HomeWhat's New | Challenge for Change  | Links  | Archive | About  | Site Map



You can support kew.org.au by making a small donation
or make a statement with  4Kew Art - Click here to order -

  Don't Screw KewArchive 2015  at WWW.KEW.ORG.AU
Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698H

Click here for the latest News >>>

Explore the Corruption ?

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....

David Davis MLC
Select Committee
of the
Legislative Council
Public Land Development.

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..."
(Read More)

Audio  Listen to "The Sting.."

Follow kewcottages on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter


 Check Out
the Kew Cottages Blog


Don't Screw Kew


Monday 7th December 2015

Kew Cottages Battle goes to
 Heritage Council

Public Hearing

All Welcome

Date: Thursday 10 December


Friday 11 December 2015

Time: 9.30am

Venue: Royal Australian College of Surgeons,
250-290 Spring Street,
East Melbourne


For further information contact
Heritage Council of Victoria
 Tel: (03) 9208 3666
Email: heritage.council@delwp.vic.gov.au

You can follow all the Kew Cottages Coalition Links for the Public Hearing using the links below



Walk the site with Google Streetview

Read the Submissions to the Heritage Council 

Smile at the Sydney Developer's Photos of Willsmere (Magnifying Glass Required-:)

Heritage Tree Protection (Courtesy of Major Projects Victoria) !

Dig into all the Documents -:(

Whose Heritage ?

*Kew Asylum 1890 (Trove)

Melbourne Institutions: Kew Lunatic Asylum By 'Benvolio', The Illustrated Sydney News , 20 February 1890 

Read the National Library of Australia Trove Links:

 1   2



A Melbourne Landmark

****Powered by flickr embed.

Willsmere viewed from Melbourne CBD
*** Willsmere viewed from Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne CBD ***

Landmark ?                What Landmark ?

What Landmark ?
  A  Sydney Developer's View of Willsmere
viewed from Belmore Road, Balwyn

As  submitted by Walker Corporation in support of their Heritage Permit Application
 to build apartments on Willsmere's historic Main Drive.
April 2015


Monday 7th December 2015
Progress Leader
Development slammed, Progress Leader, 8
                            Dec 2015

Monday 7th September 2015

VCAT amends Walker Development Plan

To Include following changes:

  • Deletion section 4.3.1 titled ‘Recreation Centre’;

  • Updates section 4.3.2 in relation to Public Open Space to refer to 29%

  • Introduces a new WDP-K to provide for:

    • -  Changes to Public Open Space to 29% and curtilage of land around 3 heritage buildings;

    • -  References development of proposed Stage 8 apartments;

    • -  Updates the road and subdivision layout to reflect the as built scenario

  • Introduces a revised Building Height Envelope Plan to :

    • -  Show Stage 8 apartments;

    • -  Amend building heights to predominately 2 storey forms.


Download the VCAT Report here

Monday 13th July 2015

Kew Cottages High Rise Battle goes to VCAT

Despite having both Planning and Heritage Approval knocked  back by Heritage Victoria, and the former Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, the NSW based developer Walker Corporation has now appealed to VCAT to review the Minister's refusal.
VCAT has set aside five days for Hearing Appeal starting on Monday 13 July. 
Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition, said "It is significant that Walker's Appeal is open to the public, because it looks like there are a lot of surprises in store for residents who have been kept in the dark for too long about the developer's relationship with the State Government agencies , particularly MPV (Major Projects Victoria)."
"Documents lodged with VCAT appear to show that Government agencies have tried for a long time to minimise public scrutiny of significant changes to the Masterplan for the site.”
The documents reveal that in the run up to last years State election, a secret application to amend the Kew Cottages Development Master Plan was made to the former Planning Minister just days before he refused Walker's application to build high rise apartments on public open space overlooking Yarra Bend Park.
Mr. Walsh said, "It appears that MPV and/or the developer had advance warning of the Minister's impending refusal, and made a desperate eleventh hour attempt to get the goal posts moved before the Minister handed down his decision. This raises potentially serious questions about MPV’s role in this matter – after all, they are meant to be serving the people of Victoria, not wealthy developers."
"Furthermore, I understand that Boroondara Council was not even made aware that an application had been made to vary the Masterplan," Mr. Walsh said.
"Hopefully this week residents will be able to find out more about the years of special deals to do with the Kew Cottages Development, and the details of this latest secret application to make way for high rise apartments by removing public open space and recreation facilities."

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Daily Hearings
MONDAY, 13 JULY 2015



Room G.2 - Senior Member J. Rickards and Member A. Slattery

10:00 AM P2235/2014, P2235/2014, P2236/2014  
Walker Corporation Pty. Ltd. v Minister for Planning

115 Princess Street, Kew

VCAT Hearing Location

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
55 King Street, Melbourne Vic 3000 Australia
GPO Box 5408 Melbourne Vic 3001
Ausdoc DX 210576 Melbourne  

Where is this?

VCAT is a 10 minute walk from Southern Cross Station or a 5 minute tram ride from Flinders Street Station. We are located on the corner of King Street and Flinders Lane.

You are Cordially Invited to our Annual Public Meeting

at the Kew Civic Centre

7pm Thursday 6th November 2014


Kew Cottages
and the

Victorian State Election

A 'Meet the Local Candidates'
Public Meeting

MC Rod Quantock
Rod Quantock

Q & A
The Kew Cottages Development

Invited Candidates*

For the Lower House Seat of Kew.
    James Gaffey ALP Candidate for
                                    KewTim Smith, LiberalLynn
                                    Frankes Greens Candidate for Kew
          James Gaffey ALP        Tim Smith Liberal      Lynn Frankes Greens

For the Upper House Southern Metro Region.
                                        Davis LiberalGeorgie Crozier MLC
                                          (LIberal Southern Metro)
     David Davis      Georgie Crozier


                                    Dalidakis ALPErik Locke ALP
  Philip Dalidakis  and  Erik Locke


James Searle GreensSue
                                Pennicuik, Greens MLC Southern MetroRose Read
  James Searle         Sue Pennicuik          Rose Read           

  7pm Thursday 6th November 2014

Phyllis Hore Room
Kew Civic Centre
Cnr Cotham Road and Civic Drive

Melways  Map 45 D6

Follow kewcottages on Twitter


* Nominated Candidates as at date of publication


Download Nov 2014 Newsletter Print Version  here


Tuesday 18th March 2014

"This Meeting calls on the Auditor-General to conduct an urgent forensic audit of Major Projects Victoria especially  related to its handling of the Kew Cottages Development."

Summary of
>> Read More..

Keynote Address

Kenneth Davidson

Download Print Version >> here

You are Cordially Invited to our Annual Public Meeting
at the Kew Civic Centre

Download your Printed Invitation >> here
8pm Tuesday 18th March 2014


Kew Cottages
and the

Victorian State Election

MC Rod Quantock
Rod Quantock

Major Projects in Victoria:

Are the Bastards Honest ?

Invited Speakers


  Kenneth DavidsonStephen
   Kenneth Davidson               Stephen Mayne
   Senior Columnist               Mayne Report
The Age                         Melb City Cr  

The Kew Contenders for Liberal Party Preselection
    Mary WooldridgeTim

   Mary Wooldridge                Tim Smith

Kew's Current Local Politicians...
Georgie Crozier MLC (Liberal Southern Metro)
John Lenders MLC (ALP Southern Metro)

Sue Pennicuik, Greens MLC
                                  Southern Metro
Sue Pennicuik Local MLC (Greens Southern Metro)
Former Member of the Upper House Select Committee on Public Land Development

Cr Coral Ross, Mayor
                                      of BoroondaraCr Phillip Healey
Cr Coral Ross                      Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor                                Studley Ward
Boroondara Council

  8pm Tuesday 18th March 2014

Phyllis Hore Room
Kew Civic Centre
Cnr Cotham Road and Civic Drive

Melways  Map 45 D6

Follow kewcottages on Twitter


Download March 2014 Newsletter Print Version  here


The Napthine/Walker

Major Project

 - "Main Drive Kew" -

was due to end this year

 The original development agreement in 2006 said

the minimum return to the State of Victoria  would be

$60 million

on an estimated $400 million development.

Tell 'em they're dreamin'!

The Castle

Darryl Kerrigan: The Castle.

The Score to date.....

The Winners

The developer Lang Walker's private company reported a 64 per cent increase in revenue to

$298 million last year.

The Loosers

Accumulated losses for the government over the six years of the PPP agreement have totalled

($45.8 million)


Where has all the money gone ?

Who has failed the disabled ?

The Kew Cottages
Main Drive Development

Major Project or  Black Hole..... ?

Main Drive Kew Development

"An inquiry into the Kew Cottages development is long overdue."


Victorian State Election Year

The Battle for Kew...

Liberal Party Preselection March 2014

Andrew McIntosh MP for Kew

Andrew McIntosh MP

The Liberal Member for Kew since 2001,

announced on 16 December 2013 that he will quit State Parliament at the 2014 Election


"All that is necessary for evil to triumph

is for good men to do nothing"


January 27th  2014

The Age

Private roofs are leaking badly

Private roofs are leaking badly

Kenneth Davidson
Senior columnist at The Age

An inquiry into the Kew Cottages development is long overdue.

State governments are obliged to meet the shelter needs of the most vulnerable members of society. In Victoria it is a responsibility, in the form of the provision of public housing, that successive governments have been increasingly reluctant to meet.

Resources for public housing managed by the state are being starved in favour of community housing managed by non-profit housing associations and there is a push by powerful interests for the $18 billion stock of public housing to be put under private management, on the grounds that the public housing model is no longer sustainable.

Victoria's Auditor-General said as much in a 2012 report, although the key evidence was based on this statement: "In 2011, the Minister for Housing commissioned a review of the financial position of public housing. The review found that operating costs exceeded rental revenue by 42 per cent, up from 30 per cent in 2002." The minister has refused to make the report by KPMG public.

Without testing the assertion, the Auditor-General's office has put itself in the position of executive lapdog rather than executive watchdog. I submitted a question to the office for the evidence backing its assertion. I received no answer. Public housing was last examined in 1993 by the then Industry Commission. The report found that, in terms of meeting the shelter needs of vulnerable tenants, public housing was the superior long-term, cost-effective alternative.

The 2013 financial report of the Victorian Office of Housing shows rents totalled $429 million, compared with expenses of $687 million, after deducting "grants and other expense transfers" paid to housing associations. Dividing the net deficit of $258 million by the 63,000 public housing stock suggests the subsidy was about $4000 per dwelling. By comparison, the accounts of a typical housing association trading as "Haven; Home, Safe" showed that in 2013 it received operating grants of $8.9 million for 1200 homes in 2013, equal to $7400 per unit – close to double the subsidy for public housing and equal to 90 per cent of the rent collected by Haven.

The accounts showed that over the past four years, Haven also received $110 million in capital grants. Higher subsidies and generous capital financing of community housing have been at the expense of public housing.

This repeats the pattern of the provision of health and education services where public provision is under-resourced in terms of their universal responsibilities in order to fund private providers. The undermining of public housing has been justified under the rubric of integrating the disadvantaged into the community. This raises the question of why it can't be done more cost effectively through public housing provision.

By far the most egregious example of this ruse was the decision in 2001 by the Bracks government to expel some 400 intellectually disabled people from the 27-hectare Kew Cottages site to make way for an upmarket real estate development under a public-private partnership.

The bait was the promise of modern accommodation in five-bedroom, purpose-built community residential units, integrated in the suburbs, financed by a share of the promised profits from the sale of the land.

In 2005 the acute waiting list was 3000 and ageing parents were terrified about what would happen to their children when they died. Their interests were ignored. CRUs built on the Kew site would have cost about $500,000 per CRU compared with about $1 million per unit on land purchased outside the Kew site.

Options on the 301 lots allocated to the developer were independently valued at $312 million in 2007 by Mirvac. Based on this valuation, if this land had been allocated to CRU development in the first place, the acute waiting list could have been halved for a construction cost of $150 million.

Like most PPPs, the Kew development appears to be one-sided. Accumulated losses for the government over the six years of the PPP agreement have totalled $45.8 million. The developer Lang Walker's private company reported a 64 per cent increase in revenue to $298 million last year. The original development agreement in 2006 said the minimum return to the state would be $60 million on an estimated $400 million development.

The then opposition local member and frontbencher, and later government minister responsible for carriage of legislation setting up what is now universally judged as the toothless corruption commission, Andrew McIntosh, threatened that the possibly corrupt deal would be referred to the commission as one of its first tasks. In government, McIntosh has refused to answer any questions about the project. The losses continue. The government claims its hands are tied but there have been two variations in the development agreement to the advantage of Walker since the change of government.

The 2010 Ombudsman report on the development found it couldn't unravel the mystery of the losses and recommended an inquiry. In the absence of a functional corruption commission, it should be undertaken by the Auditor-General.

Kenneth Davidson is a senior columnist.


January 14th  2014

The Age

Victorian Liberal Party at loggerheads over Kew preselection

Farrah Tomazin

Farrah Tomazin


Hostilities within the Victorian Liberal Party erupted over preselection for Kew, with one of the government's top ministers facing a showdown that could leave her without a seat at this year's state election.

Weeks after announcing she would seek to run in Kew after her Doncaster electorate was abolished in a boundary shake-up, Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge will be challenged by a former Stonnington mayor, Tim Smith, who is also nominating for preselection.

Senior Liberal insiders have described the situation as ''a mess'' that will either put one of cabinet's most senior MPs at risk - causing an election-year crisis for Premier Denis Napthine - or hinder one of the party's young rising stars.

''It's going to be line-ball,'' said one well-placed source. ''It's certainly not a foregone conclusion.''
Mr Smith, 30, has the backing of Institute of Public Affairs chairman Rod Kemp and forces aligned to a former powerbroker, Michael Kroger.

However, Ms Wooldridge, who is often touted as a future leader, is running for Kew with the Premier's endorsement after the current sitting MP, Andrew McIntosh, announced his resignation...

Read more

From The Archives...


Monday 20th February 2012

The Mayne Report

A cracking public meeting over Lang Walker's Kew Cottages fiasco

Stephen Mayne

I've been to some lively public meetings in my time but few rank alongside last Thursday night's community meeting over the 27ha Kew Cottages site being developed by colourful Sydney billionaire Lang Walker.

The site has a sordid history of broken promises, excessive secrecy and utterly inappropriate political donations by Walker, who even sent Graham Richardson down from Sydney to try and bang a few Labor heads together.

Once the Brumby Government was defeated, things were meant to get better.

Alas, whilst local member and Justice Minister Andrew McIntosh repeatedly called the Labor government's contract with Walker "an abomination" he hid behind so-called "sovereign risk" arguments in justifying little change and the non-release of the contract.

Health Minister David Davis, an upper house member for the region which includes leafy Kew, made the incredible claim that he supported Boroondara Council's recent litigation over Walker's attempts to have nature strips classified as public open space. He even called on Boroondara's Green mayor Heinz Kreutz to further explain what was happening?

It wasn't until Davis had left the meeting that Mayor Kreutz explained that council had only obtained legal advice and this had strongly argued against actually launching litigation.

Given that Kew Cottages is state government land and the previous government kicked the council totally out of the process, it was incredible to have Ted Baillieu's factional enforcer somehow calling on the council to explain what was going on. Mayor Kreutz just asked that the government reinstate the council as the relevant planning authority.

Both McIntosh and Davis came across as being poorly briefed on the whole situation, which is ultimately in the hands of Major Projects Minister Denis Napthine.

The Baillieu Government is badly split on planning issues. Planning Minister Matthew Guy is strongly pro-development, yet Baillieu himself is hugely conservative and believes passionately in preserving Federation suburbs which dominate the Boroondara landscape and includes his Hawthorn electorate.

Throw in a whole bunch of angry new residents who are opposed to ongoing disability services being provided on the historic site and cranky with Walker for failing to deliver their long-promised pool, gym and cafe, and you have one almighty mess.

Surely the Baillieu government should just write a cheque to make Lang Walker go away and then completely go back to the drawing board with a new masterplan for the site which involves Boroondara Council at every level.

Read the Full Edition >>
Link: http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2012/02/18-1643-8209.html
Mayne Report Donate


Don't Screw Kew Kew Cottages February 2012  Newsletter

Download PDF  Print Version

Follow kewcottages on Twitter

The Baillieu Government promised Disabled a real Alternative at Kew


Failed to Deliver...
Lift the veil of secrecy on Kew Development Contract arrangements

Insist on developer fulfilling all its contractual obligations including preservation of 40% of the site as open space and
Restore the recreation building  that was demolished in breach of contract. (The Hamer Centre)
Support the Kew Coalition 5 Point Plan*
Refer Kew Cottages Development to Anti-Corruption Commission by July 2011 Failed

The story so far...

  125 Years Ago, 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 significant piece of Public Land outside of the walls of the Willsmere that was permanently reserved by an Act of Parliament for the intellectually disabled.

Today, Kew Cottages is like a "canary down a coal mine".  Over the past ten years nearly half of the the 27 hectares of Public Land surrounding the Cottages in 2001 has been progressively sold off by the Bracks, Brumby, and Baillieu Governments in a most disturbing manner. The 'State Government Insurance Policy' for intellectually disabled kids and their families looks decidedly battered and bruised.

In 2008 concerns were raised by a Parliamentary Inquiry that the Government sell-off of the Kew Public Land was shrouded in secrecy and not in the public interest. The Inquiry also expressed concern that two property developers involved with the Kew Public Land deal, Walker Corporation and Mirvac,  had both made large political donations to the Victorian ALP days before the 2006 State Election.

At the end of 2008 Parliament instructed the Victorian Ombudsman to investigate the probity of the Victorian Government's Kew Cottage's contract, including the role of lobbyist Graham Richardson in the deal.

At the time of the November 2010 State Election there was a strong smell of corruption in the air. The Brumby Government was voted out of office, and the incoming Baillieu Government made an election promise to refer numerous concerns about the redevelopment of Kew Cottages to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission that Baillieu promised to establish by July 2011.

The Baillieu Government also promised that, subject to any contractual obligations to the contrary,  all of the remaining Kew Cottages Public Land would be listed on a new Victorian Register of Significant Public Land.

In February 2011 a Public Meeting convened at the Kew Civic Centre endorsed the Baillieu Government policy. The Public Meeting also called on the Government to impose an immediate moratorium on further Public Land sales at Kew Cottages, and to implement all of the Recommendations of both the Victorian Ombudsman's Inquiry, and the Victorian Public Land Inquiry. Read More >>

However, after a year in power, the Baillieu Government has comprehensively failed to deliver on its election promise for Kew Cottages.

And while the Government has so far failed to set up its promised Anti-Corruption Commission, and failed to preserve Public Open Space, it has continued to develop, approve,  and sell off Kew Cottages Public Land.

 Don't Screw KewThe Challenge for Change. 
<< 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010  2011 2012 NOW! >>

2011 Ted
                                                Baillieu and Lang
                                                Walker 2012 The Developer's Contract
Lang Walker, Kew Development Corporation  & Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria

It is January 2012 and it is still not too late to achieve a better outcome at Kew Cottages because the Government still owns the land...



Monday 10th July 2006

Melbourne Channel 10 TV News Reports

"Yarra Bend Park May Now Be Under Threat"
Deadly Tree Disease
Kew Cottages

View  Windows Media 
wmv video file (1min39s):
mp3 file

(Archive ..)
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): mp3 file

Herald Sun 14.3.2006 p.31

 Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this website, please let us know  so that we can correct or extend the information provided.
  1. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the electronic information presented on this site. However, Kew Cottages Coalition accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material presented in this service. 

Home | Challenge for Change| Links | Archive | Site Map
Follow kewcottages on Twitter

 © 2006 Kew Cottages Coalition
Reg # A0044698H

**** ��