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Monday, 24 September 2012

The Beacon September 2012 Newsletter

The Beacon
September 2012

Click here for the pdf version.
 
Newsletter of Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Association Inc (BCNA)

BCNA aims and aspirations include providing a forum for all residents of Beacon Cove and abutting neighbourhoods to discuss key local issues with a view to preserving and enhancing the quality of life within the area. The Beacon will be the basis for the President’s Report to the 2012 AGM.
 
City of Port Phillip (CoPP) Works
There have been a number of resolutions of issues previously raised with CoPP. These are noted below, along with the status of ongoing issues.
ü     Bins are now placed on Princes Pier
ü     The shower and drinking fountain are now in place at Port Melbourne beach
ü     UDF expenses for this year have been allocated at $200,000
ü     Money has been allowed for further replacement of Fig trees in Beacon Cove
ü    The new toilet at Sandridge beach is now open.
ü    The project to improve pedestrian safety on the promenade paths awaits the handover of the land from MPV to Council.
 
Planning Scheme Changes
During the year Planning Scheme Amendments, C73 and C105, have been enacted that pass responsibility for planning controls on residential and commercial properties in the estate away from Mirvac and the State Government to the City of Port Phillip.
 
CoPP is working with Mirvac to arrange changes to the property titles of the residents that indicated they would take up this no cost offer on simple titles. This has been delayed.
As an outcome of the Ports and Environs hearings in 2010, the Minister for Planning authorised PSA C 125 in May this year. This established an Environmental Sustainability Overlay on the area from Beach Street to the shoreline between the Princes Street and Swallow Street roundabouts. In effect this means that the Port of Melbourne Corporation now has the ability to be heard on any planning applications that might interfere with the smooth operation of the port. A similar ESO has been applied to the western most residential properties in Sandridge back from Todd Road.
 
PM Waterfront Urban Design Framework
After the surprise inclusion of two towers, up to 14 storeys high, in the draft UDF released by CoPP in December 2011, the community voiced extremely strong objections to the ignoring of their input to the Vision developed in the consulting process.
Residents attended and spoke at most Council meetings, lobbied Councillors and politicians, interviews were given to the press, letters were written to editors and a petition to CoPP and State Government obtained 1300 signatories in a very short time. In March the Councillors revised their position and have now entered into a review of the December 2011 draft in keeping with the community feedback. It is expected that this will be concluded in the first half of Calendar 2013.

Covenants at 1-7 Waterfront Place
Around June/July 2012, the owners of the site at 1-7 Waterfront Place commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria to seek the removal of the restrictive covenants on this site. Mirvac had burdened these properties with a do not demolish, change or rebuild covenant unless approved by Mirvac and its architects. It was advised that the purpose of these covenants was to protect the retention of community services at this low density site.
Fifty two residential properties centred around Australis Circuit and Orion Mews were made ‘benefited’ properties and the owners have now been invited to become defendants in the legal action. The majority of these owners do not want to see the covenants removed and they are objecting to the proposal from the owner of 1-7 Waterfront Place.
 
Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC)
It has been another big year for the BCNA interface with the PoMC.
Ø         There are now high level quarterly meetings with PoMC to bring community agenda items into the early stage of planning of port activities around Station Pier and Webb Dock.
Ø          Station Pier - last year saw a record number of cruise ship journeys - but still intermittent traffic jams on the feeder roads. This was the topic of BCNA conversations with PoMC at the same time as both parties made submissions to CoPP on the draft UDF regarding Waterfront Place.
Ø          As a consequence of the passing of Planning Scheme Amendment C125, PoMC will gain protection from the gazetting of Environmental Sustainability Overlays for its operations around Waterfront Place and Sandridge
Ø          The State Government announced the long expected start of growth of Webb Dock as a new international container terminal and comprehensive car trading facility. BCNA will not oppose the growth but aims to ensure that the best environmental standards are included and the amenity of residents is protected.
Ø          BCNA has been invited and has accepted to join the Port Liaison Group for Webb Dock to provide and receive input on the nature of the development. Two meetings have been held.
Ø           BCNA asked unsuccessfully to PoMC, and to the Ports Minister, to object to the action to remove covenants at 1-7 Waterfront Place. BCNA was advised that PoMC was not legally entitled.
 
Beacon Cove Asset Handover to CoPP
On 23 May CoPP accepted in principle the report recommending the handing over of the commercial (restaurant) premises in Waterfront Place, some road assets and the boardwalk infrastructure from Major Projects Victoria (MPV) to CoPP. However the Councillors voted to delay this until certain protections and commitments were gained for CoPP on costs associated with maintenance and repair to waterfront infrastructure. BCNA is aware of the potential ratepayer liability and understands the CoPP councillor request for proper due diligence and State Government commitment to underwrite any future major cost blowout on maintaining the asset.
 
CoPP has been receiving the income from parking revenue for some time even though the parking meters are on MPV land.
 
The three Restaurants are on long term leases. BCNA has also supported the Restaurants owners to successfully have parking meter fees reduced as they had a disadvantage compared to other entertainment precincts in the municipality. This will apply up till the summer months.
 
The asset handover, when finalized, will allow the waterfront precinct to become an integrated part of the CoPP infrastructure and rationalise the dual control of assets that currently exist and often creates confusion.
The café/nightclub, previously called Ocean Blue but now called Spirit, is not part of the handover - it is on PoMC property.
 
BCNA Website
BCNA continued with our internet presence at www.beaconcovena.blogspot.com . To help keep members informed, BCNA pushed the Subscribe mechanism to automatically provide new posts.  There are currently 130 subscribers to our site.
 
The Future of Princes Pier 
The refurbished Princess Pier has become an important addition to the recreation and interest on the waterfront. Considerable government resources have been invested.
The Pier attracts many visitors taking in the historical information, sightseeing over the bay, fishing or light recreation. The visitor numbers will increase as it becomes an integral part of the CoPP UDF vision which will develop further opportunities.
 
The question is asked what the long term use of the Pier will be after the considerable budget allocations given to the refurbishment.  BCNA was an active lobbyist to the Government to achieve the current result. Discussions have been held over the last year between MPV, CoPP and Parks Victoria to determine the long term manager of the Pier.
 
Visitors to the Pier are vulnerable to the prevailing weather conditions. Lack of adequate sun and wind shelter restricts opportunities for year round activities. The Gatehouse has been restored magnificently and must become an accessible asset for community meeting facilities, use for arts events, cultural activities, exhibitions, and some entertainment as listed in the CoPP UDF objectives.
The wonderful Maritime History of the Pier has a great story to tell.
 
Piers Festival
The first Piers Festival held over the Australia Day weekend 2012 attracted locals and a large number of visitors to celebrate the wonderful historical and cultural significance of Station Pier and Princes Pier. Another Piers Festival is to be held in 2013 again showcasing the potential of the Pier.
 
Montague - a new suburb in the making
CoPP released a very detailed Montague Precinct Structure Plan for public consultation in June this year.  The comprehensive plan took the Port Melbourne community by surprise as the report was the result of several years’ detailed preparation and planning.
Montague, situated in the old Port Melbourne commercial/industrial area, is a 240 hectare site designed to be the home of 25,000 new residents
and 14,000 workers according to the CoPP plan. It is to be the first stage of the ambitious Fisherman’s Bend development.
 
Both State and Local Governments have the opportunity to redress the perceived mistakes made in the Docklands development, with claims of it being soulless. Instead they can create a plan with integration to the surrounding Port Melbourne and Docklands areas. Montague was originally occupied with workers living in cottages that were demolished to develop a semi industrial, commercial hub for the expanding needs of growing Melbourne.
 
The Minister for Planning has rezoned the Fisherman’s Bend precinct from Business and Industrial use to Capital City use which makes the Planning Minister responsible for determining applications for buildings higher than four stories and more than 10,000 square metres in floor space. This will deny residents and businesses their right to object and appeal proposed larger developments.
 
The question needs to be asked will the potential of a well planned precinct be squandered allowing overdevelopment that could substantially increase the resident and worker population without the appropriate infrastructure.
 
The end result could enable the mistakes of the Dockland development to be repeated with the high density residential and commercial development giving traffic congestion with lack of community facilities, schools, public transport and open space.
 
Port Melbourne residents would welcome Montague to be a properly planned precinct that will be integrated to the surrounding residential and commercial facilities and not allow it to slip into a potential slum of the future.
 
Social Events Past and Future
BCNA held two social events over the past few months around Station Pier.  The first was at Nautical where over 50 members and friends enjoyed a warm evening in late march after a busy February on the PM Waterfront UDF.  In July members braved the cold winter weather to enjoy the warmth and imagine a more northerly climate at Hollyhock.
The next function will be at our 2012 AGM on Thursday 11 October   at the Sandridge Trugo Club with pre meeting drinks and nibbles.
We have pencilled in Wednesday 21 November for the next restaurant evening – details later.

Fencing on Port Melbourne Beach Dunes
BCNA has been advised by the CoPP that there is a need to remove a relatively small area of dunes at the Port Melbourne Life Saving Club (PMLSC) to reinstate the necessary beach area for the Club’s key beach activities.
 
BCNA and PMLSC have been advised that due to this requirement to remove some grasses the Department of Sustainability and Environment has advised Council that all the dune areas of the Port Melbourne beaches have to be fenced and the areas managed strictly in accordance with their statuary requirements for coastal areas to put back more grass area than what is planned to be removed.
 
CoPP has submitted to the community plans for fencing the dunes into many small areas with tight direct walkways from esplanade to the shore and has requested comment.
BCNA understands the fencing will encourage the growth of wild protected bush areas similar to that which has been achieved at the Perce White Reserve in recent years. This is seen as the prime reason for the fencing.
 
BCNA has taken a position that is opposed to the fencing of these dunes. They have been in existence in their present form for more than a century they are the character and heritage of the Port Melbourne beaches. They have never been fenced; they are a beach park offering freedom of access and pleasure to young and old. They complement the beach, the sea and the esplanade maintaining clear and attractive views across the bay of ships, yachts and all manner of activities. The dune areas are growing and are all in a very healthy state. No sound reason for fencing is obvious.
 
 BCNA 2012 Annual General Meeting
The 2012 Annual General Meeting will be held as follows:
Date and time: Thursday 11 October 2012 at 6:30 pm for 7:00 pm
Location:  Sandridge Senior Citizens Club (Trugo Club) in Garden City Reserve, off Tucker Avenue, Port Melbourne.
The AGM will be preceded by refreshments, cheese and biscuits. Guest speakers to be advised soon.
 
Join/Renew Membership of Your Association
The Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Association is your local community association working for you and the Beacon Cove and abutting neighbourhoods. It is pleasing to note that the membership continues to grow (last year BCNA finished with approximately 170 members) and the more members in BCNA the greater will be the strength in any lobbying activities.
The annual dues for July 2012 to June 2013 are $10 per household (or $45 for five years).
 

 
President:
 
Eddie Micallef   
 
9645 1185    
 
Vice President:
 
Greg Mate            
 
9681 7441
Secretary:
Trevor Nink       
9681 8283    
Treasurer:         
Dana Hlavacek   
9646 8850
Member:
Ro Holmes
9649 1961     
Member:
Bob Harrison      
9645 2115
Member:
Glenda Beale
9676 2151     
Member:
Robyn McKenna
9646 5259

 

If you are not currently financial please complete and detach the form below and return with cheque (payable to BCNA) to The Treasurer BCNA, 61/103 Beach Street Port Melbourne 3207 by post or deliver to 103 Beach Street postal box (behind IGA store, near notice board)

 
Name         .............................................             Signature     ...........................................

Address     .....................................................................................................................

Email address  ......................................................  Phone  ...............................................

Cheque enclosed:     $10 (one year)                     or    $45 (five years)            
 
 
 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Next Beach Clean Saturday 22 September 9 am


BeachPatrol 3207
Next Beach Clean
Saturday 22 September
At 9 am
Meet on Port Melbourne Beach - opposite London Hotel
 
 
Spring has Sprung - and with it some warmer weather and a chance to further ensparkle our lovely Port beaches!

A Group Clean has been scheduled for Saturday 22 at 9am on Port Melbourne beach (opposite London Hotel).

Good chance to patrol the beach as a team - and to welcome new members.

Hope to see you there.

A great thank you too to members who are "out there" collecting litter over winter - our collective effort is making quite an improvement!

Ross and Ramona will bring along the reusable bags for us all to use thereby not creating further bag waste.  Just return them to Ross or Ramona when done for the event.  At the coffee shop 10 am afterwards by the Tram Terminus.

 
cheers

the Beach Patrol Team

Monday, 10 September 2012

Closure Station Pier 12 Sept to 6 November

Temporary Closure of Station Pier
12th September until 6th November 2012

Port of Melbourne Corporation has advised that Station Pier will be closed to public access from Wednesday 12th September until Tuesday 6th November, Melbourne Cup Day for scheduled improvement works.  Spirit of Tasmania will continue to operate as usual.

Click here for the PoMC flyer for more details.