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KEW COTTAGES COALITION
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Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698H
The Big Con ?The Yarra River Green Wedge established in 1984. Kew, Melbourne Australia.
This prize 27 hectare site just kilometres from the city is
being developed on a model than concerns
the Committee greatly....
It was September 11th 2008.
"... The final financial return to the State will not be known until the end of the project...."
Department of Human Services
March 29th 2010
"... If a con game is successful, the mark does not realize he has been "taken" (cheated), at least not until the con men are long gone..."
The story so far...
In the beginning, way back in 1887, Kew Cottages was Australia's first 'Government Insurance Policy' for intellectually disabled kids and their families.
It offered asylum for the children on a piece of public land outside of the walls Willmere that was permanently reserved by an Act of Parliament for the intellectually disabled.
Today, Kew Cottages is like a "canary down a coal mine". Nearly half of the public land surrounding the cottages has been privatised and sold off by the Brumby and Bracks Governments.
There is a strong smell of corruption in the air. The State's anti corruption watchdog began investigating the Victorian Government's contract with NSW developer Walker Corporation a year ago in January 2009.
However, despite the investigation, and despite large and unexplained losses on the land sales, the Government has pushed ahead with the Main Drive Kew contract.
Sunday 20th December 2009To preserve democracy, political donations must be limited
National political reporter for The Sunday Age
WHAT price democracy in Australia? As far as the broad mass of taxpayers are concerned, not that much, it seems. For the 2007 federal election, taxpayers chipped in about $49 million to help political parties run their campaigns, up from $10.3 million in 1987.
That might sound like a lot, but compared to public funding for elections in other countries, it's relatively small beer.
This is not to say Australian elections are cheap. In fact, the cost of funding them has been rocketing. Labor's spending rose by 116 per cent in real terms over the 20 years to 2004. Liberal spending surged 136 per cent.
Public funding makes up just 20 per cent of election spending in Australia. The rest comes from a morass of donations, membership and affiliation fees, investments and fund-raising.
Ask Premier John Brumby and he might say that this is all part of the democratic process. Is it not a basic freedom for individuals and companies to contribute to a political party if they wish?
But perhaps a more pertinent question is whether that ''basic freedom'' carries with it an even bigger cost: the erosion of the democratic process itself.
John Faulkner, previously special minister of state and now defence minister, warned in a green paper on electoral reform that ''spiralling costs'' of electioneering had created a campaigning ''arms race''.
This has heightened the danger that fund-raising pressures would open the door to donations that might attempt to buy access and influence...
(Read More >> )
Tuesday 15th December 2009Graham Richardson is still a figure of influence
Irritated ... Graham Richardson during the inquiry / Pic: Alan Pryke Source: The Daily Telegraph
Gemma Jones and Angela Kamper write:
LABOR heavyweight Graham Richardson revealed himself as an unpaid policy adviser to Premier Kristina Keneally's Government yesterday.
In sometimes heated exchanges at a State Government committee related to the Michael McGurk affair, Mr Richardson was asked about his contact with the State Government's leadership plotters and his influence in Government ranks.
The former federal minister and now lobbyist, who said his car is his office, said he was in close contact with "puppeteers" Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid as well as controversial MP John Della Bosca in the lead-up to former premier Nathan Rees' downfall.
Since Ms Keneally became Premier earlier this month, Mr Richardson said he had been offering free advice on policy matters but he denied he influenced the leadership change...
(Read More >> )
Friday 4th December 2009Victoria's disabled housing 'in crisis'
Source: Stateline Victoria
Published: Friday, December 4, 2009 12:00 AEDT
Expires: Thursday, March 4, 2010 12:00 AEDT
Numerous stories of heartache from angry families have been told to a parliamentary inquiry into housing for Victoria's disabled, including the case of an autistic man who was driven to self-harm after being locked in a small room for hours on end.
JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA, PRESENTER: A parliamentary inquiry into accommodation for disabled Victorians is expected to uncover a system in crisis. The committee has heard countless stories from families in despair; among them are Mark and Ellen Modra. They've watched their autistic son, Luke, deteriorate to the point of self-harm, after spending hours locked in a room with little more than a bed and a toilet. Erin Cassar reports.
(Read More >> )
Tuesday 24th November 2009
Premier has 'open mind' on anti-corruption review
Elizabeth Proust will conduct the review.
Victorian Premier John Brumby says he has an open mind about a review into the performance of the State's anti-corruption bodies.
The review will examine organisations such as the Ombudsman, the Auditor-General, and the Office of Police Integrity.
The review will be led by Elizabeth Proust, a former secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Monday 23rd November 2009Richardson to face planning inquiry again
Brian Robins writes:
THE lobbyist and former federal MP Graham Richardson will be called to appear again before a state parliamentary inquiry.
The inquiry committee intends asking Parliament tomorrow for an extension that will allow it to call Mr Richardson for further questioning at a future date, with its deliberations to be wrapped up by late February.
The Coalition, the Greens and the Shooters Party all support the extension, while the Government does not intend to oppose it, which means it will win parliamentary approval.
The extension follows the Legislative Council committee looking into Badgerys Creek land dealings and planning decisions handing down its findings late last week, calling for ''substantial and urgent reform'' in the way lobbyists interact with Planning Department officials, along with an overhaul to political and election funding...
Tuesday 17th November 2009Will Brumby Match NSW Ban on Developer Donations ?
Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition, today called on the Victorian Premier John Brumby to match the sweeping changes to State and Local election campaign funding announced by NSW Premier Nathan Rees on Saturday.
Mr. Rees told the ALP State Conference in Sydney that 'a clean slate' ban on all donations from developers would apply to all levels of the party in NSW.
Mr. Walsh said that all States and all political parties stood to gain by banning developer donations.
"This electoral reform is long overdue", Mr. Walsh said. " NSW has finally seen the writing on the wall. The public has had enough of the stench brought about by large political donations linked to Labor lobbyists like Graham Richardson, and contentious developments like Kew Cottages."
"Why has Victoria been dragging its feet for so long on this issue ? A national ban on developer donations is vital," Mr. Walsh said, otherwise the problem in Victoria and other States will just get worse."
"Unless Brumby acts quickly to match the NSW ban on donations, 'dodgy developers' from NSW will be able to start using Victoria to help 'ride around' the ban they now face in their home State," Mr. Walsh said.
Monday 16th November 2009
Brumby runs a Labor Government?
If so, it's in name onlySenior columnist at The Age Kenneth Davidson writes
The funding of two hospitals aids the wealthy as social policy withers.Read More >>
READERS of this column are well aware that I believe that the Brumby Government is, at the very least, hopelessly incompetent when it comes to core issues such as water, public transport and Melbourne planning and I spell out detailed reasons for these conclusions. These days the people I upset most tend to be Labor's rusted-on ''true believers''.
At a recent conference on the subject of neo-liberalism organised by the left-wing Search Foundation I argued that the global financial crisis had totally discredited the efficient financial markets hypothesis on which neo-liberalism was built, but, as a political force justifying government hand-outs to the rich and powerful, it was alive and well.
I gave some examples by reference to Victoria.
At the conference Race Mathews - whom I greatly respect for a long, principled career associated with the Labor Party (as minister in the Cain government and the driving force behind the Fabian Society) - shouted at me that whatever the Brumby Government was doing, it wasn't corrupt...
Sunday 15th November 2009
Rees sets own agendaRead More >>
Shake-up ... Nathan Rees and wife Stacey at the conference yesterday. Photo: Jon Reid
LEESHA MCKENNY AND LISA CARTY write
POLITICAL donations from developers will be banned in NSW under sweeping changes to campaign funding announced by Premier Nathan Rees yesterday.
And lobbyists will be stopped from meeting departmental officials in coffee shops, with all meetings to be held on official premises or on the sites of proposed developments.
Mr Rees said lobbyists had a role to play, but contacts with government should be formal, with full minutes of meetings taken and retained...
$10,000 to sit next to Brumby
ROYCE MILLAR AND PAUL AUSTIN write
PREMIER John Brumby is under mounting pressure over companies giving cash to the ALP while seeking access to Victoria's coal reserves, with the revelation that the main sponsor of a party fundraiser last week was a high-profile coal entrepreneur.Read More >>
Latrobe Fertilisers, a company proposing to turn coal into fertiliser, is pushing the Government to open Gippsland's coal fields for non-energy use. The company was the ''Gold'' sponsor of last Thursday's annual dinner for ALP fund-raising arm Progressive Business.
The company's chairman, Allan Blood, sat at Mr Brumby's side for much of the evening in return for contributing $10,000 to the ALP.
Mr Brumby refuses to comment on such discussions...
Friday 16th October 2009
Disability watchdog hits outPAUL AUSTIN writes
A disabled and mentally ill woman has been locked up against her will in inappropriate accommodation for 21 years under state care, and nine other people with ''dual disabilities'' have suffered the same fate for at least the past eight years.
Their cases have been condemned as a breach of the Victorian Government's human rights charter in a report to Parliament by the state's disability watchdog.
The Office of the Public Advocate's report, based on the findings of more than 5000 visits to psychiatric facilities and other state-monitored care homes last year, paints a picture of residents living in fear in sub-standard accommodation, overseen by overworked and sometimes poorly trained staff.
It calls on the Government to dramatically boost funding for better quality accommodation and care for thousands of weak and disabled Victorians.
Public Advocate Colleen Pearce told The Age last night: ''We are failing our most vulnerable citizens when the Government does not provide adequate housing and social support.''...
Read More >>
Sartor slams Keneally over lobbyist visits
ANDREW CLENNELL AND MATTHEW MOORE write
Frank Sartor.THE former planning minister Frank Sartor has broken Government ranks to condemn the fact that the Planning Department head Sam Haddad was able to be lobbied by the Labor identity Graham Richardson without his minister, Kristina Keneally, knowing or caring.
Mr Sartor has called for a change in the way the Government deals with lobbyists following revelations that Mr Richardson met Mr Haddad on at least four occasions in the past year...
Read More >>
Tuesday 15th September 2009
Chilling words from The Fixer
Andrew Clennell writes
The words from Graham Richardson in February were almost chilling. They came down the phone with arrogance and defiance.
It was a conversation The Sydney Morning Herald was having with Richo about him having to step out of the shadows after Premier Nathan Rees had set up a lobbyist register.
The former senator and Labor general secretary registered at the time as a lobbyist for Medich Property Holdings, Walker Group, Hardie Holdings, Bradcorp and Berowra Waters Marina P/L.
Richardson was as he always is: highly articulate, intelligent, and without any care or sufferance for a meddlesome journalist who might want to query his dealings with government or the Labor party.
"I don't have to talk to ministers, I can get things done through other means," Mr Richardson said.
"Often it's better not to talk to them [ministers] because if I do, people like you want to make something of it," he said.
Sunday 2nd August 2009
Why Brumby should take the Bligh road to integrity
Melissa Fyfe writes
Moves by Queensland's Premier to fight corruption put her ahead of John Brumby.
WHEN former high-flying Queensland minister Gordon Nuttall was jailed recently, Anna Bligh did a little soul searching. The corruption that darkened the sunshine state in the Joh Bjelke-Petersen years was long gone, and yet here was a former minister taking secret commissions from businessmen. Had all the reforms of the Fitzgerald corruption inquiry meant nothing?...
Thursday 4th June 2009
Australia's State of Disgrace
Why Justin Madden was censured by the Victorian Parliament
Minor Political Parties - the New Conscience of Spring Street ?
Large political parties in Australia have two things in common, no matter their political persuasion, they have all been accused of both branch stacking, and of accepting dodgy political donations.
But after Brimbank, both the Greens, and the DLP, the two minor parties on the cross benches in the Victorian Parliament have had enough of the damage associated with such practices.
Brian Walsh, President Kew Cottage Coalition interviews Peter Kavanagh, DLP about why he supported the 3-Jun'09 'No Confidence Motion' against Planning Minister, Justin Madden - the first such censure of a Victorian State Minister in 20 years.
Dur: 4:39 ==
Interview - Peter Kavanagh MP from Kew Cottages Coalition on Vimeo.
Australia's State of Disgrace ?
"The Disability Sector has paid too high a price for what has happened here at Kew
... it is an absolute disgrace in my view..."
Cr. Phillip Healey, Boroondara Council
View Planning Backlash Video >>>
Tuesday 19th May 2009
Cassie Maher writes:
"The pleas of families, politicians and charities for more supported accommodation places in Boroondara fell on deaf ears in the State Government... >>
Sunday 10th May 2009
Exposing the underbelly:
Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer has released a scathing report about Brimbank City Council
Brimbank: The bad and the ugly
Michael Bachelard writes...
"... In 2006 when the bloc was controlled by Theo Theophanous, and was still holding together, he could march into Brack's office after that year's election and say that he represented the Right faction's view about who should be a minister.
He got his way... Steve Bracks and John Brumby were both aligned to this Labor Unity faction ... >>>
Tuesday 28th April 2009
...The Kew Cottages Parents Association, which supports relatives of people living in Department of Human Services community residential units, has called for a national standard for supported accommodation.
Executive officer Louise Godwin said in her submission that fluctuations across regions meant some residents were missing out. She said that a man in a community residential unit died ``shortly after'' unsuccessful attempts were made to get him appropriate care support the department allegedly said it could not afford. A coroner's inquiry was underway, Ms Godwin said... >>>
BOROONDARA councillors are outraged that buildings they proposed be used to house bushfire survivors at Kew Cottages have been demolished.
The Hamer Centre and hydrotherapy pool were bulldozed by developer Walker Corporation with approval by Major Projects Victoria (MPV) and Heritage Victoria on Thursday, March 19.
State Government spokesman Chris Owner said MPV received approval from the Department of Human Services that the pool was not being used and was not required.
He added under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Mr Pallas could not intervene where demolition permits had been issued.
Walker Corporation declined to comment.
**********Kew Community Facilities Questions.
Given Clause B15 of the Walker KRS Development Agreement (see below*)
Is it now too expensive for DHS to provide its disabled residents with hydrotherapy ?
If the hydrotherapy pool was not being used, as is now claimed by Major Projects Victoria (MPV) and DHS, what "equivalent alternative facilities" have been provided for the intellectually disabled residents, and at whose cost ?
What steps has the Minister for Major Projects, Mr. Pallas taken to ensure that Walker Corporation has fully complied with their contractual obligation to provide:
- ... at the Developer's cost access to equivalent alternative facilities to the hydrotherapy pool so that KRS Residents have access to a hydrotherapy pool at all times ? (Clause B.15)
*Extract from KRS Development Agreement 27-Oct'06 (p.94)
B15 Community Facilities
B1 5.1 Hydrotherapy pool
(a) Subject to paragraph (b) the Developer must ensure that there is
continuous access to the hydrotherapy pool at all times during the
Construction Works until an alternative hydrotherapy pool is available as
part of the Recreation Centre.
(b) If the Construction Works result in the hydrotherapy pool being
unavailable for use prior to completion of the Recreation Centre, the
Developer must provide to the satisfaction of the State at the Developer's
cost access to equivalent alternative facilities to the hydrotherapy pool so
that KRS Residents have access to a hydrotherapy pool at all times.
Department of Infrastructure
Major Projects Victoria
Contract No 3669
Title Kew Residential Services Development Agreement
Type of Contract Construction contracts
Total Estimated Cost $60,000,000.00
Start Date 27-October-2006
Expiry Date 26-October-2014
Category Building, Construction and Maintenance Services
Thursday 19th March 2009
Brumby The Wrecker Was Here..
The Crescent Kew
Has Victoria's ordeal by fire made Premier Brumby suddenly take leave of his senses at Kew Cottages? Or does he perhaps know something about his Government's wheeling and dealing with the Walker Corporation and former Senator Graham Richardson, that the public does not yet know ?
How else can one explain the fact that at a time of National Disaster, the State Government is not only demolishing the unsafe remains of those homes ravished by the bushfires, but has now rushed into demolishing the highest value emergency special accommodation that it still has available at Kew Cottages to help victims of the fires ?
Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition, said today that, "The demolition of the Hamer Centre and hydrotherapy pool this week appears to be Brumby's belligerent response to Boroondara Council's reasonable request for the Kew Cottages demolition to stop."
"This looks likes political vandalism of the worst kind ," Mr. Walsh said. As soon as Council wrote to the Premier requesting a halt to demolition, the Government's contractors, Walker Corporation and Delta Group, appear to have done the exact opposite ! Instead of halting demolition they have speeded up demolition. They have rushed their bulldozers from Stage 2 on the southern boundary of the Cottages right down to Stage 6 on the northern boundary, specifically to target and demolish the highest value public assets left standing on The Crescent. These are the very buildings that the Parliamentary Public Land Inquiry asked the Premier to investigate as a potential Respite Centre for the intellectually disabled."
Mr. Walsh said that,"now that the State's deal with Walker Corporation is under investigation by the Ombudsman, the Government appears to have simply panicked. Do they really think that if they adopt a 'scorched earth policy' it will help get them out of the mess that they have got themself into at Kew Cottages ?"
"There is no other rational explanation," Mr. Walsh said."There is no public benefit to be gained from the demolition. The Government's own blueprint for the site doesn't now envisage any new buildings will be constructed on this part of the site until 2012 - and their completion date has slipped back to 2014 at the earliest. So the existing community facilities on The Crescent, including the Hamer Centre swimming pool, could have been put to very good use for another couple of years at least, giving Government plenty of time to review all their options for the future management of the Cottages for disability services, as requested by Boroondara Council.
"Indeed, in their haste, the Government seems to have now completely forgotten the fact that Clause B15 of the Contract now under investigation by the Ombudsman, actually requires Walker Corporation to ensure that there is continuous access for residents to the hydrotherapy pool in the Hamer Centre until an alternative pool is built.
"As the proposed new pool has not even been started, it looks like the Government has still got a lot of explain to do to existing DHS residents, as well as those on waiting lists for respite care," Mr. Walsh said.
The Demolition of Unit 24 on The Crescent. Photo KCC.
Tuesday 10th March 2009
Kew school chockers
James Dowling writes..
KEW Primary School is “bursting at the seams” and the State Government has known of its predicament for more than 10 years.... >>
Are you surprised ?
Tuesday 3rd March 2009
And then there is the traffic issue...
Prevention needed - John Barlow, Kew
Click here to see what the traffic referred to by John Barlow looked like a year ago (April'08 ) And as Mark Staff has found, the traffic problem "during the morning and afternoon peak periods" has already got a lot worse...
Tuesday 24th February 2009
Disability Accommodation for Bushfire Victims.
James Dowling writes in the Progress LeaderBrian Walsh at Kew Cottages. Photo: Progress Leader
A KEW lobby group, which has been trying to stop the Kew Cottages development, has denied it is exploiting the bushfire disaster to achieve its goal.... Planning Minister Justin Madden's spokesperson said that the buildings recently vacated were unsafe..(More >>)
Kew Cottages Coalition's President, Brian Walsh, said today that Mr. Madden's claim that the recently vacated buildings were 'unsafe' sounded as though the Minister was out of touch, and poorly advised.
"It would be good if Mr. Madden would visit the Cottages and see the accommodation for himself", Mr. Walsh said.
"We suggested to the Premier that the Government could make available Units 23, 24, and 25 on The Crescent. DHS itself has said these units are among the 'best' on the site, and they should know - because DHS only recently vacated the buildings. So the 'safety' problems that Mr. Madden is worried about are unlikely to be structural, and should not be hard to fix." Mr. Walsh said.
"If Walker Corporation have already disconnected some of the services, sewerage, fire alarms, power etc, then they should be able to reconnect the services very quickly. Walker Corporation already have the expertise on site, and I am sure they would be more than willing to help DHS get Emergency Accommodation safely up and running as soon as possible after the fires.
"There is also a Hydrotherapy Pool close to the DHS Units on The Crescent - in the Hamer Sport and Recreation Centre. I understand that Walker Corporation's contract requires them to ensure that there is continuous access to this pool at all times during the Construction Works. So I would hope that the Hydrotherapy Pool, as well as the accommodation, could be made available by DHS to help bushfire victims." Mr. Walsh said.
Visit The Crescent at Kew Cottages with:
View Larger Map
Emergency Accommodation Website for Bushfire Homeless >>>
Sunday 22nd February 2009
National Day of Mourning
View of Yarra Glen during bushfires submitted by community volunteer (Photo: National Trust)
The National Trust asks people to support the Australian Red Cross – Victorian Bushfire Appeal at National Trust Properties this Sunday 22/2/09
The Trust a registered charity will also donate $1 for every visitor
Kew Cottages listing on the National Trust Register
Tuesday 17th February 2009
Disability Accommodation for Bushfire Victims.
Boroondara Council last night resolved to write to the State Government to immediately cease demolition at Kew Cottages while they consider the use of the undeveloped portion of the land for disability and more immediately Bushfire relief.
Kew Cottages Coalition has appealed to the State Government to immediately make available recently vacated accommodation at Kew Cottages for Bushfire victims - particularly those with special needs.
Saturday 7th February 2009
Black Saturday Bushfires
Tuesday 3rd February 2009
Incompetence shown - Elizabeth Bentley, Rosebud
Draw the line - Richard Grummet, Hawthorn East
Kew Public Meeting
Calls on the Government to halt all demolition, and all development approvals at Kew Cottages pending the outcome of the Ombudsman's investigation into the Government's Kew Cottages Development Agreement with Walker Corporation.... (More..)
Kew Public Meeting
Tuesday 3rd February 2009
KEW COTTAGES COALITION INC. PRESENTS
Kew Residential Services
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT's
MC Rod Quantock
David Davis MP
MLC Southern Metropolitan Region
Leader of the Opposition (Council)
Former Chairman, Select Committee on Public Land Development
7pm Tuesday 3rd February 2009
Phyllis Hore Room
Kew Civic Centre
Cnr Cotham Road and Civic Drive
Melways Map 45 D6
The next instalment in one of Melbourne's most contentious major projects.
Topics for discussion:
- What is Boroondara Council doing to help address problems with the current development ?ALL WELCOME !
Kew Cottages Coalition Newsletter January 2009
(PDF Print Version)
Tuesday 3rd February 2009
Big property developers help line the pockets of ALP
- Royce Millar
MP Evan Thornley gave more money to Victoria's ALP than any other individual. Photo: Craig Abraham
JOHN Brumby's ALP continues to be bankrolled by companies either enjoying or seeking its favour, notably controversial property developers the Walker Corporation and Bensons Property Group.... >>>
Tuesday 27th January 2009
Cassie Maher writes in the Progress Leader:
KEW Cottages Coalition is demanding an independent investigation into heritage approvals for the contentious site....
( View readers' comments here )
Wednesday 7th January 2009
"Cottages scheme no longer viable..."
Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition today claimed that the contentious "Walker Development Plan" for Kew Cottages launched by the Bracks Government in 2006, has now stalled, and is currently 'dead in the water'.
Mr Walsh said, "Walker Corporation has simply ignored the green light it got for Stage 2 subdivision last year, and is now seeking Government approval for a much higher density subdivision at the Cottages.
"This action proves that Walkers themselves believe that the Government's original scheme is simply no longer viable," he said.
"So we now appear to have a clear case of a NSW builder faced with an unviable project asking to be bailed out by their partner the Victorian Government.
"It is not a healthy situation, and one we believe John Lenders, as Treasurer, should have a very close look at.
"As Treasurer, he has responsibilities to give directions under S.13 of the Project Development and Construction Act if there is a contingent liability to the State - which there clearly is at the Cottages."
View the Kew Cottages Coalition Objection to Walker's Heritage Permit Application P13872 (Click here)
- View Heritage Permit Application Prepared by Walker Corporation
Proposed 49 Lot Subdivision of Stage 2 (Click here)
Summary of Proposed Changes to Stage 2
- Apartment Buildings (Details confidential)
- Total Dwellings (Up 33% from 36 to 49 lots )
- 'No Through Roads' (Up from 0 to 2)
- Parkland, Trees, and Open Space ( Details confidential)
- Landscaped Road Reserves, Cycle Paths, and Footpaths (Details confidential)
- Through Roads designed with Parking, and Footpaths suitable for the disabled (Down From 8 to 4)
The Bottom Line
- Moonscape the majority of Stage 2 Lots (47 of 49 Lots) by
- Bulldozing all existing gardens and over 70 mature trees on the proposed private allotments including:
- 5 State 'Heritage Registered' Trees
- (inc 2 Montery Pines, 2 Moreton Bay Figs, and a Bhutan Cypress)
- 12 Indigenous Trees 'Protected' under Native Vegetation legislation
(inc Blackwood, Black Sheoak, Lightwood, and Yellow Box. )
Kew Shuffle from The Archive...
Saturday 13th December 2008
Cottages plan under attack
- Royce Millar, Age Investigative Unit
- December 13, 2008
THE State Government is under mounting pressure to rethink its $400 million Kew Cottages redevelopment, as the first residents of the scheme call for a halt to the next stage of work.
At a public meeting this week residents from the 50-plus dwellings of the first stage of the project slammed the Government and its partner, the Walker Corporation, over what they said were changes to the designs of their homes after they were purchased off the plan.
The residents have complained about myriad faults in their homes, including missing features such as bluestone and steel. And they are angry at poor environmental standards — notably an absence of a water recycling strategy.
The meeting called on the Government to abandon stage two of the 500-dwelling project until problems were resolved in the first stage....
View Royce Millar's Full Story in the Melbourne Age >>
Dorothy Jones loves trees. Loves touching them and even ...
Boroondara Council Studley Ward
Public MeetingWednesday 10th December 2008
Studley Ward Councillor Phillip Healey invites residents and other stakeholders to attend a ward meeting, specifically regarding the former Kew Residential Services site in Main Drive Kew.
All Local Members of State Parliament have been invited inc:
Andrew McIntosh (Liberal) , John Lenders (ALP), Evan Thornley (ALP)
Andrea Coote (Liberal), David Davis (Liberal, Chair. Public Land Inquiry) , Sue Pennicuik (Greens)
The meeting will be held at 7pm on Wednesday 10 December 2008 in the Freeman Room at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, corner High and Pakington Streets, Kew.
(View Melways Map 45 D6 )
For further enquiries, please call 9278 4473.
Wednesday 10th December is the 60th Anniversary of
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,...
Thursday 4th December 2008
St Kilda, Kew deals to be investigated
Royce Millar writes in the Melbourne Age:
THE redevelopment of Kew Cottages and the troubled revamp of the St Kilda triangle site are to be investigated by the State Ombudsman.
A Legislative Council resolution pressed by the Opposition and the Greens last night sought the investigations following a parliamentary committee's inquiry into the State Government's handling of public land development.
It is the first time the government watchdog has had such a referral from the upper house.
Last night Deputy Ombudsman John Taylor confirmed his office would conduct the investigations... (more)
Wednesday 3rd December 2008
Pressure for Ombudsman to Investigate
Today the Upper House of the State Parliament will debate whether the Victorian Ombudsman should investigate the Brumby Government over its St Kilda Triangle and Kew Cottages land deals ...
Former Senator Graham Richardson is not expected to attend.
Live audio of the debate will be broadcast on the Parliamentary Website
Wednesday, 3rd December is the United Nations
International Day of People with Disability
Monday 7th July 2008
"SYDNEY-based property baron Lang Walker
is said to boast he can 'buy and sell' any government in Australia.
"So it would seem he costed the
Bracks Government at $100,000 in September 2006.
Just over a year before, in June 2005, Walker Corporation was chosen as the preferred developer for the $400 million transformation of Kew Cottages into upmarket housing..."
Writes Royce Millar in The Melbourne Age Investigation
Read Royce Millar's full story "With Strings Attached" here
President of the Kew Cottages Coalition, Brian Walsh, said, " The Age investigation now shows that the political donations linked to Graham Richardson and the Main Drive Kew development are just the tip of an iceberg ."
Mr. Walsh said, "It looks like the people of Victoria have been set up to be sold down the river in exchange for developer donations. It's time for Premier Brumby to put a stop to this madness.
"Its time to stop stalling. Brumby must now prove to the Parliament beyond reasonable doubt, that he has got clean hands in this matter, and that neither his party, the Victorian Labor Party, nor his Government, have been corrupted by the developer donations.
"If he is unable to do that immediately, then I challenge the Premier to call the Sydney developers' bluff and:
- Stop the clock on the Kew Cottages development;
- Cancel further stages of the Walker Corporation contract; and
- Setup an Anti-corruption Commission in Victoria to investigate all of the donations identified by the Age."
Madden can't recall signingFrom: Herald Sun
PLANNING Minister Justin Madden was forced on to the back foot in Parliament yesterday when he couldn't remember if he'd signed off on stage two of the controversial Kew Cottages redevelopment.
Democratic Labor Party MP Peter Kavanagh refreshed Mr Madden's memory during Upper House Question Time, saying the minister had told Parliament on May 27 he was almost certain he had not given approval.
Mr Madden yesterday responded "I don't pretend to remember all those (documents) that come before me" and said he would take the question on notice.Click here to read the full article on the Herald Sun website
From The Archive... 2007
Front Page Story
Wed Mar 28 2007
'Richo' on board cottages project' (Click here for Hardcopy Version)
Or Read Online Version at:
/national/richardson-weighs-in -on-cottages-project/2007/03 /27/1174761470790.html
Monday 10th July 2006
Melbourne Channel 10 TV News Reports
"Yarra Bend Park May Now Be Under Threat"
Deadly Tree Disease
View Windows Media
wmv video file (1min39s):
Bracks Government Cover up on
Threat to Yarra ?
Tuesday 14th March 2006
Brian Walsh tells the ABC's 774, Jon Faine, he is astounded that the Government now claims it was unaware of the discovery of the fungus at Kew Cottages. Walsh says the Government claim is nonsense, "our information is that they have known for weeks.. " (see below)
Listen to the full Interview mp3 audio (2min 34s):
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