Monday, May 31, 2010

Making it easier to get to the beach

Long awaited improvement works at Sandridge Beach have finally begun.
The final stage of the Sandridge masterplan includes new pathways from the residential side of the Boulevard to the foreshore path, lighting and a new playground.
The old playground which used to be in the line of sight of this path has been removed. The new playground will be located opposite Ada Mary a Beckett kinder.
The new path will follow the alignment of the path across the median in the Boulevard, shown here, to improve access to the foreshore for everybody - but especially pram and wheelchair users.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Decisions affecting Port made at Council meeting of 24 May

[see post of 20 May]
The following decisions affecting Port Melbourne were made:

  • The nominated site for the Sandridge Beach public toilet was approved

  • The Perce White Reserve management plan was adopted

  • The Road Discontinuance and Sale of Land to Port Phillip Housing Association was approved [often referred to as Kyme Place]
  • The Council's submission to the Port and Environs Advisory Committee was endorsed

  • The Council meeting timetable was changed to allow the 12 July Council meeting to be held at Port Melbourne Town Hall

for the minutes of the meeting, please go to

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Looking at Murphy's Reserve from all sides

The needs of each of the clubs as well as the broader community are being considered in the development of a plan for Murphy's Reserve.
The condition of the grounds and access to water are the main issues for the clubs.
Access to the Reserve is another issue. One person referred to it as 'a treasure island surrounded by a sea of main roads'.
This less familiar view of the Reserve is on the Plummer St side.

Friday, May 28, 2010


What do you make of this sign on the Raglan St frontage of the Sloaney Pony?

The Sloaney Pony was known as the Fountain Inn from 1860 to 1994
'Wine and spirit merchant John Edward Crockford had purchased this Crown land before Sandridge gained independence, and by 1859 was erecting the Fountain Inn. Initially twelve rooms with excellent stone stables in the rear, the hotel is oddly shaped to line up with the three streets which it faces, at the point where the main road to Melbourne had veered to avoid a swampy bit.'
[from Chartered Scoundrels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels by Pat Grainger, 2007 pp52,53 available at the Port Melbourne Town Hall]

Holy Trinity revealed

The unsightly covering to the fence which has obscured the Holy Trinity manse for about a decade has finally been removed. The manse has also been painted and made good.
The fence covering had been a visual blight on Bay St for far too long.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Corner of Rouse & Nott St enriched by artwork

'The artwork contained in the glass wall and exterior walls have been created by Barbara Weir. Barbara depicts her mother's country of Antwengerrp from an aerial perspective. Atnwengerrp is located in the region of Utopia, 270km north east of Alice Springs in Central Australia.
The designs represent the Sandover River, the sun rising and setting across the desert landscape, the various hunting tracks, water holes, camp sites and sacred ceremonial sites.
As a member of the Stolen Generations, Barbara was fortunate to reconnect with her family in Utopia and relearn the traditional knowledge and customs of her people. Through these artworks, Barbara acknowledges the great understanding and love she has for her land and its traditional owners. Today, she resides between Alice Springs and Utopia, while her artworks are represented in numerous collections throughout Australia and the world. Barbara Weir is represented by her son's Gallery, Dacou Melbourne' [source Dacou Melbourne]
For more information about the artist please visit

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sorry Day

Today is National Sorry Day.
National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.

Locally the day was observed with a lunch hosted by the Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation in South Melbourne for local elders and members of Port Phillip's indigenous community.


Fog and sunshine at Lagoon Reserve this morning.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Liquidamber history

Reader Lynette reports that this tree in Edwards Avenue 'was planted by my parents, Delsie and Cecil Simmons, most likely in the late 1940's or early 1950's. Mum first planted it in the front garden, but it was decided to move it to the naturestrip as it started to grow.'

Great to share these stories. Please keep them coming.

It's a winner!

A warehouse in Rocklea Drive*, Port Melbourne, was the winner of last week's Port Phillip Design and Development Awards in the non-residential category.
*In case you don't know where Rocklea Drive is, it is down the freeway end of Salmon St.
I have taken a very ordinary picture in order to entice you to the jcb website to have a look at the beautiful architect quality photographs.
The citation says:
'This project comprises six strata-titled office/warehouse buildings which distinguish themselves with their context through the use of super graphic numbers integrated into a timber slatted, west facing facade. The effective use of tilt slab concrete panels with corrugated profile helps to take the finish of the standard office warehouse to the next level. There is a clear sense of address to each warehouse coupled with landscaping and a high level of streetscape surveillance from behind the numbering. The design reflects a robust architectural response to a light industrial precinct of Port Melbourne that rarely has the foresight or courage to engage the services of an architect.'
I'll show the other nominations over the next little while.

Butts on beaches

Guy Boston of 3206 Beach Patrol came to ask Council last night to consider banning smoking on beaches following the example of several Sydney coastal councils, as well as Surf Coast Shire in Victoria.
These are the butts collected on Clean Up Australia Day on Sandridge Beach.
Here are the butt facts again

  • When it rains, cigarette butts lying in our streets and gutters are carried via stormwater directly onto our beaches.
  • Cigarette butts can take up to 12 months to break down in freshwater and up to 5 years to break down in seawater.

  • The chemicals contained in these butts and the butts themselves impact on our water quality and can be deadly to marine life.

  • Butts have been found in the stomachs of young birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures. (source

The issue is also canvassed on the front page of this week's Leader

What do you think?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Becoming canine good citizens

Over 50 dogs and their owners meet from 10 to 11 on a Sunday to receive tuition from the trainers of Hobsons Bay Dog Obedience Club.
One family I know is taking their third dog there for training, having said goodbye to two older dogs over the years.
I especially like their 'Canine Good Citizen: the Responsible Dog Owner Pledge' to be found at
The particular needs of this important Club are being considered as part of the Murphy's Reserve Masterplanning process.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Delighted to see the Women's Welcome Home Rotunda has been painted. It had been looking a bit neglected. I like the Rotunda for the shelter it gives as well as the slight elevation above the water.
The rotunda is of state significance and is on the Victorian Heritage Register.
'The Port Melbourne Band Rotunda was built in 1918 and officially opened on 27 October 1918. It was presented to the council by the Port Melbourne Women's Welcome Home Committee in honour of the Australians who fought in the First World War. The committee met the cost of construction from their own subscriptions'.
The detailed citation is at;5482

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Port Focus-ed council meeting on 24 May

There are a lot of Port Melbourne items on the council meeting agenda for Monday 24 May. The meeting will be held at St Kilda Town Hall at 6pm
Items include:
  • Sandridge Beach Public Toilet: makes recommendations and seeks endorsement for the location and design of a public toilet on the Sandridge Beach Foreshore, Port Melbourne
  • Perce White Reserve updated management plan: to seek council adoption of the Perce White Reserve Landscape Management and Master Plan and provide an update on the licence agreement with the Port of Melbourne Corporation
  • Proposed Road Discontinuance and Sale of Land to Port Phillip Housing Association: regarding 121 Liardet St (often referred to as Kyme Place)
  • Port and Environs Advisiory Committee Discussion Paper: council's submission to the Committee
  • Proposed alteration to 2010 Council meeting timetable: the former Municipal District of Sandridge was declared by the Victorian Government Gazette on 13 July 1860. On that date this year it will mark the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversay of that declaration. Given the significance of this date, it is proposed to hold the 12 July 2010 Ordinary Council meeting at the Port Melbourne Town Hall.

In addition, the Footpath Trading Guidelines, including those for Bay St, will be recommended for adoption.

To read the Council reports go to

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A tale of three cities

Councillors spend a lot of time in the council chamber in St Kilda in meeetings formal and informal. Our companions are the mayoral chairs and crests of the three former cities of St Kilda, Port Melbourne and South Melbourne. I am constantly intrigued by the story they tell of the character of those three cities: St Kilda flamboyant and artistic, Port Melbourne plain and modest, and South Melbourne grand and imposing. At least, that's how I read them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Port Phillip Council draft budget 2010-11, 5

.7% of the increase in rate income is to pay for the increase in the landfill levy which has gone from $9 per tonne in 2009/10 to $30 per tonne from 1 July 2010.
The purpose of the increase is to drive diversion from landfill, stimulate waste avoidance, resource recovery and recycling, and invest in alternate waste treatment facilities.
If you are interested to read more go to

Anticipating the change, council is accepting a growing range of items at the Resource Recovery Centre cnr White St and Boundary Road (Mel 2EF11) including electronic goods, mattresses, batteries, green waste, white goods, and paint.
It is open Monday to Friday 7.30am to 3.30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9.00am to 1.00pm

He loved Port

Peter travelled from Wantirna every day by public transport to spend the day in Port - where he had lived and worked. He also played for the Sandridge Trugo Club.
A regular at PMs cafe, he passed away and will be missed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

City of Port Phillip draft Budget, 4

One of the most important responsibilities of Council is to take care of future planning for an area. I am glad that funds are allocated in the draft budget to pursue the following important strategic planning projects:
  • Port Melbourne Waterfront Urban Design Framework - to continue the work already begun on envisaging a better future for the Port Melbourne Waterfront (Waterfront Place, the boardwalk, Beach St, Beach/Bay St, and Princes Pier)
  • Amendment C73 Beacon Cove (residential) - to change the covenants on the residential areas of Beacon Cove to planning controls in the Port Phillip Planning Scheme. This is so that Council can administer the changes people may wish to make to their properties as in any other part of the municipality
  • Review of Heritage Overlay 1 (Port Melbourne) - to ensure that the Heritage Overlay is doing its job of protecting Port Melbourne's stock of heritage buildings
  • Review Amendment C13 Port Melbourne Developer Contribution Plan - introduced in 1999, the scheme needs to be reviewed in the light of current circumstances.

Greening Port Phillip

Greening Port Phillip: an urban forest approach, the Council's draft strategy on street trees (and other vegetation) is out for comment. The strategy is built on the tree summits held earlier this year, and the input of a community and technical advisory group.

It opens with this introduction:
'Trees and other vegetation in public and private spaces can be thought of as an urban forest that provides shelter, shade, beauty, cleans the air, regulates the temperature, reduces energy needs of nearby spaces, treats and cleans stormwater, reduces loads on stormwater drains, protects and increases the life of infrastructure and provides habitat. An urban forest is defined as the 'sum total of all trees and associated vegetation growing within an urban area.'

The vision for the future is:
"The City of Port Phillip will have a healthy and diverse urban forest that uses innovative greening solutions to enchance the community's daily experience, ensuring environemntal, economic, cultural and social sustainability for future generations."

The focus on innovation is to think about ways to green streets that are not suitable for tree planting.

It also outlines process for tree planting, tree removal, tree pruning, tree root management, emergency tree removals, community consultation proceses,

To comment or discuss, go to

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Port Phillip Council draft budget 2010-11, 3

In addition to Port Melbourne specific projects, there is significant capital works expenditure proposed to be spent across the whole of Port Phillip including Port. The capital works program was built around the strategic directions of the Council Plan [2009-13] which are - in the context of the capital works program: Taking action on climate change, strengthening our diverse and inclusive community and enhancing liveability.

Here is a list of those programs:

  • Streeet tree planting: $600,000

  • Building renewal program: $500,000

  • Passive stormwater harvesting for mature street trees: $100,000

  • Environmental building retrofits: $300,000

  • Drainage renewal program: $620,000

  • Footpath rehabilitation program: $1.365m

  • Memorials and monuments rectification: $100,000

  • Foreshore minor infrastructure improvements program: $150,000

  • Pocket parks renewal program $300,000

  • Sports facilities renewals $150,000

  • Road rehabilitation program $2.15m

  • Road resurfacing program $1.4m

  • Park signage and furniture renewal $300,000

Go to pp82 to 85 (Appendix C)

Hanging gardens of Beacon Cove

I like the layering of this landscaping at the third tower on Beach St, Beacon Cove. It's a bit like a plant waterfall.
This photo doesn't do it justice, so I recommend you take a look yourself.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Port Phillip Council draft budget 2010-11, 2

These are the Port Focus-ed capital works projects proposed for 2010-11:

  • Bay/Liardet intersection treatment: $150,000
  • Rouse St (west of Bay St) streetscape upgrade: $400,000
  • Liardet Street Family and Children’s Service Centre: $840,000 (2010-11 allocation)
  • Northport Pavilion Redevelopment - begin construction: $1.7 m
  • Bridge St (west of the Railway Reserves) traffic calming: $30,000
  • Murphy’s Reserve improvements: $70,000
  • Perce White Reserve - improvements identified in masterplan: $50,000
  • Port Melbourne and South Melbourne Life Saving Club - find a way forward on a replacement building for Life Saving on the stretch of foreshore from Station Pier to West St Kilda: $100,000
  • Replacement of fig trees Beacon Cove: $50,000

To view the budget documents go to The Capital Works Program is at p80/81 (Appendix C)

To make a comment go to

Autumn on Sunday, winter today

Came across this amazing liquidamber tree ablaze with autumn colour in Edwards Avenue on Sunday.
I liked that the name on the van is 'Redfire Services'.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Draft budget open for comment

Council's draft budget was released this evening for public comment until Wednesday 9 June. Some key elements of the budget include:

  • Total operating increase in rate income of 3.8% plus 0.7% for the additional EPA levy.
  • Capital works program of $26.5 million
  • Council pensioner rate rebate increased to $103 in addition to the state government’s current concession of $187.60

I will look at the budget and Port Melbourne in more detail over this week.

Port in the papers over the weekend

'Too many kids in inner-city schools? That's another storey'
'Port Melbourne Primary School principal Peter Martin said "the school's two storey portable, due to arrive next fornight, was a good temporary solution. It means getting rid of our single-storey portables and getting our oval back and we're grateful for that, but if enrolments keep going the way they are, we'll end up with a playground covered with portables." [Natalie Craig, Sunday Age May 9, 2010, p7]
'Neighbourhood watch: see your vegies grow' half the article devoted to Dig In Community Garden
'The members reflect the mix of the suburb, from old-timers to newly arrived apartment dwellers. "In the garden they all speak a common language: It's about how their crops are going. That helps people get to know each other," Ms Rocheford says.' [Michael Green, Domain, Sundage Age May 9, 2010 p5]

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Investment in improvements to Station Pier continues

A further $1.812m was allocated in last week's State budget for ongoing improvement and maintenance work at Station Pier.
The estimated expenditure to 30 June 2010 is $4.451m.
Total estimated investment in Station Pier totals $10.713m.

Sandridge goes solar

Solar panels have been put on the Sandridge Trugo Club and community centre as part of the Council's commitment to improving the environmental performance of all council buildings and facilities.

Entering another world

The playspace at Garden City Reserve is finished. A lovely space has been created for imaginative play. Natural materials are used throughout in a beautifully planted landscape.
There are elevated places for adults to sit within the playground so they can keep an eye on children while still being comfortable.
This small photo does not do justice to the charm of the setting, so I recommend you take a look yourself. It is best accessed off Beacon Road if coming by car, because Turner Avenue is very narrow.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bird observation

Riding past this part of Beacon Cove today, I heard the familiar sound of superb blue wrens at work.
I stopped to have a look and two birds hopped into the garden of one of the town houses.
This is especially exciting as this is certainly the first time these birds have been seen in this part of Port Melbourne, and suggests that this style of landscaping suits their needs.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Another blog . . .

This blogging has taken hold. I have started a companion blog to record interesting and attractive features of cities - our own and overseas.
Please send through photos of interesting things you see as you make your way around Melbourne and the world - especially those that might be put to use in Port Phillip.

Port Melbourne Primary on a high

Today's May fair expressed the energy in the Port Melbourne Primary School community. The school was alive with activity and goodwill.