Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fred Jackson Reserve

The Reserve that bears the name of this long serving Town Clerk of the City of Port Melbourne has been transformed with the planting of many trees, and the re-location of a plaque that marks his contribution to a more prominent spot. A red flowering gum - a particular favourite of Mr Jackson - has been planted alongside the re-located plaque.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunny afternoon, foggy evening

Did anyone get a picture of Port Melbourne under fog?

Works coming to an end

John Holland/Melbourne Water has begun dismantling the worksite for the Melbourne Main Sewer at Swallow St. The road opening at Swallow/Ross/Byrne will be re-instated where it was before the works began. Following meetings with residents, changes have been made to the design to make it safer for pedestrians. Landscaping improvements will also be incorporated. This road opening provides important local access from Garden City to Bay St - so that residents can avoid Williamstown Road and Graham St.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Council adopts 2011/12 budget

This evening, Council approved the budget for 2011/12. It resolved to declare an amount of $88,133,180 to be raised for general rates and service charges. The proposed rate in the dollar will result in an increase of 6.5% in Council's rate. The rate in the dollar is 3.8445 cents in the dollar of the Net Annual Value of all rateable properties within the muncipality.
The adoption of the budget confirms that the following capital projects for Port Melbourne have been funded:

  • NorthPort Pavilion Redevelopment: $1,150,000 - a way forward is becoming clearer

  • Liardet Street Family & Children's Service Centre: $2,110,000

  • Murphy Reserve - implementation of works identified in Masterplan: $400,000

  • Upgrade Port Melbourne Town Hall: $200,000

  • Beach St - design: $100,000

  • Rouse St upgrade Stage 2: $600,000

  • Graham St depot: $250,000

In addition, Port Melbourne will receive its share of funding for any programme that rols out through the City such as tree planting, pedestrian safety improvements and small parks.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Port vs Geelong

Port beat Geelong by 41 points yesterday at North Port Oval and remains unbeaten in the competition this season. I wasn't there so can you tell - was there anything memorable about the game?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Keeping warm

There has been some criticism of the City of Yarra recently for discouraging the use of gas heaters for outdoor dining. They were ridiculed for recommending the use of blankets - something I had heard was common in cycle friendly Copenhagen. I was interested when in Martin St, Brighton recently to see blankets in action.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Take another look

image with thanks to Fat Cat Spencer

On Sunday, I walked with others from Beacon Cove to Gasworks looking at various urban art projects in Port Melbourne. We didn't have time to look at these figurines at Bianca but later in the day I went past MARS Gallery to find a fantastic exhibition on by the very same artist - Mike Nicholls - who had created these sculptures. The work exhibited at MARS at the northern end of Bay St is of large wooden sculpture/carvings of great sensitivity as well as paintings. This prompted me to go back and take a closer look at the figurines outside Bianca. Here is an edited extract of the artist's statement: 'The ... sculptures echo the fluid ribbon design of the wave like awnings that wrap the building. ... Each figurine is positioned to expose a new and individual profile of the diving figure to the viewer... The image of an abstracted diving figure is a direct response to the ribbon like feel of flowing water eddying around the building.' If you can't get to MARS, you might be interested to have a look at the artist's website here.

The City of Port Phillip has an urban art policy that requires developments over $5m in value to contribute 5% to urban art within their development. These works stimulate conversation, add interest to the street, and make each building different.

Items to bring to your attention on the Council agenda for Monday 27 June

  • Adoption of the 2011/12 Budget

  • Proposed lease for the Port Melbourne Depot: Council has awarded contracts to Citywide for Tree and Parks & Open Space Maintenance for a period of five years with an option for two years commencing on 1 September 2011. The contracts include a condition that Citywide may operate from the depot located at 477 Plummer St, Port Melbourne. The land is reserved for the purpose of a municipal depot pursuant to the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 and is in a Public Use Zone - Local Government. The terms of the proposed lease are in the Council report which you can access here.

The meeting will be at St Kilda from 6pm

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Walking words

I saw Liz and Hartmut Grieb out walking and they looked liked dedicated walkers so I asked them where they walked and how often: "Walking for us is low keyed, semi spontaneous and just part of our life pattern, up to twice per week, near the Yarra and bush, from 4 - 11 ks, usually with a sandwich and a thermos of tea, or occasionally a light lunch at Abbotsford Convent Bakery. . . As we travel past Princes Pier we usually wonder when it will ever be completed for us all as a venue to further appreciate our seafront, and also when Ghost bus route 606, as a viable public transport facility, as proposed by CoPP, will ever be forthcoming. We also aprpeciate the big bins, and fishing line disposal bins along the Webb Dock East access walkway. Its gentle happy fun."
The picture is of the Gasworks Walking Group who set out briskly from Gasworks every Tuesday morning at 9 am.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Council notes 1

  • The planning applications for 19 to 25 Nott St, and 41 Nott St were approved by Council last night with refinements to some of the conditions on the permits.

  • Approval was received from the state government to build a skate park at Marina Reserve in St Kilda - the approval of the Minister for Environment and Climate Change was needed as the Reserve is coastal crown land.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Making it easier to get to Dig In

A new section of granitic path is being installed in Murphy's Reserve as part of the masterplan commitment to create a walking/running/access path around the Reserve. You can [just!] see the gate to Dig In community garden in the background. Dig In has not been accessible until now. The path parallel to Williamstown Rd is under construction at the moment.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Holy Trinity in Bay St

Holy Trinity played a big role in the community life and history of Port Melbourne. In the late 1990s, the church was sold and re-developed. Sacred items from the Church were dispersed. A small congregation has held together since Con and Sally Apokis went to live and work in England. Now Holy Trinity is coming back to life under the direction of the Reverend Noel Whale. The beautiful church hall is now dedicated to church. Services are held at 10 am on Sundays. Noel Whale is in the Church on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and he'd be glad to meet you if you dropped in.

"Port thumps North Ballarat"

"The competition's benchmark, Port Melbourne, answered what was supposed to be its biggest challenge so far with an emphatic 64 point thrashing of reigning premier North Ballarat at Eureka Stadium yesterday" [Brent Diamond, Sunday Age, June 19, 2011, p16]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Carbon Tax information forum

Just returned from a forum hosted by a collaboration of local community organisations to provide accessible information on carbon pricing and climate change science. John Thwaites, now the chair of Climate Works, described the difference between a carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme - a critical difference being that a trading scheme includes a cap on emissions, while a tax does not. Peter Christoff, from the University of Melbourne, was forceful in spelling out the climate consequences of the emission reduction targets that are set. Should our emissions continue to track on current trends we are likely to face warming of 4 degrees whereas most scientists agree that warming of 2 degrees is the absolute maximum for a safe climate. All speakers rued the lack of bi-partisanship in tackling climate change and contrasted this with Germany and the UK. We were reminded that Australia is the biggest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Speakers agreed that any revenues arising from a carbon tax should be directed towards assisting low income households [for whom energy costs are a higher proportion of expenditure than a higher income households] and reserved to deal with the high costs of climate change adaptation. It was emphasised that any action taken now will be cheaper than action taken later. Peter Christoff emphasised that energy efficiency technologies are known and available to implement right now. Thwaites said in response to a question that only 18% of the anticipated rise in the price of electricity is attributable to the carbon price - the rest is for network and infrastructure improvements to meet our growing demand for electricity.

What do you make of this?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nott St planning applications

Council will consider two planning applications for Nott St, between Beach and Rouse St, at the Statutory Planning meeting on Monday 20th. The applications are for 19 to 25 Nott St and for 41 Nott St. Both applications are for 6 level buildings. The Council meeting is on Monday evening at St Kilda Town Hall at 6pm. These are the only planning applications on the agenda so they will be considered straight away. The report can be accessed from here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where has Port Focus been?

Just wanted to let you know that I was away at the weekend planting trees in Jeparit, in north west Victoria. City of Port Phillip has a friendship with the Shire of Hindmarsh. Do you have any connections with this area that includes Nhill, Rainbow, Jeparit and Dimboola? Then briefings and the Council meeting to late last night followed by back to back meetings today. I will be back on deck with Port Melbourne news tomorrow.
Heather Drendell from the Hindmarsh Landcare Network and Trevor Barker, Landcare coordinator based at the Shire of Hindmarsh

Friday, June 10, 2011

image courtesy of Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, used with permission
Earlier this week, I wrote that we are planning to improve the area under the Graham St overpass. Here is Graham Station before the overpass was built. You can still see remnants of the rail infrastructure in this photo under the overpass. Before the overpass was built, car traffic would back up on either side of the gates as the busy passenger and freight trains made their way through the intersection. The overpass was built around the time of the Westgate Bridge with Graham St providing direct access to the Westgate Freeway. Traffic patterns changed overnight when that access was removed with Citylink, and Williamstown Road rather than Graham St took the brunt of the increased traffic.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ordinary Meeting of Council of Tuesday 14 June

The meeting will be held at in the Council Chamber, South Melbourne Town Hall, starting at 6 pm. The following items of interest to Port are on the agenda:

  • Petition in relation to the reconstruction of the intersection of Ross/Byrne/Swallow Streets, Port Melbourne

  • Public submissions on the 2011/12 Draft Budget

  • Proposed lease of first floor South Melbourne Town Hall to MultiCultural Arts Victoria and ANAM

  • Declaration of the Port Melbourne Special Rate

All reports are available on Council's website or here

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nott St news

The last undeveloped site on the west side of Nott St between Graham and Rouse St has been sold. 'Fitzroy's ... auctioned a recording studio in Port Melbourne for $3,425,000. The strongly contested auction and sale of 111 Nott Street resulted in a yield of $5385 a square metre of land. The property was one of the last remaining building sites in the area.' [Age Business Day p9]

World Oceans Day - Port Phillip Bay

Victoria's marine emblem - the weedy sea dragon amongst seagrass

Today is World Oceans Day. It is also a bitterly cold day in Melbourne when probably the last thing on your mind is going to the beach. All the same, Two Hands Project invites us to do two things today - not accept or use any single use plastic and spend 30 minutes and our two hands to clean our beaches. The tides relentlessly bring in new waves of litter every day regardless of the weather.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Urban bye-pass

Today I attended the final presentations of student landscape architects from RMIT on a project to improve the area underneath the Graham St overpass. Each of the students brought inventive and transformative ideas to this unlovely space by encouraging activity and improving the aesthetic. Many people have identified that lack of lighting makes them feel unsafe under the overpass. RMIT is exploring the use of a material that absorbs and then emits light - you can see a square of the material on trial here. I am very attached to those sailing boats but they weren't picked up as a theme in any of the presentations.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Another trace of the Royal Australian Navy in Port

image courtesy of Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, used with permission

On May 14th, I wrote about the Naval Drill Hall at 40 Bay St, built a year after the formation of the Royal Australian Navy in 1911. In 1942 an Australian Navy Reserve Drill Hall was built on the former Sandridge lagoon. Anyone who joined the RAN in Victoria during World War 11 would have passed through HMAS Lonsdale and carried the prefix PM in front of their official number which signified where they had joined the navy. Decommissioned in 1992, and following a period of intense planning controversy, hm@s was built on the site.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trying out

A second demonstration day was held with Hobsons Bay Obedience Dog Club at Garden City Reserve this morning. Several local families with their dogs joined in to trial the Club. It is proposed to build a modest structure adjacent to the Trugo Club, still within the fenced area of the Trugo Club, [at the Beacon Road end] where the HBODC will take registrations.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Borough undefeated

Port beat the Werribee Tigers 17 9 111 to 13 14 92. Port wasn't looking too good in the third quarter but they pulled away in the final quarter to finish with a goal on the siren. Port continues top of the ladder. The game was marred by an incident of racial vilification against the Tigers' Sudanese born Majak Daw. 'A spectator at the game ... was escorted from the ground by the police at half time, after members from both teams had told security and the police. ... AFL Victoria football operations manager John Hook said there would be ramifications for the offender. "The good thing about it is we know who he is now and clubs don't tolerate it and we don't tolerate it. We're all about encouraging multi-culturalism into our footy. There's no place for people like that."' Brent Diamond the

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Couldn't resist . .

What's up with the 606?

Happened to be making my way home from St Kilda today as the 606 bus pulled up outside Luna Park. The fabulously friendly driver welcomed me as well as all the school students making their way back to Port. He knew every student on board and greeted some by name. What a service! He has been driving the route for 18 years, and remembers when the service ran half hourly to service Kraft, Holden and other Fishermens Bend industries. It reminded me that we haven't heard anything for a while about the promised 606 route upgrade. I will follow up.