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.