Saturday, January 30, 2010

Every day is clean up day with 3206 beach patrol

I am inspired by Middle Park's Guy Boston who started 3206 Beach Patrol

Distressed by litter on the beach, he created this flexible and easy way of helping to keep our beaches clean. Each member volunteers one hour a month to picking up litter wearing the 3206 Beach Patrol t-shirt. How hard is that?
Cigarette butts are his number one aversion. He would like to see smoking banned on Port Phillip's beaches following successful bans at Manly and Bondi.

He imagines that every beach in Port Phillip - and beyond - would have its own patrol.
Would you like to be part of/or start a 3207 Beach Patrol?

Contact me, or Guy Boston via

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Port Projects for 2010

The council re-convenes tomorrow. These are some of the projects you have identified that I will be working with you and others to achieve:

  • respond proactively to possible planning application for 1 - 11 Waterfront Place (currently occupied by Genesis gym) to achieve benefits for the Port Melbourne community
  • ensure effective buffer arrangments are put in place between an expanding and intensifying Webb Dock and the Port Melbourne/Garden City community and improve uptake of Plummer St bypass
  • get that toilet outside Coles open!
  • work towards the Liardet St family and children's centre
  • complete Garden City Reserve landscape and playspace improvements
  • implement the final stage of the Sandridge Beach masterplan including pathways and lighting
  • implement recommendations from the Perce White Reserve masterplan
  • secure commitment for funding streetscape works in the Rouse St (west) precinct
  • begin working with the community reference committee on the urban design framework process for the Port Melbourne waterfront to plan for long term improvements to this significant place
  • work with the community of Murphy's Reserve on future directions to achieve improvements
  • deliver the new facility at North Port Oval and refurbish the Goss grandstand
  • achieve raised pedestrian crossings at Poolman/Clark for children going to and from Port Melbourne Primary
  • rehabilitate degraded turf areas in the Railway Reserves
  • get options on the table for the Bay/Liardet intersection
  • a 40 km speed limit for Bay St
  • complete the asset handover of Beacon Cove to the City of Port Phillip. This includes the Promenade. A measure of success would be to get bins on the Promenade
  • transfer planning control for Beacon Cove (residential areas) to Port Phillip
  • significantly strengthen our tourism effort at Station Pier
  • work with Parks Victoria to implement the boating zone review recommendations to manage jetskis, especially at Sandridge

I have deliberately not prioritised these projects as each one is significant to the community closest to it.

Is there something that is very important to you that I have left off this list?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Carparking at Kyme Place and in the Bay St precinct

There will still be publicly accessible carparking at Kyme Place in the new development as follows:

Kyme Place
There are 33 places in the carpark at Kyme Place currently.
There will be a net loss to the public of 5 spaces from the approved housing development. That means there will still be 28 spaces publicly available.

[7 spaces will be lost from within the car park and 2 will be gained on Liardet St outside A Simple Affair where the cross over will be re-instated, including a disabled parking place.]
Liardet St

Recent council works have added to the supply of on-street parking.
The kerb and channel works in Liardet Street (between Esplanade East and Dow St) in December 2008/January 2009 created 10 new spaces.
More recently, as part of the reconstruction of the kerb and channel between Bay and Princes St, 12 new spaces have been created which were not taken into account at the time of the planning decision.
The steering committee for the family and children’s centre in Liardet St are actively considering how new carparking can be created to service that facility without taking away play space for children.

South of Graham Street

Additional parking for shopping and visitors was required as part of the planning approvals for Bayview 142 spaces (cnr Rouse/Bay eastern side), Bayshore 130 spaces (cnr Rouse/Bay western side), and Bianca 108 spaces (the curvy building). That is a total of 380 spaces.

These carparks are all open and accessible to the public. Bayview and Bayshore carparks are run by commercial operators who offer all day parking at competitive rates. They are currently under utilised.

Riding through the Montague St/M1 interchange

I thought I would take a ride to road test the new arrangements at the Montague Street interchange now the M1 works are substantially complete.

This intersection is all that comes between Port Melbourne and the attractions of the DFO at South Wharf, Docklands and Docklands Stadium.

In spite of the of the green on road treatment and relatively low volumes of traffic on a Sunday morning, I found it less than comfortable on the bike.

The St Kilda cycle club Sunday morning race made the access round the back via Johnson Street a bit awkward.

There is a wide footpath from one side of the crossing to the other. Although not signed, it looks as though it is intended as a shared walking and cycling path. All the crossings are well marked with clear audio-tactile pedestrian crossings.

So, my opinion was that the crossing is safer than it used to be but remains an intimidating experience for non-car users.

What is your experience of this intersection?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Council meetings in Port Melbourne in 2010

The Council meets on the second, third* and fourth Monday of each month. The Council meetings that will be held in Port Melbourne in the council chamber are:

  • Monday 8 February
  • Monday 12 April
  • Monday 15 June
  • Monday 9 August
  • Monday 11 October
  • Monday 13 December
All meetings begin at 6 pm.
You are most welcome to attend any meeting of council if you would like to ask a question or make a submission on an agenda item. The Port Melbourne meetings are listed because they may be more convenient for you.

The full council meeting timetable for 2010 can be viewed at

The councillors outside Port Melbourne Town Hall are from left to right: Janet Bolitho (Sandridge), Judith Klepner (Albert Park), deputy mayor Rachel Powning (Balaclava), Jane Touzeau (Ormond), Serge Thomann (St Kilda) and the mayor Frank o'Connor (Emerald Hill). John Middleton (St Kilda Road) is not in this photo.

* statutory planning

Maintaining the stormwater drains

Every three months Thiess, for Melbourne Water, clears sediment from the massive stormwater drains that run under Esplanade West to protect the massive pumps housed in this building. The pumps give stormwater a boost to discharge it into the bay at the drain outfall on the beach between Lagoon Pier and the Port Melbourne Yacht Club. The pumps protect this area from flooding after heavy rain.

The pumphouse, built in 1891, sits on the western edge of the former Sandridge Lagoon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More on the prospective third stevedore

Given the significance of the imminent decision to introduce a third stevedore into Melbourne for the Port Melbourne community, I am reproducing in full the article that appeared in The Age 19 January 2009
"$25m claim from new port
A DECISION by the Victorian Government to fast forward plans to introduce a third stevedore into Melbourne will be met with a compensation claim of at least $25 million from the stevedore most affected by the decision: Asciano.
An official announcement for the $1 billion extension of Webb Dock east at Port Melbourne was scheduled for this week. But a few outstanding issues are now expected to delay the controversial announcement until the end of the month.
The news of a third stevedore comes two weeks after Asciano lost a car carrier contract in Melbourne with logistics giant Wallenius Wilhelmsen.
The big question is, why has the Victorian Government decided to take the decision now, when it had originally planned to increase capacity by spending $100 million upgrading the Swanson Dock facility, before forking out $1 billion to extend Webb Dock after 2017.
What makes the decision interesting is there is currently no rail link to Webb Dock, so all movements from a new Webb Dock container port would be by road. This is not a vote-winner for a government facing an election this year, given that such a move could add up to hundreds of thousands of truck-trips on the roads of Williamstown and Port Melbourne.
Not surprisingly, the communities at Williamstown and Port Melbourne will lobby against the proposed redevelopment. But the fiercest lobbyist will be Asciano, which stands to lose its duopoly as well as a lucrative business, which includes moving 200,000 cars a year, steel for Bluescope Steel, and break bulk cargo.
But the Government has to stand by its decision. Most contracts are won on a national basis and so the best outcome for competition, and potentially lower prices, would be a third player operating out of the three main ports.
If it reneges, it will make it a lot harder for the third operator in Sydney and Brisbane to survive in the longer term."
The Age

Monday, January 18, 2010

Changes ahead at Webb Dock sooner rather than later

It was widely reported in the business pages today that the announcement of a third stevedore at Webb Dock is imminent.

It is old news that a third stevedore has been sought for some time. It was foreshadowed in the Port Development Strategy with competition being seen as a means of driving further productivity and efficiency in the port.

This (pre) announcement highlights the need for effective buffers to be put in place between the Port of Melbourne and Port Melbourne residential communities, the need to bring forward the planning for Dockside Road and keep Webb Dock rail on the agenda.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So hard to establish new trees!

Very disappointed to see these young trees in Turner Reserve broken - and one has disappeared altogether. They looked so full of promise when the photo on the right was posted on 30 July 2008.

Looking back with interest

Rode past 157 Albert St.

Council had refused a planning permit application for this site which was subsequently approved by VCAT (see post 29 September 2008).

The dwellings in contention are almost complete.

Do you think council's concerns were justified?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

State of play at Princes Pier, January 2010

"Princes Pier re-opened to the public today"

tag line and photograph courtesy of Ron Cassano

Comparing white cedars with white cedars in Edwards Park

This white cedar (melia azedarach) avenue in Edwards Park is growing strongly through being fed by stormwater run-off from the recent surfacing of Lagoon Lane.
You can see the swale at left, between the fence and the trees, through which the stormwater is drained.
The other melia avenue in the park, planted at the same time, which just relies on whatever rain falls on the surface, is growing less vigorously.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spring/Summer cleaning

If you upgraded your computer or tv over the holiday period, you can take your old equipment to the Resource Recovery Centre at the City of Port Phillip.

In addition to electronic waste, we take:
  • household batteries - all types (you can also leave these at any of the Town Halls including Port Melbourne)
  • mattresses
  • green waste
  • paint and paint cans
  • light bulbs
  • fluorescent tubes
  • car parts, batteries and tyres
While you're there, pick up some mulch to protect your garden from the next hot day.

The Resource Recovery Centre is at the corner of White and Boundary Streets, South Melbourne and is open Monday to Friday 7.30 to 3.30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9.00 to 1.00 pm

Extreme conditions at Sandridge Beach

A distressed resident rang me last night following a day of very high visitation at Sandridge Beach leading to illegal parking and large amounts of litter.

About 50 police attended the beach at about 9 pm following a stabbing. Police said that it was an inter-family feud that has been going on for some time. Here is the story as reported by the Herald Sun:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Live cross to Port Melbourne beach on Channel 10

Braved the heat to see Channel 10 record a a 'teaser' for this evening's 5 pm news at Port Melbourne beach.

They are also promoting the Australian beach tennis championships on this weekend - just at the Beacon Cove terminus of the 109, opposite Genesis gym.
It was so hot that the players were having to dip their feet in water in between takes.

What's the best treatment for jellyfish stings?

The advice below is taken from Lifesaving Victoria Circular 166:12:09 available at

This jellyfish (Catostylus), seen in large numbers on our beaches this summer is not medically harmful and will only cause skin irritation. If stinging occurs on the face, or if there are any doubts, always seek medical assistance.

Lifesaving Victoria recommends:

wash sting area with saltwater to remove any stinger cells still on the skin and not visible to the naked eye and place ice on the area for a maximum of 20 minutes to assist in reducing pain.

  • stinger cells are too small to be seen with the eye and can remain on the skin after the tentacles have been removed
  • wash the area with salwater to remove these cells as much as possible, as freshwater can actually make the stinging cells release more toxin

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adding interest to the street

The Council encourages larger new developments to incorporate urban art.

I am quite taken with this example in Princes St (near Swallow St), Port Melbourne. The motif of leaves on the door has been picked up as shadows on the entrance paving.

Next time you go past, let me know what you think of it.

Action taken on errant jetskis

Checked in with the lifesavers at Sandridge this afternoon to find out how they had gone with the hot day.

Water Police had been called - and attended - because two jetskiers were persistently riding at speed among a high concentration of swimmers. This picture was taken after the police visit.

The area between the groyne (Beacon Cove end) and Todd Rd is a no boating zone, so there should not be any jetskis in this area at any time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beautiful sight to start the day

At least five dolphins were sighted between Port Melbourne Life Saving Club and Lagoon Pier at 7 am this morning about 75 m off shore.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Jetskis or Personal Watercraft (PWC's) need to be licensed through Marine Safety Victoria.

Jetski operators are supposed to
  • keep 50 m from swimmers, vessels (including other PWC's)
  • if within this distance, to ride at 5 knots.

The blood alocohol limit is the same as for driving ie a limit of zero applies to those under 21 and their supervisor, and a .05 blood alcohol limit applies to those over 21.

Parks Victoria is the waterway manager for Port Phillip Bay and determines the zones where jetskis are permitted. The boating zones have been reviewed and revised zones will be in place for the summer of 20010/11.
If you think jetski operators are putting swimmers at risk through not complying with these requirement, contact Victoria Police.