Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Struck by lightning on Christmas Day

The clock has stopped. It hasn't been possible to find a replacement part so a new unit has been ordered that will automatically adjust to daylight savings. If you would like to report something like this, pop in to the Town Hall in Bay St and let Assist know, or phone 9209 6777 or email assist@portphillip.vic.gov.au or use the prompts from the front page of the website www.portphillip.vic.gov.au

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back to Council

Council meetings begin again tomorrow evening. Here is the meeting timetable. Council will be in Port Melbourne on 13 March, 8 May, 10 July, 11 September and 11 December. Of course, you are welcome at any council meeting. They start at 6 pm. I will let you know when Port Melbourne relevant items are on the agenda. The mayoral chairs of the former cities of St Kilda, Port Melbourne and South Melbourne [l to r] have all been restored to their ceremonial place in their respective council chambers, so this picture is now historical.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I've just taken a ride down to Sandridge. The lifesavers say that compliance with the new swimming zone at Sandridge is good. Jetskis are staying out of the swimming area. To see the boating and swimming zones that apply in Port Melbourne, click here. The yellow hatched areas for swimming only are in front of the Port and South Life Saving Clubs, and in front of the Sandridge Life Saving Club. Here are the speed and distance rules for jetskis which require a 5 knot speed limit when near structures and swimmers. I am told that is walking pace. What has your experience been?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Piers Festival

The Enterprize
Station and Princes Pier came alive with people in a celebration of multiculturalism. What were your impressions? I found that the limited car access made it pedestrian friendly, though for some people the walk was too much in the heat. I noticed that a shuttle - like those ones you get at airports - was also offered between the Piers.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Post Australia Day headache

Sadly, Australia Day revellers trashed some of our beaches and parks yesterday. South Beach, the St Kilda Botanical Gardens and Elwood were the worst affected. South Beach had to be closed temporarily to clean up the debris which included large amounts of broken glass. With more hot weather expected today, these very busy areas were prioritised for clean up today. I am reminded of the message given by Aunty Carolyn Briggs at yesterday's Australia Day citizenship ceremony: 'Bunjil asked visitors not to harm the land or the children of the land'.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Australia Day in Port Melbourne 2012

Hail the bus

The City of Port Phillip hosts a citizenship ceremony in the very beautiful St Kilda Botanic Gardens on Australia Day each year. Finding myself in St Kilda with no bike, I saw a 'Hail the Bus' sign outside Luna Park. Shortly after, the 606 came by and hail the bus I did - only to find driver Frank at the wheel. Frank is the cheeriest bus driver you will ever find. I'm sorry its such a poor picture but I wanted to introduce him to you. He says numbers are picking up on the 606 but still a bit down on what they'd hoped. When school goes back the numbers will likely pick up. Here is the timetable.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Conversations on the 109

Had the best journey home from town today on the 109. I sat next to Margaret Bride from the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society who is writing a history of Port Melbourne. At present her head is full of her research on education - but most particularly the range of adult education options people pursued for self improvement in Port Melbourne in the late nineteenth century. This led on to discussion about the strength of the temperance movement, women's suffrage and radicalism and the connections between them. The man sitting opposite picked up on the conversation and soon a woman visiting Port Melbourne from Paris was asking more about the history of Port Melbourne. The tram was full of cruise ship passengers in end of day chatter returning to the ship for the evening.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

'Taking tennis to the beach'

Had enough of the Australian Open? Has your favourite player bowed out? All the more reason to head down to the 6th Australian Beach Tennis Championships this Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January from 9 to 4. Beach tennis is brought to Port Melbourne by Paul Mapley. He is wholeheartedly committed to the Porrt Melbourne community and health oriented local business. On the beach next to the TT Lines carpark walkway

Monday, January 23, 2012

Counting the comings and goings at Waterfront Place

Traffic counts were commissioned around the Port Melbourne Waterfront yesterday by the Port of Melbourne Corporation. People in hi viz vests were on every corner with clipboards in hand. The purpose of the counts is to understand in great detail the number and nature of traffic movements in the precinct. It was a good day for it - hot weather always brings many other visitors to the precinct - in cars and on foot. By late [very hot] afternoon when I passed, this traffic counter at the exit from the TT Lines carpark had melted. The findings of this study will be highly relevant to the draft Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework and ongoing work between the PoMC and the City of Port Phillip to minimise the impact of shipping related traffic on the surrounding community.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Seeking out shade

All along the foreshore path today people sought out the shade of the palm trees. The draft Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework [p28, p35] proposes to increase shade along Beach St between Bay St and Waterfront Place by planting more trees to create a more comfortable environment.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Talking tennis

Did you know that the tennis courts have not always been in their present location off Swallow St, in Morris Reserve. They used to be at Garden City Reserve. The courts were built in response to the requests of the Garden City Progress Association for sporting facilities for the residents of the newly built Bank Houses. The first court was opened in 1931 and the second some years later when more funds became available. The courts remained in use for several decades until superseded by the current courts with more modern facilities. Apparently, the Garden City courts were very windy.[source: Garden City Reserve History prepared for the City of Port Phillip, Heritage Alliance 2005] The Port Melbourne Tennis Club welcomes players of all ages and abilities.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Piers Festival

By now, you will have heard about The Piers Festival that is happening on 28 January. The last time that a celebratory event was held at Princes Pier was in 1988 for the Bicentenary - now 24 years ago. On that significant occasion, tall ships from around the world berthed at Princes Pier. On the 28th, from 1 pm, Princes Pier will come to life with food and crafts from around the world, roving entertainers, storytelling and boardings on the historic tall ship Enterprize. Station Pier won't be closed. It will be open to the Immigration Museum's display on the history of Station Pier, photographs by Georgia Metaxas of the Blessing of the Waters and more. But most exciting of all will be the stories that will emerge ... Port Melbourne locals will appreciate the thoughtfulness of the brochure: 'Parking in surrounding streets is very limited. Catch the No 109 Lightrail tram to Port Melbourne'.

'The Piers Festival welcomes all to celebrate migration and cultural diversity across the two historic landmarks.'

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Walking to School

A raised yellow crossing is being installed at Clark St, as it enters busy Graham St, for the start of the Port Primary School year. This work arose from discussions with the School about safety concerns that discourage walking. We are also getting rid of a u-turn opportunity that contributed to the confusion by removing a crossover outside the main school gate in Clark St. The benefits of walking to school are not only physical, as Ruth Quibell discusses in her article in the Age yesterday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Port Melbourne Beach

What else to talk about but the weather. What else to do but cool off at Port Melbourne Beach. It reached 34.3 degrees at 4.52 pm.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The builders are back

The cranes cranked up again today after a most welcome summer break. Just a reminder about the hours that construction is permitted: Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 3pm. Council operates an out-of-hours service from 9209 6777 and can always be reached via assist@portphillip.vic.gov.au if you suspect a breach of these conditions.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Remembering Captain Albert Jacka VC who died on 17 January 1932

Albert Jacka was the first Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross in World War 1. Descendants of Albert Jacka [pictured here] and of the 14th Battalion, as well as people interested in his life, gathered today at St Kilda Cemetery to commemorate his life and service. Jacka returned to Australia at Port Melbourne on board the SS Euripides on 20 October 1919. The Advertiser reported that 'the people pelted Captain Jacka with flowers, swarmed over his motor car, breaking the hood and rendering the springs so flat that the wheels jammed against the mudguards and the car could not be moved.* Such was the public admiration for the man. Jacka later became a councillor of St Kilda and was mayor in 1930. Ponder photographs of Jacka online here. *The Advertiser, Tuesday 21 October, 1919

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Summer by the Sea

photos Lyn Allison

Some people find the number of spinifex seed heads rolling through the streets of Port Melbourne pesky, like autumn leaves. I enjoy all the attributes of this tough coastal grass, but I am in awe of what it does for our foreshore. Spinifex leaves and runners are covered in rough hairs. Beach sand lodges in and around them, and in this way new dunes form. It helps to hold our beaches in place. Summer by the Sea offers free and fanatastic opportunities for getting to know more about our coastal and marine environment both on land and in the water. Locally, there is fishing, kayaking and guided walks with local expert Neil Blake - but check out the programme now as there is only about 10 days to go.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Enjoy some bush in the city this Sunday. Local bird expert, Andrew McCutcheon* from Earthcare, will guide people around Westgate Park to learn about the birds that make the Park home, and those that stop over in their journey around the globe. Bring binoculars if you have a pair. Even if you can't come, take a look at the the front page of Friends of Westgate Park's website and be deeply informed and inspired by the photographs of the River Red Gum in all its manifestations - flower, seed, leaf and tree. Birdwalk starts at 10 am on Sunday 15 January for 1.5 hours starting from the Westgate Park carpark off Todd Road Mel 56F1. *thanks to Andrew for the picture of the superb fairy wren.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More weather

Just as I finessed my 40 degree defying garden shade arrangements, the temperature plunged. Knowing that a power surge had wreaked havoc on computers at the Port Melbourne Town Hall on Christmas Day, I turned off and disconnected the computer during this morning's storm. The Council has updated its webpages on safety and emergency preparedness. You might want to bookmark them. Palm fronds were strewn through Edwards Park this evening.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First steps taken towards new Liardet centre

The site for the Liardet St Family and Children's Centre is being prepared. Trees to be kept have been clearly marked with red tape as described in the tree management fact sheet. Other trees have been removed.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weather events

Take a break and that's when all the action happens - a storm of great severity on Christmas Day followed by 40 degrees on the 2 January public holiday. The river conveyed that stormwater and all that it contained into the Bay and onto Port Melbourne and Sandridge Beach. Extremely disappointing that conditions for swimming have been so poor through the peak holiday period. Remember to check the EPA Beach Report if you're thinking about a swim.