Events for your Diary

January
Sat 11: 9-10am, 3207 Beach Patrol

February
Sat 1: 9-10am, 3207 Beach Patrol
Sat 15: 9:30-10:30am, 3207 LoveOurStreet

March
Sat 1: 9-10am, 3207 Beach Patrol
Sat 15: 9:30-10:30am, 3207 LoveOurStreet

Latest News

You can use the search options at lower right to find specific items.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Blessing of the Waters - Sunday 12 January

Happy New Year to everyone and sorry for the late notice on this event - I only saw the preparations starting this (Saturday) morning!

The annual Greek Orthodox Blessing of the Waters ceremony will be held on Princes Pier at 1pm on (this) Sunday 12 January.  The ceremony will be followed by music, dancing and activities for children until late afternoon.

Food and drink will be available at the Pier together with a variety of other stalls.

More details can be found here.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

BCNA Urges Government Purchase of 1-7 Waterfront Place

The BCNA is urging the Victorian Government to purchase the site at 1-7 Waterfront Place. It is currently “in limbo” following the owner’s decision to withdraw a planning application at a Planning Advisory Committee hearing in November.

The BCNA believes it should be purchased for use by the community, visitors and the Victorian Ports Corporation.

The site was designed as an integral part of the award-winning Mirvac planned community at Beacon Cove in the early 1990s. Development of this area was designed to be low density as a balance to the medium and high density of the remainder of Beacon Cove - a place for the community to meet and to participate in sports and recreation. Unfortunately, it was sold to private interests in the early 2000s.

The BCNA believes the site should be developed in ways that are complementary to the Beacon Cove vision for community facilities, while at the same time incorporating improvements to enhance port efficiency. This should be a co-operative effort involving State, Commonwealth and local governments which the BCNA has been advocating for some time.

Purchase of the site has the following advantages:
  • Strategic Planning for the entire Waterfront Place Precinct can consider all sites and can commence immediately.
  • A source of uncertainty (the threat of residential development) is removed, enabling the redevelopment of Station Pier to proceed.
  • Removes a source of uncertainty for the community as well as businesses dependant on the port.
The BCNA will be advocating for purchase of the site at meetings with VicPorts, The Hon. Martin Foley, MP, Ward Councillors and with Victorian Government representatives.

Waterfront Welcomers - Volunteers Needed

We've had a request to remind Beacon Cove residents about Waterfront Welcomers, the volunteer group who greet the cruise ship passengers at Station Pier.

We're now in the cruise season and they are urgently looking for volunteers to assist cruise ship passengers with their queries and tell them all about the sights/experiences of Port Melbourne and City of Port Phillip. No experience necessary - Waterfront Welcomers will do all the training.

If you are interested please call Brian on 03 9645 1476 or email waterfrontwelcomers@southportcc.org.au.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Measles Warning for People Who Used the 109 Tram between 3-5 December

In case you haven't seen this report elsewhere, The Age has reported about some recent cases of measles in Melbourne and that "Authorities also warned commuters who travelled on the 109 tram route from Port Melbourne to the CBD between December 3 and 5 to keep an eye out for symptoms".

One of Our Local Ward Councillors is Mayor

Congratulations to Bernadene Voss, one of the three Councillors for Gatway Ward (the ward that encompasses Beacon Cove), who was elected Mayor of the City of Port Phillip on 13 November.

Bernadene was also Mayor in 2015/16, 2016/17, and 2017/18.

Council News affecting Beacon Cove

The BCNA regularly meets Gateway Ward Councillors to discuss issues of mutual interest. At our recent meeting on 26 November, The Mayor, Bernadene Voss and Councillor Marcus Pearl spoke about the following issues:
  • $50,000 grant from the Victorian Planning Authority to help the city to develop a precinct plan - no action has been taken at this initial stage.
  • Floating fish/produce market on the water behind Waterfront Place restaurants – A trial will be conducted between next April and May.
  • Cruise crew hub at Mr Hobson – Council believes that this service is operating satisfactorily.
  • Pick up, drop off zones in Waterfront Place – As a test location, four parking bays outside the Generations restaurant will be used as a pick-up/drop off point for commercial vehicles when cruise ships are berthed.
  • Public toilet behind the old train platform – new directional signs will be fixed. The toilets, leased by the Council, are being cleaned six times a day.
The BCNA expects to meet Ward Councillors next February to discuss the details about some of these projects.

EPA to Commence Air Quality Monitoring in Beacon Cove

The BCNA has been continuing to advocate for a long-term, well-designed monitoring program at Station Pier. Since our earlier updates and newsletter, the BCNA has met EPA staff to discuss two proposed projects.

The first project is a citizen science project in the Beacon Cove area using air monitoring sensors to measure PM2.5. This would involve locating 6-7 air monitoring sensors in streets and areas around Station Pier with an aim to better understand the levels of PM2.5 from ship emissions in different Beacon Cove locations.

The second project is designed to identify the sources of PM2.5 in inner Melbourne suburban areas surrounding the ports and inner west. One of the locations could be Williamstown Road/Webb Dock. The BCNA will provide updates on these projects as details become available.

Other Air Quality News

We have two other items regarding air quality which may be of interest to residents.

During 2018/19, BCNA members have assisted Deakin University and the Queensland University of Technology to conduct short term air quality monitoring studies in Beacon Cove. The studies have been reviewed by BCNA members and the EPA but have not been finalised for release. Whilst the QUT study showed that some areas within Beacon Cove are more affected by PM2.5 from ship emissions than other areas, it was uninformative as to annual PM2.5 levels.

The Commonwealth Government has finalised arrangements to give effect to the new Australia-wide standards for sulphur in marine fuel which commence on 1 January 2020. From this date, the allowable sulphur in marine fuel will fall from 3.5% to 0.5% by volume. Josh Burns, MP, the Member for Macnamara, participated in the debate. He referred to Sydney Harbour having a 0.1% sulphur limit in marine fuel whereas Melbourne will have a 0.5% sulphur limit after 1 January 2020. Details are shown here. The BCNA has advocated for the same lower standard as now applies in Sydney Harbour.

Friday, 29 November 2019

1-7 Waterfront Place Owner Withdraws from Public Hearing

This item has been prepared from notes taken by Jill Maddox, BCNA member, who was at the Hearing.  Many thanks to Jill for making them available to us.

The owner of 1-7 Waterfront Place has withdrawn from the Planning Minister’s Panel Hearing. The surprising action occurred on Tuesday 26 November after one day of legal debate. This means that the City of Port Phillip’s rejection of the permit planning application stands.

What the next step for the owner will be is not known at this stage.

On 26 November, Mr Adrian Finanzio SC, the barrister for the owner, spent a couple of hours trying to get the Victorian Ports Corporation to provide more documents than they had done, and tried to get an adjournment until the middle of next year.

Barrister Mr Christopher Townshend QC, representing the Victorian Ports Corporation, said that the most fundamental issue was whether the permit could be granted under ESO4 (Environmental Significance Overlay). ESO 4 is designed to ensure that any use and intensity of development in the overlay area does not constrain the ongoing operation and development of the commercial port.  The overlay switches on a requirement if seeking accommodation on the site - 24 hours, seven days a week operation of the port. " He said that his client is required to grow the port which is vital infrastructure.  Mr Townshend's description regarding the permit application was "you want to build a block of flats in an ESO4 overlay … without an appropriate design for the location". He continued: "I've counted 150 habitable rooms exposed to the port", adding that it was "a really dumb design".

The panel felt that they could proceed to assess the planning application on its merits anyway.

When it became clear there was to be no adjournment, Mr Finanzio said he needed to seek instructions from his overseas client overnight.

When the proceedings resumed the next day, Mr Finanzio surprised everyone by announcing that his client was withdrawing from the hearing.

BCNA and other community representatives attended the hearing.

Planning Permit Granted for 103 Beach Street

The City of Port Phillip’s (CoPP) Planning Committee has granted a planning permit for the redevelopment of the Foodstore at 103 Beach Street (plans provided to CoPP available here).



During the 27 November hearing, BCNA President Mr Eddie Micallef sought an assurance that if the property were sold-on to another developer, the four-storey 15.1 metre height contained in this application would remain.

Cr David Brand picked up on this. The CoPP City Development Manager George Borg said that if this happened, the planning process would start again with any new application being subject to public scrutiny.

Before the vote, Cr Brand – an architect – said it was “a significant proposal” and “a pretty special building”. Cr Bernadene Voss said it would set a benchmark in quality and would benefit Waterfront Place. She praised the way the developer, residents and the Council had worked together on the proposal.

But Cr Marcus Pearl said he would vote against the proposal, as it was an “inappropriate use of this important site”.

Earlier in the meeting there had been discussion about the southern and northern aspects of the design, the two entrances to the supermarket, the number of public car spaces, safety for pedestrians and cyclists on the shared footpath, and the duplication of the tramline.

With the Committee voting overwhelmingly for the proposal, a planning permit was granted.