Sunday, January 30, 2011

Port Melbourne waterfront from Bay St to Beacon Rd

How do you think the area between Sandridge Beach and Bay St could be improved or imaginatively transformed?
Most people love the Port Melbourne foreshore and waterfront. At the same time they recognise that some aspects could work better such as traffic management when cruise ships and the TT Lines are in at the same time.
Your ideas are invited at Port Melbourne Town Hall on Wednesday 9 February and Thursday 24 February from 6.30.
A background report identifies issues and opportunities in these five areas: The Promenade and Beach, Princes Pier, Waterfront Place, Beach St between Princes and Bay, and the Bay/Beach intersection.
Over coming days, I will introduce each of these issues in turn referring to the background report, starting with the Promenade.

40 degrees and a swarm of workers are replacing the tram tracks

The scale and scope of the operation to renew the tram tracks on the 109 is beyond the scope of capture of my little digital camera. When I passed this morning, all the tracks had been removed from the section between Ingles and Bridge and concrete sleepers were lying on pallettes like giant groceries.
Amazing to think that these new tracks are being laid on the same alignment on which the first railway line in Australia was built 157 years ago.
Check the Yarra trams website for details of bus replacement and traffic arrangements on Bridge and Ingles St.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

New school opens next week

The new Albert Park College opens next Friday 4 February with an enrolment of 150 Year 7 students. All the fabulous new facilities are ready and waiting. Here are a few images of the new school if you don't usually pass that way.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Port items on the agenda

Council meetings resume on Monday 31 January at St Kilda Town Hall. The agenda includes two Port Melbourne planning related items:

  • to request the Minister for Planning to introduce interim planning [height] controls for 1 - 11 Waterfront Place, Port Melbourne for a period of 2 years while the Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework is undertaken. Click here to view the Council report
  • to consider Council's position on the development at 95 - 119 Dow St. Click here to read the Council report

The Council will also consider its response to the recent floods across the country. The meetings are open to the public and begin at 6 pm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5th Australian Beach Tennis Championships on Port Melbourne Beach

Couldn't get to the Australian Open? Well, you can get front row seats to the 5th Australian Beach Tennis Championships on Port Melbourne Beach on Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 January.
Paul Mapley and his wife Kelly, local residents and great sports in every sense of the word, have been bringing beach tennis to Melbourne for more than the 5 years this championship has been going. Their passion for this sport and for this Port Melbourne community is immense. International beach tennis players will be participating. Drop by over the weekend to lend your support to this fantastic event.

Monday, January 24, 2011


What I love about Port Melbourne is the views down the north/south streets to the water. This particular view of the Womens Welcome Home Rotunda at the end of Stokes St was sometimes captured in the background images of the operation of the Swallow and Ariell Factory.
I came across these delightful film clips of the Swallow and Ariell factory in operation in 1932 which includes this view. Click here to go to the website of Australian Screen Online, and put Swallow and Ariell in the search box. You will be delighted for sure.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

photo: Lyn Allison
There is nothing I love more than an interesting or surprising combination of the built and the natural environment.
I saw these spinifex inflorescences blown against the blue stone wall by the northerly wind in this constellation.
It's a wonderful feature of Port Melbourne that we have such healthy coastal grasses on our foreshore. Spinifex hirsutis has many amazing properties and has been described as the 'Captain Cook' of pioneering coastal vegetation. The strong runners and roots help to bind the sand and hold it in place.
Next time you're down at the beach, have a feel of their hairy leaves and admire the strong and silent work they do on our beaches.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday afternoon is race day

A beautiful afternoon for sailing off the beach at Port Melbourne Yacht Club. Whether you would like to be on the water or back at the club house, the PMYC is an exceptionally friendly and welcoming place. Step through the gate to find out more about the club and sailing in Port Melbourne.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Port tree

It is with sadness that I acknowledge and observe the death of this great tree. I am sure many people have been observing the slow decline of this once beautiful tree outside the Port Melbourne Tennis Club on Swallow St.
The tree was a blue gum and our arborist thinks it was about 80 years old.
The remnant trunk and branches of the tree will remain for habitat.
Do you perhaps have a picture of the tree in healthier days?

Open air theatre

What I love about Port Melbourne is always being able to see something of interest on the water. Whether it was yesterday's drama with the balloons, the routine of the Spirit, the surprise of a cruise ship or the quiet procession of kayaks at dawn, there is always something happening.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Watery landing

I heard about the drama of the hot air balloon landing off South Melbourne Beach from a friend in Canberra.
There are heaps more photos and video on the Age website
Thanks to Ron Cassano for these photos

Port Houses

I have started a companion blog to Port Focus. It's called Port Houses. The blindingly obvious thought struck me that when a house is demolished, it is gone forever. So Port Houses is dedicated to acknowledging the houses that disappear from Port Melbourne, and the new ones that are built, and the houses that are changed substantially from their original form.
Port Houses contains lots of planning links and resources, but what I am most interested in are the stories of these houses. This is where you can help me. You may know the story of a house near you or have a picture of one.

Tai Chi in Edwards Park is on Thursdays

Tai Chi will begin in Edwards Park from next Thursday 27 January to 3 March from 6.45 to 7.45 am.
No experience is needed and it is offered free as part of the Council's Summer Leisure and Lifestyles Programme.
Sometimes people only become aware of the programme when it is part way through, so I wanted to be sure you knew about it ahead of time.
Tai Chi is also offered at the same time on Tuesdays at St Kilda Botanical Gardens, and on Wednesdays at St Vincents Gardens.
The picture shows where the Tai Chi usually takes place, between the shelter and the rose bed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's happening with ... the Liardet St Children's Centre updated

Plans for the Liardet Children's Centre, approved by Council, were appealed to VCAT. The hearing is on 7 February. Two out of three objectors have withdrawn their objections.
Meanwhile, Lady Forster Kindergarten was due to begin its new year at the Elwood Beach House. However, because of difficulties finding a builder over the holiday period who could do the necessary works to bring the Beach House into compliance with Children's Services Regulations, their move will now be delayed to after the April holidays. By that time the outcome of the VCAT hearing should be known.
[received this advice after yesterday's post]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Two cruise ships in

The Silver Shadow and the Diamond Princess berthed at Station Pier today. Many tourists walking round Port Melbourne.
The Silver Shadow is part of a fleet of 'Silver' vessels. She carries 383 guests and 302 crew.
For the full cruise ships schedule click here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Albert Jacka and Port Melbourne

The annual commemoration of the life of Albert Jacka VC, MC and Bar was held today at his grave at the St Kilda Cemetery. Jacka was the first Australian to win the Victoria Cross in World 1, and many commentators thought he should have been given greater recognition for his valour on the western front. He had a reputation for challenging authority when he thought his men were exposed to unwarranted risk and for his extraordinary dedication to his men.
Jacka returned to Melbourne on the SS Euripides berthing at Station Pier in October 1919. He didn't like all the adulation that he received from the public. He went on to become mayor of St Kilda but died in 1932 - worn out at the age of 39.
Give him a thought when next you drive along Jacka Boulevard.
Blue and yellow are the colours of the 14th battalion - known as 'Jacka's mob'.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Swimming areas

On this fine day when thoughts might turn to the beach, here is where jetskis are not allowed to go.

In Port Melbourne, there is NO BOATING
  • in front of the Port Melbourne Life Saving Club between Lagoon Pier and Kerferd Rd Pier
  • in front of the Sandridge Life Saving Club between the groyne and the alignmnet of Todd Road.

I recommend you look at the Parks Victoria brochure and map for clarity. Parks Victoria has the accountability for the safety of water users and control of vessel activities and is authorised under the Marine Act 1988 to issue infringement notices or prosecute people who break the law. The Victorian Water Police can also issue infringement notices and work in partnership with Parks Victoria on Port Phillip to ensure the bays are used safely. Parks Victoria's number is 13 1963

The zones are also clearly signed on land and with yellow Xs in the water.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wet weather

Hard to believe at 2.30 with the sun shining, that this was the scene in Pier St, Port Melbourne at midday. City of Port Phillip staff were on site pumping water and protecting the entrance to the residences and towers while the Police managed traffic on Beach St.
The localised flooding is caused by incomplete drainage connections that are a legacy from the construction of Beacon Cove. Major Projects Victoria have work well underway to resolve this issue over coming months.
Apart from this, I am not aware of other flooding events in Port Melbourne.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Grey sky, grey pier, grey sea

Whereas some may go for a beautiful sunset, there is something about the grey on grey of Station Pier on a rainy day that I really like.
I'm only sorry my camera is not really up to the long distance shot.

Start again

VCAT was very critical of the development proposal for 502 - 518 Williamstown Road and ordered that no permit be issued. Basically, they directed the applicant to go back to the drawing board. Council had recommended a conditioned approval for the development proposal.
The proposal for 32 three storey dwellings was described as 'overly ambitious' and a 'poor site response in terms of the intended car parking arrangements and the extent to which the new built form will involve high and imposing external walls built out or close to the boundaries'.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Works on the 109

Yarra Trams will be renewing track between Montague St and Beach St, Port Melbourne over coming weeks. Preliminary work started today with the full on work beginning on Saturday 29th January.
At times, either Ingles or Bridge St will be closed to traffic. If you travel this way, you may want to read in more detail what will be involved, by clicking here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A renewed focus on Port

Back on deck!
Happy New Year!
What better way to start the year than with a tale from the Beazley family. Click here to see the big catch landed by young Sam Beazley at Port Melbourne. The Beazleys - just in case anyone didn't know - have been fishing in Port Melbourne for several generations. You can buy fresh fish from Dugga Beazley on the corner of Dow and Rouse St.