Saturday, February 28, 2009

Waiting for the Spirit

I passed this man looking relaxed in the shade of his camper on yesterday's 38 degree day.
He was from up the country and waiting in the carpark next to the Port Melbourne Yacht Club for the Spirit to load.
A man from Brisbane joined the conversation to say that there was nowhere to stay in Port Melbourne. He had arrived in town the day before but had to find accommodation elsewhere.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Carparking in Liardet St

The works taking place in Liardet Street between Dow St and Esplanade East will create 11 extra carparking places as follows:

1. Liardet St N/W corner -1 x extra 60 degree angle car spaces, unrestricted.
2. Liardet St N/E corner - 1 x extra 60 degree angle car space, unrestricted.
3. Liardet St S/E corner - 3 x extra 60 degree angle car space, unrestricted.
4. Liardet St S/W corner - 1 x extra 60 degree angle car space, permit zone.
5. Esplanade West, Eastern corner - 1 x extra parallel car space time restricted.
6. Esplanade West, Western corner - 2 x extra parallel car spaces time restricted.
7. Dow Street S/E corner - 1 x extra parallel car space permit zone.
8. Dow Street S/W corner - 1 x extra parallel car space time restricted.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beach landing

Did you see the hot air balloons landing on Port Melbourne Beach and in Park Square? Did you get a photo?
I only saw the balloon being taken off the beach in a ute.

State of the grass in Turner and Hesther Reserves

I tabled a petition about the dire condition of the grassed areas of the Railway Reserves at the Council meeting on 23 February :

'The petition of the following named citizens draws the attention of the Council to the degraded state of the light rail reserves between Evans and Station Streets, Port Melbourne. The grassed areas have never recovered from works undertaken by various authorities in the reserves.
The following petitioners hereby request that Council undertake to resew the degraded areas with drought resistant grass and that funds be provided for these works in the 2009/10 Council budget.'

The petition will be fed into the 2009/10 capital works budgeting process.

Community Conversation at Port Melbourne Town Hall

The meeting was well attended. Many thoughts and ideas were expressed and captured on butcher's paper. Someone observed 'we no longer have butchers but we have butchers' paper'

A very small sample of some of the phrases I noted: 

'council must be rigorous and responsive in its own inquiries and processes'

'I don't think development has destroyed the village feel of Port Melbourne, but trucks will'

'there's plenty to do'

'like cafes - there are nice places to sit'

council should support 'vitality in every generation'

Whereas the idea of community building/spirit was considered to be a relatively mature concept, there was a feeling that thinking about climate change was less well understood and articulated.

There was support for council to

  • facilitate the take up of local environmental initiatives

  • greatly improve its communication

  • improve the delivery of core services

The issues for Port Melbourne as one person expressed them are

'traffic, trees and tall buildings'

The feedback from across the city will become part of the development of the council plan.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On the subject of drought tolerance

'turf is so 20th century'
observation of a resident

Lease confirmed for 147 Liardet St

Council decided to finalise the statutory procedures under Section 190 and 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 to grant Brewsters a lease for the site at 147 Liardet St (site of the former library) This follows an extensive process begun in August 2008.

The use is for gourmet supermarket - fresh and dry food retail.
Find the full report and the background at

Follow up on Crichton Reserve (see post on February 15)

Last year, I won support for an allocation of $400,000 in the 2008/09 budget for improvements to our minor parks.

The big parks such as Garden City Reserve, Sandridge foreshore and the Light Rail Reserves have secured large budget allocations over the years.

There has never been a satisfactory way of securing funding for upgrading the small parks where a new seat, or an improved path could make all the difference.

This programme is now being rolled out. The works look to improve pedestrian access into parks, provide more shade trees and improve the condition of paths, fences and furniture where required.

Some of the early works involved the removal of dead or poorly performing trees. The tree planting lies ahead in the cooler months. Residents are worried that new trees may not be successful in the ongoing and prolonged drought conditions. That is why a watering regime will accompany the tree planting programme. I regret that fuller information and consultation opportunities were not offered in the development of this programme.

Works are taking place at
Morris reserve
Derham Street Road Closure
Julier Reserve
Crichton Reserve
Centenary Reserve
Mariposa Place (Beacon Cove)
Narooma Place (Beacon Cove)
Stathfield Mews (Beacon Cove)
Orcades Mews (Beacon Cove)
The Crecent (Beacon Cove)
Park Square (Beacon Cove)
Edina Close (Beacon Cove)
Turville Place
George Sangster
Cyrill Letts

TT Buckingham Reserve

Getting there . . . at Garden City Reserve

Electricians have nearly finished the preparatory work for the removal of the old light poles and installation of the new at Garden City Reserve.

Next steps
  • installation of the new light poles

  • completion of the paths

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What do you want Council to focus on for the next 4 years?

The councillors have been working intensely to develop a council plan that will guide Council's priorities over the next four years.
The plan is in draft form and open to your feedback.
Please come to the Port Melbourne Town Hall on Wednesday 25th February to offer your thoughts on the draft plan. Whats missing for you? How would you like to see some of the ideas implemented?

Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday 1 March.

Litter on the beach and streets would be the most frequent concern raised with me.
Clean Up Australia Day is a great opportunity to be part of a national effort of volunteers cleaning up the beach, streets and neighbourhoods.
The Friends of Port Melbourne's Foreshore will be at the Sandridge Life Saving Club from 9.30 am (cnr The Boulevard and Todd Road)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Note to swimmers

A reader reports that a brown stingray has taken up residence between the groyne and Lagoon Pier. It prefers a sandy spot near the end of the groyne and was joined by about five young snapper on Tuesday morning. The senior snapper stayed under the pier, away from fishermen while the young ones spent some time checking out the back and tail of the stingray, without harm to themselves. The stingray is about 60 to 70cm wide and generally avoids people.

Rouse St trees will be replaced

The median will be re-planted in April when the weather is cooler by Citywide, Council’s tree maintenance contractor.
(The current trees were planted by the contractor who put in the median)
Citywide will maintain these trees with recycled water for a minimum of 12 months. At that time the condition of the trees will be reviewed to determine whether more watering is required.
It is a great disappointment that the trees were not well enough looked after in the first instance.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crichton Reserve

Some residents clearly don't think much of the way the council is managing its parks.
I will find out what is going on in Crichton Reserve (Princes & Liardet St)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Interim CEO appointed

Following the resignation of David Spokes, Port Phillip's chief executive officer (CEO), the Council has appointed an interim CEO whilst a permanent CEO is recruited.
The interim CEO is Darrell Treloar, retired former CEO of the City of Hume.  He has had a distinguished career in local government and will look after the city until the new CEO is appointed. He started work on Friday 13 February.

Buckingham Reserve

I was contacted on Friday by two Sandridge residents, perplexed at the sudden arrival of workmen to create a pathway in Buckingham Reserve.
Residents were completely unaware that the works were planned or happening. 
Furthermore, the Council sign referred to Julier Reserve, even though the works were taking place in Buckingham Reserve.
The respondents could not see what purpose the pathway would serve.  The playground needs upgrading, but nobody has been asking for a path to nowhere.
I will be following the matter up on Monday.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Swimmers and boats

Parks Victoria is reviewing boating zones in Port Phillip. The new zones are meant to make the water close to beaches safer.

All boats are supposed to travel at 5 knots within 200m of the shore, a practice not universally observed by jetskis.

The proposed 'no boating' zone basically means swimming only. The other zones proposed would be shared zones where swimmers and craft of all kind will co-exist. When the new zones are agreed and adopted, clearer and more consistent signage will be introduced.

In Port Melbourne, the proposed 'no boating' zones are between

  • Todd Road and the groyne immediately to the east

  • Lagoon Pier and Kerferd Road Pier
There is concern that the needs of swimmers have not been taken into account to date in the consultation process.

If you would like to comments, please contact Steve Scott on 9209 6309 or

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New play space for Garden City Reserve

It was so very hot today - the hottest day - that very few people came to the consultation session about the renewal of the Garden City Reserve playspace.

Please have a look at the plans. It is so much easier to respond to suggestions in the early stage of consultation.

or contact Rebecca Ramage Parks Planner 9209 6678 or 0412 752 555

Tram passengers going to and leaving from Graham Station (east side) will receive greater priority through the creation of a raised pavement at Turville Place/Station St.
Hopefully these works will have the added benefit of slowing traffic along Station St.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pedestrian safety near ramp to rooftop carpark

Safety for people walking to Coles is compromised by the ramp to the rooftop carpark on Liardet St.
Our traffic engineer observed that 11 out of 15 vehicles leaving the carpark did not stop to observe pedestrians crossing, forcing pedestrians to stop midblock over the crossover to give way to vehicles.
Changes to increase pedestrian safety will be introduced soon.

Bumper start at Port Melbourne Primary

At the start of Term 1, Port Melbourne Primary had 84 preps students enrolled and 299 students in all.
News from Travel Well:
  • parents are reminded that the school has a marked drop off zone ('Kiss and Go') outside the school in Clark St. Under current law you are not permitted to leave your car to drop off or pick up your child
  • only children with a school issued 'bike license' should ride to school unaccompanied by an adult

Dogs outside shops

Some people were not happy when Coles put up a notice asking people not to leave their dogs tied up outside.
The Council has received complaints from both Coles and people across the road about barking dogs.
Sometimes dogs have wandered, unleashed, into Coles.
Some children have been bitten when patting dogs unattended by their owners.
Unlike a milkbar, shopping trips inside Coles can take a long time (don't we know) and dogs can get lonely and unpredictable.

Please don't leave your dog unattended for long.

Heritage protection for Garden City Reserve

Exciting news was received this week that interim heritage controls have been introduced for Garden City Reserve – (excluding southern section /former road reservation) after a long campaign by Port People.
Permanent controls will be pursued as part of Amendment C70.

The Interim Heritage Controls have full force and effect of permanent heritage controls, but will lapse in 12 months. Interim controls are designed to protect heritage assets whilst the permanent controls are publically exhibited.
Amendment C70 will take the heritage controls through a full exhibition process providing the opportunity for submissions from affected parties and a Panel process.

In almost all instances the interim controls are directly replaced by the permanent ones – ie with no break in heritage protection.

3 levels of government working together

Funding of $4.5m was announced today to create a new children's centre in Liardet St.
The funding is made up of:
  • Federal $1.6 m
  • State $1.2 m
  • Local $1.7 m
The centre will complement the new secondary school.
The new centre will be created from the suggestions of future users of the centre. The intention is to create a flexible, attractive centre that will meet the needs of families in the early childhood years.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Toilet update

Great distress with the summer closure of the toilets in the arcade leading to Coles.
These toilets are under the control of the centre's Body Corporate.
Council has issued a building orrder to the body corporate management by registered mail requesting that the Public Toilets remain open and accessible to the public.
We are awaiting a response.
Coles have also requested that the Body Corporate re-open the toilets to the public.
Council's planning department advise that there is no specific condition requiring public toilets on any approved permit. [the complex was redeveloped in the late 1980s]

Sandridge foreshore landscape plan

There was animated discussion at the Sandridge LifeSaving Club on Saturday 31st as people offered their views on the concepts presented.
Everyone wants improvements to the management of the foreshore. People want it to be lovely, a place they - and visitors - can be proud of.
Trees were the hottest topic.

  1. should there be trees along the Promenade at all?

  2. what sort of trees should there be? Some favoured palms, others liked the suggested Norfolk Island pines, others preferred banksias

Since there were a range of strongly held views on trees, that aspect of the plan will be suspended for the time being while the agreed improvements are implemented.

There is $456,000 in this year's budget for Sandridge. This budget allocation has been hard fought for. I think every passionate person wants something very beautiful for this unique part of the world so we want to make sure we spend this money wisely and well.

Wondering where things are up to in Garden City Reserve

An electrician is doing preparatory work for the new lights. Then Citipower will be scheduled to put in the lights. The paths will then be finished off, and the soil and works area cleaned up.

Then we can prepare for planting in May.

In the meantime the play space will be started and works underway end March.

contact: Rebecca Ramage if you have questions