Thursday, May 31, 2012

Port's community leaders call for Two Schools Now

The hall was packed at tonight's meeting at South Melbourne Commons on the pressing need for new public schools in the Port Phillip area. When Peter Martin started as principal of Port Primary there were 120 students in the whole school - now there are 125 children in prep alone. Fewer families are moving out of the area after they have their first child. Docklands and Southbank place further pressure on our local schools. Further residential development is anticipated at Montague and Fishermens Bend. Adrian Stephens from Escalier Consulting challenged the State Government's position that a new school will only be needed in 5 years time. Its needed right now. A protracted and 'staunch' campaign is needed as no money is allocated for a new school in the State's 2012/13 budget nor does it seem to be in prospect for the year after.

Bernadene Voss - Port Melbourne Family and Community Hub

Helen Kuchel - President, Port People

Kasey Edwards - SouthPort Playhouse

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trees and J L Murphy Reserve

An avenue of pin oaks has been planted - and the desert ash trees removed - along Williamstown Rd. People said they wanted a strong presence of large trees to bring colour and form to the Reserve. Unlike the plane trees which have to be pruned off the electrical lines, these trees can grow unimpeded. There aren't many places for planting specimen trees in Port Melbourne - and Murphy's Reserve is one such a place. The trees have been planted with optimism that they will be the mighty trees for future generations. The park planting in Murphy Reserve gives effect to Council's tree policy to achieve a mixed tree population - not over reliant on any one species - and a spread of trees of different ages across the municipality.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Safer crossing

The temporary opening at Swallow/Ross/Byrne, created during the construction of the Melbourne main sewer, is now being closed. The re-instated road opening makes it very clear through its design that this road is for local traffic only. The pedestrian path goes seamlessly from Garden City Reserve towards the light rail and Bay St. The works in the vicinity include renewed kerb and channel, footpaths with new naturestrips, and smoothly re-surfaced road.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Two Schools Now

This Thursday - 31st - at 6 pm there will be a public meeting on the urgent need for another primary school as well as the emerging need for a new secondary school in the area.  There is considerable anxiety and mounting concern among Port families about their children's educational future. At South Melbourne Commons, corner Montague and Bank St

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sorry Day

National Sorry Day was marked at a very special gathering today hosted by the Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation. Tiriki Onus, son of artist Lin Onus, sang pieces from musicals and opera for the guests - what a way to spend this rainy day. Tiriki is the recipient of the Dame Nellie Melba Scholarship Trust inaugural Harold Blair scholarship. To read about Harold Blair's remarkable life story, click here. Blair's widow Dorothy was present. Harold Blair was born at Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve in Queensland as was MC Dennis Fisher, pictured here with Tiriki Onus. National Sorry Day is held each year on 26 May to commemorate the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities - the Stolen Generations.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Follow up from Council meeting on Wednesday 23 May

The Council decided at last night's meeeting
  • not to proceed with the sale of 174 Nott St [currently leased by Decanters]
  • that it would proceed to take responsibility for the remaining areas of Beacon Cove - including the restaurants and the Promenade
  • to proceed to tender for the new social and administration facility at North Port Oval 
  • to continue to support SouthPort Playhouse to the tune of $9,500 for the financial year 2012/13 and to house them at York St, West St Kilda from the beginning of 2013
  • to initiate a new process for considering the future of 1 - 7 Waterfront Place and surrounds with the community

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Changes in Bridge Street

The Bridge St streetscape works are very nearly done - only some plants to go in.  Did you know that Woodruff Terrace, pictured here, was once 'Woodruffs' -  a very substantial dairy. Woodruff was several times mayor of Port Melbourne and for a brief time mayor of the City of Melbourne.
images courtesy of Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, used with permission,

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Its a big Port Melbourne agenda next Wednesday

The agenda for the Council meeting on 23 May has a very strong Port focus. Many issues of great importance for Port will be considered:
  • request for assistance from SouthPort Playhouse
  • North Port Oval - outcomes of the consultation
  • Process for revision of the Port Melbourne Waterfront Urban Design Framework and proposed consultation and engagement strategy
  • Proposed sale of land at 174 Nott St [currently occupied by Decanters, cnr Pool and Lalor St]
  • Beacon Cove asset handover [this includes the Promenade, the carpark in front of Station Pier and the restaurants]
I am looking forward to Council assuming responsibility for the remaining areas of Beacon Cove so that we can actively manage these areas. The whole of Beacon Cove will then be managed by the City of Port Philip. It has been very frustrating for many years for residents to have to deal with several authorities. I am not at all in favour of Council selling 174 Nott St. I do not support this direction at all. All the meeting papers and reports can be accessed here. The Council meeting will be held in St Kilda on Wednesday from 6 pm.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kyme Place - 121 Liardet St

Kyme Place is nearing completion. New homes for 31 people. 28 carparking places soon to be returned to the Bay St shops.

Filling in the Lagoon

Each year the City of Port Phillip supports residents in hosting a planting morning in the beds surrounding the oval. Each year more locally indigenous plants are added and the Reserve becomes more attractive with each passing year. Gather behind the cricket nets between 10 and 12 on Saturday. Tools provided byo gloves.
After planting report: Alice Turnbull reports: 'The range, diversity and complexity of sand-belt planting is remarkable and will grow into a gorgeous melange, an indigenous flower garden. ... Together we convey value, respect and care for our park, and, I believe, that does contribute to improving neighbourhood tone, attitude and appreciation.'

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beacon mosaic

Plastic bottle lids collected along the Port Melbourne foreshore - the blue ones are from bottled water. To see where these lids can land up, click here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The green treatment

Major Projects Victoria have done a fine job of highlighting the shared pedestrian cycle crossing at Pier St in Port Melbourne.

Port Phillip Council Draft 2012/13 Budget, 5

Port Melbourne is a seasonal place - busy in summer, quieter in winter. Residents may like it that way, but its difficult for traders on Beach St in particular. The dtaft budget proposes a flat fee of $5 in ticketed areas along the foreshore for the winter season. 
That concludes the introduction to the draft budget. If you would like to review it in more detail, or make a submission, please click here, or follow the links from the front page of the City of Port Phillip's website.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The ongoing transformation of Fishermens Bend

Today I walked with a group around Fishermens Bend - north. The theme of the walk was the ongoing transformation of Fishermens Bend - prompted by recent discussion of the redevelopment of the area. We followed a circuit from the oldest operating industry in Port Melbourne at Symex on Ingles/Woodruff St, past former sites of steel casting and heavy mechanical engineering in Bertie St, past the fashionable Salford Lad's Club, and concluded at Interactive on Williamstown Road, about to expand its cloud computing and data services business. I have put the walk on google maps if you wanted to walk all or some of it yourself, or just look at it on your computer. If I have made mistakes, please let me know - I am only interested in recording this disappearing part of Port Melbourne's history.

former Malcolm Moore factory, Bertie St, Port Melbourne

Friday, May 11, 2012

Port Phillip Council planning meeting, Tuesday 15 May

The Port Phillip Council will consider an application for 316 Bay St  [known as the Bay and Bridge Hotel], for the installation of 29 electronic gaming machines at its planning meeting on Tuesday 15 May at 6 pm at St Kilda Town Hall.  The recommendation being put to Council is for a refusal of the application on the grounds that 'the proposed installation of electronic gaming machines at the Hotel would not create a net community benefit as required by the Port Phillip Planning Scheme'. For the full recommendation and Council report, click here.
Tuesday 15 May
At its planning meeting this evening, Council refused the application for the installation of 29 electronic gaming machines. Unfortunately, since the hotel has existing use rights, Council has no power to impose conditions on the proposed function rooms that will replace the accommodation on the first floor. The matter will now be heard at VCAT from 3 July.

Port Phillip Council Draft 2012/13 Budget, 4

Trees, parks and streetscapes
The draft budget includes:
  • landscaping and pedestrian safety works in and around Nott St, between Rouse & Graham: $400,000. The area between Graham St and the Beach is covered by a Developer Contribution Scheme which requires co-contribution of Council and developers to improve the quality of the streetscapes in this area.
  • replacement of fig trees in Beacon Cove: $45,000 [as per Council resolution]
Across Port Phillip
  • Street tree planting: $600,000
  • Greening Port Phillip: $200,000 includes raingardens to clean stormwater and other landscaping initiatives
Turville Reserve [environs of Graham St underpass] is due for completion this financial year and Rouse St, the second stage, by the end of the calendar year.

Its Composting Awareness Week

and that is why I am taking the unusual step of showing you my compost. A huge amount of our waste to landfill is green and food waste. Composting can change that and improve the quality of your soil - which is an ongoing project in Port Melbourne.  Composting and making cakes have a lot in common in my experience but I probably spend more time on compost than cakes these days. The balance of wet and dry is critical. There are fantastic resources around for anyone wanting to try composting. However, speaking to an experienced trouble shooting composter is probably better than any website. A community composting project is underway in Dawkins Reserve in Elwood. The rewards - as well as the trials and travails - of looking after public compost bins are discussed on their local composting blog. Composting Awareness Week runs from 7 to 12 May.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Port Phillip Council Draft 2012/13 Budget, 3

Making it easier and safer to get around Port Melbourne through these capital projects
  • Raised pedestrian crossing at Clark/Poolman at Port Primary -  part of the implementation of the Walk Plan [see below]
  • Beacon Cove Promenade - pedestrian safety improvements: $300,00
  • Crossing Bay St near the Port Melbourne Town Hall and Library around Spring St: $10,000
In addition, Port Melbourne will share in these Port Phillip wide projects
  • Walk Plan implementation: $1,275,000
  • Bike Plan implementation: $975,000
  • Footpath Rehabilitation Program: $1,450,000
  • Road Rehabilitation Program: $2,300,000
  • Foreshore Bike Path  $120,000

Top dressing Garden City Reserve

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Port Phillip Council Draft Budget 2012/13, 2

Supporting participation in sport and community life through the following capital projects:
  • Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House: $50,000 for upgrade of kitchen
  • North Port Pavilion: $2,580,000
  • Port Melbourne Life Saving Club: $120,000 for refurbishments

Pedestrian Priority

The yellow highlight crossings at Rouse and Bay have been refreshed. It may surprise readers to know that there have been several crashes at the signalised Rouse/Bay intersection whereas none have been recorded at Bay/Liardet.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Port Phillip Council Draft 2012/13 Budget, 1

Key elements of the draft 2012/13 budget adopted for exhibition this evening include
  • increase in rates of 5.9%. This includes 1.2% for the price on carbon, and increased EPA waste levy* and 0.9% for funding the expected Defined Benefits superannuation call 
  • The main capital projects for Port Melbourne are the long discussed North Port Pavilion redevelopment: $2.58m, and the Liardet St Family and Children's Centre $1.7m
Submissions are now invited on the draft budget which you can access here. Submissions will be heard on 12 June at 6pm at South Melbourne Town Hall. I will provide more detail over coming days. Please make contact if there are any questions you would like to ask.
*this means the cost of disposing of our waste to landfill is increasing

Monday, May 7, 2012

A glimpse of the new Sandridge toilet

The Sandridge toilet is approaching completion. The project was held up when difficulties were experienced tunnelling under the Boulevard.

Council meets in Port tomorrow - Tuesday

The Council meets in Port Melbourne on Tuesday 9 May from 6 pm - upstairs in the Council Chamber. The draft 2012/13 buget and Year 4 of the Council plan will be recommended to Council for public exhibition and the invitation of submissions. The meeting agenda and link to the draft budget can be accessed here. Following Tuesday's council meeting, I will go into the budget in more detail and the process for making submissions.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

101 Dow St closer to completion

Its been a two day operation demanding the greatest care to dismantle and remove the crane from the soon to be Waterside Apartments. Tough for people living in Dow St.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Looking back on a good day

Yes it rained but it didn't seem to dampen the spirits of today. The Port Primary fete was fantastic - full of energy, activity and fun borne out of huge hard work. My personal highlight was watching the lollypop man stopping traffic for the camel train. And then Port beat Williamstown 15.15.105 to 3.7.25. 'Port outmuscled Willy with tackles, bumps and smothers' and 'played the conditions like a fiddle.' Paul Amy

a bit of fun

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Grumpy observations about overfilled rubbish bins

Overflowing bins - why does it matter? Its a bit like going to the supermarket and picking up an extra half litre of milk just because you've already bought one. Also - just a glance - this bin was full of materials that could have gone into the yellow lid recycling bin. Overfilled bins can spill out and get dispersed by birds.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hollyhock for sale

Hollyhock restaurant at Station Pier is for sale. Have you been there?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Heritage Overlay review - towards implementation

Why is this so important? In a Heritage Overlay area, a permit is required to demolish a dwelling. Without this protection, Council has no ability to refuse the demolition - unless the dwelling is significant in its own right. Council has written to affected property owners to let them know of the preparation of  Amendment C89 to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme. The amendment is about implementating the Review of Heritage Overlay 1 Port Melbourne - Outcomes and Recommendations (Lovell Chen, 2011). If you, or anyone you know, has received this letter and don't understand it or want further clarification, please don't hesitate to ring or email the contacts provided on the bottom of the letter. The Review's purpose was 'to ensure the continued relevance and comprehensiveness of the Heritage Overlay controls in Port Melbourne'. [p1] A tiny snippet from the Review: 'HO1 is ... important for its ability to demonstrate the layout and subdivision patterns of the suburb as a whole, including referencing the specific topographical and other constraints which shaped its development. Development was for many years confined to the area between the Lagoon in the east and the railway line in the west. In summary, it is the diversity of the area which is also one of its key attributes and strengths.'[p24] The amendment also proposes tree controls for the Railway Reserves and Edwards Park.