Home // Articles posted by admin (Page 2)

Planning minister: skyscrapers make Melbourne’s CBD hostile

Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens bowling club, designed by Melbourne City Council’s design team, is one of the planning minister’s favourite CBD buildings. Photo: Photo: Luis Ascui MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 08: Photo of Republic Tower – cnr Queens and Latrobe Street on March 8, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Fairfax Media) Photo: Luis Ascui
Nanjing Night Net

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 08: Photo of property number 60 Canning st in North Melbourne on March 8, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Fairfax Media) Photo: Luis Ascui

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 23: A row of 2 story terrace houses on Powlett St, between Gipps and Hotham Streets East Melbourne for story on rezoning of exclusive Melbourne suburbs buy planning minister Matthew Guy. Melbourne, November 23, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Robenstone/Fairfax Media) Photo: Josh Robenstone

970630 – Travel – Brambuk Cultural Centre, Grampians (Gariwerd).Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Halls Gap.***FDCTRANSFER***

Benalla Art Gallery. Photo supplied

Photo by Penny Stephens. The Age. Minister for Planning Richard Wynne in Royal Park, Parkville. 6TH MARCH 2015 Photo: Penny Stephens

Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens bowling club, designed by Melbourne City Council’s design team, is one of the planning minister’s favourite CBD buildings. Photo: Photo: Luis Ascui

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 08: Photo of Republic Tower – cnr Queens and Latrobe Street on March 8, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Fairfax Media) Photo: Luis Ascui

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 08: Photo of property number 60 Canning st in North Melbourne on March 8, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Fairfax Media) Photo: Luis Ascui

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 23: A row of 2 story terrace houses on Powlett St, between Gipps and Hotham Streets East Melbourne for story on rezoning of exclusive Melbourne suburbs buy planning minister Matthew Guy. Melbourne, November 23, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Robenstone/Fairfax Media) Photo: Josh Robenstone

970630 – Travel – Brambuk Cultural Centre, Grampians (Gariwerd).Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Halls Gap.***FDCTRANSFER***

Benalla Art Gallery. Photo supplied

Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens bowling club, designed by Melbourne City Council’s design team, is one of the planning minister’s favourite CBD buildings. Photo: Photo: Luis Ascui

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 08: Photo of Republic Tower – cnr Queens and Latrobe Street on March 8, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Fairfax Media) Photo: Luis Ascui

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 08: Photo of property number 60 Canning st in North Melbourne on March 8, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Fairfax Media) Photo: Luis Ascui

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 23: A row of 2 story terrace houses on Powlett St, between Gipps and Hotham Streets East Melbourne for story on rezoning of exclusive Melbourne suburbs buy planning minister Matthew Guy. Melbourne, November 23, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Robenstone/Fairfax Media) Photo: Josh Robenstone

970630 – Travel – Brambuk Cultural Centre, Grampians (Gariwerd).Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Halls Gap.***FDCTRANSFER***

Benalla Art Gallery. Photo supplied

The proliferation of skyscrapers in central Melbourne has made many city streets “hostile” and windswept, new Planning Minister Dick Wynne says.

“There are some parts of the city that are quite hostile at street level,” Mr Wynne said, in his first major interview since returning to the planning portfolio. “The way some of the buildings have been constructed, you can be blown off your feet.”

In December, just days after being sworn in as planning minister, Mr Wynne was struck by a heart attack.

Now, back at work and in what he says is full health, he has started making decisions, last week approving demolition of Dallas Brooks Hall in East Melbourne and construction of a sprawling 12-level apartment complex.

Mr Wynne said it was clear too many poor-quality apartments were being built, and he vowed to bring in long-discussed minimum standards for Victoria.

Forty-four per cent of all new dwellings built in the state last year were apartments, and he said this meant better quality design and construction was needed.

“I can take you to developments very close by where the whole apartment is no bigger than [a small] room. Where I could barely get into the bathroom. Where the shower was over the toilet. And this is selling for $300,000-plus. And you think, ‘Is this the quality that we want?’ The answer is absolutely no,” he said. Favourite buildings

Asked by The Age to nominate half a dozen of his favourite buildings, Mr Wynne’s selections ranged from a small bowls club in the Flagstaff Gardens to the heritage-listed streets of East Melbourne.

Buildings that got his tick of approval include Benalla Art Gallery, pictured below. Designed by Philip Sargeant and Colin Munro, it opened in 1975. “It’s the most beautifully sited regional art gallery,” he said. “It’s spectacular.”

He said the Republic Tower at the corner of La Trobe and Queen streets, was a beautiful building. Designed by Nonda Katsalidis, the 34-storey tower pictured below caused a stir when plans for it were unveiled in the 1990s.

“Quite a few of us were looking aghast at it [because of the height]. But you look at it now and think, ‘What’s the problem?’ It’s a tall building but a good building.”

The Brambuk Cultural Centre in Halls Gap is another of Mr Wynne’s favourites. Richmond architect Gregory Burgess designed Brambuk, which means white cockatoo. “It’s a spectacular design, and tells the story of Aboriginal culture in the Halls Gap region,” Mr Wynne said.

The streets around East Melbourne as they come off the Fitzroy Gardens – one of which is pictured below – were also nominated by the minister as some of the city’s best preserved and most striking. “Walk around East Melbourne, it’s spectacular. Some of our beautiful built heritage is extraordinary.”

Mr Wynne said one of his top CBD buildings was the bowling club in Flagstaff Gardens (below). Designed by Melbourne City Council’s in-house team, this sustainable building was built in 2010 after the old bowls clubhouse burnt down. “It was a nondescript council building and bowls club before, and it’s now a fantastic community space,” he said.

A former housing minister, Mr Wynne also nominated public housing built in the 1990s in Canning Street, North Melbourne, as one of the city’s best places.

These apartments, pictured below, replaced some rather grim concrete four-storey walk-up flats. “It demonstrated you could rebuild these estates and provide public housing tenants with quality, affordable places to live,” Mr Wynne said.

Mr Wynne is now mulling over how to tackle some of the unfinished business left on his desk by predecessor Matthew Guy, now Opposition Leader.

Among them is a controversial plan for an 82-level apartment and hotel tower for Crown Casino that would overshadow the Shrine – something Mr Wynne has flagged he would not allow. Concern about density levels

Mr Wynne said he had significant concerns about the levels of density that had been approved in Melbourne’s CBD.

A recent report completed by senior city planner Leanne Hodyl found high-rise apartment towers in central Melbourne being built and approved at four times the densities allowed in some of the world’s most crowded cities.

“They are densities that give you reason to pause,” said Mr Wynne, who argued he was not opposed to tall towers. “Height in appropriate settings is a good thing. But we all get about the place on the ground.”

Mr Wynne also:

* said he would not tear up the Napthine government’s Plan Melbourne strategy for the city, instead pledging to review its contents.

* promised Melbourne’s urban growth boundary would not be shifted, and said the city had enough residential land to grow for 30 years.

* said he would not move to reject donations from property developers. “Is it legal for these people to donate? Yes, but that’s their business. If there is the suggestion that it comes with other opportunity, the answer is no; you don’t pay to get access to me.”

And, in a rare show of generosity towards the opposition, Mr Wynne said Mr Guy had been right to reject a 100-storey tower proposed by developer CBUS Property on the site of the National Mutual tower, at the corner of Collins and William streets.

“The one free kick I will give Matthew Guy is that he actually knocked off something in Collins Street … that overshadowed the [Yarra] river,” Mr Wynne said.

He said there were some “sacrosanct” parts of Melbourne that should not be overshadowed.

“There are some things in the civic realm that are not negotiable: you don’t overshadow the Shrine. You don’t overshadow the parliamentary precinct. You don’t overshadow the rivers. You don’t overshadow our beaches – we are not Surfers Paradise.”

Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 1991, Mr Wynne oversaw the closure of Swanston Street to traffic and helped start the council’s successful Postcode 3000 policy, which has dramatically boosted the number of CBD residents.

“When I was mayor there were about 200 hippies and squatters – no one lived [in the CBD]. What have we got now, 30,000 [residents]?”

One of the most controversial planning applications sitting on Mr Wynne’s desk is for an 82-level apartment tower that will also serve as a new hotel for Crown Casino. Located at 1 Queens Bridge Street, the tower would overshadow part of the Shrine forecourt for about 15 minutes on winter afternoons.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

No rain drops, so Chifley dam drops

THE hot, dry spell Bathurst is experiencing is rapidly taking chunks out of the city’s water supply.
Nanjing Night Net

Figures released by Bathurst Regional Council for Ben Chifley Dam at The Lagoon shows it sitting at 78.3 per cent.

It’s a far cry from the start of summer when it was just about at capacity.

Since then there has been scattered rain in the region, which has resulted in local farmers starting to address water shortage issues and a major change in the local countryside from emerald green to a parched, straw-like picture.

Western Advocate Rural Notebook columnist John Seaman said there had been some storm activity.

“But unfortunately it’s been all over the place and that includes the vast catchment area that Chifley Dam has, stretching all the way back up the Campbell’s River and its feeder creeks to Black Springs.

“It’s a massive area and covers some 960 square kilometres. Now that’s a big area of country that is typically renowned for its rainfall. For it to miss out on a lot of the storm activity is very rare and what falls it has received haven’t been sufficient to get the run-off you need to make it back to the dam.”

Mr Seaman said he’s had reports in recent weeks of storms, but they have varied from 110 millimetres to nothing in other places.

“It’s unpredictable,” he said. “I’ve even got an old friend at Palmers Oakey in the high country north of Bathurst who says he is starting to have water problems. That’s nearly unheard of out this way and is typical of the situation at present.”

Mr Seaman said Chifley Dam couldn’t be located in a better spot to pick up any decent rainfall.

“There’s not a better catchment area going around,” he said. “While we need the rain, there’s no talk of hand feeding yet and at this stage everyone is hoping for an autumn break (rain).

“At this time last year we got just about the best autumn break ever with 100mm one day, 40mm a few days later, another 40mm and on it went. We’d love to see that happen again.”

Ben Chifley Dam is capable of holding 30.8 million litres of water.

The supply was effectively doubled when the dam wall was raised in 2000, ironically on the eve of a decade-long drought described as the worst in living memory.

Despite the drought, Bathurst Regional Council did not have to enforce water restrictions for residents.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Yallouris joins Mile legends

NICK Yallouris joined many of cycling’s greats as a Golden Mile Wheelrace champion at Sunday night’s Bendigo International Madison carnival.
Nanjing Night Net

His warm-up to a madison start was superb as he won the Andy’s Earthmovers-backed classic ahead of Ben Abels, Rohan Wight and last year’s winner, Bendigo star Glenn O’Shea.

TOO GOOD: Nick Yallouris after his win in the Golden Mile. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

A great summer for Yallouris included victory in the Australian Madison with Jackson Law.

“To win the Golden Mile is massive,” Yallouris declared.

He started off 10m in the 1600m contest.

“The backmarkers worked really well together,” he said of the pursuit.

It was Jackson Law’s turn at 1 1/2 laps to go that put Yallouris right in contention.

“It was a massive effort by Jackson.”

A Burnie Wheelrace winner on Tasmania’s lucrative circuit, Yallouris said the Golden Mile victory was a on par.

“This crowd and atmosphere is amazing.

“There is nowhere else like it,” he said of the thousands of fans packed into the Tom Flood Sports Centre.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Orions plan to take game to new level

THERE have been good wins against the best North-West country teams in the lead-up.
Nanjing Night Net

MIDDLED IT: Top order batsman Miles Barnard will need to do plenty of this if Devonport is to triumph against South Hobart-Sandy Bay in today’s Statewide T20 grand final. Picture: Jason Hollister.

But Devonport coach Stephen Lee knows his team will have to raise the bar again if they are to topple Southern powerhouse South Hobart Sandy Bay in this afternoon’s Statewide Twenty20 grand final.

The Orions are competing in their first major statewide final for many years, and Lee says his team will have to contend with a higher level of batting, bowling and fielding than what they have so far this campaign.

“We are probably going to need 130-140 with the bat just to be competitive as the Sharks bat pretty well,” Lee said.

“Everyone of them will be fairly aggressive when they bat, and I’m sure they will try and pressure our bowlers.”

“They’ll also bowl a better line and length than what we are generally used to, but with the ball coming on to bat quicker, it should suit our top order because they like to hit through the line.

“Obviously we will be underdogs but we’re okay with that.”

South Hobart Sandy Bay won’t be at full strength for today’s game, with George Bailey and Xavier Doherty with the Australian World Cup team, while Alex Doolan will be in transit after Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield loss in Sydney.

But they are still full of class players, such as former Latrobe batsman Trent Keep, who is coming off a big century in club cricket yesterday, and Tigers contract players Timm van der Gugten, Gabe Bell and Hamish Kingston.

The Orions also have a close connection with their opponents, having supplied them with 10 first grade players over the past two decades. Lee said a little bit of inside knowledge could come in handy, but is backing his team to perform on the big stage.

“But our top order is our key, with Miles Barnard and Brent Mullett our two best players.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Former pupils, staff reminisce about Gnotuk Primary School

Camperdown’s Alan Field, the last teacher to teach at Gnotuk Primary School, with past pupils Craig Arnold, from Brisbane, and Steve Gravett, from Camperdown, at the school reunion on Saturday. 150307LP17 Picture: LEANNE PICKETTYOUNG and old turned out to reminisce of days gone by at Gnotuk Primary School.
Nanjing Night Net

Former pupils and staff filled the Camperdown Guide Hall on Saturday with photos, books and memorabilia on display.

The school, just west of Camperdown, opened in 1902 and a year later reached its peak, with its intake of pupils totalling 131.

Former pupil and one of the organisers Joanne Cook said the day was a great success.

“It was great just to see people’s faces as they went through all the stuff,” she said.

“A lot of the older ones were able to reminisce.”

Mrs Cook said a time capsule from children who were at the school in the late 1970s, when she attended, had included a letter about where she lived.

The school, now demolished, overlooked Lake Gnotuk. Each year there would be school picnics and sports days with the other local schools including Bookaar, Chocolyn, Talindert and Tesbury.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Senators head to Portland to discuss wind turbine ideas

PORTLAND has been selected as one of the first venues for hearings by a Senate select committee on wind turbines for a report to be handed down in June.
Nanjing Night Net

So far almost 40 submissions from across Australia, including south-west Victoria, have been lodged before the March 23 closing date.

The committee, chaired by Senator John Madigan of Ballarat, is looking into regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines. Members will sit in Portland on March 30. A venue and time are yet to be confirmed.

The senator has long campaigned for better regulatory controls.

One of the early submissions is from the Country Fire Authority which calls for response plans involving personnel trained for rescues at heights.

“To safely perform a rescue from height at a wind turbine the CFA would require a minimum of 10 personnel on scene,” the submission said.

“CFA needs to liaise with each wind farm to establish a relationship where all of the stakeholders are aware of each other’s expectations should an incident occur.

“Boundaries need to be clearly established to ensure early notification when an incident occurs and that on-site workers don’t make the situation worse by trying to effect a rescue. As the numbers of wind farms increase so will the amount of people working at height, increasing the potential risk of an accident.”

The CFA submission says there are no standard operating procedures (SOP) in districts 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 which cover the Barwon/South-West.

This caused problems for response to a rescue at the Macarthur wind farm when Hamilton brigade was the only unit paged to attend.

“With the amount of wind farms operating and the additional one under construction an SOP needs to be formulated and implemented ASAP,” the submission says.

CFA emergency management guidelines state that turbines be located about 300 metres apart to provide adequate distance for aircraft to operate and clearing of vegetation within 30 metres of a turbine was recommended.

Keith Staff, of Penshurst, sent a submission headed: “The industrial wind power scam is a catastrophe on every level”.

He attacks governments, companies, consultants, the media and councils.

“Shire councils’ first priority should be for the health and well-being of their residents and ratepayers,” Mr Staff wrote.

The Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia called for a national database of tower locations for low-level aviators.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

A perfect time to make CCTV case

FILE IMAGE. A perfect time to make CCTV case.THERE is no good time for a shop owner to have their front window smashed byvandals, but nor would right now be the worst time.
Nanjing Night Net

Porters Cafe is the latest CBD business to be targeted by mindless vandals after a glass door was smashed on Friday night.

Owner Chris Bergen says it is the second time his cafe has been hit in the past eight months and he is not alone.

In the past month, windows at Harmonikos on Bentinck Street have been smashed twice, and just last weekend two more William Streetbusinesses – Bathurst Travel Centre and Kelly and Partners Chartered Accountants – were targeted.

The spate of attacks has renewed calls for Bathurst Regional Council to finally fund closed circuit television (CCTV) in the CBD as both a deterrent to vandals and to help police identify offenders once an attack has taken place.

And Mr Bergen is one of those who thinks the time has come – and that CCTV can be a success in Bathurst.

If it is to happen, though, council will need to find the money in its 2015-16 budget and that’s why now is the perfect time to be putting the case for CCTV.

Councillors have already started planning for next year’s budget, putting together their own lists of priorities.

And if businesses – and the broadercommunity – believe council should be paying for CCTV, then now is the time to step up thelobbying of councillors.

This is one of those issues that will not go away until the cameras are in place.

Businesses pay their rates to council and have every right to expect a sympathetic ear when they put in their requests for how some of that money should be spent.

The wait has gone on long enough.

Bathurst business owners call for CCTVBusiness owners renew call for CCTV in the Bathurst CBD after two windows brokenThief smashes Bathurst music shop’s window with rockBathurst business Harmonikos broken into twiceThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Father, sons in assault and home invasion

A father and his two adult sons kicked in the door at a Fotheringham Street unit before a 22-year-old man was assaulted at 2.30am on Saturday.A FATHER and two sons will face court tomorrow after they allegedy broke into a home and ‘viciously’ bashed a young Warrnambool man.
Nanjing Night Net

The men, aged, 43, 21 and 18, kicked the door in of the Fotheringham Street unit and a 22-year-old man was assaulted at 2.30am on Saturday.

Detective Senior Constable Wayne Ryan, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said the victim was punched and kicked and suffered superficial facial and head injuries.

The man was taken to Warrnambool Base Hospital for observation and later released.

Detective Senior Constable Ryan said it was a vicious and nasty attack in the middle of the night.

“The two other people in the unit were visibly shaken,” he said. “It was all over pretty quickly but it’s a pretty nasty and severe incident for the victim to go through.”

All three men have been charged with aggravated burglary and the 43-year-old man has been charged with recklessly cause serious injury and recklessly cause injury.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Warrnambool in a twirl over square dancing

Lesley Collyer (left) and partner Ross MacLean with Elizabeth MacLean and Chris Park during the state convention for square dancers held in Warrnambool over the weekend. Picture: LEANNE PICKETTTHERE were plenty of do-si-dos and full skirts when 240 people converged on Warrnambool for the state convention for square dancing.
Nanjing Night Net

Dancers from around the state, along with people from Tasmania and South Australia, filled St Pius Hall for the four-day event.

Convener Mark Kelly said a public demonstration at Gateway Plaza proved to be popular, with interest building for a Warrnambool club.

He said it was the first time the convention had been held in Warrnambool and dancers as young as 14 took part.

“It has been absolutely brilliant,” he said,

“St Pius Hall has been perfect for us. We’re all very happy with the accommodation houses and the cafes.

“There has been a lot of interest for a Warrnambool club.”

Last night dancers dressed up for a themed beach party to celebrate the final night in Warrnambool.

Square dancing has been around for more than 50 years in Victoria, with 22 dance clubs across the state.

Victorian Square Dancing Association State Convention held at St Pius Hall in Warrnambool. Picture:LEANNE PICKETT

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

State pledge’s $45m to tackle Victoria’s ice scourge

FORTY-FIVE million dollars is a lot of money, but it remains to be seen whether it will make a dent in Victoria’s ever increasing and frightening ice epidemic.
Nanjing Night Net

The Andrews government is following up on its pre-election commitment to have a go at tackling the ice scourge and will introduce tougher laws, boost police powers to shut down drug labs and create better access to health programs.

It is only a first step and it has been widely applauded as a bold move.

Ice has crept up on the community and taken it by surprise.

It is highly addictive, dangerous and ruinous for those who are seduced by its euphoric power.

Widely available, it has gained a particularly strong hold in regional and rural communities where organised crime elements have identified a ready market among the vulnerable and disenfranchised.

Areas with high youth unemployment are particularly vulnerable, but ice has also become the drug of choice for people with jobs who have to work long hours to make ends meet.

Increasingly, the drug is injected so part of the Andrews program includes bolstering needle-exchange programs in regional areas.

New laws, including tougher measures to target those who push the drug near schools and those who allow their premises to be used for “cooking’’ or dealing the substance, will be introduced.

Police have long argued that one of the most effective ways to tackle ice is at the source, so they will receive $4.5 million to boost the forensic drug branch along with its intelligence operations.

Support for families stricken by the drug will also get extra support.

It is going to be a long, hard slog to win the battle against ice.

Organised crime gangs are sophisticated, ruthless and greedy. They preside over an immoral trade where money is king and life is cheap.

Our courts are clogged with victims of ice, but rarely do we see the Mr Bigs get the comeuppance they so richly deserve.

This government funding is welcome, but it will take much more to kill off this monster in our midst.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.