Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Gatehouse is being restored

I hope you enjoyed this very beautiful day. This picture was taken yesterday when very few people were out and about - unlike today. The gatehouse at Princes Pier is well braced while it is being restored.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The lemon tree challenge

Does Cruikshank St have the most lemon trees in Port Melbourne? I counted 4 trees between Liardet and Bridge. Any other streets out there with as many lemon trees hanging over the fence?

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Friday is Port's recycling and waste day. Sometimes people are not quite sure what they can put in the recycling. This guide explains. Putting recycling in a sealed or unsealed plastic bag is a no no. Recycling in plastic bags is not accepted. Over full bins may also be rejected. Its a bit like going to the supermarket and taking 2 litres of milk when you have only paid for 1. The 3 Rs these days are not so much roads, rates and rubbish as refuse, re-use, recycle.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More beach cleaning

A six month trial of daily manual beach cleaning began on 4 July. Beaches with lots of visitors, seaweed high tide lines, stormwater outlets, groynes and jetties have been targeted. Feedback from Beach Patrol members has been positive.

The Beacon

Do you think you can take too many pictures of the beacon? When the sun shines it is pretty irresistable.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Murphy Reserve - making connections

A path now makes its way around most of Murphy's Reserve. It connects footpath to park, enables maintenance access to the sporting ovals on a made path, and circles the Dig In Community Garden - [who are getting a shed ready for the imminent arrival of chooks]. The path is a high priority action from the Murphy Reserve masterplan to create opportunities for active recreation that are not necessarily sports related, to make the park more accessible to people with disabilities and to better connect the Reserve into the surrounding community. It opens up a whole new place for walking.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Welcome to Bay Street - 99 Bikes

Cadel Evans won the Tour de France and 99 Bikes opened in Bay St. Might we have more bike than nail shops soon?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Port vs Sandringham: the final score

Mental toughness was once again required to overcome a Sandringham strengthened with several St Kilda players. Port pulled away in the final quarter in a tense game. In the words of Paul Amy: "It was all about Ryan McMahon's 200th senior match for Port Melbourne ... After an uncertain start Sandy threatened to turn celebrations into commiserations. Down by 33 points in the second quarter they persisted and grabbed the lead early in the final term with rookie spearhead Matthew Boland's fifth goal. A stunning upset loomed in a meeting of an unbeaten team and an opponent coming off a howler of a match in which it kicked only two goals. The Borough had been sluggish ... but they scrapped out their 14th consecutive win." [Port Phillip Leader Tuesday July 26 2011]

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sadly note the passing of Leo Frederick Wood - most usually known as Doc - on July 17, 2011. Life long association with the Port Melbourne Life Saving Club, and sun lover who rode his bike [almost] to the finish.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More on the South Melbourne Market

The Market has special meaning for me because when we arrived in Australia in 1987 we rented a house in York St, directly opposite the market. Rita was my first introduction to the market and her generosity of spirit made all the difference at that time when I didn't know anybody. In those days, self serve on the fruit and vege stalls was an absolute no no. You requested a kilo of apples, and a kilo of apples you got with no choice in the matter. I have shopped weekly at the Market ever since.

How the market is manged: The South Melbourne Market is on Crown Land reserved for the purpose of a market. It is managed by a Committee of Council. Three Councillors are on this Committee to make sure it reflects the Council's values around valuing and supporting diversity, sound governance and taking action on environment and climate change.

The market, in turn, is guided by a strategic plan. A direction in that plan is to increase the diversity of goods and services offered at the Market so that the Market reflects the current Port Phillip community - ranging from young to old, low to high income, renters and home owners, and people from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Stallholders hold 3 year licenses - the maximum allowable under the Crown reservation.

A recent example of this policy at work has been the entry of a deli stall stocking goods sought by the Russian community. Prior to this there was a bizarre situation where Russian community members were travelling to Balaclava as they could not find what they were looking for at the Market.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Graham St underpass

image courtesy of Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, used with permission,
Just to stimulate your thinking - the same area in the late eighties.

Graham St underpass and Turville Place

A plan has been prepared for this area based on what people said on site [and on line] in October 2010. People said they wanted a greater sense of safety, better access to the tram stop, improved recreational opportunities for young people and more trees. The plan is available on the Have Your Say website. Does it address the issues satisfactorily to your mind? Do tell us now rather than when we come to implement the plan. You can also just email comments to me or to It doesn't need to be technical or formal - just feedback is fine.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

After the wattle, the hardenbergia. I like it best when it rambles over a fence, as here in Hesther Reserve off Station Street.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Once upon a time ...[in the late '90s]

there used to be a huge tree outside the Holy Trinity Church Hall in Bay St. As part of a hotly contested planning application to re-develop the Church site, VCAT appproved the removal of the giant fig tree - probably the most significant tree in Bay St. Onlookers were horrified. Local landscape gardener Ray stripped to his underpants and refused to leave the tree to try to prevent it being cut down. The loss of the tree caused much grief in the community. Some time later, former ward councillor and mayor Julian Hill was on the Mornington Peninsula where he saw the timber from this mighty tree for sale and arranged for its purchase by the City of Port Phillip. It was made into these two benches housed at the Port Melbourne Library. The sad part of this tale is that development was not built, nor is it likely to be, as the mood around the future of Holy Trinity has changed. If anybody can provide further details on this story and correct any details I may have got wrong, please let me know.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Action on climate change is about a safe climate

The Conference last week was Four Degrees or more? Australia in a Hot World. Port Focus is about this place where we live, and climate change will affect the place where we live most profoundly. For this reason, I thought I would share some of the material presented at the conference over the coming week and refer you to some information sources should you wish to pursue them in more detail.
Beginning with the question why - why should we be taking action on climate change? It is generally accepted that 2 degrees increase in warming is the absolute maximum that is consistent with maintaining a safe climate. [Some think that even 2 degrees warming is too great] World leaders at Copenhagen and at Cancun did agree on one thing - and that was to maintain a safe climate at no more than 2 degrees of warming. Currently the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions is taking us into a climate that would warm the planet beyond 2 degrees - to 4 degrees or more. At 4 degrees or more, impacts become more and more unpredictable and severe for society, the environment and the economy. The purpose of any action on climate change is to keep the climate within a range that is safe for human health, food production, biodiversity and the economy. Please refer to The Critical Decade: Climate science, risks and responses by the Climate Commission at

Bike for sale

Just as I had been thinking that bikes are the new cars when it comes to advertising - I see bikes used to sell real estate, fashion and food - I saw this bike being offered for sale using the time honoured technique for second hand cars. I was tempted by its charm - high handlebars, pale yellow frame and basket, but not enough to part with my reliable companion which you can see in the background.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

One more week undefeated

Now I do not understand footy enough to offer an opinion, but at half time in the game between Port Melbourne and the Bendigo Bombers I was worried. Opinions around the ground offered were [from a Bombers supporter] 'we have a way of annoying you', to people attributing the recent bye to the indifferent result at half time. At three quarter time, Gary Ayres invoked 'mental toughness' as the quality for his players to mobilise to win the game. The final result was Port Melbourne 18 16 124 to the Bendigo Bombers 12 11 83.

Getting out there to clean our beach

3207 Beach Patrol cleaned the beach between the Port Melbourne Yacht Club and Station Pier this morning. Most picked up items were bait bags revealed by the low tide, straws, cigarette butts, the film surrounding cigarette packaging and bottle tops.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reporting on my whereabouts

and why I have not posted anything to Port Focus since Tuesday. I have been at a conference for 3 days. I will report bits and pieces from the conference over the next little while. It may seem ridiculous, but I missed being out and about in Port in that short time as I sat in that lecture theatre.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sandridge toilet update

A contract has been awarded to construct the Sandridge Beach toilet. The location of the toilet is shown by the red mark on the map. It is hoped to have the toilet complete by December 2011. Click here for more information.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Today the government outlined how Australia will move towards a low carbon future. The plan includes a tax on carbon, renewable energy, energy efficiency and land use [the carbon farming initiative] For more detail at

What about Port?

Those readers who walk along the foreshore would have noticed the handsome landscaping at Middle Park Beach. Lest you wonder - what about us in Port? - I want to let you know we will be getting a water station like this in Port Melbourne. The refill water stations are intended to reduce the scourge of discarded plastic bottles on our beaches. BYO bottle and fill up. The pier timbers with chiselled lettering were inspired by the timber wall at Sandridge.

Port remains unbeaten

" ... Port Melbourne blew Collingwood and its finals hopes away with an eight goal final term to win by 48 points at Victoria Park." [Brent Diamond Sunday Age Sport p13]

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Next Monday's Council meeting is at Port

Another step towards Council taking planning responsibility for the residential areas of Beacon Cove

On Monday evening, 11 July, Council will consider a report and recommendation to adopt Amendment C73 to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme and to submit the amendment to the Minister for Planning for approval. Amendment C73 translates the covenants on the residential properties of Beacon Cove into planning controls that will be administered by the City of Port Phillip. The report is accompanied by detailed design principles for the estate as a whole, and guidelines for the sub-precincts within it. The intention of the guidelines is to protect the character of Beacon Cove which is so valued by people living there. This work has been several years in preparation, and the outcome reflects a high level of cooperation between the Beacon Cove community and Council. The full reports and attachments are available here or from the Council meeting page on the links list on the right hand menu.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Light Up! Cyclist visibility

So dark and so cold! When riding after dark or in poor light, it is the law to have a white light on the front and a red light on the back of your bike that are visible for 200m. The fine for non-compliance is $149. A good pair of lights costs $75.
Bicycle Victoria say that flashing lights are more visible than steady lights. They recommend that if you run a steady light, add one or more flashing lights to help others see you. Riders are most effectively seen when they have lights at handlebar height for front and rear lights. For more information about good quality lights that shone in the rigorous BV test, click here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Albert Park College Child Care Centre has had enough

Parents and staff at Albert Park College Child Care Centre anticipated being in their temporary premises at Port Melbourne Primary School for 18 months. Instead, they will have been there for 5 years by the time of the anticipated completion of the new family and children's centre at Liardet St. An application has been lodged to have the Lady Forster Kindergarten placed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Council must wait for the outcome of the Heritage Council's determination before proceeding with the project - even though the same case was considered by the Heritage Council some 18 months ago. The hearing may not take place until September - leaving Albert Park Child Care Centre looking at being at their current location for longer than ever anticipated. The Council will work with APCCC to support the service through this difficult period.


'Change: the next step is ours' is the theme of this year's NAIDOC* celebrations which began yesterday. Victorian NAIDOC celebrates the extraordinary life of William Cooper who had a strong and long connection with Cummeragunga on the Murrray. Port Melbourne Dr Graeme Mulvey who works up at Cummeragunga every fortnight - will be talking about 'Cummeragunga -recent history and current challenges' at the Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation meeting on Tuesday 19 July, 6.30 pm at the South Melbourne Town Hall, community hub, Fishley St. All welcome.

* National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Green carpet

Green surfaces have been painted across conflict points where pedestrians cross the cycle path to get to the foreshore promenade. Green a bit bright? These works are part of a general upgrade of the foreshore bike path to make it smoother and safer.

Toilet talk

I am showing the improvements to the women's toilets and change rooms next to the Sandridge Life Saving Club which have just been upgraded and made more accessible.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

South Melbourne Market

Today is Market Day for me. People have been talking about changes to the Market. Fruit, vegetables and fresh food will continue to strengthen. For the inside areas of the market, an even greater range of goods and prices for a greater range of shoppers is sought over time. Visiting the South Melbourne Market website is almost as good as being there.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Funding cut for occasional care

Families rallied on the steps of Parliament yesterday seeking re-instatement of funding for occasional care. The South Port Playhouse has been in our community for 30 years, enabling parents to 'take a break'. Funding for this vital service has been cut by the federal goverment. The state government has not picked it up either. South Port Playhouse is based in the grounds of Port Melbourne Primary School. Find the campaign on facebook, search by Take A Break.