Monday, July 30, 2012

Waterfront Place

Waterfront Place Pty Ltd has applied to the Supreme Court of Victoria to remove the restrictive covenants that apply to their land.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Shades of grey, 2

Just got to make the most of grey - today was grey, yesterday was grey and tomorrow might well be grey.
Princes Pier

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Williamstown defeated Port Melbourne 7.14.56 to 6.9.45 in difficult conditions today. Paul Amy said players were 'scrapping over the ball like dogs over a sausage'. Casey is now top of the ladder.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Melbourne Open House weekend

Its Melbourne Open House weekend this weekend. Princes Pier is one of the hundred places open to the public. I hope we get lots of visitors. Its the first time that sites in the City of Port Phillip have been open. Also open are the South Melbourne Town Hall, the vaults at St Kilda and the portable iron houses in Coventry St. Sometimes its fun to be a tourist in your own city.

Undermining the amenity of Rouse St

The new India on Bay restaurant in Rouse St appeals to people to clean up after their dogs. I'm with this business - and share the exasperation embedded in that very strong please. Apartment land is worst for dog poo, and people complain about it to me regularly. Its notoriously difficult to catch offenders.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Get it right on bin night - every week

I know I've mentioned it before, but please don't put your recyclables in plastic bags into the recycling bin. If you do they end up in landfill. All the bags in this photo came out of a recycling truck. We've visited our MRF [Materials Recycling Facility]. The recyclables go along a conveyor and real people withdraw the recyclables in plastic bags and divert them into the waste stream. They don't open them because they might have broken glass or syringes in them. Not to mention they contain valuable materials that could be recycled. Go to 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fishermans Bend 2, Symex sells

'Symex reaps $25m land sale'

'Soap manufacturer Symex Holdings has sold a huge parcel of land in Port Melbourne for $25 million. The land, at 14 Woodruff Street behind the Port Melbourne Football ground, is in the heart of the Fishermans Bend precinct that the state government wants to turn into a residential hub. Symex has made an unconditional contract to sell the site to a property investment group, but the deal is subject to a lease back of part of the site used by Symex until December 31 next year.' [Age Businessday p12]

The once proud administrative headquarters of Kitchens
Symex [formerly Kitchens] is the final remaining 'old' industry in Port Melbourne with a continuous history of manufacturing. More about that another time. What will it all mean for the Port Melbourne Football Club?
Another interesting article in today's Age [Businessday p12] talks about the implications of the release of such a large amount of industrial land - 240 hectares equating to 1.5 times the size of the Hoddle grid - all at once.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One step closer . . .

Tenders have been advertised for the new social club rooms at North Port Oval and for the renovation of the Norm Goss stand and changerooms. Tenders close on 10 August.
Meanwhile Port Melbourne plays Williamstown this Saturday at Williamstown. Port is now back on top of the ladder after defeating the Northern Blues but I am told that Werribee is the one to watch. It is rumoured/reported that Williamstown may also be going alone. That would make Frankston, Bendigo, Port and possibly Coburg.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Climate Commission is in town

They are hosting a community meeting at RMIT Storey Hall tomorrow evening at 6.30 pm. The invitation to the meeting features a great picture of the Sandridge railway bridge. As you can see, the bridge went like an arrow towards Flinders St Station. From 1854 to 1987, the  bridge enabled trains to go directly from Port to Flinders St. The 'doggies', in service to the 1970s, took just 7 minutes to get from Port Melbourne to Flinders St.
The Climate Commission, chaired by Professor Tim Flannery, was established by the government to provide all Australians with an independent and reliable source of information about:
  • the science of climate change
  • the international action being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • the economics of a carbon price
The Commission's report 'Victorian climate impacts and opportunities' is available from their website.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The ovals were alive with junior football

The Port Melbourne Colts Junior Football Club hosted a lightning premiershp for 36 under 9 teams from Southern Metro Junior Football League at Murphy's Reserve today. With around 2,000 players and spectators, it is a while since Murphy Reserve has seen so much activity. Hats off to the huge amount of parent involvement - on the bbq, coaches, runners, boundary umpires and more - not to mention the encouragement from the boundary. Meanwhile, the Hobsons Bay Obedience Dog Club achieved their weekly feats of assertive but friendly discipline at Garden City Reserve.
The teams file past each other shaking hands at the end of the match

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Third Saturday of the month - Gasworks Farmers' Market

Gasworks Farmers' Market won the award for most outstanding Farmers' Market at the ABC delicious Produce Awards held in Brisbane this week. “At Gasworks you see restaurateurs, chefs, bloggers and home cooks all mingling together,” says Victorian state judge Paul Wilson. “This Melbourne market gives exposure to Victoria’s best suppliers all in one arena.”  What I like best about the Gasworks market is the way the stalls create the gathering space in the middle. Watching the children play all over the midden sculpture is another pleasure.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Instant landscape

With work on the Melbourne Main Sewer complete, restoration of the open space at Swallow St, Fennell Reserve, and Walter Reserve is underway. This turf, so neatly stacked this morning, will now be taking hold in its new home near the Port Melbourne Tennis Club. I think that is the final step in the works to restore access from Swallow St and Garden City Reserve through to Evans St and beyond.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The things that happen when you go away!

The City of Port Phillip's CEO, Kay Rundle announced her retirement from Port Phillip and from local government on 12 July. She has been with the City of Port Phillip for three and a half years but in local government for thirty one. She said that 'there are few things more rewarding than working closely with the community and seeing how people's lives can be improved.' The media release is here. I will keep you posted with the next steps to be taken.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Planning for Fishermens Bend, 1

Still trying to get to grips with the full implications of Minister Matthew Guy's recent planning announcements relating to Fishermans Bend. Amendment VC92 was gazetted on 29 June 2012 and amends Clause 11.04-4 Central Melbourne of the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes to introduce a new objective and strategy for major development opportunities that support Central Melbourne's capital city functions. This clause now includes the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area. [It even has its own acronym now FBURA]
Amendment C102 was gazetted on 5 July 2012 and amends the Schedule to Clause 61.01 of the Port Phillip Planning Scheme to make the Minister for Planning the Responsible Authority for administering the FBURA for development proposals over a certain threshold, and rezones the land to the Capital City Zone. Schedule 1 [CCZ1], removes Design and Development Overlays [Schedule 2, 8 and 9] from the land within the FBURA, introduces a new schedule to the Development Contributions Plan Overlay [DPO2] to the FBURA. The schedule for the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area can be accessed here.

What does this all this planning speak mean?
  • the Minister for Planning rather than the City of Port Phillip will decide future planning applications for the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area
Issues and questions arising
  • How will the Council be involved and what capacity will the Council have to influence outcomes?
  • The terms of reference of the Project Control Group of Places Victoria, which will undertake the planning for the area, have been amended to exclude councillor representation
  • What opportunities will there be for community input into planning for the renewal area to avoid - as the Minister has always said he intends - the mistakes of Docklands?
  • At present, there is no policy framework in place against which to assess any development proposal
  • How will the City of Port Phillip be consulted about our very important open space assets such as Murphy Reserve and North Port Oval?
  • It also appears from the schedule that there will be no 3rd party appeal rights applying to any development applications
Please let me know the questions you have. I will attempt to get answers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Parking around Station Pier

Parking rates at Station Pier carpark and Waterfront Place have been reduced to $2.50 per hour,  $5 maximum, between 1 April and 31 October. This initiative will support foreshore businesses over the winter period.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back on deck

Dear Port Focus readers
Back in Port - though not quite focused yet.
Pretty disappointed that the first Port Melbourne news I heard was about Ricky Nixon getting into trouble again.
I aim to resume regular posting tomorrow.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Parting shot

Sunset at Princes Pier
image: Steve Randall

Taking leave

Dear Port Focus readers
I am writing to let you know that I am taking leave of Port Focus for two weeks. I am going to East Timor Timor-Leste with a community delegation from Port Phillip to observe the parliamentary elections taking place on 7 July. We will be going to Suai in the district of Covalima. For 12 years, the Port Phillip community has been formally committed to assisting this coastal community through the Friends of Suai.
And the Port Focus?  Port Melbourne's Bill Armstrong AO has chaired the Friends of Suai for many years, bringing his extensive relationships and experience in international development to the role.  David Scott AO, who passed away just recently, was a committed advocate for the East Timorese dating from from his experience of the Indonesian invasion in 1975. He spent his last years with us here in Port Melbourne. Nancy Price, part of the community delegation, is a member of Port Melbourne Uniting Church. The Carmelites in Rouse St have been in East Timor since 1999.
On the broader front, democracy - a system we stand by so strongly - is underpinned by free and fair elections. This will be the first election in East Timor to be overseen by the local electoral commission -  not by the UN. The Port Phillip delegation will be part of a network of observers from friendship relationships such as ours all over Australia.
Please keep an eye on Port for me, and let me know of anything of interest that happens while I'm away.
Best wishes