Saturday, April 30, 2011

Relay for Life continues overnight

courage, support, and hope to cancer sufferers everywhere

As darkness approaches, participants write messages on these paper bags and light a candle for friends and family they know who have or have had cancer. These candle lit messages light the circuit as walkers continue through the night.

Relay for Life at Albert Park Lake

Relay for Life is an event for people whose lives have been touched by cancer - and whose hasn't? The relay goes for 24 hours. People form teams to walk through the 24 hours. A beautiful ceremony is held as darkness falls at 6.30 pm. I love that people camp overnight at Albert Park Lake, and each year am moved anew by the way people celebrate the loss and survival of friends and family.

I joined the Gasworks walkers for a walk around the lake. The walkers set out from Gasworks in Graham St on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9 am. No formal joining is required - just turn up. The group has been a great support to walkers through illness, recovery and sometimes the loss of one of their members.
I have supported the Relay since 2004.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

E waste - a growing problem

10 tonnes of electronic waste was diverted from landfill in March. This is three times as much as in March 2010. This upward trend will likely continue as people make the change to digital.

Please encourage anyone you know who is upgrading any electronic goods to take their old ones to the Council's Resource Recovery Centre in Whiteman St, off Normanby Road, or to book a free waste collection on 9209 6777.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Have a great Easter break!

Autumn in Port

Port Focus is taking a break over Easter. Hope you are too and enjoying the excellent autumn weather forecast.

More parking near Bay St

An extra eight new carparking spaces are being created on Dow St/Esplanade West, north of Liardet St, through changing from parallel to 60 degree parking.
These new spaces are being created to respond to concerns raised about reduction in parking spaces at Kyme Place as well as anticipated increased demand on parking from the Liardet St Family and Children's Centre.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bringing landscape and water into Dow St

The project in Dow St [between Rouse St and the Beach] will intercept stormwater into planted beds where litter will be trapped and water cleaned. The beds will be planted up to bring more 'green' into the street as well as reducing the impacts of stormwater borne pollutants and litter on the Bay. When finished it will be like a constructed waterway. Even before being finished, it readily accepted all the rain that fell last night.
The works should be finished about two weeks after Easter.
Dow St is an example of the City of Port Phillip's commitment to Water Sensitive Urban Design [WSUD]. I found this definition/description which I hope you will find helpful:
'WSUD . . . aims to ensure that water is given due prominence within urban design processes. This is through the integration of total urban water cycle thinking in the detailed planning and design of the built form. In particular, WSUD reintroduces the aesthetic and intrinsic values of waterways back into the urban landscape.' Perceptions of institutional drivers and barriers to sustainable urban water management in Australia, Rebekah Brown, Megan Farrelly and Nina Keath December 2007 Monash University, National Urban Water Governance Program, p13

Sunday, April 17, 2011

ANZAC Day in Port Melbourne

The ANZAC Day Commemoration Service will be held here on Beach St - near the Port Melbourne Yacht Club - next Monday 25th April at 9.45 am

Being active in Port Melbourne

The outdoor basketball/netball surfaces at Julier Reserve have been renewed. The playing surfaces were in very poor condition.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Clipped hedges and edges

I particularly like the cascading effect of these rosemary hedges in Princes St between Rouse and Swallow Streets - especially when they have been neatly trimmed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When . . .

will the kerb outstands on the corner of Bridge and Nott streets be planted? In May when the works in Nott St on the southern side of Bridge St have been completed. These treatments are intended to create

  • safer speed zones in local streets

  • shorter pedestrian crossing distances to make it safer to cross the road

  • planting and greening opportunities

  • buffered protected areas for pedestrians away from the road

  • surfaces the rain can penetrate

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bleak day - and tenuous link to the Beluga

Former Starch Factory, now Sandridge Bay Towers in the early eighties: image courtesy of PMHPS, used with permission
The area between Princes St and Pickles St is full of interest for its civic, naval and industrial heritage buildings. The former Starch Factory, now Sandridge Bay Towers is one such example. Another building, similar in scale and massing was the Victorian Sugar Works, which was extensively damaged following a spectacular fire on June 8, 1875. After the fire, the Victorian Sugar Works transferred its operations to Yarraville. This is where the Beluga had discharged its load of sugar before coming to Station Pier. Here is a a small extract of how the fire was reported at the time: 'The whole building was apparently blazing like a colossal beacon, shed a lurid glare over the whole of Sandridge and the shipping, turning the water of the bay, and the lagoon a blood red colour, while overhead streamed a vast broad banner of flying sparks and flakes of flame, now shining bright and clear, and anon obscured into the semblance of a gigantic floating wreath of smoke, bespangled with blazing stars.' [Argus June 8, 1875] To see a spectacular image which absolutely illustrates this word picture, click here and enter 1068 in the search box. 'Following the fire, Poolman was sent to Britiain to discover anything new about sugar refining with a view to re-building the works, but while he was still on the voyage the Sugar Works directors decided to buy Joshua Bros works at Yarraville for 500,000 pounds. By December 1875, the machinery and plant not totally burnt was taken to Yarraville.' [taken from Fire in the Borough by Shirley A Videion available from the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society or from the Port Town Hall at 333 Bay St]

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Important update on the Liardet Family and Children's Centre

I would like to let you know about two things affecting the planned Liardet Family and Children's Centre that are the subject of a report to Council tomorrow night. On 15 March 2011 Council awarded a contract to construct the Liardet Street Family and Children's Centre to Maxstra Constructions Pty Ltd for $4,256,946 [inlusive of GST]. Since then

  • Maxstra Constructions' representatives have advised Council that MC will not enter into a contract for the sum it tendered. They claim that costs of materials and labour have increased significantly since they priced the project

  • In addition, the Victorian Heritage Council has received a nomination to include Lady Forster Kindergarten on the Victorian Heritage Register. This process may take up to 4 months and will delay the construction of the project. [The building was unsuccessfully nominated for the Register in 2009.]

It is recommended that Council rescind the resolution of 15 March and re-tenders the project owing to the unavoidable delay consideration of the heritage nomination represents. To read the full report going to Council, please go to the meeting reports page here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Reporting back on Saturday in Port

Around 30 3207 Beach Patrollers scoured Sandridge Beach for litter this morning. The beach was cleaner than expected on a first impression but a closer look revealed litter in nooks and crannies in the groynes, amongst the vegetation and in corners not accessible to the beach cleaner. The dominant litter items were fragments of plastic. Port beat the Casey Scorpions by just 10 points in an exciting finish. Conditions were unpredictable with north wind in the first three quarters and rain in the final term. Port Melbourne 19-10 [124] Casey Scorpions 17-11 [114]

3207 Patrol behind a banner promoting

Victoria's Coast: Its too Lovely to Litter

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bicyclists on the bench

This group of riders from Brighton wait for the rest of their gang to catch up before heading up the Railway Reserves path. I am always pleased seeing people using this bench, one of several created to celebrate the Centenary of Federation:

'Bill Henshall made these benches. He built them on his muddy work site by the Yarra River under Westgate Bridge in the winter and spring of 2000. They range from ten to fifteen feet in length and are made from massive Australian timbers such as grey box, yellow box and rgum. Much of the timber was in the form of tree trunks that had been pier supports at Victoria Dock. Despite their size, the benches were made with few bolts. The parts are designed to slot into and support each other. The trees from which these Australian timbers were milled may have already been hundreds of years old before they were sunk into the bed of the Yarra River a century ago.'

extracted from Walks in Port Phillip: a guide to the cultural landscapes of a City by Meyer Eidelson This fascinating publication is available from the Assist desk at Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St or from the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wondering what to do in Port tomorrow?

3207 Beach Patrol will be cleaning Sandridge Beach starting at 9 am from the Sandridge Life Saving Club [near the junction of Todd Road and the Boulevard] back towards Beacon Cove. New Beach Patrollers are always welcome and there will be coffee afterwards.

The Borough play their first home game against the Casey Scorpions on Saturday at 2 pm at North Port Oval on Williamstown Rd [up near Ingles St] Why not get behind our very own Port team this season?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Port's beaches

The extent, width and configuration of Port Melbourne's beaches has been changing since the earliest days of white settlement, and undoubtedly before that. Sand accretes in some places [such as this beach at Princes St] and decreases in others. New beaches have been created at Beacon Cove and at Sandridge over the last 15 years. Wind, coastal structures and other coastal processes also contribute to sand movement around Port Phillip Bay. There has been considerable public debate recently about changes to Port Phillip Bay's beaches. The Office of the Environmental Monitor [OEM]E, appointed to monitor the channel deepening project, commissioned a study on Port Phillip Bay's beaches. The author, Eric Bird, refers to the report of the Foreshore Erosion Board of 1936 to show that even at that date, authorities were wrestling with issues of foreshore erosion. There are several interesting references to Port Melbourne in the 1936 report which you can access from the website of the OEM here. Go to Port Phillip Bay beaches on the left hand menu. I am wondering whether it was this report which led to the construction of the concrete steps at Sandridge. Click here to see one of my favourite photos of the concrete steps in their heyday when they were a popular gathering place.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A doozy of dumped rubbish

Spotted this dumped rubbish on the Boulevard yesterday morning. Dumping rubbish is an offence. The Environment Protection Act 1970 at section 45 describes the offence of littering and aggravated littering, and the powers provided under the Act. Council provides 4 free pick ups a year - so you don't need to dump - just dial 9209 6777 to arrange a booking. Having said that, it is not a reasonable expectation of Council to pick up this mess. You can help by reporting what you suspect is dumped rubbish to Council, also on 9209 6777.

Why is Beluga Projects at Station Pier day after day?

I have been puzzled by the presence of Beluga Projects at Station Pier and asked people who knows about shipping if they could tell me more. And they did: 'Beluga Fantastic is a general cargo ship flagged in Antigua and Barbuda and built at Jiangdong in '07. At Yarraville 11 to 15 March discharging 11,000 mt of sugar from Mackay for CSR. She is owned, operated and managed by Beluga Shippping of Germany and this is a one off voyage for CSR. After completion of discharge she was arrested.' [taken from World Ship Society, Victorian Branch, April newsletter] And why? "German project carrier Beluga today filed for insolvency protection for its core operating division Beluga Chartering after talks with its tonnage providers and banks failed. More than 40 multipurpose and box ships have been withdrawn ... The companies lost patience with Beluga's investor Oaktree Captial Management - which seized control of the project shipping group at the end of Febuary. The US investor had called for far reaching concessions on charter arrears and period rates. For the insolvency of its operating unit, Beluga/Oaktree blamed "substantial irregularities concerning turnover and liquidity." The investor, which is believed to have put up to 175M Euros in debt and equity into Beluga since the middle of last year ...., filed charges against Beluga founder Niels Stolberg and other top management. The prosecution service in Brmeen is investigating allegations of fraud and false statements. Beluga's survival as an operator in the project/heavy-lift trades is in serious doubt, although any formal decision to abandon the bsiness is now up to an administrator who has not been named yet. Oaktree and other stakeholders are still in talks over continuing other business divisions, which would also include ship management. Reproduced courtesy Lloyds Fairplay 17 March 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dig In Community Garden

Called in to the monthly working bee and gathering at Dig In at Murphy's Reserve and came away with an armful of beautiful produce. I found out about what grows best and the challenges of roots and possums. Everyone I spoke to couldn't speak highly enough about being part of Dig In which 'encourages co-operative consideration for people and environmental sustainability for the land'. Dig In gardeners are seriously concerned about crossing Williamstown Road, especially with young children at either hand and would love to see a safe way for pedestrians to cross. Dig In is an activity of the Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House, and I was told there is a 2 year waiting list.
Ann Rochford, President of Dig In, with her abundant peppers

Trees in narrow streets and pedestrians

Sections of the kerb have been cut out to enable small trees to be planted in Seisman St. The design enables stormwater to flow to the trees. Pedestrian movement is not impeded by the tree planting.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pier St

Drain maintenance specialists were on site at Pier St this morning to clear blockages in the drains at this flood prone location.
This precedes work that will be undertaken by Major Projects Victoria to upgrade the drainage infrastructure at this location.