Wednesday, November 30, 2011

606 - Port Melbourne to St Kilda

An upgraded 606 bus service begins on Monday 12 December with services every 40 minutes through the week. A weekend service will be introduced for the first time. Currently there are a total of 8 services a day - 4 in the morning, and 4 in the late afternoon. Since council amalgamations, better public transport connections between Port and St Kilda have been on the agenda to strengthen community connections across the city. *Here is the timetable with effect from 12 December 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Not quite Port Melbourne, 3

It was a big night at Council last night. The Triangle: A shared Vision was adopted, the final design for the skatepark at Marina Reserve was approved so the project can go to tender, and submissions were received on the proposed Library and Heritage Centre at Emerald Hill. These three projects, previously approved, were reversed by the incoming council in late 2008/early 2009. I mention them here because the Council has directed much of its time, effort, energy and emphasis to revisiting these projects. All the council reports can be accessed here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Melbourne - isn't it?

I generally avoid more than one post a day, but since the weather is such a contrast to yesterday, I had to note it. Also wanted to show this picture of the tail end of a colourful wedding procession in Bridge St, outside Guernsey House.

A lot to like

I like the people you meet, the conversations you have, the bike parking and the plants at Bunnings. Most of all, I like what the money raised at the weekly sausage sizzles makes possible in our Port community. Today it was the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society but South Port Daylinks, Dig In and many other groups have hugely benefited from this generous opportunity. The Lions are a stalwart - often called upon if people drop out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Growing raingardens

What else to do but get on to the computer on such a rainy day. Took a brief walk down Dow St to see how the raingardens are performing. The plants are beginning to grow well and the rain is draining away - no puddles there. Raingardens trap litter and filter stormwater so that it arrives in the Bay cleaner. 24 mm of rain since 9 am this morning.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Whatever has happened to the bowler?

Almost crashed the bike when riding along Spring St this morning to see that the Port Melbourne Bowling Club has been painted a grey/green colour. It will take me a while to get used to even though I know the Club is troubled by repeated graffiti attacks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beacon Cove residential areas

Today Amendment C73 to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme was gazetted. Planning control for the residential areas of Beacon Cove is now formally and finally in the hands of the City of Port Phillip. What this means in practice is that people will now apply to Council, rather than Mirvac, for planning approval if they wish to make changes to their houses. Planning applications will be assessed according to the comprehensive guidelines that support amendment C73. Council will be writing to property owners shortly advising them of the change. If you have the appetite for the technical planning information, it is available here. The commercial areas of Beacon Cove will be covered by the Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework, a draft of which will be considered by Council in December.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

1,000 posts today

This is my 1,000th post to Port Focus. I have been puzzling about how I could make a picture for this post. Coming out of a planning consultation meeting this evening, I saw this shadow pattern from the bike hoops outside the Port Melbourne Library that anticipated my wish. I hope you find Port Focus interesting. Please let me know if there are topics you would like covered, questions you would like answered or to share something you know about Port that I don't.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Princes Pier close to opening

There is feverish work on Princes Pier to get it ready for opening in December.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Melbourne Water/John Holland's presence is shrinking as the vital main sewer replacement project comes towards a conclusion. The worksite at Gill Reserve has closed and the lawn area has been re-instated. This complements the avenue of trees that were planted in August by community members alongside staff from John Holland. Gill Reserve can no longer be considered to be a neglected part of the Railway Reserves.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Welcome to Beach St: Bella Cosi

Its taken me a while to follow up on the good reports of the new Bella Cosi at 71 Beach St, corner of Stokes St. Its a family affair - the Di Lisio family - Maria and her three sons. They want it to be a place where people feel comfortable to stay for a while. Bella Cosi draws on the talents and experience of the whole family: Marisa has run and intends to run cooking classes, the pastries are made in house and Vince is a seriously experienced barista. As Vince observed [on yesterday's 33 degree day], there are only so many sunny days in Port Melbourne so it needs to work in all weather. Bella Cosi provides long awaited life to this corner of Beach St.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Waterfront Place, Station Pier

A new electronic noticeboard has appeared at the entrance to Waterfront Place. Currently it is showing the cruise ship schedule. It is part of the plan to improve the operation of Waterfront Place in the short and longer term. Station Pier is managed by the Port of Melbourne Corporation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beam me up Scotty

Life Saving's chopper lifts off from outside the Victorian Life Saving Headquarters this evening.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

South Melbourne Market Day - doing wonders with waste

Nine waste streams are recycled from the Market - cardboard [see the cardboard crusher], green waste, fish offal, meat and chicken offal, cooking oil, food before its use by date and commingled recycling. The Market's food stalls also provide food to Second Bite, a charity that diverts food from landfill to people who need it. This year, just under 10 tonnes of food was donated to Second Bite, producing 19,620 meals and saving 8.7 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reporting season - Annual General Meetings [AGMs]

That wonderful community organisation South Port Day Links held their AGM today. The fundamental work of SPDL is to enable people, regardless of their situation, to participate in community life through their programmes of community transport, Petlinks, Garden Mates and Walk Mates.
The gathering of members for the purposes of reporting, election, and recognition of contribution and achievement is an important part of the calendar of community organisations. I am so impressed by how professionally groups approach their reporting obligations and forward planning responsibilities. I would like to acknowledge committee of management members - their contribution in the governance role is under appreciated, in my opinion. If you haven't been on a committee before I encourage you to join as an ordinary member. If you've been on a committee for a long time, look out for new people to join. A balance between renewal and continuity works well. Our Port Melbourne community is a more interesting, inclusive and generous place through the work of these community organisations. Geoff Ellis, continuing chairperson of SPDL, is in awe of the contribution of SPDL volunteers, has made new friends and learned hugely along the way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Port Town Hall

The Port Town Hall is looking bright with freshly painted walls, polished floor, curtains and insulation. Let people you know that it is a good space for community events.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Foreshore plan open for your contribution

The traffic lights at Pickles/Beach St have been modified to alert drivers to give way to pedestrians. I think pedestrians also get a short head start on the green light. This action supports principle 8 of the plan whcih is to 'promote safe and attractive pedestrian linkages, cycle and disabled access between the foreshore, urban activity centres and public transport.' Click here to get to the plan.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Welcome to Bay St: Kikki K

For the stationery obsessives out there. There are now two Scandinavian shops between Graham and Rouse St. All we need now is some Copenhagen cycle chic.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The beach

after the roses, the spinifex

3207 Beach Patrol invite you to join them when they head out from the Port Melbourne Yacht Club at 9 am tomorrow to pick up litter along the beach. I love this time of year on the dunes when the spinifex flowers are out - the male flowers on the left and the female flowers on the right of this photo.

11 11 2011

Lest we forget

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kosdown committed to Port Melbourne

Sandra Downie from Kosdown says that 'If the sale goes through, we will be moving next year to Rocklea Drive, Port Melbourne which is kind of a printing industrial site. A few of our printing mates are there. We are very sad to leave the street but also excited about the move to bigger and more modern facilities.' Kosdown has supported many community organisations over the years - look for the distinctive K on the Neighbourhood House's Term 4 programme. Kosdown was the first printing company in Victoria to introduce water and chemical free plate making, and use only vegetable and soy inks - practices which save up to 150,000 litres of water per year. For this and other environmental initiatives, they won the CitiPower Port Phillip Business Award for Environmental Sustainability in 2008.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Work on Bridge St - west of the railway line

A central median will be painted onto the road - an example of this approach can be seen in Pickles St. Although only a visual barrier, the painted median is effective in separating and slowing traffic. Pedestrian refuges at Ross and Derham intersections will make it easier for pedestrians to cross Bridge St. Trees and landscaping are also part of the plan. And by the way - yesterday I met two of Derham's descendants at the gathering to mark the 125th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Church Hall at Holy Trinity in Bay St. Have a look when you pass to see the foundation stone laid by F T Derham, postmaster general at that time. He had also been a councillor and mayor in Sandridge and son in law and business partner of Thomas Swallow of Swallow and Ariell. He introduced the penny post to Victoria.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

For the record

Today the Government's Clean Energy Future legislation passed through the Senate.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Its all happening in Rouse St

The struggling trees in Rouse St have been freshly encircled with mulch. Since I follow the health of these trees with avid interest, I stopped to take a photo - only to see that Kosdown is for sale! The property is advertised with the most magnificent real estate board you've ever seen. I believe Kosdown will be going to Salmon St. The trees have also been treated recently for a destructive leaf eating insect. Lets hope they start picking up now.

National Recycling Week begins today

A few ideas for doing one thing differently this week. Avoid or refuse single use plastic such as drinking straws. The Council's Resource Recovery Centre [Whiteman St, off Normanby Rd] accepts paint, electronic waste, white goods, mattresses, plant pots, clothing and green waste. Find out how to print paper on both sides if you're not sure how. Participate in 3207 Beach Patrol's beach clean up on Saturday from 9 am - from the Port Melbourne Yacht Club, end Bay St. Check that there aren't any recyclable items going into your waste bin. Take home any plastic bottles you pass on your way round Port Melbourne and put them in your own recycling if there isn't a recycling bin handy. More ideas?

image Climate Action

Sunday, November 6, 2011

'A difficult and poor place'

This is how former Supreme Court Judge Frank Vincent described Port Melbourne in the early thirties when he was growing up here. He learnt 'what it is, and what it means to have to struggle'. In commemorating the life of Alan Whittaker, waterside worker shot by police in 1928, he pointed to the contemporary relevance of his story. Whenever a group of people is de-personalised and de-humanised as the waterside workers were at that time be alert to the abuse of power. 'This place, these people and this history' have deeply influenced his personal and professional life. I had to shut my eyes to imagine that past described as a luxury boat made its way into Waterfront Place.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First food swap in Port Melbourne

Transition Towns Port Phillip hosted a food swap from locally grown produce at today's SkillsFest in Bridge St. Would you be interested if a fresh food swap like this happened more regularly? Transition Towns is a world wide network of people taking many local actions to support thriving, healthy and connected communties that are better able to respond to challenges like climate change and peak oil. These food swaps are going strong north of the river. You can contact TTPP at or find out more about what they do at

Friday, November 4, 2011

Balloons over Sandridge

The balloon appeared to arise from Webb Dock somewhere, and hovered above the Sandridge path before whooshing onwards.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

No butts

I know there are mixed views about Halloween in Australia, and anyway I'm a few days late but ... Sea Angels is a community group in Florida who pick up litter - just like 3207 Beach Patrol - and sometimes get pretty creative with it. How about this Halloween contribution made up of found cigarette butts?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Short week - its almost the weekend

The SkillsFest at Port Melbourne Uniting Church is on Saturday in Bridge St from 11 to 4. SkillsFest because there are skills to share like cheesemaking - 30 minute mozzarela! - breadmaking, fresh food swap, and composting for small Port Melbourne size gardens. The full programme is here. And then on Sunday at 11 am, the booklet on the life of Alan Whittaker, waterside worker shot by police in 1928, will be launched at Beacon Vista. Frank Vincent will speak. He is a powerful speaker because he combines the experience of his family in Port Melbourne during the Depression with finely constructed argument.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Back on deck

after the wisteria, the roses

I've been away to the south west where the coast is magnificent but the internet access is poor. Since its Cup Day and I'm ignorant about horses, I thought I would focus on roses instead. I think these are Port Melbourne's best public roses. This small reserve in front of the former Fountain Inn comes into its own at rose time.