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Monday, 16 July 2018

BCNA Submission on Air Quality

In May, the Victorian Government released an Air Quality Statement and invited feedback. This is one step in the Victorian Government’s preparations for the release of an Air Quality Policy in 2019.

The BCNA prepared a response drawing on local concerns about air quality at Station Pier. The pollutants at Station Pier are sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM), especially small particles (PM2.5 and smaller) as they are associated with asthma incidence and severity and other health problems, including cancer and premature mortality.

Monitoring by the Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne (VPCM) in 2016/17 at Station Pier revealed elevated levels of sulphur dioxide and particulate matter than at nearby EPA monitoring stations at Brooklyn and Altona North. The readings for small particulate matter (PM2.5) exceeded the level specified in the State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) (Ambient Air Quality).

The BCNA submission explains that the VPCM monitoring results should have been the trigger for the EPA to introduce an air quality program. The submission also includes discussion about the need to continue to review and revise national standards for air pollutants and that the EPA should have the capacity to proactively monitor potential problem areas. That is, it needs to proactively identify areas that are likely to have air quality issues and to monitor these areas in a timely manner to identify whether they do breach air quality standards rather than exposing the community to unmonitored long term poor air quality.

The full BCNA submission can be downloaded here.

Port Planning - Domestic Ferry and Cruise Ship Operations

The Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne (VPCM) received $5.8 million in the recent State Budget. This is to undertake planning works to facilitate the growth of domestic ferry and cruise ship operations. As part of this process the VPCM will be convening a series of stakeholder engagement meetings over the next six months to hear from the community. The BCNA has been invited to participate.

The VPCM is taking a wide view of the problems in the area. They are committed to exploring solutions to improve traffic flow. Given this, the BCNA has developed an initial list of issues for discussion with the VPCM. The list includes:
  • Traffic issues (adequacy of the queuing lane and the Princes Street roundabout)
  • Station Pier (cruise ship visitors need easy movement from ship to shore)
  • The need for a taxi/bus area for cruise ship visitors
  • Public realm improvements (the whole area is very weather exposed)
  • Lack of shops and amenities
  • Parking
  • The need to work closely with Melbourne Water so that the storm water drain can be realigned as part of any capital works program.
Our complete list of issues can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Consultation Extended on Princes Street Roundabout Changes

The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) has agreed to extend the consultation period by one week for the proposed trial barring right and U turns from Beach Street (eastbound) or Princes Street which we highlighted yesterday. Residents will now have until Monday 2 July to provide feedback on the proposal.

An aerial view of the Beach Street, Waterfront Place and Princes Street roundabout in Port Melbourne showing a temporary extension of the Beach Street median (east approach) connecting with the roundabout.

Feedback can be made or further information can be obtained by emailing transport@portphillip.vic.gov.au or by ringing 9209 6777.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Proposed Trial: Beach & Princes Streets & Waterfront Place Roundabout

The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) is planning to introduce a left-turn only barrier at this roundabout for traffic entering the roundabout from Princes Street. This and other improvements is in response to residents’ concerns about the congestion that often occurs at this roundabout when large vehicles attempt to turn right from Princess Street or Beach Street into Waterfront Place. The improvements will be trialled over 12-months during the 2018-19 cruise ship season. The change will commence in September 2018.
An aerial view of the Beach Street, Waterfront Place and Princes Street roundabout in Port Melbourne showing a temporary extension of the Beach Street median (east approach) connecting with the roundabout.

The CoPP has notified some nearby residents but not all who will be affected. Residents have until Monday, 26 June 2018 to comment on the proposal.  Details of the proposal can be accessed here.  Further information can be obtained by emailing transport@portphillip.vic.gov.au or by ringing 9209 6777.

The BCNA has asked that the consultation period to be extended given that many nearby residents have not been notified.

Reinvestment in the Waterfront Place Area

For some time, it has been recognised that the area near Station Pier is not working well for residents and visitors. For example, the area often becomes ‘grid locked’ when cruise ships and the Spirit of Tasmania are at berth. This hinders visitors to and from ships as well as freight movement. Taxis often refuse to enter the area when it is grid locked and emergency services vehicles have great difficulty entering the area. The public realm looks ‘run down’ and is not an inviting place for visitors. There is a lack of shops, services and amenities and the area is very weather exposed. The Port Melbourne Business Association and the BCNA have discussed this situation with the City of Port Phillip (CoPP). The BCNA has also discussed the functioning of the area with the Victorian Ports Corporation (VPC). All agree that the area requires review and reinvestment.

The VPC received $5.8 million in the recent State Budget to undertake planning works to facilitate the growth of domestic ferry and cruise ship operations. This funding provides an opportunity to examine these issues and to develop plans to make the area work more efficiently. The CoPP plans to review a plan for the area (known as an Urban Design Framework) that was developed in 2013.

New High School Site Confirmed

The State Government seems to have recently finalised that the location of the first new high school in Fishermans Bend will be at 477 Graham Street (close to or on the corner of Plummer Street), which is immediately adjacent to Murphy’s Reserve on Williamstown Road.

The announcement seems to have been very low key with the only reports of it I can find being on Southbank Local News and the Herald Sun (paywall, requires a subscription to read). The Victorian Schools Building Authority site has limited information about the project too.

If we get more information about it I'll let you know.

Record Membership

Thank you to all who have renewed their memberships or who have joined the BCNA in 2017/18. Membership has reached 402, which is a new record for the BCNA.

The BCNA continues to be active on your behalf in protecting and enhancing the amenity of the area. Our last Newsletter and the various posts to this website explain the issues we pursue on your behalf.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Air Quality Monitoring at Station Pier

Over 2016/17, the Victorian Ports Corporation (VPC) sponsored an air quality monitoring program at the Pier but this has not been continued. Pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM), especially small particles (PM2.5 and smaller) are associated with asthma incidence and severity and other health problems, including cancer and premature mortality.

The VPC sponsored monitoring program revealed higher concentrations of sulphur dioxide and particulate matter than at nearby EPA air quality monitoring stations. Sulphur dioxide readings breached the World Health Organisation’s daily sulphur dioxide limits on many occasions and the annual average PM2.5 value of 8.4 µg/m3 exceeded the 8.0 µg/m3 level specified in the Australian National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM). BCNA has written to the Victorian Government Minister for the Environment requesting a monitoring program.

Request for Ultra-low Sulphur Fuel to be used in Ships using Station Pier

In 2015, the NSW Government introduced regulatory requirements for the use of ultra-low sulphur fuel (0.1% or less) for cruise ships in Sydney Harbour. Concerns by residents led the NSW Government to this change. Subsequently, the Commonwealth Government assisted in the introduction of this standard by gazetting the use of ultra-low sulphur fuel under the Navigation Act. This more stringent standard has applied in most of Europe, the North Sea, within 200 nautical miles of most of the North American and Canadian coasts, the United States Caribbean Sea since 1 January 2015, and for ports and inland waterways in Turkey from 2012.

Prior to the change in Sydney, monitoring near White Bay revealed no breaches of Australian air quality standards but there were 32 breaches of the World Health Organisation’s daily sulphur dioxide limit. The monitoring program introduced by Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) in 2016-17 revealed higher concentrations of sulphur dioxide and particulate matter than at nearby EPA air quality monitoring stations, 45 breaches of the World Health Organisation’s daily sulphur dioxide limit and exceeded the Australian National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) annual average PM2.5 limit.

Since the mandating of ultra-low sulphur fuel in Sydney Harbour in 2016 there has been a dramatic improvement in air quality. There have been no exceedances of the daily World Health Organisation’s sulphur dioxide limit at nearby monitoring stations.

BCNA has written to the Victorian Government Minister for the Environment and to the Commonwealth Minister for Infrastructure and Transport requesting the mandatory use of ultra-low sulphur fuel for ships using Station Pier.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Our Latest Newsletter is Out

Volunteers have recently been dropping copies of our newsletter in mailboxes throughout Beacon Cove. It covers a number of topics including:
  • Beacon Cove Foodstore Redevelopment
  • Update on 1-7 Waterfront Place
  • London Hotel Site
  • Princes Street Storm Water Drain
  • Air Quality Monitoring at Station Pier
  • Fishermans Bend Development
  • Piers Festival 2018
  • BCNA Meetings with Council
  • BCNA Residents' Dinners
For those who would like an electronic copy, it can be downloaded here.