A little bit of logic please

Once again the press have drawn attention to the dangers of flooding in parts of North Melbourne with only a small rise in sea levels. Here is the latest missive: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/waterside-living-to-come-at-rising-cost-20130414-2htpn.html .

The logic of it all is beyond me, the North Melbourne area referred to in this article is one that the planning minister Matthew Guy has identified as a development zone with 30 meter highrise developments. The underground car parking could get interesting in period of floods! The tidal reach of the Monee Ponds Creek runs all the way to just short of Racecourse Road which is deceptive as it seems too far into the city to be tidal,this also means the ground water is very close to the surface in the area around the Arden St Oval  which traditionally has no tall buildings, as it was a bog, thus left as open space to become a footy ground and light industrial.

The Brits relaxed the, “no domestic construction in flood planes” regulations in the 90s and in the last few years have seen the expensive results.

We shouldnt have to bail these people out with public works and higher insurance premiums if we know in advance it will be a problem. We have the knowledge and skills so we can plan ahead with a land use pattern which will be more suitable to occasional flooding, unless of course you believe sea level rising is just some “greenie” nonsense or don’t simply care.

Small Victory in the trenches – Woolworths front Autumn 2013

Dear Neighbours – this update provides advice regarding a delay in the availability of the VCAT outcome which was expected by the end of March.

Jane Good of Brand Partners, our neighbour and legal advisor, who has supported our case at VCAT including instructing our barrister, Mr Ian Munt and expert witness, Mr Angus Witherby, received notification from VCAT on Friday, March 15 that due to a covenant on one of the properties comprising the proposed development site the VCAT Members are unable to make a decision on the application.  To explain the situation the following draws on information from the VCAT Interim Order (dated March 12, 2013).

The issue: One of the lots that comprise the review site is affected by a covenant, in that it is to provide car parking to the benefit of another lot which comprises part of the review site. The process requires the Permit Applicant (Fabcot / Woolworths) to make a separate planning permit application to the Melbourne City Council, as the responsible authority, to remove the covenant.  It is noted that parties at the hearing did not object to the removal of the covenant.

It is also noted that the Planning Minister has no authority to issue a Notice of Decision until such time as the covenant is removed. This is therefore embarrassing for both the Minister and the applicant (Fabcot/Woolworths) and should have been actioned BEFORE the permit application was lodged.

Required steps: Until the permit has been granted by the Melbourne City Council (MCC), the VCAT Members will not make a decision that could affirm or vary the decision of the Minister for Planning to grant a permit.  A Mention Hearing for 12 April 2013 has been scheduled by the VCAT Members at which time the status of the removal of the covenant application is to be advised.

If the City of Melbourne decides NOT to remove the covenant Fabcot/Woolworths will be obliged to take the matter to the Supreme Court which will likely result in further delay and cost for them.

Implications for VCAT decision: Until the covenant is removed through the granting of a permit by MCC the VCAT decision will not be available.  Given this the earliest we can expect the VCAT appeal decision is now mid April.


INF3-96 Food Production Dig for Victory Artist Peter Fraser

As our planned city threatens to spill into poorly structured chaos, there is hope.

As our planned city threatens to spill into poorly structured chaos, there is hope & inspiration in two places this Friday afternoon 23 Nov.

At the Victorian Archives in the shadow of Woolworths highly contested & controversial Canning St proposal for a supermarket with monster towers the Victorian Archives on Sheil St are running a free exhibition of the competition to design Canberra. The passion, forethought and quality are of the entrants are inspiring. Mr Guy should take a visit to the exhibition as 100 years latter Canberra is a very successful city which has grown from nothing to 350,000 while catering for it’s disparate citizens consistently over time how ever dysfunctional its politics have been or are at any time.


The Age Online Reporting Victorian Planning Issues

The Age Online Reporting Victorian Planning Issues


The other delightful consequence of the decent into adhoc planning chaos, like a new Western suburb with no bus or train ( laugh and the world laughs with you, weep in frustration and Minister will step over you) is that it has prompted some thoughtfull and informative discourse in media, none more so than todays Age Article by Norman Day titled Marvellous Melbourne, a city lived on the street, is in peril.

Map of major projects in 3051

This is a map of major project underway in 3051. If you know of other planning applications underway send me the address and details and I will add it to the RAiD3051 map.

View North & West Melbourne Development RAiD 3051 in a larger map

Developments in Progress in 3051

I posted this on our Facebook page recently. The scale of what is going on at the moment is amazing & much of it is in front of the Minister not the main planning body the City Council and this it what concerns us. The Minister approves development but the Council plans and delivers services and they need to talk. Here is the post.

This is what is on at the moment in North & West Melbourne and this is with out all the little ones, did you notice 27 Erskine (application rejected) has something going on.

Flemington Road (crn Blackwood St): 400 new apartments in 3 “towers” ranging in height from 13 stories to 7. This being dealt with by DPCD as it is so huge.

17 Racecourse Road, 7 stories, 66 apratments plus retail at ground level. This proposal has a 6 star energy rating. This being dealt with by the MCC.

371-379 Spencer Street West Melbourne: 750 apartments, 2 towers 39 stories and 29 stories. This is also being dealt with by DPCD.

The big Alfred Street development (520 apartments) and the other Racecourse Road development (90 apartments).

Our issues at RAiD are about height, density and the need for investment in social, eductaional, transport and recreational infrastructure not stopping progress.

13 August update, post the Minister for Planning (allegedly) approval.

RAID EMAIL UPDATE 29 – August 13, 2012

Dear Neighbours – it is now two weeks since we have heard of Minister Guy’s decision to approve the Woolworths proposal with minor conditions as they relate to the developments potential impact on the local community. On behalf of RAID the following actions have been taken:

Two street stalls on Saturday, August 4 in Errol and Melrose Streets. The general feedback from the community was disappointment that the proposal had been approved; several people signed up as RAID members and several generous donations were made. The stalls have proven to be worthwhile in advising people of both the status of the proposal and for others to raise awareness of the proposal.

A new poster has been prepared and colour copies are available to place in your home/office window. The theme is for Woolworths to bring down the development by 50% in terms of the towers and number of flats. Two sizes – A4 colour and A3 colour and laminated version – are available for a small fee to cover the cost of colour printing – $2.00, $3.50 and $6.00 respectively. Please reply if you want to purchase a poster/s to organise pick-up and payment.

Thank you to RAID members who have responded with suggestions for further action. Our immediate priority is to lodge a RAID application to VCAT for review of the decision by this Friday.

Members of the RAID planning group have researched the grounds for appeal and are putting together the application.

Recent media has taken up the issue – Age, Melbourne Leader
Planning for the RAID public meeting at the end of August is underway – more details to follow.

Please put forward your suggestions to get the message across – the scale of this development is not acceptable.

Melbourne Leader Photos 2 August 2012 10:30am (I know its during work).

The Minister has made his tragic decision for the development to go ahead pretty much unfettered but the Melbourne Leader will be covering the news and wants to take some Photos tomorrow on the 2 July 2012 at 10:30am at Vaughan Terrace.

I know its during work for many people but try to get on down and show your support for the communities struggle for a better Woolworths development. As always kids & dogs very welcome & remember you are never too old or too young to make a noise and get involved.


View Larger Map


Lobby Mathew Guy Planning Minister Liberal Govt to bring the Woolworths development down to 12 stories

Lobby Mathew Guy Planning Minister Liberal Govt to bring the Woolworths development down to 12 storient.

Ministers first plan to expand the CBD with a planning by press release strategy.

Finally found a copy of the Ministers first plan to expand the CBD by fuzzy press release that was released a few months back. It has some unexplained yellow arrows sort Eastern font style circa 1943 pointing at North Melbourne and Collingwood. When compared to the latest press releases it seems in the new July 2012 plan of development by press release Collingwood is gone and the Docklands at Fishermans bend, sorry I mean development at Fishermans bend has grown in size and scope, has anyone got a PDF of the new prop.


Planning Ministers first plan to develop the CBD using a planning by press release process.

Planning Minister 1st plan to expand the CBD and development zone now in new winter flavor.


Fishermans Bend seems like the Arden Macaulay plan debacle all over.

Here is the actual press release from the Govt about the Fishermans bend, imagine not consulting the elected council who have been running a strategy plan and consultation process for over 12 months, sounds just like the Minister and the Arden Macaullay plan and the City of Melbourne all over.

City Councilors are our directly elected representatives, the City Council Officers in the inner-city councils know the issues intimately they have expertise and knowledge, most are strategic and seem to be pro growth and consolidation. The Govt should communicate with them and work WITH them not ambush them in this manner.

Planning like Government "for the people by the people"

Planning for the future use of land should be like Government "for the people by the people"

In other big news Docklands planning gets handed back to the City of Melbourne. Just as the glamour of announcing big developments and fancy towers has gone out of it and the hard, costly work of  planning and implementing social infra-structure like schools, libraries, child care, aged care, ESL courses etc has begun in earnest it gets hand balled out of the Ministers office to the rate payers in Melbourne.


RAiD News 25 June Solstice Edition

Welcome to the RAiD winter warmer news up date, there are six items of update on the latest in our campaign news letter as we continue in our quest for a better quality of development in 3051.

  1. Status of Woolworths decision: there is still no decision from the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy on the Woolworths proposal.  There has been no further information available to us on the status of the decision.  We are aware that both the Shadow Minister for Planning, Brian Tee and Greg Barber, Greens Upper House member are alert to the proposal.


  1. Report from RAID street stall on Saturday, June 16: was most successful in attracting an additional 15 membership sign-ups and a great deal of discussion about the specific Woolworths proposal and broader development proposals and their impact on services, parking, traffic etc. Attached is the updated information flyer distributed at the stall.  An initiative of one of the volunteers was a raffle (a bottle of red wine) which was won by David who works locally.  A further street stall is planned for Melrose Street shops in the coming weeks and possible translation of the information flyer into community languages.  A fuerther update will be provided along with a request for volunteers to participate on the day when arrangments are confirmed.


  1. By-election scheduled for Saturday, July 21st:- Meet the Candidates – a forum has been advertised for Monday, July 9th at 7.00 pm in the Church of All Nations, 180 Palmerston Street, Carlton.  This is an opportunity to ask a question of the candidates as to their view on planning in the inner suburbs.


  1. Melbourne Metro (refer to web details at: ptv.vic.gov.au/melbournemetro): Peter Topping is prepared to apply to be a member of the Melbourne Metro Community Reference Group on behalf of RAID.  The RAID position at this early stage of the process, and with limited information to consider, is a general one of support for public transport; and the persistent message of integration of services including with the existing public transport network.  Should Peter be successful in his application to the reference group, he will both raise issues from the RAID membership and advise of matters from the reference group requiring community input.  Volunteers to form a support group to Peter in this role would be most welcome.   


  1. RAID in the press: the June edition of the North and West Melbourne News (N&WMN) featured an article about RAID Inc – its purpose and activities over the past 10 months.  The article provides a succinct summary of the issues, the RAID position and the outcomes to date, including the Melbourne City Council’s disapproval of the proposal in its current form and the formation of a City of Melbourne committee traffic management working party for this local area.

    News from RAiD 3051 on the proposed Woolworths High rise development

    RAiD 3051 residents community news on Woolworths proposal & planning in 3051