Monday, September 29, 2008

Simply Living

A community garden is taking shape here at the Bridge St Uniting Church.
The east side of the building shown in this picture will be transformed into a publicly accessible edible garden.
The project is supported by a community grant from the City of Port Phillip.

157 Albert St

The application for 3 town houses for this site was recently decided by VCAT. Council was concerned about various aspects of the application, such as bulk and access to carparks in such a narrow street.
VCAT overturned council's refusal. The Tribunal member supported the view of the applicant's expert witness, and quoted from him in his decision as follows
· In an urban setting borrowed amenity should be regarded as a ‘bonus” rather than being taken for granted over the longer term.
· Visibility of a building from neighbouring properties is not the test to determine whether a new building is acceptable or not.
· Narrow areas between buildings and side boundaries are typically used for utility and access purposes as opposed to being areas of high amenity.
· Windows on the sides of dwellings with an outlook towards side fencing or structures on neighbouring properties tend to have a daylight function as opposed to providing any meaningful outlook.
· In urban settings, it is commonplace that side windows will be overshadowed to some extent by existing buildings, fencing and or vegetation.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

All over for this season

The borough went down to North Ballarat on Friday night in the VFL Grand Final at Telstra dome in a disappointing end to a fantastic season.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Into the Grand Final!

If you are feeling depressed after St Kilda's exit from the 2008 season - Port Melbourne is in the VFL Grand Final after beating Williamstown today 16 21 117 to 13 18 96!
The ground and the Norm Goss grandstand were full.

Graffiti blight

The benches along the Sandridge foreshore have been tagged.
Attempts have been made to get it off without success.
The benches will need to be re-stained.
Do report graffiti on council property straight away so it can be attended to on 9209 6777 or

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guy Grossi fan club

Guy Grossi is the patron of HEAT [Hospitality Employment and Training] based in Liardet St, Port Melbourne and run by SKYS [St Kilda Youth Service]. The programme is aimed at students disengaged from education who graduate with certificates in hospitality and barrista training.
He spoke at the graduation of the 12th group of HEAT students about the down and difficult times he had experienced in his career.
It is fantastic how Guy has embraced the life of this community since opening Mirka's at Tolarno.
The HEAT programme will be moving to the former infants school on Pickles St later in the year.
Valued partners in this project are William Angliss, the Victoria Police, the Local Learning and Employment Network, and the City of Port Phillip.

What the ...?

This mysterious wrapping will soon reveal one of the planets of the solar system - a permanent installation along the length of the Port Phillip foreshore at a scale of 1:1 billion.

Sandridge Beach, between Beacon Cove and Todd Rd

Further work at Sandridge Beach will be done this financial year to further improve the landscape quality and put in more seats and bins.
In previous years, the cycle path and the timber wall were put in.

Residents will meet with me and staff on Tuesday 30th September at Ada Mary a Beckett childcare centre at 6.30 pm (entrance off Batman Rd) for a peliminary consultation meeting.

Port Primary

Port Melbourne Primary is being upgraded. The buildings on the Walter Street side of the school came down this week. Construction will begin as soon as the demolition is complete. The new buildings will form an 'L' on Graham and Walter, opening to form a courtyard with the older part of the school.
Principal Peter Martin, members of the school council and the architects met with interested neighbours yesterday to show them the plans.

Enrolments for next year are set to be over 260.

Knowing that parking is an issue around the school, staff who live locally walk to school, some others ride and a few car share.
I will keep up the good work the school commuity is doing with council to increase active travel to school.

Mariposa - a small park in Beacon Cove

Mariposa Place is tucked away in Beacon Cove - houses surrounding a small park. Residents have been hugely frustrated by people parking on the park.
Residents of Mariposa Place like looking out onto the park and value the space for their children to play.
To keep people from parking on the grass, the council has constructed a kerb and put in 'no standing' signs to enable more effective parking enforcement.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Small parks

The small parks at Beacon Cove were planted in more water rich times. Now they are looking stressed and disappoint those who look out onto them.

Money [$400,000] has been set aside in this year's budget to making these parks more drought tolerant.

The area around the gym at Beacon Cove has recently been re-landscaped to better withstand the foot traffic.

I will strongly support the implementation of the work already underway on making the small parks of Beacon Cove more drought tolerant.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Joining Hands

Gasworks put on the story festival today. I liked this notice, a contast to some of the ruder notices you see around such as PEDESTRIANS - with no please or thank you.
Readings ran a story writing competition with strong entries from all local primary schools, including Port Melbourne Primary.
The theme offered endless opportunities for creative response. 
Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation were very busy with boomerang painting, and everywhere there were beautiful opportunities for children to make or create things.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Travelling well

Port Melbourne Primary has been working with local residents and the City of Port Phillip to encourage active travel and ease congestion around the school. Several actions have been taken so far with more to come:

  • 54% of children came to school by active means last month (bike, scooter, skateboard) - a huge change - and up from 48% at the previous count
  • 40 km signs installed in Poolman St - a notorious rat run according to Poolman St locals
  • a 'kiss and go' zone has been introduced in Clark St to enable busy parents to drop their children off safely. This has created more order in a very unruly traffic area.

I will built on the support already given by Council to Port Melbourne Primary to encourage active travel to school.

Safer routes to Port Melbourne Primary are already in the planning phase, across Garden City Reserve and Poolman St to the school.

Princes Pier at Port Community Forum (2)

Over 100 people came to the forum hosted by the City of Port Phillip with the Port of Melbourne Corporation at the Life Saving Victoria building on the Boulevard.
Princes Pier aroused the most feeling in the room. Martin Foley explained that the Minister is seeking further funding to continue the demolition work and restore and refurbish the Gatehouse. Princes Pier is managed by Major Projects Victoria, not the Port of Melbourne Corporation.

Other hot issues were:
  • the 'third world conditions' around the restaurants presenting to cruise ship visitors (and locals)
  • great frustration over the length of time being taken to move Beacon Cove over to the full control of the City of Port Phillip
  • concern about B doubles and whether they would access local roads
  • getting freight onto rail. The representative from the Port of Melbourne Corporation spoke of a 40% target - higher than the government's commitment to 20%

How is Plummer St going?

The Plummer St bypass opened in June 2008. People have reported different experiences. The actual traffic counts on Monday 2 September show that:
  • Plummer St (24 hour traffic volume) 7,500 vpd
  • Plummer St trucks 1,468 (20% of all vehicles)
  • Williamstown Road (near Page St) 17,500 vpd (down from 25,000 vpd)
  • Williamstown Road trucks 2,208 or 12% of all vehicles (down by >3,500 vpd)

I will work to make the Plummer St bypass the route of choice for trucks through better signage and education.