Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where do all the dead TVs and computers go?

I thought you might be interested to know where the electronic [e-waste] dropped off at the Port Phillip Resource Recovery Centre goes. It goes to PGM Refiners who recover or recycle 90% of the material they receive. I encourage a visit to their interesting website at

You tell me ...

Station Pier 6.30 pm

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Further direction on the draft Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework

All councillors supported the following resolution this evening..
That Council 2.1 Receives and considers all submissions on the draft Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework. 2.2 Ackowledges the covenants and current planning controls affecting the site at 1 - 7 Waterfront Place. 2.3 Undertakes further strategic work in accordance with the resolution of 13 March 2012 to review the draft UDF, in particular the draft Vision and Principles and the Waterfront Place Precinct section. 2.4 In preparation for the possibility that the covenants are varied, removed or deemed not applicable, undertakes further strategic work in accordance with the resolution of 13 March 2012 to prepare detailed design guidelines for the porperty located at 1-7 Waterfront Place that will reflect the Waterfront Place Beacon Cover Design Guidelines October 2009 [MGS Architects 2009] and in particular will not exeed the recommended building envelope and height controls. 2.5 Acknowledges that the detailed design guidelines will inform the review of the Waterfront Place Precinct. 2.6 Reaffirms the request that a report be provided to Council in April detailing the proposed process for engaging with the community in the preparation of revised Waterfront precinct and site guidelines, including the opportunity for stakeholder forums with representation to include community groups, the Port of Melbourne Corporation, the business association, local business operators, Yarra Trams and the owners of the freehold sites.
Commentary and summary: The essence of this resolution is that while the covenants and the planning controls governing the Beacon Cove development remain in place they are to be respected. However, in the event that the covenants are varied, removed or deemed not applicable' [see 2.4] Council's position is that adopted in October 2009 based on the report of MGS Architects. All future work in the precinct is to be guided by this report.


. . . but glad that the Port Melbourne flag pole was back in place for the flag to be at half mast to mark the state funeral of Jim Stynes as well as the passing of King George Tupou V, Head of State of the Kingdom of Tonga, on 18 March. The flag pole was re-instated on Saturday - but I missed it. Wonder if you saw it happening?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Foreshore improvement

A long awaited beach shower and bottle refill station are being installed. Tell me, do you prefer small photos on the right, or bigger pictures [like this] in the centre of the page, or mixing it up a bit with sometimes one and sometimes another?

Submissions to draft Port Melbourne UDF to be heard tomorrow

The Council will hear submissions on the draft Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework tomorrow evening at St Kilda, starting at 6 pm. The Council report, with attachments summarising written submissions received, is available here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ride 2 School Day at Port Melbourne Primary

Port Melbourne Primary was brimming with scooters and bikes this morning for Ride 2 School Day. Harry Barber, CEO of Bicycle Network Victoria, was there. I liked what he said, which was along these lines: 'Riding a bike is fun. Its a small thing to do but its important. Do you brush your teeth everyday? [Wholehearted agreement] Well - riding a bike is like that - small but important.'

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dumped televisions a thing of the past?

While there has been a lot of talk about container deposit legislation, there has been relatively less about the introduction of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme - now getting underway following the passage of the Product Stewardship Act in August 2011. The scheme will be funded and run by industry. The television and computer industry is now required by law to collect televisions and computers for recycling, and meet progressive recycling targets and meet certain criteria for safety and good environmental practice. The 1st annual recycling target is 30% in 2012/13 increasing to 80% in 2021/22. This could lead to dumped televisions becoming a sight of the past. Lets hope so. While the scheme is getting underway, remember you can drop off your electronic waste at the Port Phillip Transfer Station in White St, off Normanby Road near the Williamstown/Normanby/Ingles St intersection.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Port People AGM

Good attendance, lively participation, willing recruitment to the Executive committee - by all measures a good AGM. Congratulations to Helen Kuchel who continues as President. The success of the Celebration in the Park in December has given confidence to plan for another later this year. Issues identified for further work were: 1 - 7 Waterfront Place, of course, as well as future Webb Dock expansion, landscaping of Walter St, and shade for the playground in Garden City Reserve. The Reserve remains at the heart and core for Port People.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Port invite you to 'see the Port of Melbourne from a new angle'

Have you taken one of the Port of Melbourne Corporation's boat tours? People I have spoken to have been very positive about their experience. I've been a few times and especially enjoy seeing Port Melbourne from the water. With the Port of Melbourne our neighbour at Webb Dock and in our midst at Station Pier, its helpful to get a better understanding of how the port works. So many of the things on which we rely such as fridges, TVs, trams and coffee have made their way from the port into our homes. All attendees must pre-register. Book online at or call 9683 1565. Tours depart Saturday 24 March and Sunday 25 March at set departure times from Docklands. More details from the contacts provided above. Update: all the tours for 2012 are booked out

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What really matters [ie not the Grand Prix]

'State of the Climate 2012 provides an updated summary of long-term climate trends. It notes that the long-term warming trend has not changed, with each decade having been warmer than the previous decade since the 1950s. The warming trends observed around Australia are consistent with global scale warming that has been measured during recent decades, despite 2010 and 2011 being the coolest years recorded in Australia since 2001. Global average surface termperatures were the warmest on record in 2010 (slightly higher than 2005 and 1998). 2011 was the world's 11th warmest year and the warmest year on record during a La Nina event. The worlds 12 warmest years on record have all occurred in the past 15 years.' To access more of this short and very readable State of the Climate 2012 report from the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, click here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fishermans Bend - more detail emerges

Today's Herald Sun shows two proposed new precincts of Fishermens Bend: Montague and Wirraway. Wirraway is shown as wrapping around Murphy's Reserve on the Plummer St side of Williamstown Rd. It appears that Murphy's Reserve is intended as the open space resource for a future community that would include a school. There is strong support for respecting the history of the area with a puzzling suggestion for a monument of some kind to the aviation history of the area - shown on the corner of Graham St and Williamstown Rd. Puzzling because that is not where the aircraft factories were located and where we propose to construct the wetland to support the sporting fields of Murphy's Reserve.

Experienced local operators take over Gasworks cafe

Emma, pictured here, and Bronwyn open Priscilla Jones at Gasworks on Monday 19 March. Emma, from Hot Honey in Middle Park and Bronwyn from the Emerald Hill Cafe worked together at Cafe Sweethearts many years ago. It looks like they will bring an outgoing approach, style, and community feel to the operation that matches Gasworks.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Recycling uncertainty

We are still putting items in the rubbish bin that could go in the recycling bin, a new report from the Metropolitan Waste Management Group has found. 'Audits of kerbside rubbish bins have revealed that, on average 20% of rubbish sent to landfill (approximately 140,000 tonnes) consists of packaging, paper and cardboard that could have been recycled. This is a significant amount of valuable material that is wasted. Despite a good grasp of the basics, people struggle to discern the different types of plastics, whether or not to recycle 'difficult' items, whether or not to clean dirty items, or whether to take lids off or leave them on. Factors such as bin size, contamination of recycling by plastic bags and lack of knowledge all prevent Melbournians rcycling more often and more effectively.' [Kerbside Recyling in Metropolitan Melbourne: Social Research Summary Report MWMG and Sustainability Victoira] If you're a bit unsure about what can be recycled, check out the Council's Waste and Recycling services guide on p3.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Accident at Bay & Rouse

I have heard that there was an accident involving a motorcyclist at the intersection of Bay and Rouse St at about 10.30 this morning. Did you see or hear anything about what happened, and whether the motorcyclist is alright?

Port Melbourne's newest lane?

I immediately assumed that the name was derived from the former corrugated iron Sugar Shed that once stood on this site. The Sugar Shed made a great subject for photography and before it was demolished the Port Melbourne Historical Society organised a photography competition to capture images of it. However, google exploration has led me to the architecture firm Sugar and Co whose name appears now to be affixed to these apartments. So is it sugar or Sugar?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Take the punt

On the beautiful weather long weekend took the punt. Its good fun and quick and makes it easy to access all the west offers. The Punt offers a Monday to Friday peak times ferry service for people and bikes. The Punt departs from Westgate Landing, 179 Lorimer St, north of corner of Sardine St. For the full timetable, click here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Labor Day

Pondering that my enjoyment of such a beautiful day has been made possible by people who have worked so hard to achieve the conditions we now enjoy - like International Womens Day. Labor Day prompts thinking about jobs and all that goes with jobs - the economy, unemployment, casualisation, pay and conditions. So its good news that the Premier visited our part of the world last week to announce the expansion of IT services provider Interactive on Williamstown Rd [near the Fire Station]. 300 jobs are to be created in addition to the 150 associated with the construction of the new premises. A little uncertain about how this sits with other recent government announcements about Fishermens Bend's future as a residential precinct.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

From throw away to resource recovery

Busy down at the Resource Recovery Centre today - used to be called the Transfer station - with many people taking advantage of the long weekend to tidy up. The Resource Recovery Centre accepts electronic waste [computers, TVs], green waste, mattresses, polystyrene, plastic garden pots, paint, cork - you name it - we do our best to find a way to recover the resources in the things we throw away. It is located on White St, just off Normanby Rd near the intersection of Williamstown/Normanby and Ingles St. There is no charge to drop off materials that are accepted for recycling.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Roof for the South Melbourne Market

Work will begin soon on a new roof for the South Melbourne Market. The roof is needed because the present roof leaks whenever it rains. The leaks damage stock. The new roof will also make the market more comfortable in hot weather. The heat has [at times] been sufficient to melt chocolate - not to mention how uncomfortable it gets for staff. The roof is designed to capture stormwater for washing down the market. The roof has also been designed so as to be ready for the large scale installation of solar panels should the funds become available. Knowing how important carparking is for market customers, much attention is being paid to only having a small section of the market roof off limits at any one time.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Back in business 2

Punters enjoying the new look London on this very beautiful evening.

draft Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework - press pause

Press the pause button
Submissions close today. But I don't need to wait till they've all been collated to know the issues raised by the community. Therefore, on Tuesday evening at the Council meeting to be held in Port Melbourne, I will put a motion before my fellow councillors. The motion will ask for Council to look more deeply into the issues raised in the consultation period. The issues have come up again and again: traffic, valued views and the future of 1 - 11 Waterfront Place. The consultation has confirmed how deeply people feel and care about this part of Port Melbourne.
The motion will ask that Council further investigates issues raised through the consultation including [but not only]:

**** taking a more detailed look at the whole Waterfront Place area - traffic movements and circulation, views, and how that all important community connection can be supported and strengthened through any improvements to the public spaces in the area ****the planning controls, planning history and relevant covenants for the site at 1 - 11 Waterfront Place ****detailed design guidelines for the site at 1 - 11 Waterfront Place - including [but again not limited to] the interface with Beach St and Park Square, shadowing and traffic.

I will move that Council continue to involve the community - as well as Yarra Trams, the Port of Melbourne Corporation and the Traders' Association - in these important discussions. I refer you to the full Notice of Motion, available here. The Notice of Motion is on p15. You can also follow links on the right hand side of Port Focus to Council meeting and agendas.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day - bringing it home

Paying tribute to three Port Melbourne women who have directly and deeply influenced me.
Liana Thompson: [pictured here] last mayor of Port Melbourne and first mayor of Port Phillip for leading through a difficult period of change. Lyn Allison: former Port Melbourne councillor and Democrat senator for Victoria, for initiating action on the environment on Port Melbourne council, for campaigning on planning issues and ongoing commitment to the community and indigenous coastal vegetation. Pat Grainger: for ongoing community activism, her knowledge of Port Melbourne's history - recent and more distant - her capacity for work, and what little I know of graphic design

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our Super Tuesday

Bicycle Network Victoria has been doing a visual count of cyclists on the first Tuesday in March since 2007. Early indications from this year's count, conducted yesterday, are that the number of female cyclists has increased. This is considered a good indicator of the overall health of cycling. The world's best cycling cities have more women than men riding bikes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Good Clean Up Australia Day

3207 Beach Patrollers gather for a well earned break after cleaning the beach from Pickles St to Webb Dock. Tom Burrowes displays the most unusual item he found - a conjunction of a plastic bottle and building material. About 12 of the large Clean Up Australia Day bags were filled. We learn more about our litter and people's littering habits all the time - many bottles are just conveniently dropped over the sea wall near the Port Melbourne Yacht Club. I picked up many a sodden cigarette butt as well as adding substantially to my plastic lid collection.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

draft Urban Design Framework - the seasons

A recurrent theme in conversations about the draft UDF is the seasonality of the Port Melbourne waterfront. When its busy its very, very busy and when its quiet - not much is happening. How do we plan for, and accommodate, these seasonal variations? How do we best support our Beach St businesses in good times and in bad? Fishermen are hard core - not like the rest of us fair weather people. One of the things people wanted to achieve for Princes Pier was a place for people to fish. That has well and truly been achieved - fishermen and women are out there - hot or cold, raining or dry.

Clean Up Australia Day tomorrow - Sunday March 4

Don't let the wet weather put you off - it's when its been raining the beach needs you most. 3207 Beach Patrol is tackling all Port Melbourne's beaches tomorrow from 9 am. The 4 zones are: opposite Pickles St, opposite the London, First Point Beach [next to Princes Pier] and Sandridge Life Saving Club. Look out for the 3207 blue Beach Patrol t-shirt. As all our roads lead to the Bay, cleaning any kerb and channel near your own place will help. Last year I focused on straws - this year I am collecting plastic lids. I am told that lids are never recycled - so special care should be taken in disposing of them.

Friday, March 2, 2012

draft Urban Design Framework - further issues at Waterfront Place

The tram stop: Anyone returning home on the 109 would know this scenario - do you get off on the north side of Beach St and save about 1 minute, or do you wait until the city bound tram has left the tram stop and arrive comfortably at the terminus? People getting off the tram cross the path of north/south cyclists heading to and from the Bay trail in rush hour hurry. These issues are compounded when cruise ships are in. At some point in the future, it will likely be necessary to enable the trams to pass each other at the terminus, and to improve the interaction place between cyclists and tram passengers through a more spacious design. By the way, do you know you can follow tram 109 on twitter @tram109? I enjoy the voice of @tram109.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Giving notice

that a celebration for International Women's Day will be held at the Port Town Hall, next Thursday 8 March - Women Creating the Future. Mary Crooks from the Victorian Womens Trust is the guest speaker. I thought this was an opportunity to share this photograph of Mrs Crichton, lady mayoress and wife of Mayor and Councillor Crichton who served on the Port Melbourne Council from 1905 and resigned in 1956. Can that possibly be true? I don't know anything about Mrs Crichton, except that the lady mayoress used to play a very important community role and I like the look of her. So this is my tribute to Mrs Crichton and the [perhaps] unsung work she did in Port Melbourne. Please rsvp for the event to 9209 6762 or email 6 - 8 pm, upstairs at Port Town Hall

Something important is missing

The mechanism for raising the flag at the Port Town Hall is damaged. No flags can be flown until it is repaired. A crane might be needed as it was when the last flag pole was installed.