area, and enable the the Council to be more proactive in building relationships with the businesses and industries there.
There is a lot of work to be done for Council to have an influence on the future evolution of the precinct.
A summary of the strategy can be found here.

Getting around the municipality

I think I have been obsessing about waste and recycling to the neglect of other topics.

In 2009/10
  • the Community Buses have made 2,000 trips around the municipality and transported 27.168 passengers this year

If you would like to look at the Annual Accounts and Annual Report, they are available by clicking here

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Annual Report shows how we are going on waste and recycling

Council adopted the 2009/10 Annual Accounts and Annual Report tonight. The Annual Report is full of interesting Council detail. I will post a few more snippets over coming days:
  • Waste and recycling: Annual waste collection per bin was 567.4kg
  • Resource Recovery: the volume of e-waste, paint, batteries, light bulbs and textiles being dropped at the Resource Recovery Centre rose dramatically to over 6 tonnes of material diverted from landfill a month. This includes around 15kg of batteries per month collected via recycling drop-off points at town halls

[I attended 22/22 Council meeetings, and 10/10 Statutory Planning meetings]

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Serious tree roots

Just have a look at these roots taken out of a driveway in Clifford St, Port Melbourne where the fig trees were removed last month.
Every alternate tree was removed this year, and replaced with a young tree. The remaining trees will be removed and replaced with new trees next year.

August is magnolia time

This magnolia tree looked lovely against these Nott St houses.

Making it easier to deal with graffiti

Council is giving away 200 free graffiti removal kits for local residents and business to help eradicate graffiti. Kits are available from the Port Melbourne Town Hall or by calling Assist on 9209 6777.
In addition to the DIY kits, residents and businesses can ask council to remove graffiti from their property free of charge just by filling in a consent form available from 9209 6777.


The lights at Sandridge are on! This morning an extraordinary
full moon added an extra dimension to the beautiful light cast on Port Melbourne's foreshore.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Five good reasons to recycle aluminium cans

I find it hard to walk past an aluminium can without picking it up for the reasons given below. I hope after reading them you might take aluminium cans you see lying about home for recycling.
  • they are 100% recyclable, and because they remain in one piece when opened, the whole container is recycled
  • 95% less energy is used when making an aluminium can from recycled material compared to raw materials - this represents a huge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • empty cans are light weight and easily crushed, which means they are easy to take home for recycling when you can't find a recycling bin at the beach or the park
  • they are light weight and compact [compared to glass for example] making them easy and efficient to transport
  • over the past 25 years aluminium cans have become 30% lighter. Thinner, stronger sections are now being used with less metal, less energy and more savings in weight. An average aluminium can [without its contents of course] wieghed 16.05 grams in 1992. By 2005 the aluminium can weighed about 14.7 grams

Source http://cans.planetark.org/

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Planning for 220 Esplanade East

A planning application for this site came to Council's Statutory Planning Committee on 16 August for four double storey attached dwellings with roof top terraces - two to Esplanade East, and two to McCormack St.
The planning officer supported the proposal with modifications but Council refused it. [I supported the officer's recommendation on the basis that there was no heritage protection of the property, and because of the very similar proposal approved by VCAT at 161 Esplanade West]
It is quite likely that Council's decision will be appealed to VCAT.
If so, there is a significant queue at VCAT meaning an appeal may only be heard next year.
The very beautiful magnolia tree in the front yard which was proposed to be removed in the proposal will bloom undisturbed this August.
The site is in the Emerald Hill ward.

Melbourne Art Deco

Melbourne Art Deco was awarded the best print/publicaton in this year's Community History Awards. Port's David Thompson, whose photographs provide the banner images for Port Focus, took many of the wonderful images in the book.
This is a great opportunity to visit David's website devoted to Art Deco buildings by clicking here and searching for the Deco buildings in Port Melbourne.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Port by a mile

Port cleaned up Frankston in a one way game
Port 23.21-159 to Frankston 6.7-43
Unlikely the election result will be this one sided.

Election Day

Polling places in Port Melbourne are:

  • Port Phillip Specialist School [Nott/Pool St]
  • Port Melbourne Primary - Hub [Clark St]
  • Fishermens Bend Community Centre [Dunstan Parade, off Centre Ave in Garden City

Our future is in your hands.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rouse St trees

The trees on Rouse St have been re-staked, and their wind protection re-instated.
It's a tough gig for trees on Rouse St - windy, shady, and attractive to vandals.
Some doubt the trees will succeed, but I am optimistic. The trees are Eucalyptus scoparia and you can see a photograph of the potential of these trees here.
If you search Port Focus by Rouse St you will see how far the trees have come. I have found this blog is a good way of tracking projects.

Bay and Liardet St intersection

The Bay and Liardet St intersection is a focal point in Port Melbourne, and we are discussing ways to make it safer, especially for pedestrians.
Click on this photograph to see this intersection around 1937.
The Port Picture Theatre [now the Telstra shop and A Simple Affair] is in the far left of the picture, with the market buildings [now the Coles complex] recognisable on the right.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Excellent response from Port Phillip's cyclists to BikeScope survey

Thought you might be interested to know that 1200 BikeScope surveys were completed fully or in part - the best response to such a survey outside the City of Melbourne.
The survey asked detailed questions about people's experience of cycling in Port Phillip.
The results are being analysed and will help the City of Port Phillip plan for more people to cycle more often.

Sandridge continued

Hope you'll indulge me. I am pretty excited to see the progess in the lights on the Sandridge promenade. The bike path lights were going in as I passed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Improving Rouse St bit by bit

I am glad that these large kerb extensions on the corner of Johnstone & Rouse St have been planted up. Grass hasn't done well. The plantings will add some needed green to Rouse St.
Over the wild and windy weekend, trees in the Rouse St median were knocked over. This has been reported and I hope they will be re-staked soon.

Throwing light on the promenade at Sandridge

There is something new to see at Sandridge every week. Very exciting to see the new light poles in place which will illuminate the pedestrian and cycle path.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Last game before the finals begin

Port soundly defeated Geelong on Saturday

Port 5.7, 10.11, 20.13, 24.15 [159]
Geelong 0.0, 3.2, 7.3, 8.6 [54]

Port plays Frankston on Saturday in the last round before the finals begin.
We are 4th on the ladder.

Princes Pier status report

photos Ron Cassano
These images show the work underway to fulfil conditions of the Permit issued by Heritage Victoria in 2006
  • Stage 1: Demoliton of the entire pier deck, and replacement/restoration of the first 196 metres of deck from the foreshore to the gatehouse.
  • Stage 2: Restoration and refurbishment of the gatehouse building and security gates

No further commitments have been made at this stage.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tree planting season

New trees being planted across Port Melbourne have been well watered in by all the recent rain.
Council has adopted a tree strategy which will guide tree planting to achieve over time
  • an even tree cover across the municipality
  • a balanced distribution of trees of all ages
  • a mix of tree types - to reduce the risk of depending too much on any one type of tree
  • a reasonable process to guide tree replacements, street segment tree renewals and a way to increase greening where trees can't be planted
  • consideration of trees in any future planning especially where higher density development is anticipated

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Then and now: Sandridge

I believe the link to this picture didn't work. Please try again as the picture is well worth a look:
As work at Sandridge Beach moves to completion, it is interesting to look back at how that part of the beach used to look.

Concrete steps were built to retain the beach in the thirties. They remained a presence until the creation of this beach as part of the Beacon Cove development. The steps remain underneath the beach sand.

Have a look at this picture to see what it used to look like.

View from the Pier

Took a walk on Station Pier and enjoyed this view of Port from the Pier.
People think you can't walk on to the Pier but you can - except when cruise ships are in.

A coat of paint

The Spirit of Tasmania 11 berthed at Station Pier following a clean and paint job.
I love the red of it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Council meets in South Melbourne on Monday 9 at 6 pm

The Port specific item on the agenda is

  • Proposed lease extension for 174 Nott Street, Port Melbourne [current tenant is Decanters by the Bay]

Council will also consider a 'Draft Outdoor Commercial Recreation Activities Policy. This policy would cover the issuing of permits and licences for outdoor commercial recreation activities such as skydiving, beach volleyball, kiteboarding and personal trainers.'

Click here for the full council reports

Give our streets the Green Light

Street lighting is a significant contributor to Council's greenhouse gas emissions. Changing to energy efficient lights has high upfront costs but provides savings in the longer term. Councils across the state are asking for financial support from state and federal government to enable them to afford the switch. The collective impact of the greenhouse gas reductions across the state would be significant. Find out more here

Thursday, August 5, 2010

City end of Bay Street

Walking home along Bay St this evening and came across this new business. Kath 'creates baked goods with a conscience from sustainable and local sources'. Walk past during the day and there may be cakes on all those stands.
Kath takes orders for cakes and can be found at Farmers Markets.

Visit Kath at the Locable* Kitchen in Bay St.

* Locable decribes food, produce, raw materials, that are grown, harvested, and distriubted in a sustainable manner, from the local area

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Apparently the Cricketers Arms in Cruickshank St has closed, shut, gone.
I attended the Lions changeover night there just 10 days ago.
Does anybody know any more?

The Cricketers Arms dates back to 1876, when development was extending to the outer reaches of Sandridge. The pub was associated with the McCormack family for many years who gave their name to the street behind the hotel. It is unusual in being a street-bound rather than a corner hotel. [source Chartered Scoundrels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels by Pat Grainger]

Monday, August 2, 2010


The 606 arrives to take its 4 passengers on the 9.03 service to Luna Park, St Kilda. The onward connections are good from Luna Park to the St Kilda Town Hall, and I arrived on time at 9.30.

We haven't heard anything about the outcome of the bus review conducted in Port Phillip. We would like to see an all day every day service on this route.

Bay Liardet intersection

A reminder of the meeting to consider two options for safety improvements at this intersection at the Port Melbourne Town Hall this Wednesday 4 August between 6 and 7.30 pm.
For more background information and to fill in the survey, click here.
In the background, the familiar shops are located on land once reserved for a market.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Welcome flowers

The afternoon is bleak but this morning this hardenbergia violacea was vivid in the sunshine.
Have a look here to find out more about the attributes of this leguminous flowering native climber.
Each spring it tempts me to plant it in my garden but I think I will just admire it in our parks and gardens.