Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monumental sculpture

A new public artwork was unveiled at Gasworks Arts Park this evening, funded by the Gasworks Foundation. Its called midden.
The bluestone sculpture is created to be walked or stood on, rained on or performed from. Check it out at the next Farmer's Market on the third Saturday of each month.

This event reminded me of how much we owe those who had the foresight and vision to secure the former Gasworks for the arts and our community.

Turner Reserve (between Bridge and Graham)

New trees have been planted in Turner Reserve, strengthening the line of trees along the path as part of the overall work on upgrading the Railway Reserves. Its hard to imagine that only 20 years ago this was a railway siding.
I love the distant views of the city you get from various parts of Port Melbourne.
Vandalism is always a concern. Keep an eye on those trees!
Care of the Reserves has been an issue for over a century:
'(the neighbours) seem to think that the Reserve is intended by nature for empty jam tins, broken crockery, dead cats or other rubbish of still more objectionable kinds' from the Port Melbourne Tribune 1888 quoted in Railway Rockeries: Tales of the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay Railway Reserves, Port Melbourne

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Footpath frustration

This weekend people have been particularly fed up with dog poo. Several people have spoken to me about it. Unfortunately, this offence is seldom committed when anybody is looking, which makes it difficult to deal with.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Even if you have seen the plans, it is often hard to get an idea of what a particular development will look like. This site, next to Sandridge Bay Towers/Harpers starch factory, on the corner of Rouse and Dow St will apparently look like this.
It picks up the red brick theme of its neighbour in a six level structure containing 83 dwellings. It also creates dwellings inside the former warehouse on Dow St.
The architects are Williams Boag.
The zinc refers to zinc cladding on the upper levels of the building.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Down the drain

All drains lead to the bay. This champagne bottle no longer looks quite so 'pink' after its sojourn down the drain.

Every gutter leads to a stormwater drain that exits into our beautiful bay.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Further steps to reduce the Market's environmental impact

South Melbourne Market is the Council's biggest energy and water user. Village Green and South East Water are working with individual stallholders to identify ways to reduce water, energy and waste. The programme is funded by Sustainability Victoria and the council.

The Market is also about to move to energy efficient lighting. The changeover will cost about $35,000 with a predicted greenhouse gas emission saving of 43 tonnes next year.

I will see that the council's meets its energy and water reduction targets and reports to the community on them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Legal (as opposed to) illegal demolition

The house at 246 Stokes St (cnr Farrell) has gone. This house definitely fell into the 'structurally unsound' category. It was practically falling down.
Two three storey town houses will be built on the site. This is what the standard planning permit condition requires for demolition, particularly where there is building fabric to be retained.

'Prior to the commencement of the works permitted by this permit, including any demolition works, a fully detailed ‘demolition method statement’ must be submitted to and approved by the responsible authority. When approved, the statement will be endorsed and will then form part of the permit. The ‘demolition method statement’ must fully describe and clearly demonstrate that the construction methods to be used on site will ensure that the building fabric required to be retained on the plan approved under Condition 1 of the permit will be safeguarded during and after the demolition process has occurred.'

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Abandoned shopping trolleys are a blight and nuisance.
Do report them to the Coles call centre on 1800 656 055 email:
Council staff, when notified of abandoned trolleys, can put a sticker on the trolley noting the date and time, and issue fines of $100 per trolley if they are not collected within 24 hours.
And yes - Coles do pay up!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Main Sewer Replacement

Melbourne Water is about to begin work to replace the Melbourne main sewer. With the growth of Docklands, the current sewer, which dates back to the 1890's, is not up to the task.
The project is planned to have a work site at Fennell Reserve (between Ingles & Boundary St). The tunnel will go underground, so no works will be visible in the Railway Reserves. There will be another work site at Swallow Street, next to the tennis courts, where the boring machine will re-emerge. Two way traffic access from Garden City round the back past the tennis courts will be maintained.
Go to Melbourne Water's website for detailed information
The tollfree community contact line is 1800 734 558 email
Port Melbourne has the distinction of having the very first connection made to the original sewer. You will find a plaque acknowledging this important contribution to public health on the north eastern corner of Princes and Rouse St.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Promenade at Beacon Cove

Cigarette butt litter!
Especially anywhere near the sea.
It just washes right into the bay after rain.

I will continue to work to protect Port Phillip Bay from pollution from cigarette butt litter, litter and stormwater.

Monday, July 7, 2008

161 Espanade West

Went past this morning to see this house being demolished in a cloud of dust. Sad to see all the trees go - the apple and the loquat.
Council approved this development of 4 dwellings: 2 to Esplanade West and 2 to the rear. Council approval was conditional on removal of roof decks and the elimination of a cross over/driveway to make the most of on street parking.
Residents appealed Council's decision.
VCAT upheld the approval and reinstated the decks and the cross over.
The Tribunal said:
'I do not see any need to delete these roof top decks. They provide additional amenity for residents of these dwellings and are certainly not unacceptable in the neighbourhood and they do not impose any adverse amenity impact on neighbours or distant residents.'
Read their decision at

Friday, July 4, 2008

Planning at the edges

This site, at 76 to 78 Princes St, looks as if it is too high for the surrounding area. In planning terms, it is in the 'Mixed Use Area' around Rouse St where higher density development is permitted.
The Council refused this application on the grounds that it was too high, but Council's decision was not supported by VCAT.
Check out the reasons for their decision.
Note their comment that 'the review site is in a locality wherein the planning scheme encourages new residential growth'

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gasworks walking group

On Tuesday I joined the walking group initiated by the remarkable Di Mooney. The group sets off at 9 am from Gasworks on a Tuesday at a cracking pace, rain or shine. Mostly the group walks along the foreshore, but on Tuesday it was very windy and cold so we walked inland.
When Di first moved to Melbourne, she knew no one. This is how she came to start this group. Now there is a second walking group on Thursday, and a cycling group on a Monday.
Anyone can turn up and join in.

Illegal demolition at 25 Barak Road

The house at 25 Barak Road was illegally demolished on Sunday morning. In what appears to have been a highly planned operation, heavy equipment was brought to the site early. A chain saw cut through the roof, and then the front wall was knocked in.
This is/was a semi detached house but the neighbours had not been notified. Construction work is not permitted on a Sunday anyway.
No demolition or planning permits had been obtained. The house is in a Heritage Overlay and a permit is required for renovations. The owner will be prosecuted.
This estate was the first built by the Housing Commission after its establishment in 1938 to provide rental housing for people in dire need of decent accommodation. Its layout is unique.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On the beach

High winds and a king tide yesterday saw the sea come right up to the sea wall at Princes St, near the London Hotel.
A Melbourne Water drain exits onto this section of beach. Melbourne Water have prepared a plan for the drain to exit alongside the path next to the truck park. The plan is not funded at this stage. Melbourne Water has indicated that dealing with flooding risk is a higher order priority than the aesthetic considerations of drains exiting on beaches.