Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First day of winter - coat time

Andy Dinan from MARS Gallery at 418 Bay St invites us to donate coats. Just drop them in at MARS. This excellent initative has gained momentum over the years. Donated coats are dry cleaned and distributed to people who need them. Feeling the cold this morning adds urgency to this request. Please pass on to others.

Cold evening

The sunset was pink on familiar landmarks this evening.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Draft Bike Plan: Make bike riding better in Port Phillip

The bike plan is one component of the Sustainable Transport Framework. Some figures: most bike trips by Port Philip residents are between 2 and 5 kms in length. Just over 5% of people riding into the Melbourne CBD are from Port Phillip. [Of course, not all cycle commuters are heading to the CBD.]
The bike plan has four goals:

  • enhanced bike riding infrastructure: on and off road, and better links between them

  • integrating bike riding through providing for bike riding at origins and destinations and linking with other sustainable transport modes

  • changing travel behaviour

  • creating a bike riding culture through working with others, and improving coordination across council, and raising the profile of cycling

There is more detail at www.enviroehub.com.au What is important to you as a cyclist, and where would you like to see the Council make a difference? Bike symbols were stencilled onto the bike path at Sandridge this morning.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Desperately seeking colour

Two eating and drinking establishments. The tree is alive with parrots and wattlebirds.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Responsible Gambling

While the politics of managing problem gambling is in the news at the federal level, at a local level this week the Council adopted a Responsible Gambling Policy and prepared a planning scheme amendment to discourage the location of new gaming venues in close proximity to social [public and community] housing. 

There are a combined total of 384 electronic gaming machines* operated by ten licensed venues in the municipality, 57 of them located at The Rex Hotel in Port Melbourne. In 2009/10, total player losses on the combined total of gaming machines in Port Phillip were $28.2m. As well as gaming venues in the municipality, there are 2,500 Electronic Gaming Machines located in Crown Casino. More details on all the venues are available on the website of the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation here. The full Council policy is available from the Council's website here

*well below the 830 municipal cap

Aloes offset the gloom

Its so cold and so grey. I was glad to come across this splash of colour surrounding the landward beacon. These aloes work much better in defining the area around the beacon than the poorly performing box hedges that were there before. This bed was planted as part of the upgrade of the landscapes in Beacon Cove and Garden City Reserve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sorry Day

National Sorry Day is an Australian event, held each year on 26 May since 1998, to express regret over the historical mistreatment of Aboriginal peoples. The day was chosen in commemoration of the 'Bringing Them Home' report being handed to the Federal Government on 26 May 1997. National Reconciliation Week begins on 27 May. The Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation hosted a lunch gathering at the South Melbourne community centre for Sorry Day. Dennis Fisher, MC and Aboriginal Port Melbourne poet asked: 'What do you say if you hear someone's mother's died?' 'Sorry'. Its the same, he said, about our historic treatment of Aboriginal people - we can say 'sorry' and 'sorry is not blame'. At its meeting on Monday night, Council re-affirmed its commitment to the indigenous acknowledgement. For the full text of the motion, click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More about the walk plan: Feet first!

The walk plan has 4 goals:

  1. Create a destination based walking network that connects destinations and neighbourhoods across Port Phillip

  2. Provide a high quality walking environment

  3. Better integrate walking with the transport network

  4. Build a culture of walking in Port Phillip

For more detail and to offer your thoughts on how we can improve conditions for walking, go to www.enviroehub.com.au or leave a comment here. It has been interesting for me to find that I have lots of bike pictures but not many of people walking - which suggests that walking is not noticed as much, and is perhaps taken for granted rather than acknowledged as a mode of transport.

High tide leaves a mark on Sandridge Beach

Perce White Reserve, Sandridge Beach, 8 am

High tide was at 7.15 am [.8m] and the next high tide will be at 8.10 pm [.9m]

source: http://www.tides4fishing.com/au/victoria/melbourne This website is an amazing resource.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sustainable Transport Framework Introduction

The vision is for a connected and liveable city where residents, visitors and workers can live and travel car free by improving the convenience, safety, accessibility and range of sustainable travel choices across our city.
You can access a survey and further information about the policies here
The vision is supported by four principles

  • Ensure Priority - The Council will give preference to, and right of way to, sustainable transport modes in terms of allocating time, space and facilities, guided by Council's Road User Hierarchy* [Here is an example of an intervention in favour of pedestrians at Clark/Poolman]

  • Increased integration - The Council will strive to achieve a city where places are interlinked through walking, bike riding and public transport routes that are efficient, direct, attractive and competitive

  • Improve safety and accessibility - Council will work to provide conditions which allow people of all abilities to feel safer using our streets and sustainable transport options

  • Raise profile - the Council will strive to raise the profile of walking, bike riding and public transport and the benefits of these transport modes through the provision of information, facilities and active promotion to drive change in travel behaviour
* The road user hierarchy, in order of priority is: walking, bike riding, public transport, freight, multiple occupancy vehicles, single occupancy vehicles

Keep an eye on Port - they're in form

'Premiership fancy Port Melbourne turned on an impressive 15 goal second half to win by 42 points against Bendigo Bombers at Windy Hill. Former Western Bulldogs rookie Patrick Rose booted six goals to take the lead in the VFL goalkicking, while Sam Dwyer and Malcolm Lynch turned the match in a dominant third term.' Brent Diamond, Age Sport p20

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wrapping up the weekend and heading into the last week of May

The Esplanade West edge of Lagoon Reserve was quickly planted with grasses, groundcovers and small shrubs indigenous to our area. Previous years' plantings are looking good with healthy and diverse ground covers.
Over the coming week, I will introduce the Council's sustainable transport policy framework and the bike and walk plans which are out for your comments.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rain gardens contribute to the health of Port Phillip Bay

The rain gardens in Dow St are almost complete and the beds have been planted. The next thing will be to see how these gardens work when it rains. This section of Dow St has now become like a constructed creek bed. The purpose of this extensive work is to allow stormwater to be filtered and cleaned through these beds before any excess makes its way into Port Phillip Bay.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Draft Budget 2011/12,6: Port Melbourne capital projects

The following major capital projects in Port Melbourne are proposed:

  • Upgrade Port Melbourne Town Hall [$200k] to make the hall/auditorium space more useable

  • North Port Oval Redevelopment [$1.15 m]

  • Liardet Family and Children's Centre [$2.1m]

  • upgrade Graham St Depot, cnr Graham and Williamstown Road [$250k] This will free up space at the Resource and Recovery Centre for more recycling initiatives

This concludes the introduction of the draft budget. For further information, please refer to the front page of the Council's website www.portphillip.vic.gov.au Hard copies of the budget papers are available at Port Melbourne Library. Budget submissions close on 8 June.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Draft Budget 2011/12, 5: Planning

A range of important planning processes underway in Port Melbourne will be carried through to implementation:

  • Translation of planning controls for Beacon Cove residential - Amendment C73[$20k]

  • Translation of planning controls for Beacon Cove commercial - Amendment C75 [$10k]

  • Implementation of Bay Street Activity Centre Structure Plan [$10k]

  • Port Melbourne Waterfront Urban Design Framework [$65k]

  • Implementation of Heritage Overlay 1 review [$25k]

These different planning processes, once concluded and implemented, will provide a sound basis for future decision making and works on the ground in Port Melbourne.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lagoon Reserve: 4th annual planting day

I find it endlessly fascinating and delightful to know that this popular Reserve was once the Sandridge Lagoon. After some years of white settlement, the lagoon became a stinking, fetid place used for dumping wastes. It was gradually filled in. Aerial photos from the '30s show a bare, treeless open space - a far cry from the abundant lagoon recalled by Liardet's daughter Josephine: 'The lagoon was covered with wild ducks and in the trees were cockatoos, plovers, pigeons.' Join neighbours, City of Port Phillip staff and the St Kilda Indigenous Nursery to plant the Esplanade West edge between 10 and 12 on Saturday 21 May and continue to strengthen the landscaping with the introduction of more plants indigenous to our area.

Rouse Street upgrade

These line markings indicate that work in Rouse St is imminent. This is the first of two stages of works in Rouse St between Bay and Princes St. The first stage will introduce a treed median similar to those already in Rouse St, Graham and Liardet Streets. The project will bring more 'green' into this part of Rouse St where development has been most intense - as well as slow traffic, and improve conditions for walking and cycling. The second stage is proposed to be funded in the draft budget and will add further landscaping and other improvements. The project is funded jointly by developer contributions and council. To view an artist's impression of the project, please click here.

Draft Budget 2011/12, 4: Sustainable Transport

The draft budget has generous allocations to walking and cycling. Priorities for these funds will be decided following public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Strategy, and the Walk and Bike plans in coming weeks. The strategies aim to make walking and cycling easier and safer and routes better connnected.

  • Pedestrian Safety Improvements and increasing walkability [$500k]

  • Local area speed zones [$150k]

  • Bike lanes [$200k]

  • Implementing the sustainable transport strategy [$400k]

  • Travelsmart Officer - to suppport schools and families with the take up of active travel

These funds are in addition to the routine $1m + in footpath maintenance and re-sheeting.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Muddy, cold, wet and windy conditions did not deter Port

In spite of playing on slippery water logged turf, and in mud that looked like something from one of those obstacle game courses on TV, and in spite of Williamstown playing 16 Western Bulldogs players, Port won the day 15.7.97 to Williamstown 6.1.46. Observers expecting more tension given the clubs' traditional rivalry and that both are on top of the ladder were disappointed because Port stayed convincingly ahead from the start.

Draft Budget 2011/12, 3: Sustainability and Climate Change

The proposed budget has a strong focus on sustainability as outlined in the Council Plan 2009 - 2013

Capital projects

  • Environmental building retrofits [$500k] to improve the energy efficiency of council buildings to reduce energy consumption permanently

  • Drainage renewal programme [$845k]

  • Reducing heat island effect [$200k] - the city can be up to 7 degrees warmer than the rest of Melbourne. More vegetation and alternative building materials can reduce this effect

  • Irrigation system renewals [ $650k] to be able to manage captured storm water

  • Street lighting renewals to more sustainable fittings [ $500k] - we've done our houses - now the streets

  • Public place recycling [$50k] - members of the community expect this service

[Some] Other initiatives

  • Managing buildings for greater energy efficiency [$85k]

  • Creating sustainable owners corporations and apartment blocks [$100k]

  • CitySwitch - Council participation in national commerical office energy efficiency program [$15k]

  • Implement the climate change adaptation plan [$190k]

  • Tomorrow's Leaders - an integrated programme of educational, practical projects and leadership activities delivered ins chools to help young people understand the key principles and issues in sustainability [$20k

  • Increasing resource recovery options at the Resource Recovery Centre [$50k]

For the full list of proposed initiatives to be funded, please refer to p77 of the Budget documents available from the front page of the Port Phillip website www.portphillip.vic.gov.au

Naval Drill Hall - Circus Oz at 40 Bay St

Following the recent announcement in the state budget of funding for Circus Oz's move to Collingwood, people have been inquiring about the planning controls for this site.

  • The building is on the Victorian Heritage Register [Ref No H1378] - which means that a planning permit would be required for any demolition and/or development from Heritage Victoria.

  • The site is located in the Mixed Use Zone [MUZ] of Port Melbourne and is covered by a heritage overlay and a range of other development controls

  • With the exception of the north east corner, the site is covered by DDO1-2B which permits an absolute maximum height of 4 storeys on this site. The remaining small section to the north east has a height limit of 6 storeys although this would be virtually impossible to achieve on the site given the heritage constraints

  • All this suggests that any new development would have to work pretty much within the existing building - though some new openings may be appropriate

  • There are no current planning permit applications for the site


Blogger was experiencing technical difficulties over the past few days so it was not possible to post any new material. I apologise for the interruption but it has made me realise what an incredible service it offers at no cost.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Draft budget 2011/12, 2: Open Space

There are many parks and open space initiatives proposed in the budget. Most are Port Phillip wide projects but some are Port Melbourne particular:

  • Murphy's Reserve [$400k] to implement priority actions from the Masterplan

  • Rouse St streetscape works [$600k] to introduce trees and a central median in Rouse St between Bay and Princes St

  • Street tree planting [$700k] across the city

  • Park tree assessment [$60k] to assess the health of trees across the city's parks and recommend priorities for planting

  • Foreshore managment plans [$50k] to guide vegetation management along the Port Phillip foreshore

  • Pocket parks renewal [$430k] across the city - Turville Reserve will be upgraded as part of this programme

Princes Pier: Installation of lights

photos thanks to Ron Cassano

Draft Budget 2011/12, 1

The proposed increase in Council rates is 6.5%. This includes externally imposed cost increases such as the State Government's waste levy of $405,000 and the MFB fire services levy of $148,000. The draft budget's major focus is on making the City more sustainable and taking action on climate change. The budget proposes a capital works program of $31 million which includes major childcare projects, improving parks and gardens, cycling and walking, and improved streetscapes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Draft budget released for public comment

The draft Port Phillip Council budget is out for your feedback until 8 June. Over the next few days, I will introduce items from the budget that may be of interest. The budget documents can be accessed from the front page of the City of Port Phillip's website here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gill Reserve - Railway Reserves

A group of residents facing Gill Reserve presented a submission to Council last night requesting that the Council plant some trees and shrubs in Gill Reserve - that section of the Railway Reserves between Ingles and Raglan St [western side]. The submitter noted that trees with poor form had been removed from Gill Reserve in 2003 with a clear expectation they would be replaced. This has not happened. The staff have been asked to let Council know the status of the range of actions identified in the plan. I am aware of a great deal of work that has been done on the Reserves since 2003: stone walls renewed and some new ones created, a new playground, a pathway on the eastern side, renewal of elm avenues in various sections, closure of Raglan St informal parking area and creation of new parkland, planting of beds of indigenous plants in Turner and Hesther Reserves, widening of the bike path, and creation of an area for dog gathering in Hesther Reserve. Significant trees along Station St will now be fed by stormwater run off following renewal of the kerb and channel. Fennell Reserve will be reinstated and re-landscaped when Melbourne Water have completed the sewer project. The remaining large elm trees have had a new lease of life over the wet season but it is to be expected that they will need to be removed in the future. It would be great to continue the tree avenue through Gill Reserve.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Autumn heading into winter

Council meeting went late tonight, so thought I'd just post a picture. I've taken to riding and walking down lanes and small streets, where I saw this beautiful wall.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Port Melbourne Waterfront Conversations

Today's cold and rainy day is perfect for giving me time to reflect on the many conversations I had with people at yesterday's Port Melbourne Waterfront drop in session. And conversations they were. I spoke in considerable detail to quite a number of people. Most people's starting point was their love of living in Port Melbourne. When invited to talk about what that meant, people's comments were remarkably similar in theme. People love the sense of connection they get with other people - even if they don't know them, and the sense of community and safety this engenders. [People would notice and help if I fell, for example]. They love the mix of the old and the new, the young and the old, and the diversity of architecture - it is not homogenous. History and heritage buildings were very highly valued. They like that everything is close at hand. Several people mentioned how much they enjoyed the public art - including the solar system, and the written messages on the waterfront. They liked that the beach is so accessible and not over commercialised. The presence of vegetation was appreciated and contrasted with Docklands. Several people supported the idea of more activity along the foreshore for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. People didn't like freight trucks, and were worried about greater and more intensive development.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Port trounces Frankston

Port beat Frankston today 24.17.161 to 6.3.39. Only in the third quarter was there the slightest tension. This photo shows my favourite time in a game - after the third quarter when Gary Ayres inspires his team.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Beacon Cove

Now that Beacon Cove is well and truly complete, planning control for the residential areas is in the process of being transferred to the City of Port Phillip through Planning Amendment C73. The amendment translates the existing covenants into planning controls. This means that when people want to modify a property in the future, they will apply to the City of Port Phillip for planning permission - rather than to Mirvac as has been the case. In the early phase of consultation, people reported a very high degree of commitment to the nature and character of the Beacon Cove housing estate, and therefore the controls seek to maintain that character. It is really important that people living in Beacon Cove who may have received a letter about Amendment C73 from the Council, and want more information, understanding or clarification, to ring the numbers given on that correspondence. Submissions on the amendment can be made by following the links on www.haveyoursayatportphillip.net.au This amendment does not include 1 - 11 Waterfront Place, or the restaurant areas at Waterfront Place.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Council meeting at Port Melbourne Town Hall on Monday 9

Monday's meeting is very important for Port Melbourne south of Graham Street [between Pickles and Princes St]. Council will consider a review of the Port Melbourne Development Contributions Plan. This plan, part of the Port Phillip planning scheme, was put in place in 1998/99 to require new development to make a contribution towards streetscape works and for Council to fulfill complementary obligations under the scheme. The updated landscape plan shows the works that have been completed, those works that have been partially completed and the works yet to be done. This is a major piece of work which I commend to readers. The council report and updated landscape plan can be accessed from the Council agenda page here. The draft budget is also recommended for adoption to go out for public comment.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Open Day at Albert Park College

Hundreds of families from near and far attended the Albert Park College Open Day to hear the principal, Steve Cook introduce the School, and to take a look at the fabulous facilities. A highlight of the 2011 year has been a 10 week leadership programme offered through Life Saving Victoria and the Port Melbourne Life Saving Club. In 2012, 150 students will be accepted - 100 in the general programme and 50 in the select entry accelerated learning programme. It was gratifying to hear Steve Cook speak of the strength the School derives from the community. Dominic Grounds, School Council President, spoke of the unique opportunity this foundation parent community has to shape the school. 'We are the ones [parents] we have been waiting for', he said.

Something for everyone

Port Melbourne Primary invite you to have fun and find some treasures at their May Fair from 9am to 1pm this Saturday 7th.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The multiple benefits of composting

I must admit I wasn't aware, but now I am, that it is International Composting Awareness Week [1 - 7 May 2011]. The Simply Living Community Garden in Bridge St, Port Melbourne hosts a communal composting arrangement. It can be more challenging composting in the small garden spaces of Port Melbourne but the principles of a 3 nitrogen/soft green : 1 carbon/woody brown outlined in this helpful clip work universally. 60% of the rubbish in mixed waste garbage could be composted. In decomposing, organic material releases methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so composting is also one of the suite of actions against climate change.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Who cares? Friends of Perce White Reserve

The Friends of Port Melbourne's Foreshore spent the morning weeding and disentangling the exotic couch, cynodon dactylon [b] from the indigenous salt couch, zoysia macrantha [t] at Perce White Reserve. The impossible is worth tackling because this is the only place that zoysia is found around Port Phillip Bay. And the impossible becomes possible when you are tackling it with friends.

Port Melbourne waterfront - drop in session on Saturday

We're taking the next step towards the Port Melbourne Waterfront Urban Design Framework this Saturday 7th May by checking in with you whether we're on the right track. We'll be at the end of Bay St, outside the Port Melbourne Yacht Club between 10 and 3. Please pass by to talk with us and share your thoughts about the waterfront between Bay St and the end of Beacon Cove. It doesn't matter whether you have or haven't attended any of the earlier sessions. To review the material and process to date, click here.