Wednesday, December 22, 2010

7 of 7 things Council has done in Port in 2010

And here is a grab bag of other things the Council has done this year:
  • Port became more accessible to people in wheelchairs when several hostile kerbs were replaced with accessible crossings
  • The Community Bus took off and became more popular with Port passengers
  • Books have been borrowed and the internet has been heavily used at the Library
  • Community and sporting organisations have been supported in their work including South Port Day Links, Port Melbourne Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, and the Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House
  • Bins along the foreshore and in Bay St have been emptied every day, the beach has been cleaned, parks have been mowed, waste and recycling bins have been picked up every week
  • Elderly residents have been assisted to stay at home with home delivered meals, shopping and cleaning assistance. Maternal and child health and childcare have supported families
  • Trees have been planted and pruned, footpaths re-instated, roads re-sheeted and that is not all ...

Environmental initiatives in Port [6 of 7 things Council has done in Port in 2010]

Solar panels were installed at the Sandridge Trugo Club and this well loved, well used facility was also re-furbished. In 2011, the Council will be accelerating work to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of its buildings.
Stormwater diversion openings were created in the kerb and channel when re-constructing Station and other streets so that stormwater now flows onto the magnificent trees, rather than out into the Bay. Incorporating stormwater treatments like this will become business as usual in future.

Looking after Port's history [5 of 7 things Council has done in Port this year]

The World War 1 memorial fountain - such an important gathering place for our annual Anzac commemoration service - has been sensitively restored. The Women's Welcome Home Rotunda has been freshly painted, the wooden uprights replaced and all other elements fully restored. The Maskell and McNab memorial - while still missing its ornate lights - is now fully functioning as a water fountain - a nice way for current generations to interact with a historic memorial. A wonderful exhibition in the Port Town Hall celebrated 150 years of Port Melbourne achieving local government.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Garden City Reserve [4 of 7 things Council has done in Port in 2010]

The transformation of Garden City Reserve has been a delight this year.
The changes reflect the themes raised in consultation: people wanted more trees - both native and exotic, stronger and clearer paths, improved grass cover and better lighting. All this has been done. Each of the pathways shown here has a different character defined by the trees. The rain has been our friend of course.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sandridge [3 of 7 things Council has done in Port in 2010]

The Sandridge foreshore works have meant the most to me this year. For many years people living in this part of Port felt neglected by Council from a maintenance and infrastructure point of view.
The works done this year responded to the issues that were raised most often
  • by providing those most basic of council services - bins, water foutains and bicycle hoops
  • the lights responded to people's concerns about safety and wanting to feel comfortable walking along the foreshore, day and night. The paths connect and make the foreshore more accessible
  • the gathering places have been upgraded with more tables and picnic settings and the new playground sits comfortably in its new setting

There is more work to be done in improving the management and quality of the vegetation, and keeping on top of the maintenance regime - but I hope Sandridge people no longer feel neglected.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Making it safer around Port Melbourne Primary [2 of 7]

To make it safer for children to walk or ride to Port Melbourne Primary School, the Council installed two coloured and raised crossings on Poolman St.
This measure adds to the flashing 40 sign on the descent from the Graham St overpass, and the 40 km speed limit surrounding the school.
There is ongoing work required with Council and the school community in 2011 to further improve safety around the school.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Playground at Garden City Reserve [1 of 7]

The playground at Garden City Reserve has been a highlight - it is wonderful to see so many families using the playground, gathering there, having picnics and birthday parties, and seeing children enjoying themselves - and to know that local children came up with many of the ideas that have been translated into this beautiful and imaginative playspace.

7 days of Christmas in Port

Over the next 7 days I am going to feature things that the Council has done in Port in 2010.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Leaf litter captured in trap

Lately I have been pre-occupied with the amount of stormwater borne litter on our beaches. So I was glad to see the litter trap on the Esplanade West main drain in Edwards Park being cleaned out by Melbourne Water's contractors. Although leaves may seem benign they add to the nutrient loads in the bay. The litter trap catches most litter and suspended solids so that stormwater is in a cleaner state by the time it reaches the Pump House on Esplanade West to get that last boost out into the bay.

Gambling policy (draft)

John points out the serious omission of on-line gambling - especially sports betting - in the draft gambling policy.
He point out that on-line gambling returns no benefits at all to the local community whereas those owning EGM licenses are required to provide a community benefit statement.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Responsible Gambling Policy (draft)

I wonder what you think about gaming and the approach taken by the Council in it's draft Responsible Gambling Policy that is now open for your comment. It 'sets out a strategic approach to minimise harm associated with all forms of gambling in the City of Port Phillip.' Click here to read the policy and discussion paper or contact me for a hard copy.

A few bits and pieces from these documents:
  • the number of EGMs in the City of Port Phillip has declined steadily over the last decade, from 485 in 1999 to 384 in 2010
  • Crown Casino is easily accessible to residents of the City of Port Phillip. The Casino has 2,500 EGMs* and over 300 table games.
  • In Port Melbourne, the Rex has 57 EGMs at which $6,265,359 was spent in 2009/10
The draft policy is informed by a discussion paper attached to the policy. Follow this link to the website of the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation for details of all venues in Port Phillip.

*Electronic Gaming Machines

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Evidence of Christmas

A few people have commented on the paucity of Christmas cheer around Port.
Well, it was all on display at the Christmas celebration of the Hobsons Bay Obedience Dog Club at Murphy's Reserve. I came in on the tail end of the best dressed [Christmas] dog competition. I liked this discreet and comfortable look even though I don't think it was a prize winner.
This marvellous club supports our whole community through teaching good canine citizenship. Some loyal members have taken several generations of family dogs through the Club.

Change at the Beacon Cove Foodstore

After 14 years, Bernard Mandile is stepping away from the restaurant/cafe to focus on the supermarket at the Beacon Cove Foodstore. The new operator is currently refurbishing the cafe/restaurant.
Bernard has been part of Beacon Cove from its earliest conceptual days when Kevin Hunt of Mirvac imagined a village square at the heart of the new development - and this is what it has become.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Low maintenance naturestrip

Reader Bruce offers his naturestrip for our admiration. It is planted with carpobrotus rossii, more commonly known as pigface.
It is lush and succulent, and requires no watering or mowing - just a trim from time to time. It also flowers profusely.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Last Council meeting of the year - and its in Port

The final Port Phillip Council meeting for 2010 will be held at Port Town Hall at 6 pm. Items on the [21 item!] agenda that might interest you include:

  • Toward Zero and Environmental Programs Annual Progress Report - which shows a 28.2% decrease in Council's greenhouse gas emissions since 1996, and a 10.7% decrease compared to 2008/09
  • Proposed trial of Pedicabs - the report recommends trialling the scheme for 6 months
  • Open Space Water Management Plan - proposed for adoption as it has been out for extended consultation. The Plan anticipates and plans for the future irrigation needs of open space and aims to achieve 50% of ideal irrigation demand from non potable water sources by 2020
  • Amendment C62 Revised Local Planning Policy Framework - recommended for adoption, and subsequent submission for approval to the Minister for Planning following an extended exhibition and consultation process
  • [Draft] City of Port Phillip Gambling Policy - to be adopted for consultation
To read the full agenda and any of the reports going to Council, click here

Thursday, December 9, 2010

War memorial restored

The Port Melbourne War Memorial has been receiving some very sensitive care.
Repeated poulticing has been applied to the gypsum crusts to soften them. They have then been removed and rinsed with pressure wash.
The bronze components have been cleaned using non ionic detergent applied by nylon brush and application of microcrystalline wax.
Copper salt staining has been removed from the central bowl using a a poultice of sodum dithionite. Cracks in the marble canopy have been filled using marble dust and dry pigments in acrylic resin.
Finally, a very thin application of saline hydrophobing treatment has been applied to the stone surfaces with a spray bottle to protect the memorial against the salty environment.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Heavy weather

Heavy rain did not deter these gentlemen from enjoying a coffee in Bay St this morning.
Port Phillip staff are fully alert and prepared for the severe weather forecast for the day. The Council's number is 9209 6777
If members of the public experience storm or flooding threatening or damaging their property, they chould call the SES flood and storm number 132 500

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Small park gives great pleasure

The small park created from the road reserve where Esplanade East and Raglan St meet is looking particularly fine so I am offering two views of it.
The shadow cast by the shelter creates a pattern like a tablecloth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

For the swimmers out there

For those of you who like to swim off Port Melbourne Beach, you might like to keep an eye on EPA's Beach Report.
The EPA monitors conditions on Port Phillip Bay's beaches and advises whether the conditions are suitable for swimming. To check out this advice before heading down for a swim, click here.
The EPA advises against swimming near stormwater drains during, or for 24 hours after rain.
You can look at the detailed water quality results for Port Melbourne beach for last week and last year by clicking here.

New Mayor to lead the City of Port Phillip

I would like to introduce you to our new mayor, Councillor Rachel Powning. Rachel represents Carlisle ward which includes Balaclava and East St Kilda.
Rachel was elected at a Special Meeting of Council held in St Kilda this evening.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Successful launch of 3207 Beach Patrol

About 30 Beach Patrollers joined in a sweeping clean from the edge of the TT Lines truck park to the Port Melbourne Yacht Club. They cleaned in detail - fragments of plastic along the tide line, nooks and crannies at the base of the blue stone sea wall and amongst the vegetation. There was universal agreement that plastic straws were the most picked up item.
There was a great sense of comradie and common purpose - I think that's called enjoyment.
Congratulations Tom Burrowes for initiating 3207 Beach Patrol and Guy Boston from 3206 Beach Patrol [in the red].
3207 Beach Patrol welcomes new members to join at their website which you can access here

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fire at the Hibernian

There was a fire at the Hibernian Hotel on the afternoon of Sunday 28th November. This followed a serious fire earlier this year on Sunday 25th July that left eleven people at risk of homelessness. Police are treating the fire as suspicious. I am told many people gathered to watch the fire - did anyone out there take a picture? 

I read in Chartered Scoundrels that the Hibernian was built in 1868. Originally a rough structure - it suffered a serious fire in 1871! [Chartered Scoundrels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels by Pat Grainger is available from the Port Melbourne Town Hall]


Destination at Waterfront Place was commissioned as part of the Beacon Cove development. The original design included a lighting system along its steel keel section that lit up at night. These lights had ceased to work and Orchard Design Studio [the original designers] was contracted in June to replace the fibre optic cables allowing the work to return to its original intent.
At night the light changes colour every few minutes. The light makes more of a mystery of this work.
I ponder how much this work, with its very fitting name, is part of my every day and yet I seldom pause to look at it. It's not located in a good pausing place. If you have taken or could take a better photo than this one, I'd love to see it.
Perhaps next time you pass have a look at the detail of the work and the way it represents the many ships which have berthed at Station Pier. Click here to read more of Orchard Studio's philosophy and writings. By way of introduction: 'Some of the established cultures we admire most from the past are those who have successfully harnessed the creative talents of their visual artists and together with the civic, cultural or spiritual leaders left clear evidence of their partnership and shared vision through the building of public monuments which are still admired thousands of years after they were built.' Orchard Studio

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Railway Reserves

Port Melbourne looked so beautiful this late afternoon after the rain. The grass was lush underfoot and the trees have foliage in shades of green that we haven't seen for many, many years.

Albert Park district result still not declared

A recheck is taking place for the Albert Park district. The results below are only interim results. The two candidate preferred vote is as follows: Martin Foley [ALP] 15,832, or 52.15% Mark Lopez [Liberal] 14,514, or 47.85%.

Click here to keep an eye on the result. Here is our hardworking local member on the phone near his office in Rouse St.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

3207 Beach Patrol is looking for members to help keep Port Melbourne's beaches clean

All this wonderful rain picks up litter and sediments that make their way via roads and drains onto our beaches.
Port Melbourne's Tom Burrowes has started up 3207 Beach Patrol - modelled on 3206 Beach Patrol in Middle Park - to encourage people to join in cleaning the beach they care so much about.
All you have to commit is half an hour a month whenever it suits you to pick up litter on a designated section of Port Melbourne's beach.
3207 Beach Patrol is starting out with an inaugural clean up this Saturday at 9.30 am on Port Melbourne beach opposite the London Hotel. Tom would love you to join him. Click here to sign up.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Cuts, No Butts

Tomorrow is officially the first day of summer and the day that Port Phillip's beaches go glass and smoking free.
Every week Council picks up over 100 cubic metres of beach litter, including 1,000s of cigarette butts and a large amount of broken glass.
1 in 10 butts littered in Melbourne end up in our beautiful Bay.

Monday, November 29, 2010

1861, 1888, and 2010 at Chequers

I feel ambivalent about the changes taking place at Chequers. I never really liked the yellow [just a sliver remains] and this grey looks smart - but is it one of the last of Port's working class pubs to go?
The Chequers Inn was built in 1861 by Edwards James Crockford whose son later became Town Clerk of Port Melbourne.
It was renovated in 1888 under the direction of local architect John Grut. It included classical Italianate embellishments of frescoes, columns and trusses and offered comfortable accommodation. [taken from Chartered Scoundrels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels by Pat Grainger]
I have always found the embellishments, seen here above the Bay/Bridge corner, a bit over the top.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How Port Melbourne people voted

As at 28 November, the Victorial Electoral Commission [VEC] had the two candidate preferred vote for the Albert Park District as
Martin Foley [ALP] 14,177 or 52.62%
Mark Lopez [Liberal] 12,767 or 47.38%
At the Port Melbourne booths, the results for these two candidates were:
Port Phillip Specialist School:
Martin Foley [ALP] 1,138, Mark Lopez [Liberal] 1,384
Fishermens Bend/Sandridge:
Martin Foley [ALP] 777, Mark Lopez [Liberal] 546
Postal votes and pre-polls remain to be counted.
Click here to look at the detailed results for all parties in the Albert Part electorate at the VEC's virtual tally room.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Election tomorrow

Polling booths in Port Melbourne are at:
  • Port Phillip Specialist School, 127 Nott St - access via Farrell St
  • Fishermens Bend Community Centre, cnr Centre Ave and Dunstan Parade
Voting centres will be open from 8 am to 6 pm
For more information about voting go to

Thursday, November 25, 2010

AGM Season 3: South Port Community Residential Home

The two strong themes of this year's AGM were the redevelopment of the facility and the quality of care provided at SouthPort.
Chairperson Lyn Allison explained that the state government has made the site at the rear of the St Vincents Boys Home [pictured here] available for not for profit community based aged care. SouthPort and Claremont have combined to bid for the site. The outcome of the bid will not be known until after the election - but everyone is hoping it will be soon after that. As Lyn said: their experience has taught them to be 'patient and prepared.'
The pressure on the organisation is revealed in some of the figures provided in the Annual Report: Staff wages increased by 4% and utility bills went up 18.8% whilst Commonwealth grants went up by only 1.7%. Nevertheless, a small surplus was made.
After a magnificent afternoon tea, I spoke with a resident who had grown up on the shores of Albert Park Lake where her father was the only boat builder. She sewed sails from japara because 'you can't make sails that let the wind through'.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AGM Season 2: Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House

The Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House celebrated 25 years in this community at their AGM last night. They can be found at the corner of Liardet and Nott St.
Justice can't be given to the range and depth of their work, where they 'weave the social fabric' [Mandy Burns, chairperson] but here are some highlights:

  • 7,000 people participated in activities at the House over the year
  • The City of Voices expresses the essence of the House being a theatre group of people with and without disabilities, young and old, professional and amateur. 'The City of Voices created characters, scenes, text, music which I merely shape together. [Myfanwy Powell, Artistic Director] Pictured here is a scene from 'Waiting, meeting, chasing .. the Station' performed at a range of tram stops along Route 96
  • Kate Kelly, coordinator, spoke of the House's aim to go beyond social inclusion - currently the prevailing thinking - to active participation
  • John Dawes, volunteer, said that he has time to give, and wants to give it to this community he loves
  • The reception area is an entry point to programmes, participation, and training
  • Dig In community garden at Murphy's Reserve is a thriving garden and community in itself

Congratulations Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House on 25 amazing years.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pedestrians and Drivers

Since we are all pedestrians some of the time, its good to know what the Road Rules say about driver obligations to pedestrians. In 2008, 44 pedestrians were seriously injured in the City of Port Phillip, 23% of all road users.
At pedestrian crossings
A driver must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing, and you must not overtake another vehicle which has stopped at a pedestrian crossing. When approaching a pedestrian crossing, you must drive at a speed that would enable you to stop safely.
At intersections
When turning at any intersection (except a roundabout), you must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road you are entering
In slip lanes
You must give way to any pedestrian in a slip lane
At pedestrian lights
You must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing. At pedestrian lights with When Flashing Give Way to Pedstrians signs, when the yellow light starts flashing, you can proceed provided you give way to any pedestrians still on the crossing
At a children's crossing
You must approach a children's crossing at a speed from which you can safely stop. You must stop at a flagged children's crossing if a pedestrian is on or entering the crossing.

For all the Road Rules applying to pedestrians go to

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Council agenda for Monday 22 November

After a lovely weekend of many community picnics and gatherings, it is back to Council.
The Port item on the agenda is the Fishermans Bend Planning and Economic Development Strategy.
The purpose of the Strategy is to guide land use and business development of the Fishermans Bend Industrial Area for the next five to ten years.
Click here to access the Council report and the supporting attachments.
The Council meeting will be at the St Kilda Town Hall at 6 pm.

Preparing for a wedding 2

I know people love this rotunda because I have seen it crop up in paintings at several exhibitions. But how about this ...

Welcome to Bay St

After much labour behind mysterious windows, and the discovery of the copper window surround, Balderdash is now open on the corner of Bay and Bridge St.
I am no cafe reviewer but it seems the proprietors are dedicated to coffee and creating a comfortable space for patrons.

Coffee and pastries now and breakfast and lunch from next week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Preparing for a wedding

Being anywhere in Port Melbourne today was lovely and every activity was enhanced by the beautiful day.
Saw this wedding table being prepared as I rounded the corner on the beach at Beacon Cove.

87 to 101 Bay St - Nott St side

Follow this link to see what the development at 87 to 101 Bay St will look like on Nott St. The site runs through from Bay St to Nott St.
Review previous posts to read the planning history on this site by putting '87 to 101 Bay St' in the search box of Port Focus.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Planting tomatoes

There may be a lot of debate about the best date to plant tomatoes, but you are invited to plant a tomato at the Simply Living Garden on Sunday.
The tomato plantings shown here are an extension of a frontyard productive garden in Esplanade West.
Simply Living Garden
cnr Nott and Bridge
Sunday 21 from 11 to 12
Or you may prefer to make Jam in the Kitchen on Tuesday 23rd 9.30 to 12. Make some jam for Christmas and a few extra for the Simply Living Garden market stall. $3 contribution.

The Piers

Did you know that there used to be cranes on Station Pier but not on Princes Pier?
As part of fulfilling their heritage commitments at Station Pier, the Port of Melbourne Corporation will re-instate one of the cranes on the pier in due course.
image courtesy of the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society used with permission

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AGM Season

South Port Day Links AGM gave an opportunity to acknowledge the many volunteers and staff to the organisation and the community.
This wonderful organisation is about far more than transport. Through Pet Links, Garden Mates, Walk Mates and transport, SPDL supports frail elderly people to stay at home through maintaining their connection to the community, services and activities.
New volunteers are always especially welcome at SPDL.

corner of Rouse St and Esplanade West

After a long period of neglect, this unusual house at 51 Esplanade West is being prepared for demolition.
There is a permit on the site for four, three storey townhouses.
You can check the planning permit register for this, or other sites, by going to

Cargo bike picnic

There will be a cargo bike picnic at Garden City Reserve this Sunday 21st from 11 to 2. You can try out different kinds of cargo bikes, speak to different cargo bike suppliers and see what they are like to ride. There will even be a coffee machine operating from a cargo bike. Apart from that it is byo picnic and helmet.