Latest News

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

Sunday, 18 October 2020

BCNA Annual General Meeting

The BCNA’s Annual General meeting (AGM) this year will be a Zoom Meeting. It will be held on Thursday 5th November 2020 at 6.30pm.

Reports plus a link for the Zoom meeting have been sent to financial members. If you have not received the reports yet, it may be because you are unfinancial or that you have changed your contact details. Please contact the Treasurer (treasurer@beaconcove.org.au) to check.

The Guest Speaker will be The Mayor, Bernadene Voss. Bernadene is not contesting the forthcoming Council election. The Hon. Martin Foley, MP has been invited to provide a brief report on local issues.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Council Election Pledges – Late Submission

The responses to our candidate questions closed on Tuesday 6 October, however we received a late submission from the following candidate:

Friday, 9 October 2020

Council Election Pledges – Late Submission

The responses to our candidate questions closed on Tuesday 6 October, however we received a late submission from the following candidate:

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Council Election Pledges

The BCNA contacted the eight candidates for Gateway Ward on Saturday 26 September and invited them to respond to two questions by Tuesday 6 October. The first concerns the Waterfront Place precinct and the second on Fishermans Bend.

Responses regarding Waterfront Place precinct are as follows:

  • Heather Cunsolo and Earl James emphasised the importance of the area as a gateway to our city for cruise ship visitors. It also has a valuable leisure focus for the local community.
  • Heather Cunsolo supports the development of a precinct plan and the work by the Victorian Planning Authority so long as it is resourced appropriately by the State Government and has buy in with local stakeholders.
  • Earl James, Peter Martin, and Sami Maher believe the City of Port Phillip should ensure the community’s voice is heard in any redevelopment.
  • Sami Maher believes that the State and Federal Governments should be involved given the that it is an international terminal.
  • Peter Martin believes the redevelopment should attract both local and other visitors and encourage visits to Bay Street. The plan should be done in conjunction with a similar plan for the revitalisation of Bay Street.

Responses to the question on Fishermans Bend are as follows:

  • Peter Martin believes the City of Port Phillip has “dropped the ball” on planning for Fishermans Bend and that the current governance model has been ineffective. Sami Maher believes the project needs to be managed by the Victorian Government through the establishment of an authority.
  • Earl James believes there should be an early commitment to funding and building a tram line. Heather Cunsolo believes public transport is the key but needs funding.  
  • Heather Cunsolo and Sami Maher believes there is a financial risk to ratepayers.
  • Earl James believes the Victorian Government has the financial capacity to determine the direction of the project.

To see the detailed responses from each candidate, click on the following names (listed in order of receipt):

Marcus Pearl, Trina Lewis, Stan Gyles and Cleo Papageorgiou had not responded by the deadline for this post. We will post their responses when they are received.

Candidate statements and responses to a standard Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) questionnaire are now available on the Nominations page of the VEC website.

Finally, the Southbank News has an article on five of the Gateway Ward candidates which you may find of interest.  It is on page 22 of the October edition (click here to download the PDF).

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Council Elections

This year there are eight candidates for the three vacancies in the City of Port Phillip Gateway Ward that includes Beacon Cove.

Details of the candidates are available on the VEC website

The BCNA will follow the same approach as we have done for recent State and Federal elections. That is, the President and Secretary will attempt to meet each candidate (teleconference or Zoom) so that they can understand our interests. Simultaneously, we will send them two questions. One is on the Waterfront Place precinct, the other on Fishermans Bend. We will publish their responses on our web site and those subscribed to email updates will receive these responses by email.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Fishermans Bend Webinar –Question & Answer Event

The University of the Third Age, Port Phillip, is planning a follow up event to the one in August. This time, a question and answer event will be held on Wednesday 30th September from 2.30 to 3.30 pm. The Webinar will focus on:

  • Transport
  • Community amenities and facilities
  • Investment 
  • Planning and Governance
  • Changing nature of work 
  • Workplaces, and work patterns

There will be an opportunity to hear about new developments and to get more answers from the expert panel: 

  • Janet Bolitho, Member of the Fishermans Bend Development Board
  • Bernadene Voss, Mayor, City of Port Phillip 
  • David Weston AM, Fishermans Bend Development Forum

This Webinar is open to the public. If you are interested, book here.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Council News Affecting Beacon Cove

The BCNA regularly meets City of Port Phillip Gateway Ward Councillors to discuss issues of mutual interest. At our recent meeting on 8 September with the Mayor, Bernadene Voss, and Councillor Marcus Pearl we discussed:

  • 1-7 Waterfront Place: The council’s planning officers are checking details of the developer’s planning application before the plans are formally advertised. This is expected to be completed by late September/early October. The developer has agreed for builders on the London Hotel site to erect temporary huts on the site.
  • VPA work with Council on precinct planning: The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has suspended work with the council on Waterfront Place precinct planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.    
  • Fishermans Bend:  Since our last post the Mayor has been in the news advocating for early provision of public transport. Funding and finance models are not settled.  The council has limited its capital contribution to projects to 5% of rates collected in Fishermans Bend.
  • Impact of Council’s 2020/21 budget in Gateway Ward: Rate rise of 2%. Most capital works have been delayed. The council has committed $5.6 million for an Economic & Social Recovery Program for post COVID-19 pandemic initiatives to support business and the community. This will include relief from rates, rents and council fees and charges and scope to respond to affordable housing and homelessness needs. Reduction in ASSIST counter services at the Port Melbourne Town Hall to three days per week - this decision will be reviewed before 1 July 2021 to assess impact on the community.

City of Port Phillip Elections

This year’s council election will be by postal vote. The key dates are:

  • Nominations open on 17 September
  • Nominations close at noon on 22 September
  • Candidate statements, photo and questionnaire are due 23 September 
  • Ballot papers mailed out with candidate statements 6-8 October
  • Voting closes 23 October
  • Final day for postal votes to be received is 30 October.
  • Results to be declared by 13 November.  

The BCNA plans to contact the candidates and seek their views on local issues. We will publicise their responses.

Full details about the election and timetable are shown on the Victorian Electoral Commission website.

BCNA Annual General Meeting

This year’s Annual General Meeting for the BCNA will be held on Thursday 5th November 2020 at 7pm by videoconference.

The formal part of the meeting will involve the presentation of reports and the annual financial statement, and the election of office bearers. The Guest Speaker will be Bernadene Voss, current Mayor, who is not contesting the election in October.

Financial members of the BCNA will be sent the Agenda and papers in early October along with details about how to participate in the meeting.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Update on 1-7 Waterfront Place

Since our update on 12 March, the BCNA has been encouraging all parties to meet and find a resolution to the use of the 1-7 Waterfront Place site.

Since December 2019, the BCNA has advocated for Victorian Government purchase of the site as explained here. However, there appears to be no interest by the Victorian Government in doing this. Given this, the BCNA recently decided to change its position to: The BCNA will continue to engage with the developer of 1-7 Waterfront Place, and with relevant stakeholders, with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for the local community.

In early August, the developer submitted plans to the City of Port Phillip. These are expected to be formally advertised soon. We will alert members when this occurs.

The developer plans to hold a webinar for the community. This will be an opportunity to hear about the proposal and to ask questions. The BCNA will publicise contact details when these are available.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Fishermans Bend Webinar

The University of the Third Age, Port Phillip, hosted a Webinar on the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area (FBURA) on Saturday 15th August 2020. The speakers were Janet Bolitho (Fishermans Bend Development Board member and former Mayor of the City of Port Phillip), Bernadene Voss (Mayor, City of Port Phillip) and David Weston (Fishermans Bend Business Forum). The forum was ably chaired by Max Nankervis, a town planner and academic. The forum provided an excellent overview of the project and discussed some of the key issues. A video and recording of the forum can be accessed here.

The 30-year project has been described as the largest urban renewal project in Australia. It is expected to be home to 80,000 people and provide 80,000 jobs. The BCNA has been active in trying to shape the project.

One of the issues discussed at the forum was the provision of public transport into the area. Our earlier post in February showed the planned routes for tram and rail services. The BCNA has advocated for the early provision of public transport. This is necessary to encourage investment and new residents. It will also ease congestion on Williamstown Road and nearby roads.

Restoration of the Kiosk on Station Pier

VicPorts commenced works to restore the heritage-listed East Finger Pier Kiosk in June 2019. The first task was the removal of non-heritage extensions to leave just the original structure. The plan is to restore the kiosk to its original configuration. Some limited works are planned in 2020-21.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

The Age Looks at Station Pier

An article in The Age’s Spectrum section on 11 July highlighted the poor state of the Waterfront Place and Station Pier environs. Headlined "Welcome to Waste", the column drew a forlorn picture of the area. It prompted two Letters to the Editor from local residents (under "The sorry state...") on July 12 and a further letter (under "A sad, but true, image") from BCNA President Eddie Micallef on July 13.

Members are encouraged to consider writing a letter to the Age. A letter should be in your own words. It could include mention of a planned, strategic redevelopment of the Waterfront Place precinct. Letters should be sent to the Letters Editor at The Age at letters@theage.com.au.

Support for Local Food Businesses

With the introduction of the new lockdown, the BCNA is again encouraging members to support local food businesses by getting meals delivered or picking them up (ie take away). Clicking on the links in our earlier news item will take you to the websites of local businesses.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Update on 103 Beach Street (the old Foodstore)

Since our last updates (here and here) the developer has been completing details to gain Council’s approval. A major task is the relocation of the sewerage system. This involves work with South East Water, Council and the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning.

Once Council endorses the plans the developer must obtain the consent of Mirvac under the covenants for the site. Pre-selling of apartments will then occur. The building phase is expected to take about 18 months.

109 Tram Track Duplication

The Victorian Government plans to duplicate the track at the final stop on the 109 service in Beacon Cove.

The draft design for the terminus is a central island stop, which has a platform in the middle and the tracks on either side. The intension is to move the terminus slightly north so that the end of the stop is approximately in line with the railway station.

Funding is not yet approved. The BCNA has been advocating for this work to be completed at the same time as the redevelopment of the Foodstore at 103 Beach Street.

Record Membership

Thank you to all who have renewed their memberships, or who have joined the BCNA in 2019/20. Membership continues to grow and is now 458, 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 as well as posts to this website explain the issues we are involved with on your behalf.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Ferries’ Departure Opens up Opportunities to Revamp Waterfront Place

The Tasmanian Government’s decision to relocate the Spirit of Tasmania ferries to Geelong (see earlier post) provides an outstanding opportunity for the Victorian Government to redevelop the Waterfront Place precinct.

For some time the BCNA has advocated for a planned strategic development of the precinct.

With the two Sprit of Tasmania vessels ceasing to use Station Pier in 2022, the BCNA continues to urge the Victorian Government to recognise the opportunity to make the area a truly liveable gateway to Melbourne and a landmark for all.

The BCNA continues to meet our local MP, the Hon. Martin Foley MP to discuss precinct redevelopment. Mr. Foley has complemented the BCNA on its advocacy. The BCNA believes early action by the Government would also help the recovery of the State’s tourism sector from the crippling impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety at the Beacon Cove Tram Stop

The BCNA has been considering safety in the light of the redevelopment of the Foodstore at 103 Beach Street. Representatives from the BCNA have met Council staff who have been considering ways to do this. Details will be provided once they have been finalised.

Noisy Neighbours

From time to time noisy neighbours can be problem. The Environment Protection Act 1970 states that it is an offence to make ‘unreasonable noise’ from a residence. Noise can be unreasonable if a neighbour can hear it in a habitable room, such as a bedroom.

The EPA has a helpful guide which can be found here.  This guide includes a table which summarises when certain types of noise can be unreasonable.

If you are annoyed by a noisy neighbour, try to talk to them first. They may not be aware that there is a problem.

You can report residential noise to the City of Port Phillip (CoPP). Investigating officers decide if noise is unreasonable. They consider volume, source and intensity, time and place, circumstances, and how long the noise continues. You can also report residential noise, like late night parties, to police.  How to do this is explained here.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Spirit of Tasmania Ferries Moving to Geelong

The owner of the Spirit of Tasmania ferries, the TT-Line Company Pty Ltd, has announced that they will be moving their Victorian port operations from Station Pier to Corio Quay, north of Geelong. The new location is expected to improve efficiencies and allow for expansion in passenger and freight movement over time.

The company cites “significant congestion in the greater port Melbourne area, particularly when cruise ships are in port, that causes delays in loading and discharge of passengers” as a reason for the move and that “these issues will only worsen in the future”.

Further details are shown in the TT-Line press release here.

Our Latest Newsletter is Out

The latest BCNA Newsletter (The Beacon) has not been printed as we are not currently able to do the physical delivery.  So it will be electronic only.

To get it (in PDF form), click on this link.  And please send it onto others in Beacon Cove who may not see our webpage or get the email notification.

It covers:
  • BCNA's role during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • New home for the Tasmanian ferries
  • Reinvestment in the Waterfront Place precinct
  • Update on 1-7 Waterfront Place
  • Air quality monitoring near Station Pier
  • Foodstrore Redevelopment
  • New City of Port Phillip parking management policy
  • BCNA residents' dinners

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Support for Local Food Businesses

The BCNA is encouraging members to support local food businesses by gettings meals delivered or picking them up (ie take away).

The Port Melbourne Business Association (PMBA) has provided a listing of businesses open for pickup or delivery. Here's the list for dinners and here's the list for breakfasts in the area.

Newer businesses may not be shown on the PMBA list.

Foodstore Closed

The Foodstore at 103 Beach Street closed last Friday. This is a blow for the Beacon Cove community. The BCNA tried to get the closure deferred, but this was not possible.

The availability of a local store has become more important now that travel is more restricted. The owners are open to the idea of a short-term tenancy.

The BCNA has approached the Port Melbourne Business Association, the IGA group and the City of Port Phillip about the situation and the availability of the site.

The closing of the Foodstore has another implication - our post box there is no longer accessible. As a result
The BCNA has changed its postal address to:
Private Box 5042, Garden City  Vic  3207

Please ensure any correspondence to the BCNA (eg membership renewals) is sent to the new address.

Cruise Ships Update

VicPorts has continued to provide information about ships at Station Pier so it's worth checking their website on a regular basis if you are interested.

This week's update can be found here.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Beaches Closed

Late on Friday the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) announced that it was closing all beaches from 6pm Friday. Some key points from the announcement were:

"Mayor Bernadene Voss said this difficult decision was taken following large numbers of people gathering at both locations today, with many flouting social distancing rules."

"While people will still be able to access the beaches as a thoroughfare, such as for a run or walking a dog, the closure is aimed at beaches not being used as a gathering place during the COVID-19 crisis. Swimming is allowed at this stage, as long as social distancing and mass gathering rules are obeyed."

Further details can be found on the CoPP website.

Cruise Ships at Station Pier This Weekend

VicPorts has provided information about two new ships arriving at Station Pier this weekend. They are the Pacific Princess and Seabourne Sojourn. Both are enroute to North America. Their last port of call was Fremantle. Both vessels will load provisions, ship stores and take on fuel (bunkering). No passengers or crew will be disembarking.  No crew will be joining the vessels.

More information about the ships and their compliance with biosecurity provisions can be found here.

3207 BeachPatrol Group Cleans on Hold

We have been informed that all 3207 BeachPatrol and 3207 Love Our Street group cleans are on hold during this time. They are encouraging their volunteers to do individual cleans if they can and also record this on the LitterStopper app if they would like.

If you need more information regarding use of the app, please email them on admin@beachpatrol.com.au.

Friday, 27 March 2020

$2.5m Council Emergency Relief Package

The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) has announced a $2.5m emergency relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers areas such as parking, rates, rent relief, homelessness, council fees, libraries, trader rebates, the South Melbourne Market, and community groups.

More information is in this press release or this video by the Mayor.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Cruise Ships at Station Pier

In response to questions from members we have asked VicPorts about the current cruise ships at Station Pier.

VicPorts have a full run down on their website, but the key points are:
  • There are currently two cruise vessels in the Port of Melbourne - Golden Princess and Viking Orion. Both have disembarked their passengers and are in lay-up awaiting orders from their Owners.
  • Viking Orion will proceed to anchor at 6pm today (Thursday 25 March).
  • Whilst the vessels are alongside Station Pier a Landside Restricted Zone (LRZ) is in place and Station Pier is closed to public access.
  • VicPorts does not have any indication from the Owners or their Agents when the vessels will depart the Port of Melbourne.

City of Port Phillip Update on COVID-19

We have been contacted by the Mayor, Councellor Bernadene Voss, asking us to highlight that the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) has published a number of messages about COVID-19 and its impact on council services and the community in general.

The latest is a statement for the Mayor published on Monday.

Ongoing updates on Council Events, Services & Facilities are available on this page.

Stay safe everyone!

Thursday, 12 March 2020

BCNA Initiates Discussions on Future use of 1-7 Waterfront Place

Since our last update the BCNA initiated a meeting with the developer’s representative. This proved constructive. We understand the developer has also met the Victorian Ports Corporation (VPC) and the City of Port Phillip.

The BCNA believes the best way to ensure the interests of the community and the VPC are met is through a Victorian Government purchase. However, the developer is keen to develop the site. To progress the issue, the BCNA has suggested that the City of Port Phillip convenes a meeting of all the parties to explore options for future use.

New Tasmanian Ferries Delayed

The Victorian Ports Corporation (VPC) has confirmed that the owner of the Spirit of Tasmania ferries, TT-Line, has cancelled a contract with a German shipyard to build two replacement ferries. The shipyard has had funding difficulties as explained earlier.

TT-Line now has a Memorandum of Understanding with a Finnish company to build the ferries. The first ferry is due in 2022.

The BCNA and other local organisations continue to meet VPC representatives to discuss plans for the redevelopment of Station Pier.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Progress on 103 Beach Street (Foodstore Site)

Since the issuing of a planning permit last November the developer has been preparing plans for endorsement by the City of Port Phillip (CoPP). Plans are expected to be submitted to the CoPP in 3-4 weeks.

The development is for a four-level building comprising a café and supermarket on the ground floor, underground car park and 12 apartments.

Once the CoPP endorses the plans the developer must obtain the consent of Mirvac under the covenants for the site. Pre-selling of apartments will then occur. The building phase is expected to take about 18 months.

The BCNA recently met CoPP staff to discuss improved safety for cyclists, pedestrians and tram users at the eastern edge of the site.

Fishermans Bend Forum

The University of the Third Age Port Phillip is hosting a forum on Fishermans Bend on Saturday 21 March from 2.30 to 4pm. The speakers are Janet Bolitho (Fishermans Bend Development Board member and former Mayor of the City of Port Phillip), Bernadene Voss (Mayor, City of Port Phillip) and Rob McGauran (Director, MGS architects). Further details are shown here.

Mid-season Review of Crew Club

The Crew Club has been operating since 3 November 2019 from the rear of Mr Hobson restaurant. It has welcomed over 1400 crew from 61 Ships. At a mid-season review in January, the parties agreed to continue the trial for the remainder of the cruise season. However, it was decided to relocate the service to West Finger Kiosk.

The most popular services have been free WiFi, the exchange of currency, the purchase of phone cards and local information such as the nearest supermarket, shops and basketball courts. The Crew Club will be managed and manned by the Mission to Seafarers and Waterfront Welcomers for the remainder of the season.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Update on Fishermans Bend

The BCNA representatives recently met Tania Quick, General Manager of the Fishermans Bend Taskforce to hear about progress. We heard that the project has been delayed due to losses of staff, no quick replacement of staff, and changes in Ministerial responsibilities. This means that the draft Precinct plans have not been released (they were due first half 2019) and the Infrastructure Contributions Plan has been delayed (this was due in the First Quarter 2019). The Infrastructure Contributions Plan and a Funding and Finance Strategy are now expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

The Department of Transport is developing a Business Case for tram and rail provision which will be considered in the May 2021 Victorian Government Budget. Two tram spur lines are being considered once the line crosses from the CBD into the Lorimer Precinct:
  • One would be into the Employment Precinct to service businesses such as the proposed University of Melbourne School of Engineering and the former GMH site
  • the other would be along Plummer Street in the Wirraway Precinct where residential apartments are being constructed.
Indicative tram (dashed blue) and rail (red/orange/yellow) routes can be seen in the 2018 Fishermans Bend Framework:


The BCNA will be writing to the Hon. Gavin Jennings MP, Minister for Priority Precincts, and to the Treasurer urging early provision of tram and rail services. This is needed to encourage investment and new residents into Fishermans Bend. It will also ease congestion on Williamstown Road and other nearby roads.

Support for East Gippsland

The Port Melbourne Business Association (PMBA) has established a ‘sister’ relationship with Lakes Entrance through their Business Associations. This is designed to help them get back on their feet after the recent fires.

The Lakes Entrance community has been hit hard by the loss of tourism spending in the area. The PMBA is encouraging the Port Melbourne community to help by visits to the area, buying produce and encouraging sporting clubs to arrange fixtures. The BCNA encourages members to consider ways that they might support the Lakes Entrance community.

More details about the PMBA initiative can be found here. The initiative will be launched at a public event from 6 to 7 pm on Thursday, 27th February at the Port Melbourne Town Hall.

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.