Events for your Diary

March
  • Sat 2, 9-10am: Beach Patrol, meeting at Sandridge Beach Life Saving Club
  • Sat 16, 9:30-10:30am: Love our Streets, meeting at Edwards Park, corner of Dow & Liardet Streets
  • Thu 21, 6pm: BCNA Community Dinner

  • April
  • Sat 6, 9-10am: Beach Patrol, meeting at Princes Pier
  • Sat 20, 9:30-10:30am: Love our Streets, meeting at 109 tram terminus
  • Latest News

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

    Tuesday 12 December 2023

    Resilient Lady at Station Pier

    Community concern was received about the amount of noise emanating from the Virgin cruise ship at Station Pier on Sunday evening 10 December. The BCNA has raised the noise concerns with Ports Victoria.

    The BCNA has been informed this was due to an evening function to mark the launch and first Melbourne-based cruise of the new Virgin ship, the Resilient Lady. The ship has now left Station Pier on a cruise to Hobart and will return to Melbourne on 16 December.

    Whilst cruise ships are mostly welcomed by the community, we do receive occasional complaints about their associated logistics, notably noise and the ensuing congestion from arriving or departing passengers. We have recently received a letter from the Department of Transport in which they state that Yarra Trams has committed to place additional services during the weekends on Route 109, when cruise ships are scheduled to arrive at Beacon Cove.

    Complaints or queries for cruise ships are best addressed to Ports Victoria who are responsible for Station Pier and collect relevant fees from the cruise lines. They can be reached by emailing cruise@ports.vic.gov.au.

    New Air Quality Monitoring Program at Station Pier

    The BCNA has been briefed by Ports Victoria on an air quality monitoring program that has been started at Station Pier this month.  Australian certified monitoring equipment has been set up beside the Gatehouse.

    It will monitor for nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate emissions. The monitoring results will give a better understanding of the local air quality around Station Pier. The period will include cruise ship seasons, the time between cruise seasons as well as seasonal weather variations. Ports Victoria plan to share the results with the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and the local community via monthly reports with the first report expected late January 2024. There is also a plan to develop an online dashboard that will enable real-time viewing of air quality at Station Pier.

    BCNA welcomes the Ports Victoria project as air quality has been a concern to residents near Station Pier for a long time. For more details, click here.

    Monday 27 November 2023

    Our Newsletter is Out

    Volunteers will be delivering our latest newsletter to residences over the coming days. This issue includes news on:
    • Invitation to renters to become members, 
    • Hoon driving and related noise.
    • Update on Foodstore redevelopment at 103 Beach Street
    • The Barak Beacon public housing site
    • Update on 1 and 7 Waterfront Place 
    • Council news affecting Beacon Cove: Dogs off leash in public spaces, and Port Phillip’s Housing Strategy 
    • BCNA’s Annual General Meeting
    • BCNA’s residents’ dinners
    • Joining the BCNA
    The BCNA thanks Nina Taylor, MP, Member for Albert Park, for arranging printing.

    To get the electronic version of the newsletter, please click here.

    Indigenous Art Market

    The Port Melbourne Business Association is hosting an Indigenous Art Market on Thursday 30th November.

    The community is invited to the gala opening, which is being held on Level 1, 120 Bay Street, Port Melbourne from 6 to 8.30 pm.

    If you plan to attend, please RSVP as soon as possible by clicking here. Further details can be found by clicking here.

    Dredging Near Station Pier

    The Port of Melbourne has contacted us to say they have organised dredging activity at Station Pier in late November. Station Pier accommodates cruise ship visits as well as navy and other vessels throughout the year. For navigational safety reasons, the water depth must be maintained to accommodate all these ships.

    For a few days in the period from mid-November to the end of November, maintenance dredging will be conducted by the Port of Melbourne. At Station Pier, dredging will be scheduled around cruise ship visits between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm Monday to Saturday and managed in accordance with EPA Regulations. If you have any questions about the dredging, contact the Port of Melbourne here.

    Sunday 12 November 2023

    BCNA AGM – Summary of Meeting


    The BCNA held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 9th November. For those who could not attend click/tap here to read a copy of the President’s report and click/tap here for a summary of the meeting.

    The Guest Speaker was The Hon. Nina Taylor MP. She spoke about the Victorian Government’s Housing Statement, the State Electricity Commission, Fishermans Bend, E scooters and vehicle noise and hoon driving.

    Gateway Ward Councillors Heather Cunsolo and Peter Martin attended. Mayor Cunsolo spoke about Fishermans Bend, implications of the Victorian government’s Housing Statement, that Port Phillip will be trialling the use of acoustic cameras, E scooters, dogs off leash areas, an application from the owners of 1 and 7 Waterfront Place to delete three conditions of the planning permit, and re zoning of the area near Station Pier. BCNA will obtain details on these issues and assess the implications.

    City of Port Phillip Neighbourhood Engagement Program – Sat 18 November

    City of Port Phillip (CoPP) staff are conducting consultation events seeking in-person input on key CoPP projects.

    Staff will be in Bay Street, Port Melbourne, outside the old Post Office/Dominos site on Saturday 18th November, from 10 am to 12 noon. Click here for more details.

    Community Safety Event - Mon 20 November

    The City of Port Phillip has organised a community safety event on Monday 20 November from 5.30 to 7pm in the Port Melbourne Town Hall auditorium, Level 1, 333 Bay Street.

    Following a welcome by Mayor Cr Heather Cunsolo, South Melbourne Police Station Commanders will be sharing local information and will be available for a Q&A to discuss community concerns or provide any feedback on important issues in the area. Click here for more details about the event and community safety

    Cr Heather Cunsolo Re-elected Mayor

    Congratulations to Heather Cunsolo who was re-elected mayor of the City of Port Phillip during the week. Cr Louise Crawford was elected deputy mayor.

    Sunday 29 October 2023

    Update on the Future of Station Pier and the Waterfront Place Precinct

    Since our recent meeting with Ports Victoria, BCNA and community representatives met the Hon. Melissa Horne MP, Minister for Ports and Freight, to discuss concerns. Also attending was our local member, the Hon. Nina Taylor MP. Community organisations and individuals at the meeting included the City of Port Phillip, Albert Park College, Port Melbourne Business Association, the Port Melbourne Historical & Preservation Society, the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network, Janet Bolitho (a former Mayor of the City of Port Phillip), and the BCNA.

    BCNA representatives spoke about the economic significance of cruise ship tourism, the ‘run down’ appearance of the area, that there are no amenities and shops for visitors, and the need for road and transport changes to handle traffic and visitors (click here to see BCNA’s presentation). Other representatives spoke about the significant maritime heritage of Station Pier, the significance of Station Pier for migrants and the scope for improvements.

    The BCNA has advocated for a Masterplan (or precinct plan) to guide development for a long time. The Mayor, City of Port Phillip, Heather Cunsolo, spoke in support of precinct planning. The Minister explained that the Victorian Cruise Shipping Industry Strategy is the responsibility of The Hon. Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Tourism, Sport, and Major Events. Precinct planning is the responsibility of the Hon. Colin Brooks, Minister for Development Victoria.

    Meetings will be arranged with these Ministers.

    Progress on 103 Beach St (old Foodstore site)

    Since our earlier update, the owners have provided an update. The work is progressing well, and sales are on track. Settlement on properties is expected mid-2024.

    BCNA Dinner - 23rd November

    The third BCNA dinner for 2023 is being held on Thursday 23rd November. BCNA members have been sent details.

    If you would like to attend, please contact Mary Barry to discuss details. 

    City of Port Phillip’s Garage Sale Trail

    The City of Port Phillip is organizing a Garage Sale Trail in November. Two weekends of garage sales are proposed. They are:
    • 11 and 12 November 
    • 18 and 19 November.  
    It is free to register. To find out more and to register click here.

    Friday 20 October 2023

    BCNA’s Annual General Meeting

    Papers for this year’s AGM have been emailed to members. The meeting will be held on the 9 November 2023 at the Sandridge Community Centre (formerly the Trugo Club) in Garden City Reserve commencing at 7 pm.

    Guest Speakers are the Hon. Nina Taylor, MP, Member for Albert Park and Heather Cunsolo, Mayor of the City of Port Phillip. 

    If you have not received the papers, please contact secretary@beaconcove.org.au.

    E-scooter Trial — Update

    The trial of e-scooters in City of Port Phillip (CoPP), Yarra and Melbourne commenced in February 2022 and, after several extensions, was due to end on 5 October 2023. The CoPP recently considered feedback about the trial and a further extension until April 2024 was agreed. 

    Council officers reported that the most common concerns are:
    • footpath riding and the safety of pedestrians, 
    • improper parking of e-scooters obstructing movement along footpaths, 
    • speeding, 
    • underage riding 
    • tandem riding, and 
    • riding without a helmet.
    The CoPP resolved that the Mayor would write to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety requesting the public release of the Victorian Government e-scooter trial evaluation. The Council endorsed CoPP's continued participation in e-scooter schemes if councils have the power to manage shared e-scooter schemes through contractual arrangements that can address safety and amenity. Further details are shown here.

    Forthcoming Bay Street Events

    The Port Melbourne Business Association has arranged the following Bay Street events in the coming months.
    • The annual HOWL-O-WEEN Paw Parade is being held on Sunday 29th October, from 9am to 1pm. Click here for details.
    • The second event is Port Melbourne’s Annual Artisan Christmas Market on Saturday 2nd December from 11am to 5pm.  Click here for details.

    Friday 15 September 2023

    Key Services Delayed in Fishermans Bend

    The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) has recently drawn attention to the lack of Victorian Government commitment to plans for Fishermans Bend.

    In 2018 the Victorian Government released the Fishermans Bend Framework. This framework makes a clear commitment to deliver significant open space, transport, and infrastructure for the growing community. This masterplan was the product of collaboration between the CoPP, the City of Melbourne, Victorian Government, the community, and other stakeholders over several years.

    Unfortunately, the promised open space and infrastructure (such as Light Rail) have not been delivered as agreed by the Victorian Government. Consequently, our local community is increasingly having to contend with congested roads and public transport.

    The CoPP is encouraging residents to support their efforts to get the Victorian Government to honour its commitments. Further information and how to support Council is shown here.

    No Commitment to a Tram Service for Fishermans Bend

    Recently, the Minister for Public Transport, the Hon. Ben Carroll MP, released the Victorian Government’s Melbourne Tram Plan. The Minister’s statement is shown here.

    Unfortunately, there was no mention of the proposed tram service for Fishermans Bend. This was promised by the Victorian Government in the 2018 Fishermans Bend Framework.

    The proposed route for the Fishermans Bend service was an extension of the Collins St/Docklands route 11 service to Fishermans Bend. The service would have a line into the northern area (known as the Employment Precinct) and a service along Plummer Street to service the southern area.

    The BCNA has supported the early provision of transport services into Fishermans Bend since inception of discussions about development of the area. Services are required to encourage development and new residents and to ease congestion on nearby roads. More information about the issues and the significance of a tram service was explained in a recent article in The Age.

    BCNA’s Annual General Meeting

    This year’s AGM will be held on the 9 November 2023 at the Sandridge Community Centre (formerly the Trugo Club) in Garden City Reserve. Members will be sent papers and further details closer to the time.

    Monday 4 September 2023

    City of Port Phillip Electoral Structure Review

    Changes to the Local Government Act 2020 mean that the City of Port Phillip must adopt a single-councillor ward structure.

    A panel, convened by the Victorian Electoral Commission, has reported, and recommended the return to nine council electoral districts, with each councillor representing one district. That compares to the current structure where there are 3 electoral districts, with 3 councillors from each district.

    A preliminary report can be viewed here. A final report from the review panel is due to be submitted to the Minister for Local Government by 13th September 2023.

    An informative web site for this review can be found here.

    Update on the Future of Station Pier

    Recently, the BCNA met senior staff from Ports Victoria to hear an update about plans for Station Pier. This was to hear about progress concerning the Victorian Government’s announcement that it would
    “...determine the most suitable option for continuing cruise shipping at Station Pier. This must balance local precinct and visitor experience outcomes with the complexity and cost of maintaining the aged heritage pier. The work will be complemented by a statewide cruise shipping strategy developed with stakeholders to maximise the economic and social benefits of cruise shipping services across regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne." (Page 29, summary)

    At the meeting the BCNA was told that the Victorian Government had confirmed Station Pier would continue to be the hub for cruise shipping. Regional ports, such as Hastings, Portland and Phillip Island are to be included in the development of a Victorian Cruise Shipping Industry Strategy. A precinct plan (for the Waterfront Place precinct) is part of this strategy.

    Preparing Station Pier for a Busy Cruise Season

    A busy cruise season is scheduled for 2023-24. The Grand Princess, arriving on 23 October, is the first of 126 scheduled visits compared with 110 visits last season.

    Ports Victoria is currently carrying out its annual routine maintenance works on the pier to protect the structure’s heritage and maintain it as a safe shipping and cruise facility. The $10 million works include the ongoing pile rehabilitation program; upgrading the pier deck; maintenance of fire services; refurbishment of the outside of the Gatehouse and testing the mooring bollards.

    West Finger Pier is undergoing decking refurbishment. When completed, members of the public will be able to enjoy greater access to this pier.

    Tuesday 15 August 2023

    BCNA Community Dinner - 6th September

    The second BCNA community dinner for 2023 is being held on the Wednesday, 6th September. BCNA members have been sent details.

    If you would like to attend, please contact the Treasurer to discuss membership and dinner details.

    Possible Site for new Primary School

    The Victorian Government’s recent State budget announced that a new primary school will open in 2026 with places for up to 650 students in the area.

    The school will open for enrolments for students in Prep to Grade 6.

    There has been no announcement as to location, but an article in last week’s The Age suggested that the location could be at 509 Williamstown Road. This is land currently owned by Australia Post. However, the City of Port Phillip is also interested in the same area for open space.

    The City of Port Phillip’s Housing Strategy

    The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) is preparing a new housing strategy. The Victorian Government expects councils to take active steps to plan for growth over a 15-year period. The housing strategy is designed to ensure a range of housing opportunities are available across the municipality. It will also identify suitable locations for housing growth and change.

    The CoPP released a Discussion Paper earlier this year. Amongst other things, this paper explained that the CoPP is the most densely populated local area in Victoria. Port Philip has a population density of 5,029 people per square km, compared to 493 people per square km in Greater Melbourne. Almost half of all households (49 per cent) are in rental properties, compared with less than a third (29 per cent) in Greater Melbourne.

    When completed, the strategy is designed to guide the CoPP's action for those area that do not have planning controls such as Heritage Overlays, Design and Development Overlays or Neighbourhood Character Overlays. Housing in the Mirvac-planned estate in Beacon Cove is covered by Neighbourhood Character Guidelines and Neighbourhood Character Overlays, so is not in scope for CoPP'sstrategy. However, some nearby areas are. They are the Barak Road public housing area, the Wintringham Hostel area, and the older, non-Mirvac built, homes in the block bounded by Morley, Little Swallow and Swallow Street.

    The next step is the release of a draft strategy. Community engagement is expected to occur early in 2024. Details of the project and the Discussion Paper released earlier this year are available here.

    Monday 17 July 2023

    103 Beach Street (old Foodstore site) Update

    The owners of this site have provided an update to the BCNA. Pile driving to 40 metres has now been completed. The team is currently excavating for one level of basement parking. In a couple of weeks the excavation will finish. Next, trucks will arrive to pour concrete for the basement floor and foundations. Then the walls and higher floors up will be built.

    The owners predict that they will get to lockup stage around October. After this the internal fit out occurs, with expected completion in June 2024.

    The number of apartments has been reduced - from 22 to 19. Car parking remains at 42. Provision has been made for a small supermarket on the ground floor.

    Current Beacon Cove Weather Now on Website

    Some of you who have visited the BCNA website recently may have noticed this already, but we now have a display of local temperature and humidity on the top of the second column of the main web page. Directly underneath is a link to a page which has full weather data (including over a year of history) including wind, rainfall, air pressure, solar, and UV.

    The weather station is on Pier Street near the water in Beacon Cove so reflects wind speeds and temperatures near the foreshore rather than further inland.

    We hope you find this of interest.

    Neighbourhood Batteries in Port Melbourne

    Since our previous item on this subject we have learned that the City of Port Phillip (CoPP), along with the Cities of Yarra and Melbourne have identified several areas for further assessment.

    The areas have been chosen because of their potential to generate high levels of solar energy and use the energy the battery would store. One of the areas chosen is a large area bounded by Beacon Cove and a section of Williamstown Road. The proposed area and other information about batteries can be accessed here.

    The CoPP is seeking feedback from residents by 6th August by way of online survey (you've got to scroll to the bottom and click "Next" to start the survey. The CoPP will also be convening local events to hear feedback. We encourage residents to complete the survey and/or attend a local event.

    Tuesday 4 July 2023

    Record Membership

    Thank you to members who have renewed their memberships, and to new members who have joined the BCNA in 2022/23. Membership continues to grow and reached 469 at 30 June, a new record for the BCNA. When including the wider community that receive periodic notices from us, our constituent base exceeds 1,000.

    The BCNA continues to be active on your behalf in protecting and enhancing the amenity of the area. Feedback received from local and state authorities is that our input is well regarded, being described as organised, sensible, practical, and engaged. Both our last newsletter and posts to our website explain the issues we are involved with on your behalf.

    Community Batteries

    In partnership with the Victorian Government, the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) is considering introducing neighbourhood batteries to our local area. The ‘Fast Tracking Neighbourhood Batteries’ project runs until mid-2024.

    Neighbourhood batteries look like the examples below from Tarneit and North Fitzroy. They are local units designed to store excess solar power from household rooftops for use in the evening.



    The CoPP has been exploring locations for neighbourhood batteries and has identified a small number of candidate locations with selection dependent on available land and the status of the local energy grid. At the time of writing, Beacon Cove has not been selected. However, feedback from residents to the BCNA is positive and we will continue to monitor this with CoPP.

    The CoPP's Have Your Say page has a good explanation of a neighbourhood battery including Frequently Asked Questions.

    Following this initial project, the CoPP intends to develop business cases for implementing Neighbourhood Batteries with further Government support.

    Public Toilets in Waterfront Place and the Municipality

    The new toilet facilities in Waterfont Place we mentioned in February have been completed. The toilets are located to the left of the road and pedestrian path leading to Station Pier.

    Further to this, the City of Port Phillip is consulting on plans to upgrade and improve public toilet facilities across the municipality. They are now seeking community feedback through a Have Your Say survey until July 12th. Comments will then be assessed, and a plan presented to Council in September.

    Wednesday 28 June 2023

    Renewal Reminder

    A gentle reminder to those members whose membership has expired or is about to expire on the 30th June 2023. Please renew your membership. If you've lost your renewal notice, click here for a membership form. Payment can be made by EFT. 

    Vale Save Port Melbourne Gateway (savePMG)

    In December 2022 members of savePMG decided to wind up the affairs of the organisation.

    savePMG was established in 2013 to oppose efforts by Council to replace community hub buildings at 1 to-7 Waterfront Place, primarily with residential development that would overshadow the Waterfront Place foreshore for many of the colder months of the year. More details about the work of savePMG are shown here.

    With the sale of the sites at 1 and 7 Waterfront Place in 2007, the new owner sought approval to redevelop the site. In October 2022, VCAT approved a 10-storey design that would overshadow a significant part of the foreshore at the winter solstice.

    The BCNA thanks savePMG for their work to defend the original vision of the Beacon Cove planned estate. We also thank them for the funds that they have passed to BCNA.

    Auditor Needed

    The BCNA is looking for an appropriately qualified auditor/accountant (ACA or CPA) to audit its financial records for the year ending 30th June. This is an honorary position, not onerous or time consuming. If you can help it would be appreciated. Please contact our Treasurer, Graham Kemp by email (click here) for further details.

    Friday 9 June 2023

    BCNA Meeting with Local Police

    BCNA representatives attended a community forum organised by the Victoria Police's Port Phillip Local Area Commander last Tuesday to discuss policing issues in the area. Such meetings are being held around the state with sponsorship by the Chief Commissioner.

    The main topics were drugs, youth offending, road policing and family violence. Crime statistics are collected and reported by the Crime Statistics Agency. The top offences in the Port Phillip area were stealing from motor vehicles and property crime. Sadly, 5 road-related deaths occurred.

    E-scooter safety and hooning, two priority issues for BCNA, were discussed. Police report that they are enforcing road laws regarding laws regarding E-scooter use (see our previous news item here). The Principal of Port Melbourne Secondary College, Anne Stout, spoke about speeding and dangerous driving on Plummer Street. Police will be targeting this. Police report that the mobile CCTV unit, purchased by the City of Port Phillip at the urging of BCNA, has proved valuable.

    Police continue to emphasise the reporting of incidents as this helps them to plan and target police resources. Here’s a quick summary of how to report.

    Triple Zero - 000 - Call 000 immediately if the incident is life-threatening, needs ommediate police attendance, a crime is happening now, or an offender is (or may be) still in the area.

    Police Assistance Line - 131 444 - To report non-urgent crimes and events.

    Crime Stoppers - 1800 333 000 - To report crime information confidentially

    Acoustic Cameras

    The BCNA has been advocating for governments to trial the use of acoustic cameras as they appear to be a cost-effective way of enforcing vehicle noise standards. They are increasingly used overseas. See our previous item on this here.

    BCNA representatives have discussed the use of acoustic cameras with senior police in the Port Phillip police area who have advocated for a trial within government. They have also advised that vehicle noise falls within the responsibility of the EPA. We understand that there is growing interest and support for this technology.

    Wednesday 24 May 2023

    E-scooter Update

    The BCNA receives regular notice of concern from members about the use of e-scooters, in particular, the use and placing of them on footpaths. Our recent newsletter addresses this issue and the recent change of state laws regarding the use of e-scooters.

    Recently the City of Port Phillip Council received a petition from over one thousand residents that outlined concerns on this issue. Notice of this agenda item can be found here. Council considered this issue at its meeting on 3 May and passed a motion endorsing the council officer recommendations and adding a final point as follows:

    … Council uses local law Clause 49 – ‘interfering with council assets’ to control obstructions and our impounding process allows Council to remove dangerous items quickly, for example bikes and signage chained to our assets blocking the street, and has an agreement with the operators of shared e-scooters and shared e-bikes for removal where they are obstructing the footpaths or in no parking zones, and Council can impound these if no action is taken.

    Station Pier Maintenance

    Ports Victoria have advised us that they will be starting maintenance works at Station Pier later this month.  The annual pile rehabilitation program as well as routine works will be undertaken, including repainting the Gate House.

    Works will be carried out from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 7am and 5pm. They expect the program to be completed by late October.

    109 Tram - Power Supply Upgrade

    The Department of Transport and Planning is planning to increase the power supply on Route 109. Upgrading the tram power supply will lead to smoother rides and reduce sudden stops. 

    A tram substation will be built in the rail reserve near the tram line and Bridge Street. The Department wants to design and develop the substation in a way that:

    • fits with the character of the local area
    • uses landscaping, where possible, to integrate the facility in its setting.
    • minimises environmental impacts.
    • provides broader community benefits, where possible
    • minimises construction impacts to local businesses, residents, public transport users and commuters.

    More information can be obtained here.  Feedback can be provided on the proposed works at this site.

    Thursday 4 May 2023

    Our Newsletter is Out

    Volunteers will be delivering the latest newsletter to residences over the coming days. This issue includes news on:
    • Hoon driving and related noise
    • Foodstore redevelopment at 103 Beach Street
    • The Barak Beacon public housing site
    • Council news affecting Beacon Cove: Dogs off leash in public spaces, and new Local Laws 2023 
    • E-scooters
    • BCNA’s residents’ dinners
    • Joining the BCNA
    BCNA thanks Nina Taylor, MP, Member for Albert Park, for arranging printing and Kosdown Press, Port Melbourne for folding the newsletter.

    The newsletter can be accessed here.

    Aircraft Noise

    The BCNA periodically receives queries about the frequency of helicopters and other aircraft in our skies. Of course, living in a major city carries some unfortunate disadvantages, this being one of them, and members may be aware that the northern part of Port Melbourne falls under a flight path for helicopters that are moving to and from the city.

    If you are concerned about aircraft noise and intrusion, you will find more detail on the web site for Airservices Australia (AA), which manages airspace and flight paths. AA has recently developed a new national Community Engagement Standard and is seeking input from communities on this. This is an opportunity for you to influence how Airservices Australia will engage on all future flight path and airspace changes. You can read the Standard and provide feedback direct to Airservices Australia at the this link.

    Sunday 2 April 2023

    Upgrades to the Sandridge Bay Trail

    The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) is seeking community feedback on the upgrade to the area around the Bay Trail at Sandridge Beach. This is in response to safety concerns about how pedestrians, cyclists and cars move around the space and interact with each other.

    CoPP has been able to address some of these concerns with smaller safety works, but are now proposing more comprehensive improvements. To find out more information and to provide your feedback, please go to their ‘Have Your Say’ website. Consultation closes 5 pm, Sunday 16 April.

    Port of Melbourne Boat Tours

    The Port of Melbourne have organised community boat tours on the 22 April, 7 May, 27 and 28 May. The tours are family-friendly events and are a safe way to see Australia’s busiest port, right on the city’s doorstep. The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container and general cargo port and a vital trade gateway – whether sending Australian grain to Guangzhou or bringing us coffee from Colombia. 

    There is guided commentary from port staff. The ticket fee is donated to Mission to Seafarers Victoria and Stella Maris Seafarer Centre who support the thousands of seafarers who spend months at sea bringing goods to us every day of the year. To book, click here.

    Wednesday 29 March 2023

    VCAT Refuses Planning Application for 40 The Crescent

    In response to the City of Port Phillip's (CoPP) refusal of the planning application for 40 The Crescent the owners appealed the decision to VCAT. The principal concern by Council was the proposed 3rd storey as the nearby area comprises 1-2 storeys. Council's reasons for the refusal are shown here.

    The BCNA, as well as several nearby residents, supported Council's decision to refuse a planning permit and were involved in the VCAT Hearing.

    VCAT recently confirmed Council's decision to refuse a permit. Reasons cited by the VCAT Member included:

    "..I consider that the intent of the planning objectives and controls is to deliver on the neighbourhood character objectives of NRZ4 and NCO5, which include to 'reinforce the existing neighbourhood character..' (Para 38).

    Full details of VCAT's decision are shown here.

    While we understand the owners may be disappointed by VCAT's decision, the BCNA is pleased that the Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Character Guidelines are being enforced as they are designed to maintain the character of the estate. 

    To avoid planning permission problems, the BCNA encourages Beacon Cove residents who are planning external alterations to their homes to consult the relevant Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Character Guidelines, provide them to their architect, and to discuss the scope of their plans with CoPP planning officers before getting any detailed work done.

    Town Planning provisions in Beacon Cove

    The BCNA often gets questions about the town planning provisions that apply to Beacon Cove. To assist those who have not seen our advice before, such as in 2021, we are reposting the relevant information.

    Beacon Cove is unique in that it is a planned estate.  It was developed by Mirvac with the Victorian government in the 1990s in stages over ten years. The area is protected by Neighbourhood Character Overlays in the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) planning scheme.  A key explanatory document is the Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Character Guidelines shown here. Each area of the estate has specific guidelines which are shown in this document.

    The BCNA believes most members support the unique character and amenity of the area and would like to see it maintained. The BCNA believes the best way to do this is for all developments to comply with the Beacon Cove provisions of the CoPP planning scheme. 

    From time to time residents seek advice on how to manage disputes regarding planning applications. The BCNA has prepared a short guide to assist members. Wherever possible, we encourage discussion with the owner to explain your concerns. Your concerns may be able to be resolved. Either party may also wish to discuss issues with the BCNA committee. To raise the matter with BCNA please email feedback@beaconcove.org.au.

    The BCNA position on planning controls can be downloaded here. There is also a permanent link to the document in the right-hand column of our website under the heading "Reference Information and Documents" so that is where to look if you need it in future.

    BCNA Budget submission

    Over the months of March to May each year, the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) develops its budget for the coming financial year. Each year the BCNA makes a submission to CoPP outlining priorities for consideration. This year our submission proposes that priority should be on measures to counter hoon driving and excessive vehicle noise, cooperative action with the Victorian Government and Ports Victoria to enhance the Waterfront Place precinct, additional beach cleaning at the head of the Prince's Street drain, enforcement of off leash areas for dogs, creation of a family reserve near Port Melbourne Lifesaving Clubhouse, and graffiti removal.  Details are shown in the submission here.

    Sunday 12 March 2023

    New Local Laws 2023

    At the council meeting on 1st March, the City of Port Phillip discussed and approved new Community Amenity Local Laws for community consultation. Council's Local Laws cover such issues as residential parking permits, special events, shopping trolleys and many other items. The proposed Community  Amenity Local Law is shown here 

    Of interest to BCNA was the discussion on a Hoon events clause. Council is not intending to introduce a hoon events clause, proposing to wait until a Hooning Community Reference Group established by the Victorian Government has reported later this year. BCNA believes this is unsatisfactory given the frequency of of hoon activity in the area, particularly around Station Pier, and urges Council to introduce a Hoon events law in 2023. Such a law has been introduced in other municipalities, such as Brimbank, Frankston and Dandenong Councils and has had an immediate beneficial impact. Any such law can be rescinded later if the Victorian Government introduces a law which has the same effect. 

    Council is seeking feedback on the proposed Local Laws up until 31 March 2023. Information about a hoon events clause is shown on the Council's website under a FAQ's button. Consultation events have been scheduled-details are shown on the website. A community consultation event will be held at the Sandridge Life Saving Club at 10 am on Sunday 26 March 2023. Feedback can also be provided through the Council's website shown here Have Your Say

    BCNA strongly encourages members to provide feedback that Council should include a hoon events clause in Council's proposed Local Laws 2023.

    Barak Beacon Housing Development

    One of the priority projects for the BCNA is to observe and contribute to the proposed redevelopment of the Barak Road housing estate. This estate adjoins Beacon Cove and is the largest development proposed for Port Melbourne in recent years. Demolition of this site is proposed to commence by mid-2023. 

    The Objective is to replace the existing 89 social homes at Barak Beacon with modern, energy-efficient, and environmentally sustainable homes. This is likely to result in a higher development with less green space. 

    Details of the project can be found at Barak Beacon Port Melbourne Homes Victoria.

    Homes Victoria is the government body coordinating this work. In 2022, they undertook some community consultation with an Engagement Report due to be released in early 2023.  Following that release,they propose to carry out a second stage of community consultation. Further information on this can be found at Barak Beacon Port Melbourne housing Engage Victoria.

    E-scooter trial in Port Phillip

    In 2022, the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) signed up to the Victorian Government trial in partnership with City of Melbourne and City of Yarra. The trial was scheduled to finish at the end of February 2023 but was extended to end of March 2023. There has been no announcement of it ending so it is possible it will be further extended. 

    The BCNA has received feedback on E-scooter use with concerns around speed and non-compliance with riding rules. The BCNA will be submitting feedback to the CoPP at the appropriate time. 

    In the meantime, all residents are welcome to submit their thoughts and feedback direct to Council. Details of the trial, guidance on the lawful use of E-scooters, and a feedback channel can be found at E-scooter trial City of Port Phillip.

    Sunday 19 February 2023

    Meeting with Nina Taylor MP

    The BCNA was active in the leadup to our recent state election by seeking viewpoints from local candidates on key issues affecting BCNA members. Following the election of Nina Taylor (Labor) to the seat of Albert Park, your BCNA president and secretary met with her and a senior adviser to more formally present BCNA priorities relevant to the state government.  The meeting occurred in late January 2023 and covered a range of developing issues BCNA priorities are shown here

    Member Taylor acknowledged that BCNA enjoyed an enviable reputation as an active, constructive, and practical advocacy group for Port Melbourne residents. She agreed that the issues we presented were important and agreed to meet BCNA on a regular basis. She provided reassurance that our views will continue to be welcomed in her office and that she would work to represent local views into the state government.

    Waterfront Welcomers--Volunteers Needed

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

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

    If you are interested, please call Brian Hanlon, SPCC Waterfront Welcomers Co-ordinator, on 03 9645 1476 or 0400 642 667, or manager@southportcc.org.au. 

    Princes Street Storm Water Drain

    The Beacon Cove Neighbourhod Association (BCNA) has long had concerns about health and appearance issues with this drain, which is owned by Melbourne Water. The pond at the mouth of the drain is attractive to children as it has the appearance of being safe. However, the storm water carries a range of unhealthy bacteria and objects and birds foul the pooled water making it unsafe. The discharge from the drain also conveys a poor image of the area, including visitors from cruise ships. BCNA continues to advocate for enhancements in keeping with Melbourne's status as a "liveable city".

    On 13 February, representatives from BCNA met onsite with John Thwaites, Chairman of the Board of Melbourne Water, and key staff.  Since our meeting in March 2022, Melbourne Water has researched various capital spending alternatives but none were considered feasible. A complication is the ongoing shifting sands imposed by waves and currents. Another factor is the redevelopment of Station Pier by the Victorian Government as explained here.

    Increased maintenance, such as more extensive cleaning and shaping to improve water flow, was considered the best outcome to improve amenity. Melbourne Water plans to discuss this option with City of Port Phillip staff. 

    The current drain has an expected life up to 2036.

    Wednesday 8 February 2023

    Noise cameras can detect vehicle noise

    During 2022 the Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Association (BCNA) met with Road Safety Victoria to raise concerns about hooning, including vehicle noise.  The meeting resulted in the establishment of the Hoon Driving Community Group sponsored by Road Safety Victoria.

    According to the World Health Organisation, noise is the second biggest environmental factor causing health problems after air pollution. Several countries are now introducing new technology in the form of vehicle noise cameras to address public concern. Noise cameras detect vehicles exceeding legislated noise limits, record number plates and trigger fines.

    The BCNA is advocating for the greater use of technology such as CCTV and noise cameras to capture hoon driving.  The article here https://jalopnik.com/traffic-cameras-in-new-york-are-listening-for-illegally-1850018832 describes the program being implemented in New York.  The UK and France are introducing similar programs.

    New toilets in Waterfront Place

    The City of Port Phillip has commenced work on building new toilet facilities in Waterfront Place. They will be located to the left of the road leading to Station Pier.

    At present Council has an arrangement in place with a local business owner for public toilet provision at the rear of the tram terminus, however these toilets are often difficult to locate and access. The new location is more centrally located with higher visibility from the tram stop, car park and Bay Trail. 

    The existing toilets at the tram terminus station will remain open during the construction period. More information and an image of the proposed facility can be accessed here https://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/about-the-council/projects-and-works/new-and-replacement-public-toilets


    Saturday 21 January 2023

    We-Akon Dilinja dawns again

    The Boonwurrung People, in partnership with the City of Port Phillip, invite everyone to attend the We-Akon Dilinja (Mourning Reflection) dawn ceremony on Thursday 26 January.

    We-Akon Dilinja - a commemorative dawn service honouring the past and realising a new united vision from the perspective of First Nations performers and speakers - is in its fourth year. This year's ceremony is themed Honouring the past and realising a new united vision for our shared future.

    The ceremony, supported by the National Australia Day Council, honours the past and realises a new united vision. This event will be livestreamed via the Council website, includes musical performances and a smoking ceremony. Readings will be given by Mayor Heather Cunsolo and multi-faith representatives. Full details are on the City of Port Phillip's website at https://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/people-and-community/first-nations-community-information/we-akon-dilinja

     

    Hoon Driving

    Warm summer nights in Port Melbourne unfortunately bring out the worst hoon behaviour. BCNA's concern centres around the behaviour of a minority of drivers, notable drag racing from stop lights, tyre and engine noise around Station Pier, and the ongoing noise of unbaffled motor cycles.

    The BCNA hosts a sub-committee called the Port Melbourne Road Safety Group (RSG) that successfully campaigned last year for a Council-owned mobile CCTV unit. The RSG also represented our neighbourhood through participation in the Hoon Driving Community Group sponsored by Road Safety Victoria. The BCNA continues to advocate for:

    • Stronger penalties for dangerous driving and unnecessary noise.
    • Greater use of technology such as CCTV and noise cameras to capture hoon driving
    • Council laws to empower police to act more proactively on local hoon events
    • Stronger laws against unbaffled motorcycles.

    Police have asked that hoon driving be reported to 000 whilst it occurs. If it is not reported police will not know about it.  This means CCTV cameras and extra patrols will not be deployed to the area. Non urgent events can be reported to Police or to Crime Stoppers Crime Stoppers or 1800 333 000


    Jet Skis

    Summer holidays also bring out aberrant jet ski riders or "hoons on water". The BCNA regularly receives complaints of dangerous jet ski riding, notable near the Port Melbourne Yacht Club, near the lighthouse in front of Beacon Cove towers, and near Sandridge Beach. Recently a 16-year old jet ski rider was filmed harassing the occupants of a boat near Safety Beach and is currently facing charges.

    BCNA members and residents should be aware of the yellow poles placed in the water by Parks Victoria roughly 200 metres from shore. These poles carry warning signs for boaters (which apply to jet skis) and prohibit most watercraft from approaching the shoreline. In certain areas, such as the beach adjacent to the Port Melbourne Yacht Club, watercraft are allowed to approach the beach but are limited to a speed of 5 knots - about the speed of a race walker. Jet skis are required to display their registration number. 

    A common guideline is that if you see a jet ski creating a bow wave within the 200 metre limit near swimmers, report their registration to Police on 000. Non-urgent events can be reported to Police on 131 444 or to Crime Stoppers or 1800 333 000.