Events for your Diary

July
  • Sat 6, 9-10am: Beach Patrol, meeting at Sandridge Beach LSC
  • Thu 11, 6pm: BCNA Community Dinner
  • Sat 20, 9:30-10:30am: Love our Streets, meeting at Garden City shops

  • August
  • Sat 3, 9-10am: Beach Patrol, meeting at Princes Pier
  • Sat 17, 9:30-10:30am: Love our Streets, meeting at 109 North Port tram stop
  • Latest News

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

    Wednesday 19 June 2024

    Fishermans Bend Primary School

    The Victorian Government has announced that a primary school will be built on Williamstown Road in the Wirraway precinct of Fishermans Bend. Click here for details about the new school as well as a map showing location.

    An earlier site for the school was thought to be 509 Williamstown Road as explained here. That site and area was designated open space under the Victorian Government’s 2018 Fishermans Bend Framework. The City of Port Phillip purchased the site to ensure it was retained as open space. This decision was welcomed by the BCNA, and we continue to advocate for adequate green space for residents as the precinct develops.

    The school is expected to open in 2026 with places for 650 students from Prep to Grade 6. Currently in the design phase, a builder for the project is expected to be appointed in late 2024.

    New Underground Rail Route through Fishermans Bend

    A recent article in The Age (paywall) reports that a new cross-city rail route, dubbed Melbourne Metro 2, has been endorsed by the Department of Transport and Planning.

    The proposed line rail line, which would run from Clifton Hill to Newport, would include two stations in Fishermans Bend as shown in the map here:
    The BCNA, Council and the Fishermans Bend Business Forum have urged the State Government to meet its 2018 commitments regarding rail and tram services into the Fishermans Bend. This would promote greater certainty for developers that the promised services will be available for residents on completion of projects.   The current uncertainty has led to delays in projects (see Age article).

    There has been no announcement as to when funding for the promised rail and tram services will be provided.

    BCNA Dinner 11th July

    The second BCNA dinner for 2024 is being held on Thursday 11th July. BCNA members have already been sent details.

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

    Thursday 30 May 2024

    Meeting with the Hon. David Davis MLC Regarding the Barak Beacon Redevelopment

    Since our last update, BCNA representatives met the Hon. David Davis MLC, Liberal Member for Southern Region in the Legislative Council, at the Barak Beacon site to brief him on the BCNA’s concerns. The BCNA’s concerns relate to excessive height (the government stated that 4-5 storey buildings were envisaged in 2022, yet towers of 9 and 11 storeys are now proposed), and the significant increase in residents and cars without any enhancement of local infrastructure, as explained in a submission to Homes Victoria.

    The Hon. Georgie Crozier MLC, Liberal Member for Southern Region in the Legislative Council, has asked formal questions about the project. Her question to the Minister for Planning and the Minister’s response is shown here and in an Adjournment Debate is shown here.

    An article (paywall) in today’s Age explains local residents’ concerns and government plans for the redevelopment.

    St Kilda Ferry Service from Beacon Cove

    BCNA representatives recently met the operators to discuss services from Beacon Cove (behind Mr. Hobsons café) and the functioning of the Waterfront Place precinct. St. Kilda ferries run a service, weather permitting, from Beacon Cove to St. Kilda and Williamstown and return. They also operate sunset penguin cruises. Click here for details of services and the timetable.

    Sunday 19 May 2024

    Our Newsletter is Out

    Volunteers are now delivering our latest newsletter to residences. This issue includes news on:
    • Invitation to renters to become members
    • The Barak Beacon public housing site in Port Melbourne
    • Air quality monitoring near Station Pier
    • Update on 1 and 7 Waterfront Place
    • Hoon driving and related noise
    • Update on Foodstore redevelopment at 103 Beach Street
    • Council news affecting Beacon Cove: Dogs off leash in public spaces and the Princes Street stormwater drain
    • BCNA’s residents’ dinners
    • Joining the BCNA
    The BCNA thanks Nina Taylor, MP, State Member for Albert Park, for arranging printing and to Kosdown Press for folding the newsletter.

    Click here for an electronic version of the newsletter.

    Making Williamstown Road Safer for All Users

    The City of Port Phillip is advocating to the Department of Transport and Planning for the installation of a signalised crossing and improved pedestrian and bike riding infrastructure on Williamstown Road and Beacon Road. They are seeking community input on design options.

    Traffic volumes have increased on Williamstown Road as new apartments are completed in Fishermans Bend and this is making use more difficult for all road users. The BCNA has been advocating for the State Government to honour promises made in the 2018 Fishermans Bend framework to introduce tram services into Fishermans Bend.

    The BCNA strongly encourages community feedback to Council about their proposals. The consultation period closes on 9 June 2024. Click here to provide your feedback.

    Sunday 12 May 2024

    BCNA’s Meetings with Nina Taylor MP and Ward Councillors

    BCNA arranges regular meetings with Nina Taylor MP, State Member for Albert Park, and with our City of Port Phillip Ward Councillors to discuss local issues. A report from recent meetings follows.

    Nina Taylor MP

    Your BCNA representatives covered topics including height, traffic, and infrastructure concerns with the Barak Beacon public housing redevelopment, the delay in providing public transport commitments in Fishermans Bend, and the lack of EPA funding to progress an acoustic camera trial in the City of Port Phillip.

    The BCNA remains keen to meet Ministers with responsibility for Station Pier and Waterfront Place to discuss redevelopment. Nina offered to arrange meetings for us. Updates will be discussed at future meetings and reported on here.

    City of Port Phillip Ward Councillors

    At our meeting with Councillors Heather Cunsolo, Marcus Pearl, and Peter Martin we discussed the future of the Waterfront Place precinct and Council support for arranging a forum with stakeholders to discuss precinct planning, Council support for an acoustic camera trial to detect hoon noise, maintenance and improvements at the mouth of the Princes Street stormwater drain, tram track duplication adjacent to 103 Beach Street, and BCNA’s concerns with the Barak Road housing redevelopment. Future news items will report progress.

    Early Results from New Air Quality Monitoring Program

    Early results from the new program at Station Pier reveal that the daily averages of pollutants of concern, sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) are within Victorian and Australian standards. The new program will run for at least 12 months.

    There has been concern that cruise ships produce emissions that adversely affect the surrounding residential area and an air quality monitoring program at Station Pier from 2016-18 revealed breaches of the average annual Australian air quality standard for PM2.5 and higher concentrations of sulphur dioxide than nearby EPA air quality monitoring stations at that time.

    Click here to access the monthly reports from VicPorts new air quality program.

    Station Pier Maintenance and Upgrades

    Ports Victoria have notified us that maintenance works and upgrades have commenced on Station Pier. The work includes work on the Gatehouse – refurbishing the exterior, including painting the building.  The flags have been taken down to allow the workers better access to the roof and they will be put back up once the work is completed. Our other planned works include: 
    • the ongoing, annual pile rehabilitation program, including West Finger Pier; and 
    • painting, corrosion protection, electrical and other works on elements of the pier structure and buildings.
    The pile works are expected to start in May and will be conducted between 7 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday. There may be some work on a Saturday. Completion is due in October, ahead of the next cruise shipping season.

    Station Pier - Removal of TT-Line Vehicle Ramp

    The removal of the former TT-Line elevated vehicle ramp and associated items has commenced. These non-heritage constructions were added during the time TT-Line operated the Spirit of Tasmania ferries from the pier. Works on the removal will be conducted between 7.30 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday and 7.30 and 4 pm Saturday. Completion is due around the middle of the year.

    Sunday 28 April 2024

    Petition Seeks Lower Height for Barak Beacon Housing Redevelopment

    The BCNA has objected to the proposed height of the buildings - two towers of 9 and 11 storeys - as explained earlier in a submission to Homes Victoria. We have also explained this to Ward Councillors and to Nina Taylor MP, the Member for Albert Park.

    Garden City residents have also expressed concern at the traffic and parking implications of introducing roughly 1000 new residents to the area. Click here for a flyer explaining their concerns. These residents have developed a petition to be sent to the Minister for Planning, the Hon. Sonja Kilkenny, seeking a reduction in height to 4 and 5 storeys. This was the height indicated by the Victorian Government when the project was announced in 2022. If you would like to sign the petition it can be accessed here.

    Mother’s Day Artisan Market

    The Port Melbourne Business Association with support from businesses, community groups, Rotary and the City of Port Phillip are sponsoring a Mother’s Day event on Saturday 4th May from 11 am to 5 pm in Bay Street.

    Around 150 different and unique artisan offerings are expected to be displayed. It will include a range of handmade, locally produced gifts, art pieces, designs, jewellery and more. There will be live music – with an event schedule to be released closer to the date.

    Monday 8 April 2024

    Barak Beacon Housing Redevelopment - Meeting with Nina Taylor MP

    Since our earlier post, we have learnt that residents in Garden City have arranged a meeting with Nina Taylor, the State Member of Parliament for Albert Park, to discuss the project. The meeting will be held at the Julier Reserve Netball Club, 79-111 Dunstan Parade, on Monday, 22nd April at 4 pm.
     

    Sea Wall Repairs

    The City of Port Phillip has arranged for repairs to the concrete structures (known as Seabees) underneath the promenade for the Beacon Cove Bay Trail. The work is expected to start in mid-April and is expected to take 3 weeks, weather and tide permitting. Click here for more information.

    Monday 1 April 2024

    Council’s New Ward Structure

    The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) has announced details for this year’s council elections in October. Nine wards (each with one councillor) will replace the existing three Wards (each with three councillors). Wards will be approximately equal in terms of voters.

    Beacon Cove will be represented by one councillor under the new structure. Click here for a map of the nine new wards.  (For a really detailed map showing individual streets, click here and go to page 29).

    The change to a new Ward structure was announced by the Victorian Government in 2022. Click here for more information about the changes.

    Waterfront Welcomers — Volunteers Needed

    Waterfront Welcomers is an organisation that organises volunteers to meet and greet cruise ship passengers at Station Pier. They are seeking volunteers for the next cruise season which starts in September 2024. Click here for more information.

    If you would like to volunteer, contact Brian on 03 9645 1476, or by email to waterfrontwelcomers@southportcc.org.au.

    Council’s Dogs Off-Leash Guideline Update

    The City of Port Philip (CoPP) commenced a process to develop the Dogs off Leash Guideline in November 2022. A draft guideline has been prepared and is now available. Click here to see the guideline and how to provide feedback

    The CoPP is proposing:
    • Current restrictions remain in place (including distance from playgrounds and sports grounds in use).
    • Dogs be prohibited at all times, both on or off-leash, from entering specialised sports fields (those sporting reserves that include synthetic pitches or premier level grass playing surfaces).
    • To consider some more dog free public open spaces across the City.
    • The draft Guideline outlines what Council will consider when deciding about a Dogs Off Leash Area, including a demand analysis, site analysis and site assessment.
    The public consultation phase runs from 25th March – 28th April 2024. The BCNA encourages all members with an interest in this topic to have your say on the draft guideline and provide feedback to Council.

    Monday 18 March 2024

    Community Forum - Urban Heat or Cool Green?

    The City of Port Phillip, with other organisations, is hosting a forum this Tuesday, 19th March, from 6.30 to 8 pm, at the Victorian Pride Centre Theatrette, 79-91 Fitzroy St, St Kilda to discuss the science and practical considerations for Port Phillip’s draft Urban Forest Strategy. The strategy has as a goal of reaching 30% canopy cover by 2040. Click here for details.

    Pedestrian Safety in Garden City Reserve

    Recently, a young child was hit by a bike or eScooter crossing the Garden City shared bike path from Edina Close to Garden City Reserve. The area is shown here

    Police and ambulance attended. Fortunately, the child was not badly injured but the outcome could have been tragic. The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) responded promptly to clear the area of unnecessary foliage etc.

    Blind bike path crossings remain very dangerous. Several suggestions have been offered to CoPP to improve safety in this instance. Safety mirrors would help bikes/scooters and pedestrians to better see what’s coming as would speed limits.

    City of Port Phillip Housing Strategy

    The City of Port Phillip (CoPP) has now released a draft housing strategy for consultation. Our earlier item explained that the Victorian Government expects all councils to take active steps to plan for growth over a 15-year period.


    The consultation period runs from the 8th March to 19th April. You can attend an online information session or have a one-on-one meeting with the project team. Click here for instructions how to do this.

    The draft strategy contains some interesting statistics:
    • The City of Port Phillip continues to the be the most densely populated local area in Victoria with a population density of 5,029 per square km. Most of the dwellings in Port Phillip have 2 bedrooms or less (66.8 per cent). Separate houses have declined over time.
    • 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 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 Overlays so is not in scope for the new strategy. However, some nearby areas are. They include the Barak Road public housing area; the Wintringham Hostel area; the older, non-Mirvac built, homes in the block bounded by Morley, Little Swallow and Swallow Street; and areas on either side of Bay Street near Beach Street.

    Friday 8 March 2024

    BCNA Concerns About Plans for the Barak Beacon Housing Redevelopment

    Since our recent update, the BCNA has provided feedback on draft plans for the Barak Beacon Housing Redevelopment by Homes Victoria.

    The BCNA’s interest in the site in Barak Road is that the development is immediately across Beacon Road from the Beacon Cove Estate. We have members in residences surrounding the site.

    The BCNA recognises and acknowledges that the social housing previously on this site was no longer fit for purpose and efficiency and amenity dividends can be expected from redevelopment. However, when the redevelopment was first advertised in 2022, the Government stated that the 4-5 storey buildings were envisaged. The current detailed design, however, now proposes two buildings of 9 and 11 storeys with remaining buildings to 4 and 5 storeys.

    Whilst supporting the redevelopment, BCNA’s submission discusses five concerns with the current design:
    1. The redevelopment of local sites should be sympathetic to existing residences and not cause further congestion of transport or green space infrastructure. 
    2. The nearby areas of Beacon Cove and Garden City are typically 2-3 storey residences, with high rise apartments close to Station Pier, and have existed as such for many decades. Government involvement in Waterfront Place and the emerging Fishermans Bend is resulting in increased high-rise development. We urge this trend be amended to only allow multiple storeys if the impact on green space and transport be mitigated. 
    3. Nearby streets were designed many years ago for sedate residential traffic and now appear to be expected to cater for traffic volumes in orders of magnitude greater than their design. 
    4. Residents of the proposed Barak Beacon development will depend in part, on improvements to Fishermans Bend transport infrastructure. The state government has, to date, failed to deliver on earlier commitments to build new transport infrastructure for the area as explained here
    5. The BCNA is concerned that decisions on the amenity of the new development will be made by ministerial dictate without consideration of community wishes.
    The BCNA submission can be accessed here.

    Urgent Job Opportunity - School Crossing Supervisor

    The City of Port Phillip (Council) is seeking a school crossing supervisor for the Port Melbourne Secondary College, 277 Graham Street, Port Melbourne. The role is critical in ensuring safe travel of students to and from the school.


    Council is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) in the role. If you are interested, please submit an EOI to Council’s Parking Services unit via email (click here).

    If you have questions about the role, contact Craig at the Council via email (click here) or on 0422 595 974.

    Monday 26 February 2024

    BCNA Submission on the Funding of Infrastructure in Fishermans Bend

    Since our earlier item about this, the BCNA decided to comment on three items in the draft consultation plan released by the Victorian Government. The BCNA’s comments covered:
    • The importance of the Victorian Government honouring announced commitments, such as the provision of tram services, if development is to proceed.
    • The Victorian Government should underwrite the fund (holding development contribution levies) so that infrastructure can be provided in a timely way.
    • Some establishment costs, such as land for public transport and flood and drainage work, should be funded by the Victorian Government rather than through development contribution levies.

    The BCNA meets regularly with Nina Taylor, the State Member of Parliament for Albert Park, to discuss community concerns. We will be discussing BCNA’s the three concerns (see above) at our next meeting with her.

    BCNA Dinner 21 March

    The first BCNA dinner for 2024 is being held on the Thursday 21 March. Members have already been sent details.

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

    Wednesday 31 January 2024

    Update on Barak Beacon Housing Site

    Over the past few weeks’ residents near the site at Barak Road, Port Melbourne should have received a leaflet explaining progress. Homes Victoria is planning 408 new homes (from one to four bedrooms) across four buildings that will be between 2 and 11 storeys high (click here for details).

    Two community drop-in sessions have been arranged. The first is on Tuesday 20th February, from 4-7pm. The second is on Saturday 24th February, from 1-4pm. Both sessions are being held at the Liardet Community Centre (Main Hall), 154 Liardet Street, Port Melbourne. This is an opportunity to hear about the proposed plans and to have your questions answered.

    Higher Rates? Funding of Infrastructure in Fishermans Bend

    In December 2023, the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) considered the Victorian Government’s draft funding plan. It sets out how development contributions will be paid by residential and non-residential ratepayers in the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area (FBURA). This area comprises the precincts of Wirraway, Sandridge Montague, Lorimer shown on page 8 of the Framework. Funds raised from this area will be used to fund infrastructure such as open space, community facilities, and roads.

    The CoPP has developed a preliminary submission. In their report, CoPP officers have expressed concern that the capital requirements, particularly for local infrastructure, appear to have been underestimated. The CoPP agreed to submit a more detailed submission once details have been clarified with the Victorian Government.

    The final, agreed, Development Contribution Plan will influence rates for the rest of the City of Port Phillip for years to come. For this reason, the BCNA considers it to be a very important task. The Mayor, Councillor Cunsolo is encouraging submissions on the draft plan.

    A meeting for residents has not been arranged. However, a business and industry briefing has been organised for Tuesday 6th February at the Dusty Fox Café, Woolworths Fishermans Bend, 481 Plummer Street, Port Melbourne from 4.30 to 5.30pm and residents can attend. Registration is necessary (click here to register).  

    Submissions need to be made by 23 February. The BCNA is reviewing the draft and will consider a submission.

    App to Report Community Issues

    Snap Send Solve is a free app for mobile phones which makes it easy to notify the right people about community issues that need attention. Since its creation in 2010 it has become a popular and effective way to contact Councils and other authorities.

    The BCNA encourages members to report community issues, such a graffiti, dumped rubbish and abandoned shopping trolleys. The app is a simple and efficient way to do this. Details can be found here.

    Thursday 11 January 2024

    Council Purchases Site at 509 Williamstown Road

    Since our earlier post, the City of Port Phillip has announced that they have purchased the site. 

    The area at 509 Williamstown Road had been earmarked for open space as part of the Fishermans Bend Framework released by the Victorian Government in 2018. The site is adjacent to North Port Oval and is currently occupied by Australia Post’s Port Melbourne Business Centre. The Business Centre will relocate nearby.

    The BCNA welcomes the City of Port Phillip’s decision to purchase the site as it ensures that the area is used in ways consistent with the Fishermans Bend Framework.

    A decision on exactly how to the site will be informed by community consultation. Feedback will be sought from residents and stakeholders including local sporting groups. More information can be found here.

    Home Invasions and Security

    From time to time, we hear about burglaries in the Beacon Cove area.

    Two recent incidents involved thieves entering homes while the residents were asleep. In the first incident, the garage door was raised, and the intruders entered the house as the internal door to the garage was not locked. Car keys were taken, and the car stolen. The second incident involved the security door and front door being forced, keys being taken, and the car unlocked on the street. Other recent incidents have involved thefts from parked cars.

    The BCNA recommends that residents take action to minimise the possibility of being a victim. Many residents have set up ‘informal’ security networks with neighbours. You can alert each other if there is suspicious activity and help in other ways by collecting mail and returning bins while you are away. The BCNA encourages this. Take time to get to know your neighbours to see if this might be possible.

    Victoria Police has easy to read advice here. If your home has been broken into police advise that you do not confront the thief. Get out or find a safe place. Do not touch anything. Call your insurance company. The burglary should be reported. For emergencies: report a crime in progress, or for immediate police attendance, call Triple Zero (000). For non-emergencies: call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

    Saturday 6 January 2024

    Blessing of the Waters - Princes Pier - This Sunday - 8 Jan

    Sorry for the late notice of this - it's not usually well publicised and we only realised it was on this weekend when we saw some preparations taking place today.

    The Blessing of the Waters is a Greek Orthodox ceremony that takes place at Port Melbourne each year in January. It is held on Princes Pier which was where many immigrants first stepped on Australian soil.

    The event usually involves the throwing of the Holy Cross Greek around 1pm followed by Greek music and dancing for most of the afternoon. Greek food is usually available from some temporary food stalls on the pier. Representatives from local and state politics are also usually present.