Saturday, September 29, 2012

The last Saturday in September

Went scouring Port for evidence of footy fever - didn't find much.  This was the best I found. Swallows were having some sort of Swans function when I went past yesterday. My own heart went out of football last weekend.
Monday 1 October
Have to revise this sentiment after the Swans defeated Hawthorn.and to acknowledge Bobby Skilton who presented the Grand Final cup. Bobby Skilton is Port Melbourne born and bred and attended Graham St primary school. He won three Brownlows when playing for South Melbourne. He was equally skilled kicking with the left and right foot, and with  left and right handed handballs. His father played for Port.*
* John May pers com
For those of you who were never interested in the football in the first place and may prefer their red a different way, here are some photos of Kennedia prostrata - or running postman - my favourite ground cover of this time of year.
photos Lyn Allison

Friday, September 28, 2012

Now, then - and what next for the London?

The London sold at auction for $3.075m last Friday 21 September. It has always struck me how very plain the London is, but it has not always been this way. 'The London is one of the Port pubs that were done up towards the end of the 1930s in Moderne art deco style'*. Have a look at this great photo showing how Beach St looked in the early days.
*Chartered Scoundrels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels by Pat Grainger

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yellow tops

Yellow tops highlight the presence of pedestrians.

It seems that some drivers are not always aware of the Road Rules regarding pedestrians, so here they are:

  • A driver must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing, and you must not overtake another vehicle which has stopped at a pedestrian crossing. When approaching a pedestrian crossing, you must drive at a speed that would enable you to stop safely.
  • When turning at any intersection (except a roundabout), you must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road you are entering. [yellow top or no yellow top]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Council is now in caretaker mode until 27 October

Nominations for the council elections to be held on 27 October closed yesterday. The candidates contesting the Sandridge Ward are
  • Bernadene Voss
  • Lee Turner
  • Peter de Groot
Expect to hear more from these candidates over coming weeks. I have put the Victorian Electoral Commission's details in the links area if you are interested in other wards or other councils. You can also access the VEC here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Report back on a very late - 1.00 am! - Council meeting

North Port Oval
Council awarded the contract for the construction of the North Port Oval Sports Pavilion to 2Construct Pty Ltd for the sum of $2,445,741. The contract term for construction is 9 months with a 12 months defects liability period. Construction is proposed to begin in October 2012.
To review the plans, click here.
St Kilda Festival
The Council contribution to the 2013 St Kilda Festival is likely to be in the order of  $1.03 - $1.2m. Submittors to Council offered many ideas for adapting the Festival to changing circumstances and saw the funding shortfall as 'a real opportunity for change' and an opportunity to 'redefine the Festival'. A transition plan was suggested towards a scaled down Festival drawing strongly on local talent and resources.

The Council unanimously agreed to proceed with the 2013 St Kilda Festival since preparations for the February event are already well advanced. It was acknowledged that the current model for the Festival is not financially sustainable and that alternative approaches to supporting live music, arts and culture should be explored with key interest groups.

A very Port commemoration

Perce White, many times mayor of the City of Port Melbourne and veteran unionist, speaks to a gathering celebrating 140 years of maritime union history in Sangster Reserve in Nott St.
George Sangster was a founding member of the Seaman's Union at its first meeting in 1872 and President of the Trades Hall Council in 1894/5. He was briefly a councillor of the City of Port Melbourne between 1893/4 and represented Port Melbourne in the Legislative Assembly between 1894 and 1915. 

He was also president of the Port Melbourne Football Club - though chess was apparently his preferred game. He opposed Federation and the Boer War and wars in general. An anti-monarchist, he also opposed the teaching of the bible in schools.*

Perce White, Sangster Reserve, Nott St: picture Martin Foley

This house, formerly the New Great Britain Hotel was where that first meeting of the Seamen's Union took place in 1872 - the world's very first maritime union*.

* sources: Chartered Scoundrels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels by Pat Grainger p60 In Safe Hands: Presidents of the Port Melbourne Football Club by Terry Keenan pp41,43 both books available from the Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Council Meeting tonight - the 24th September

Tonight's Council meeting to be held in St Kilda from 6 pm  is the last substantive meeting of this Council term. From tomorrow, the Council enters the caretaker period until the election on October 27th. This means that no decisions with major financial or policy implications will be decided after today.
At tonight's meeting, the following Port items will be considered:
  • Council's submission to the Port Capacity Project
  • Appointment to Lagoon Reserve and Gasworks Park Reference Committees
  • Tender report for North Port Oval Redevelopment - Sports Pavilion construction
Many other items on the agenda have a significant bearing on the Port Melbourne community including:
  • Secondary School Provision Study
  • Submission to State Government on the reformed planning zones for Victoria
  • St Kilda Festival 2013
  • Children's Services Waiting List - priority of access
  • Guiding Principles for Transport Planning
  • City of Port Phillip Access Plan 2013 - 2018
  • Tender report for the Emerald Hill Library and Heritage Centre
The agenda and supporting reports are available here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Port Melbourne weekend

Geelong beat Port Melbourne 14.24.108 to 11.9.75 in the VFL Grand Final. The last quarter was hard to bear. Youth seemed to have the edge on experience.
3207 Beach Patrollers enjoying the day while picking up a combined 50 kg of litter - mostly plastic bits.
picture Ross Headifen

Friday, September 21, 2012

Go Borough!

Port Melbourne plays Geelong in the VFL Grand Final at Etihad on Sunday 23rd starting at 2.15. Its a big stadium - room for lots more Port supporters.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spring peak

Enjoy the wisteria - its season is so brief.
near the Bowling Club

Notice of a planning decision: 231-241 Cecil St, South Melbourne

CaSPA Care residence, South Melbourne [Claremont and South Port Aged Care]
Last night Council's Statutory Planning Committee issued a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit to construct a two, three and four storey building and basement and construct and carry out works associated with a residential aged care facility. The planning report is available here.
The site, formerly the St Vincents Boys Home, is on the Victorian Heritage Register. Assessment of the heritage matters for the site lies with Heritage Victoria. Heritage Victoria has granted a permit for the proposed demolition and building alterations and additions.
The facility will contain 142 rooms including 4 double rooms for a total of 146 beds.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lid litter

3207 Beach Patrol will be cleaning the beach this Saturday from 9 am opposite the London Hotel.
Then on Sunday, Charles Moore, who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be speaking at the South Melbourne Commons in Montague St at 6 pm. Anybody concerned about plastic pollution would find it interesting. .
This Catalyst programme is also compelling - and disturbing - viewing.
These are the lids I have picked up on Port Melbourne beaches this year without trying too hard.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Port to Port

I am glad that some businesses are choosing to relocate to other premises in Port rather than move out of the area.  Port Travel has moved from cnr Bay/Liardet to Rouse St, Three Four Knock at the Door hope to move from Nott to Bay St, and Kosdown is moving to Rocklea Drive in Fishermans Bend.
Kosdown is one of the last industries to go as the area south of Graham St transitions to residential development.


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Turville connection

Alright. Enough football - for today at least.
When the Council came to upgrade Turville Reserve, I wondered who Turville was. Chartered Scoundrels* provides the answer. This house in Princes St was once a hotel - the Locomotive - and Turville was the publican. Formerly a train driver, he held the license until 1875 and lived there for a further twenty years. Also of interest, the Forester's Arms once stood in the vicinity of this landscaped area. It was demolished to make way for the Graham St overpass.
*Chartered Scouncfels: A brief history of Port Melbourne hotels, p63 by Pat Grainger. Available from the Port Melbourne Town Hall

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The red & the blue

Port defeated Williamstown today 12.15.87 to 7.11.53 on a perfect spring day at North Port Oval. Into the Grand Final next Sunday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Go Borough!

Port play Williamstown tomorrow in the Preliminary Final at North Port Oval starting at 2.10 pm. Traditional rivals. Last year's Grand Finalists. Preview the game here.

Port Melbourne a winner in the Port Phillip Business Awards

Having felt glum about Bay St just a few posts ago, I feel much more optimistic after Port Melbourne businesses performed exceptionally strongly in the Port Phillip Business Awards held last night.
  • Melbourne Medical Deputising Service [MMDS] was the business of the year. Based in Plummer St, Port Melbourne, MMDS is the lagest home visiting doctor service in Victoria.
  • Miishu - a fashion destination at 74 Bay St won in the micro business category [employing up to 5 people]
    • Three Four Knock on the Door - a childrens' book and toy store at 46 Nott St, was a finalist in this category
  • TANK Branding - a brand agency at 30 Lalor St was a finalist in the small business category [employing between 6 and 20 people] and in the Creative and Cultural Industries category
  • Hunky Dory Fish & Burger Bar at 181 Bay St, and in Clarendon St,  won in the medium business category [employing between 20 and 200 people]
  • Beach Tennis Australia was a finalist in the Tourism & Hospitality Category
Ardoch Youth Foundation won in the not-for-profit category. Ardoch's CEO Mandy Burns is a Port Melbourne resident who also finds time to chair the committee of management of the Port Melbourne Neighbourhood House and to coach her daughter's netball team.
Speaking with the finalists and winners in retail, I was struck by how their businesses are a hybrid of in store retailing, unique product offer with energetic social marketing and above and beyond service.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Report back on Council meeting: St Kilda Festival

For a long time I have been concerned about the growing cost of the St Kilda Festival. However, no report has been brought to Council that put those figures before you in the form of a publicly accessible Council report.
In response to a question from Councillor Frank o'Connor at Tuesday's meeting, the following information was provided:
The net cost of the St Kilda Festival to council has increased from $533,171 in 2008/09 to $1,180,703 in 2011/12. The cost to Council over 5 years can be accessed here. These costs are projected to increase significantly into the future. This year, considerable effort went into trying to secure a major sponsor. The arrangement yielded a mere $4,000. Council has been advised that up to 80% of the expenditure goes towards the physical infrastructure of the event such as toilets, security, and cleaning.
In response to the presentation of these figures, Councillor o'Connor put this motion which was passed unanimously:
That Council
  • Confirms its strong support for live music in this municipality
  • Receives an urgent report at its meeting on 24 September 2012 which includes
    • identification of strategies for containing the 2013 St Kilda Festival expenditure within the budgeted amount for 2012/13
    • an update on progress with sponsorship for the 2013 Festival
    • information on the option not to proceed with the 2013 Festival Sunday
    • a process for community consultation to determine alternate approaches to deliver Council's objectives regarding live music and cultural development within current budget allocations.
The discussion will continue at the meeting on 24 September.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012


There is only one more formal Council meeting before the Council enters caretaker mode when it may not make any significant policy decisions that would bind a future council, or commit to significant expenditure.
This week, I would like to introduce you to several items that were considered at last night's meeting.
Fishermans Bend
The Council adopted a set of principles that we would like to guide the future development of the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area. As you know, the Minister for Planning has designated this area a capital city zone. That makes the Minister the planning authority - not the Council.  Places Victoria will undertake the planning for the area for the Minister. Information on their website about Fishermans Bend is seriously scanty at this time. The Minister's announcement has immediate implications for what is possible in Fishermans Bend. At this early stage there is no framework plan in place to guide how any future development of the area will take place and how necessary community and physical infrastructure will be funded. It has almost become an over-used thought - including by the Minister - that a Docklands or Southbank must be avoided. Well - what does that really mean in planning terms?
That is why Council has adopted these principles to take to the table in future thinking about what is now know as the FBURA - Fisherman's Bend Urban Renewal Area.
Guiding Principles
  • A child and family friendly place - safe, accessible and human scale
  • A highly connected place that priorities sustainable travel and the movement of people
  • An exemplary environmentally sustainable precinct
  • A strong and vibrant economy, providing local jobs and local access to goods and services
  • A variety of neighbourhoods, each with a distinct and unique identity
  • A well serviced, diverse and connected local community that welcomes everyone
  • A community and place that is integrated, resilient and self sufficient
  • A place that embraces and fosters cultural and creative communities - in its businesses, residents and visitors
  • A funding plan for the timely provision of open space, community facilities and physical infrastructure
  • A well planned and staged precinct approach to facilitate the orderly transition of the precinct.
These principles are supported by a more detailed  strategic directions document which you can access here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Council meeting tomorrow is at Port Melbourne from 6pm

There is a big agenda for tomorrow night's Council meeting. Items of particularly Port interest are:
  • Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area: to consider the adoption of the City of Port Phillip's Fishermans Bend Guiding Principles and Strategic Directions following the Minister for Planning's decision to rezone the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area to Capital City Zone
  • Tender report for North Port Oval Renovation and Addition to Norm Goss Stand and Visitors Pavilion Changeroom: for Council to confirm the preferred tenderer for the construciton work at North Port Oval for the renovation and additions to the Norm Goss Stand and the Visitors Pavilion Changeroom
  • Gasworks Arts Park and Lagoon Reserve Reference Committees: this report is being presented to Council to adopt the Terms of Reference and appoin the community, club and Councillor representatives to the Gasworks Arts Park and Lagoon Reserve Reference Committee
To access the meeting papers, please click here.
In case you're wondering - I was away this weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It all adds up - our collective waste, recycling and resource recovery

In Port Phillip, between July 1 2011 and June 30 2012*
  • The total household waste collected from kerbside waste and sent to landfill was 21,173 tonnes with 36,896 bins collected each week. 11,675 tonnes of household recycling was collected from 37,117 bins each week.
  • The Resource Recovery Centre collected and recycled 10.86 tonnes of e-waste, 1.2 tonnes of batteries, 1.2 tonnes of paint, 242 kilograms of light globes, 3,700 litres of used car oil, 108 tonnes of metals, 1,246 mattresses and 520 tonnes of green waste
source: Draft 2011/12 Annual Report
* these figures are for the whole of the City of Port Phillip

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

VCAT approves 29 electronic gaming machines for Bay & Bridge Hotel

You may recall that in May, Council refused an application for 29 electronic gaming machines at the Bay and Bridge Hotel. The Council's refusal was appealed to VCAT.

In a recent decision, VCAT directed that a permit be issued for

'Use and development of the land for the purpose of building and works to the existing Hotel, internal rearrangement to provide function rooms to the upper level, use of 29 electronic gaming machines, and use of a footpath area to sell or consume liquor, generally in accordance with the endorsed plan.'

The applicant also made the following undertaking to VCAT

'As long as 29 electronic gaming machines continue to be operated on the subject land, the venue operator must make an annual contribution in the sum of $60,000 in cash (indexed to CPI) to the period of ten (10) years from the date of commencement of the operation of those machines.' 

Another condition on the permit that may be of interest: 'Except with the further written consent of the Responsible Authority (that is Council), a maximum of 250 patrons are permitted on the subject land at any one time'

To read the full decision and all the conditions on the permit, please click here. 

Bay and Bridge Hotel, formerly Chequers

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Recent Impressions of East Timor - St Kilda Town Hall Wednesday 5, at 7 pm

Recent Impressions of East Timor: ‘Is the glass half full or half empty?’
You may have expressed an interest in my recent visit to East Timor as a parliamentary observer.
You are invited on Wednesday evening 5th September to a Q & A to discuss recent impressions of East Timor following the City of Port Phillip’s Observers Delegation to the recent Parliamentary Elections in East Timor. The Election provided the opportunity for many people to take the time to visit East Timor to meet the local people, see the amazing country side and witness first hand how the country is developing since the vote for Independence in 1999.
If you are interested in attending but would prefer not to go on your own, contact me via phone or email to arrange a lift.

En route to Suai we stopped at Balibo.
This massive tree seemed to me  a symbol of the life
that had endured through all the trials experienced by East Timor

Bay Street - the elephant in Port?

I think I've been putting this post off.  I'm worried about Bay Street.  In various consultations people have said how much Bay Street means to them - not just as a place to shop - but as their community meeting place. 

But what is to become of Bay Street with so many shops vacant? How might this strip work in the future as more and more people shop online? 

While there is some criticism of the proliferation of hair and beauty places, they do seem to be the shops that survive. 

I'd be interested in your thoughts about Bay Street - now and into the future.
former Post Office, former Readings bookstore
former Earls Hardware former Traffic footwear

Monday, September 3, 2012

Reporting season

Interesting statistics on a range of council services are to be found in the Draft 2011/12 Annual Report* presented to Council on 28 August. In the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012
  • 1,306 births were registered
  • 30,680 passengers travelled on the Community Bus
  • 115,108 meals were provided - both at home and in community centres
  • 673,088 visits were made to Port Phillip libraries - 113,569 of those to Port Melbourne Library
source: Draft 2011/12 Annual Report  
*these statistics relate to the whole of the City of Port Phillip unless otherewise indicated.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nail biting

I saw several people clutching their hearts as they made their way from the ground following Port's win over Geelong 20.12.132 to 16.14.110. It was all going Geelong's way in the final-quarter and then Toby Pinwill asserted his presence.  In Brent Diamond's words: "Port Melbourne's midfield warrior Toby Pinwill was the game-breaker with two goals in the dying stages as the Borough held off Geelong by 22 points in yesterday's pulsating qualifying final at North Port Oval. ... Port led by five goals at three-quarter-time before Geelong's remarkable final-quarter surge." The Age Sport p11 September 3rd