Home What's New | Challenge for Change  | Links  | ArchiveAbout  | Site Map



Welcome to  www.kew.org.au
Welcome to ...
Make a statement in a 4Kew T-shirt - Click here to order -
 Don't Screw KewThe Challenge for Change.  << 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010  2011 NOW! >>
Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698

2008 Boroondara Local Government Election Results..

To Camberwell Town Hall they  go...

Boroondara City Council Bellevue Ward 1st
                preferences counted Distributing preferences MILES, Brad
Cotham Ward 1st
                preferences counted Distributing preferences BLOOM, David
Gardiner Ward 1st
                preferences counted ROSS, Coral
Glenferrie Ward Uncontested MEGGS, Phil
Junction Ward 1st
                preferences counted WEGMAN, Jack
Lynden Ward 1st
                preferences counted KREUTZ, Heinz
Maling Ward Uncontested MENTING, Dick
Maranoa Ward 1st
                preferences counted Distributing preferences TRAGAS, Nicholas
Solway Ward 1st
                preferences counted Distributing preferences CHOW, Kevin
Studley Ward 1st
                preferences counted Distributing preferences HEALEY, Phillip Anthony

Congratulations to all of Boroondara's new Councillors:-)

Click here for details

These are the wards

Camberwell Town Hall

from the Yarra River in the North .... Boroondara Wards

Kew Civic Centre from Kew, Hawthorn, Auburn, Camberwell, Balwyn, Burwood,
Canterbury, Hartwell and  Ashburton  
Ashburton Station

                    to  Gardiner's Creek in the South

Boroondara:  Candidates Who Care...

Don't Screw
                  KewOur Survey - Your Choice:







We emailed all candidates one simple Boroondara Council policy question.. We asked:

Q.1  If elected to Boroondara Council, will you support the Kew Cottages Coalition Plan,  as endorsed by the Upper House Select Committee on Public Land Development ?
Q2. If not - why not ?

We enclosed a copy of the Kew Cottages Coalition Plan.. We sent candidates text (SMS) reminder messages .
However, some candidates obviously need no reminder and responded with feeling.....

My uncle was born intellectually disabled from rubella and lived at
Kew Cottages for most of his life. He can't do anything for himself
and requires 24 hour care. It was sad to see Kew Cottages taken away,
with allegations of corruption between the developers and the State
Government to make things worse. It's good to see a proposal that uses
the site to again help the disabled. I hope that both proposed
facilities, the Family Support & Respite Centre and the Victorian
Centre of Excellence for the Disabled, can help the lives of people
with disabilities and family carers. The community recreational
facilities will also make good use of the land. I support the Kew
Cottages Coalition Plan for land development.

Andrew Wrathall
Junction Ward

The Bracks/Brumby Government's 'privatisation' of Kew Cottages with Sydney developer Walker Corporation should be well known to all Council candidates. The Cottages was recognised as a major election issue both in the 2004 Boroondara Council Election, when a number of  Councillors, including the Mayor lost their seats, and in the 2006 Victorian General Election when the Government lost control of the Upper House of  the State Parliament. because of "People Power" preference votes.

Kew Cottages  has continued to be one of Victoria's most contentious Major Projects, not only because it is such a glaring example of  how the State of Victoria is failing its most vulnerable citizens, but also because of the new allegations regarding developer donations and political corruption  raised by the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Public Land Development..(see below)

The worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression is now forcing all Victorian Authorities to review their position on the State's infrastructure and Major Projects.

So we hope that our Survey will, therefore, help voters throughout Boroondara. cast their votes wisely.

We believe  all voters who want to be able to have easy access their Ward Councillor  by phone, email, or in person  will be particularly interested  to see not only who 'voted' in our survey, and who did not, but also:

a)  The large difference in candidates' response times. For example:

  • 50% of candidates in contested seats failed to respond within the requested 24 hours timeframe;
  • However, 20% of candidates responded the same day (within  6 hours), and
  • The Top 10% of candidates responded within 2 hours
b)  The  language some candidates appear to adopt to avoid saying simply "No!" or "I don't know !" :-)

And the Challenge for Change Winners Are....

The Carers "A Team"  (Same Day Response - Fastest First)

1. Peter  Campbell (Cotham Ward)            Yes. I support the Kew Cottages
                Coalition Plan, as endorsed by the Upper House Select
                Committee on Public Land Development. Based on the
                current development proposals, the further development
                of the  Yes.  I support the Kew Cottages Coalition Plan, ..... (more)
2.Phillip Healey (Studley Ward)                            I support the proposal.  I support the proposal.... (more)
3. David Bloom (Cotham Ward)                                         I support the
                proposal. I support the proposal...
4. Coral Ross (Gardiner Ward) ...Yes., definitely...                           ...Yes., definitely.....................
5. Dennis Whelan (Maranoa Ward)  Absolutely...                                        Absolutely Brian and as you probably know I
                fought very hard whilst on council to retain all of the
                area as a parkland but with areas of cluster housing for
                our disabled community that wanted to stay in an area
                many considered their home. But well done with good
                facilities and normal housing recreation and training
                areas. I felt this was the last opportunity to establish
                a new park in Melb. But the almighty dollar got in the
                way and as I wrote to the minister of the day "any
                money you make will be swallowed up in general revenue
                and the created traffic problems in that area with poor
                traffic flow would be horrendous." but the
                disadvantaged residents gor shafted, as usual
6. Jill Stansfield (Studley Ward)  ..... I support in principle (your).. Plan                   I have been having computer problems which is
                all one needs while campaigning! However on reading your
                attachment I support in principle the Kew Cottages
                Coalition Plan
7.Leon Zembekis (Studley Ward)   Yes. I want the site to have public use and (be) saved. Yes. I want the site to
                have public use and saved.

The  Carers "B Team" ( Next Day Response)

1. Andrew Wrathall (Junction Ward) I support the Kew Cottages Coalition Plan for land development

2. Benjie Perryman (Cotham Ward) Yes, I am quite comfortable with the Kew Cottages Coalition Plan

3. Teodor Bila (Cotham Ward) Yes

4.Lydia Bevage (Bellevue Ward) Yes.., I am appalled by the lack of transparency ...by  the State Government

5. Brad Miles (Bellevue Ward) I am unwilling to make specific commitments....None the less, you can be assured that

6. Justin Klvac (Maranoa Ward)*  If I get elected I will be more than happy to re-engage...

7. Peter Graham (Bellevue Ward) ..suspect I'd be on your side once I had more time to look at your proposal..

8. Tony Michael (Bellevue Ward) YES
No Mobile phone number listed

Our thanks to them all for their prompt and positive response. We wish them well in the election.

The  Carers "Reserves" ( Later Response)

1. Judith Voce (Bellevue Ward)  IN PRINCIPLE - YES

2. Des Benson (Studley Ward)  Yes.

, however, although voting in Local Governement Elections in Victoria is compulsory, not all candidates apparently feel compelled to return the favour thus bestowed upon them, by responding in kind to voters' pre-election surveys. 

Similarly , for other candidates,  while the spirit is no doubt willing, the flesh, or in this case the 'net' is often weak...

To  those who tried their best to participate in our survey, but failed, thank you for trying.

To the fallen, we salute you..

All errors, omissions, and other mistakes are ours. Please tell us.

Candidates Still Listed as "Missing in Action
(No Response Received by 5pm 23rd November 2008 )
1. John Dobinson (No phone) 
2. Marg D'Arcy
None (All candidates accounted for)
3. Charles Kos
4. Phil Meggs (Voting is not required in Glenferrie - elected unopposed)
5. Stan Stapar
6. Jack Wegman
7. Ralph Krein
8. Heinz Kreutz
9. Dick Menting (Voting is not required in Maling - elected unopposed)
10. Nicholas Tragas
11. Justin McKIernan
12. Kevin Chow
13. David Edwards
14. Diane Preston - No Mobile
15.Cindee Smith

Access Issues.
All candidates provided email addresses to the VEC for publication. However:
  • 1 candidate apparently did not provide the VEC with any phone contact information  for publication
  • 2 other candidates did not provide mobile phone numbers  for publication
  • We have only  used  VEC published information to contact candidates
  • Click on Ward names and Candidate names for l inks to access details on the VEC & Boroondara Council websites

"... one problem with elections is that
you will still end up with a politician !"

                                                      Australian Politician , Boroondara , 2008

Authorised by Brian Walsh, Kew Cottages Coalition, Reg # A0044698H PO Box 2317, Kew Victoria, 3101.

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.

Parliament House
                                  Spring Street Melbourne Victorian Public Land Inquiry

Select Committee on Public Land Development

September  2008

UPDATE: Final Report tabled on
11 September 2008. 1.6 Mb


* * * UPDATE - 11 JUNE 2008 * * *

The Committee tabled its Second Interim Report (109Kb)

The Public Land surrounding Kew Cottages is on the front line of the
Lower Yarra Green Wedge
(click here)


The following Members of the Upper House of the Victorian State Parliament served on the Committee:

Public Hearings

Full details of dates, witnesses and venues

View Guidelines for Giving Evidence at a Public Hearing


First Interim Report - Tabled 6 December 2007 PDF 2Mb

Second Interim Report - Tabled 11 June 2008 PDF 109Kb
Final Report tabled on  11 September 2008. 1.6 Mb

Press Releases

  1. Establishment and call for written submissions (5 June 2007)


The Committee can be contacted through the following address:

Richard Willis
Secretary, Legislation & Select Committees
Department of the Legislative Council
Parliament House
East Melbourne, 3002
Phone: (03) 9651 8696
Fax: (03) 9651 6799
Email: richard.willis@parliament.vic.gov.au
Web:  http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/council/publicland

Don't Screw
Lights - Camera - Action !
Kew Cottages
115 Princess Street,
Main Drive Kew
Dateline: 24-Sep '07

Brian Walsh writes:

It looks like being an auspicious week in Victoria.  It started  with the 50th Anniversary of the Kew Cottages Parents Association here on Sunday 23-Sep '07.
The Parliamentary Public Land Inquiry kicks off in Kew on Wednesday  26-Sep '07, and

The week will conclude with AFL Grand Final Day on Saturday 29-Sep '07.

The  Kew Cottages Parents Association  celebrated their 50th birthday in The Old Pharmacy Building at the Cottages with a book launch, "The First Fifty Years 1957 - 2007" .

Parents Association President, Leo Waterfall, gently set out some of the current concerns facing the Association's families in his Foreword to "The First  Fifty Years.."

"Who would have imagined at the inception of the Association that the Kew Cottages site would become a private residential development intermixed  with twenty purpose-built CRU's housing approximately one hundred residents ? Also, that all other residents would have been moved off-site into CRU's located around Victoria, owned and operated by the Department of Human Services ?

"The government promised that: 'No one will be worse off as a result of the redevelopment. Preliminary indications are that this promise will be met for many but that some residents who have moved out are experiencing problems that have yet to be resolved. The oft-stated claim by the government and others that most residents would become part of the community as a result of the deinstitutionalisation process has not as yet been  met as yet. It is considered that too many residents may be living in the community but are not part of the community...." (emphasis added)

So what will the seven elected representatives of the people of Victoria charged, as a Parliamentary Select Committee,  with  inquiring into this  'redevelopment'  make of Kew Cottages when they call their first witnesses off the bench on Wednesday ?

By all accounts their task will be an uphill battle to start with, in the face of a well fortified Government bureaucracy.

Indeed the Parliamentary Committee's admirable initial efforts to plan, promote, and hold their first Public Hearing  actually in the grounds of Kew Cottages appear to have been easily repulsed.

The hostile State Government backed forces appear to be still well dug in around the Cottages Heritage buildings on Emerald Hill overlooking the Lower Yarra Valley.

The 26-Sep '07 Public Hearing will therefore not  now be held as originally advised in the State Heritage  listed Old Pharmacy Building off  Main Drive, Kew Cottages. Instead the Hearings will be held  over 2.5km due east (as the Cottages Black Cockatoos fly that is)  in the

Meeting Room
East Kew Uniting Church,
142 Normanby Road,
East Kew
. (Melways Map 45 J3)(Click here for Map)

Don't Screw
                  KewHow to get to the East Kew Uniting Church on Time
Drag out the Melways......................... Map 45 J3
(Or use Google to help get you there... from here...)
Dateline: 25-Sep '07

The 'Yes Minister' mandarins of Spring Street must already be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a  Public Hearing minus the Public ! 

So please don't get lost on the way :-)

What better way than a 'privatised' Public Hearing to help put the seal of approval on an extraordinarily  inappropriate proposal to privatise Public Land ?

A properly publicised Public Hearing complete with local residents and TV News cameras in the grounds of Kew Cottages, of all places, would have been the last thing the executive water coolers of Treasury Place would want to be distracted with in Grand Final Week !  So take care...

And if you are now reading this on your  mobile phone having turned up for the Hearing at the Cottages please don't assume your Melways or GPS navigation system can cope with  the latest road works :-( ( Those trenches have been designed by experts !)

(If in doubt, check this map link first and allow up to 10 - 15 minutes extra travel time.)

2007: Letters & Emails

Comments, corrections, clarifications, and c*ckups (With apologies to crikey.com.au)

Peter Lockwood writes regarding our Kew Cottages Public Lands story on the Upper House Debate  as to whether it was better for Parliament to establish a  new ' Select Committee' or simply refer the matter to the existing " Outer Suburban/Interface Services Development Committee"
Received-SPF: neutral (google.com: is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of Peter.Lockwood@parliament.vic.gov.au) client-ip=;
Received: from PJSDSW2NM03.vic.parl.local ([])
          by PJSDSW2NG01.parliament.vic.gov.au (Lotus Domino Release 6.5.4)
          with ESMTP id 2007092017213715-313546 ;
          Thu, 20 Sep 2007 17:21:37 +1000
To: admin@kew.org.au
Cc: matthew.viney@parliament.vic.gov.au
Subject: your web site

Message-ID: <OF325AD9D6.33F07D72-ONCA25735C.00260621-CA25735C.00286DE8@parliament.vic.gov.au>
From: Peter.Lockwood@parliament.vic.gov.au

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 17:21:35 +1000
X-MIMETrack: Serialize by Router on PJSDSW2NM03/Servers/PARL(Release 6.5.4|March 27, 2005) at
 20/09/2007 17:21:37,..
X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain - parliament.vic.gov.au


If I could make a couple of comments re your web site and the information thereon:

a) While it is a very basic layout it is useful and informative,
b) I expected your sitemap to be a map of the web site rather than the Kew site. There is no map of the website,
c) The pages are not very printer friendly and are quite lengthy,
d) Mr Viney was not being humourous (Siberian humour?) about referring the enquiry to an existing parliamentary committee. It was not a delaying tactic. Given the lack of progress of the select committee a joint committee would have got started a long time ago. Parliamentary joint committees do good work, are better resourced and are better equipped for the kind of investigation being undertaken. Select committees tend to be more politically motivated and look for the headline rather than a solution to a problem.

Although the information has been there for some time I would ask that you revise it. Mr Viney takes the issue seriously and was making a serious attempt at having it investigated properly.

Kindest regards,

Peter Lockwood
Office of Matt Viney MP
MLC for Eastern Victoria
Parliament House Melbourne 3002
(03)9651 8807

Parliament of Victoria Notice: The information contained in this email including any attachments, may be confidential and/or privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised disclosure, copying or dissemination of all or part of this email, including any attachments, is not permitted. This email, including any attachments, should be dealt with in accordance with copyright and privacy legislation. Except where otherwise stated, views expressed are those of the individual sender.


Hi Peter,  Many thanks for helping put the record straight on this one. Please convey my apologies to Mr. Viney. We will be very  happy to revise that particular page, and publish your email as requested. The initial changes should be online in the next couple of  days, and we will certainly try and make the website  more friendly as kew.org.au matures. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can be of further assistance. 
Brian Walsh., Kew Cottages Coalition..

2005-2006: Letters & Emails


Call for a Judicial  Enquiry into the Sale of the Crown Lands...

Dr. E.Cunningham Dax A.O.

   “Asylum to Community” was a book sponsored by the World Federation for Mental Health and launched in New York in 1961. It is probably the most important publication written on the Australian Mental Health Services. On pages 124 to 126 there is an illustrated account of the dreadful conditions, the appalling neglect and the gross overcrowding  at the Kew Cottages.

   Publicity given by a sympathetic press resulted in a public appeal, individual donations and extensive support from the Melbourne Rotarians, the Lions Clubs and other Service Groups. The Kew Cottages Parents Association, the Retarded Children’s Organizations, the C.W.A., the Tipping Foundation, the Master Painters, the Parks and Gardens and many more gave enormous help towards the reform of the Cottages.

   I would urge that each of these bodies should apply pressure upon the Government to hold a Judicial  Enquiry into the sale of the Crown Lands surrounding the psychiatric Hospitals (before they were destroyed) and the centres for the intellectually handicapped, in particular the Kew Cottages . Such an Enquiry would identify the persons connected directly or indirectly with the building organizations who are erecting the houses or have a financial interest in the destruction of the hospitals and the sale of their lands. It would also discover what has happened to the large amount of money obtained in this way.

   In the case of the Cottages it is not clear whether  the Government has an advisor who has experience and knowledge of intellectual  handicap and if so whether  he or she has been consulted.

   It should have been shown that adequate provision for the severely handicapped, who need everything done for them,  is essential. Two special wards were built for such people and they should be expanded and improved, rather than demolished.

   Next a village is required for the many who have a moderate degree of handicap giving them the necessary facilities for their training and development. They are happiest amongst others with similar interests and abilities. Such a village should have been designed and built on the Cottages land instead of it being sold for immoral profits.

   Thirdly there are very many people with a mild degree of intellectual handicap who live a satisfying life within the community and are occupied, stable and useful family members. Facilities should be available for them to seek help from appropriate Government services when they are needed, including temporary hostel accommodation.

  It is difficult to know how the present situation can be remedied, but a Judicial Enquiry would at least curtail the future activities  of those who have destroyed the service. It would also show ways in which the future care of the handicapped, as well as the rehabilitation of the mentally ill, could be reorganised and so dissolve the partnership developed between the Government and some building firms.

   Lastly, the large amount of money which has already been obtained through the sale of the land should be entirely devoted to the neglected mental health services  and not flaunted as a benevolent gift to the neglected organizations.

   ( Dr. E.Cunningham Dax A.O. is a former Chairman of the Victorian Mental Health Authority. )

(And edited version of this letter was originally published in the Progress Leader Newspaper on  30-Aug 2005)

Hands Off Kew Cottages
Dr. Mahinder Lall

The Commonwealth and State Governments have belatedly admitted that Australia’s mental health care conditions are in a shambles. Successive governments, both Liberal and Labour, have been misguided by the medical profession and the psychiatric branch in particular, that Australia’s mentally ill patients should not be institutionalized, and should be released to live among the "normal" citizens. This has been an unmitigated disaster, with a huge increase in crime, particularly crimes of violence, creating a serious problem for the police. Yet, a look at statistics would show that mental illness has increased greatly over the past decade. So the medical profession and all levels of government were complicit in this callous disregard for the mentally ill. This absurdity was compounded by greed, and mental institutions were sold to property developers, and State Governments, in particular, could not wait to get their hands on this lucrative sale of public-owned real estate like Larundel and Royal Park in Melbourne.

Now, does all this sound familiar? It is now the turn of Kew Cottages. This heritage property is not just another piece of real estate that a money-hungry State Government can sell off and make a profit. A wiser and more God-fearing generation of our fore-fathers created this secluded green arbour, where Melbourne’s mentally and physically retarded citizens could grow and develop in a beautiful ambience, away from the gaze and mindless snide remarks of "normal" citizens. Now, for no fault of their own, these already disadvantaged, mute citizens are going to be disinherited and will be herded together with the general population. Another blunder like Royal Park and Larundel is in  the making. This mindless meddling with the mental health care of Melbourne cannot be permitted. So, what needs to be done? Let’s list our priorities:
At this stage I have to digress and borrow a chapter from the history of the USA and introduce one of the world’s unsung heroes – Frederick Law Olmsted – a name unfamiliar to most people, but his fame lives on in his greatest creation, the magnificent "Central Park" in New York. But his legacy includes Yosemite, Yellowstone and park systems throughout the major cities of the USA. But the digression is not merely a flight into history. Olsmsted’s life ambition was to bring "light, air and a community soul" to the crowded poor in America’s cities by providing them with "smiling landscapes, rest and refreshment", away from the "vicissitudes of neglect and the mischief of citizens and politicians." By a strange quirk of fate this incredible human being was struck down by senile dementia so severe that he was institutionalized, and where asylum staff watched over him "among a cluster of cottages, one called HOPE!"

I rest my case.

(Dr. Mahinder Lall is a Kew Resident  )


2005: Melbourne 2030

To learn the latest about Melbourne 2030 go to the new community portal www.melbourne2030.org.au ...

See: http://web.archive.org/web/http://www.melbourne2030.org.au

2004: Melbourne 2030

Melbourne 2030 –  is the Brack's Government's 30-year plan to manage growth and change across metropolitan Melbourne and the surrounding region.

Melbourne 2030 claims to be "planning for sustainable growth". However,  it has been used by both local and State Governments to justify replacing Kew Cottages and 27 hectares of urban green space with the largest urban development in Boroondara's history.

In 2004  the plan has run into serious problems, and a very bad press.

Melbourne 2030 may now prove to be very shortsighted indeed ....

2004 is the "Year of the Built  Environment". It is also the 150th Anniversary of not only some of Melbourne's most illustrious  institutions including the State Library, Museum Victoria, the MCG, the Town Hall, The Royal Society of Victoria, and The Age newspaper, but also of the first Roads Board in Boroondara, and the first railway in Australia.

2004 then is a useful time to reflect on the environmental impact of Melbourne 2030.

2004 is a singularly appropriate time to be questionning the Bracks Government's "de-institutionalisation" policies.

2004 is an appropriate year to reflect on the new challenges posed by our own generation's changing environment at both the global, and local level...

The fuel that drove Melbourne's frantic rush to develop its institutions and built environment 150 years ago was gold.

However, all that glistened on the Victrian goldfields, was not gold. 2004 is also the 150th Anniversary of the Eureka Stockade: the 1854 Ballarat battle that some have likened to the Boston Tea Party of the Australian goldfields. At Eureka tension between taxation and representation exploded into rebellion; where the challenge for change became too great to contain.

Gold exacerbated problems in Melbourne itself. 1854 also saw the need to found  the St. Vincents de Paul Society to help care for the destitute in the new city. A year earlier, conditions at the Yarra Bend Mental Asylum in Melburne were so bad Govenor Latrobe had had to dismiss the entire staff. Then in 1854 a special Board of Enquiry recommended the construction of a new Asylum across the river from Yarra bend at Kew. The new Asylum opened on Emerald Hill at Kew in 1872, and finally, a major innovation, Kew Cottages opened alongside the Asylum in 1887. Both were surrounded by extensive parkland, and public lands, including their own market gardens, farmland, and virgin bush that stretched  uninterrupted by today's Eastern Freeway, right down to the banks of the Yarra  River.

But all the latter greenspace was no accident. Victoria's first politicians had a very different vision for Melbourne than the current encumbents of Spring Street and the Old Treasury Precinct.

Governor La Trobe,  a gardener and early conservationist,  set out to build european style edifices of stone, and laid out acres of public parklands to surround the city. He ensured that a minimum of 20% of all land in Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs contain parkland. This old legislation helped Melbourne to become one of the great garden cities of the world.

But now, over the past decade, Premiers Kennett and  Bracks have both marched to a very different drum than La Trobe.

Now Victoria's politicians appear to think that after 150 years they are all far more politically adept than their forbears. Now they appear to think that they have learnt  how to buy votes by reducing taxes. Now they appear to think they will have a better chance of political survival if they sell off the State's inheritance, if they sell off the farm, if they try and turn Melbourne's urban greenspace into concrete, and the concrete into gold.

Despite local and overseas studies suggesting thaturban greenspace can help reduce crime, fatigue and stress, improve concentration, and enhance worker productivity our modern day Premiers have shown all the signs of a self-inflicted urban brain rot. They have prettied up Parliament in Spring Street, poured concrete over half of the city, and then set out to sell off as much of La Trobe's legacy of public lands and parks as they could reasonably expect to get away with, in exchange for as much gold as their developer friends have been prepared to part with.

In a country where over 50% of population live in cities and towns that doesn't sound like two politicians that care much about the long term health of their electorates. In a country such as Australia, where in fact over 90% of the population already live in cities and towns it sounds downright stupid.

But what is the alternative to this concrete urban nightmare ?

One example of a more intelligent and less politicised approach to "planning for sustainable growth" is currently provided by CSIRO.

CSIRO's Sustainable Ecosystems landscape ecologist, Mr Guy Barnett, is leading a project called Greener Cities, Healthier People that demonstrates a new approach to understanding and addressing the issue of livable, sustainable cities.

CSIRO has noted the overseas findings on the effect of greenspace,  particularly on the physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing of individuals and the community as a whole. As they say in the current issue of ECOS, the CSIRO Magazine on the Science of Sustainability : "If these suggested benefits are correct, the implications for urban planning and design are significant. Much of our green-space is earmarked for urban development and consolidation, but we know little  about the risks to human health and quality of life associated with their deterioration or loss. If such areas do have a positive impact on human health, could they act as a preventative health-care mechanism for an ageing population, and help contain the rising costs of health care in this country? Could we design or revitalise urban green-space for positive health outcomes?" (more..)

Whether the politicians will take any notice remains to be seen.

However, there is hope. 2004 is also the year for the first listing of an Australian building and gardens on the International Heritage Register - The Melbourne  Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens .   Besides hosting the 1880 and 1888 International Exhibitions, the Melbourne Exhibition Building also hosted the opening of Australia's first Federal Parliament.

As the incoming Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said in July 2004, "

"This is a building that is at the core of our history. It provided the venue for the birth of a united nation and a democracy that even today remains unique in the world."

The Melbourne Exhibiton Building is still surrounded by La Trobe's Carlton Gardens. Perhaps enough of todays politicians will finally put 2 and 2 together, and think again about Melbourne 2030 and the need for both their own children and our's to inherit more, and not less urban greenspace.

2003: Hypothetical

Melbourne Monopoly (for the Class of 2003)

Drag out your Board, dust off your Treasurer's Top Hat and Bracks Battle Ship, deal out the cards, Royal Park has gone, Point Nepean is up for grabs, now you just have to get as much Monopoly money as you can for Whitechapel, Central Park, and Kew Cottages. The problem is can you avoid misleading Parliament when there are so many...

Questions, Lies, Damned Lies, and...

Government Information.

    1. It is June 2003.

You have landed on Community Chest.
You are the Minister for Community Services.
Advance to Spring Street.. Do not not Pass "GO".. Do not collect $200..

You have inherited a Hypothetical Question on Notice in the Legislative Assembly from the Member for Kew. He wants a copy of the latest planning document prepared for your Department about Kew Cottages.

The Question begins:

(a) What is the current status of, and will the Minister make available, the master plan, urban design framework and land release strategy for the KRS site undertaken by the Urban and Regional Land Corporation (now VicUrban) ... ?  (More..)

Do you:

1. Answer the Question ?
2. Ignore the Question ?

Clue: The matter is one of growing public interest and debate, however there is no formal requirement for Ministers to answer Questions on Notice in  the Legislative Assembly (The Lower House of the Victorian Parliament).

    2. It is now October 2003

You have landed on Community Chest again.
You are still the Minister for Community Services.

You receive a Hypothetical Question on Notice  in the Legislative Council from the the MLC  for East Yarra. . He wants a copy of the latest planning document prepared for your Department about Kew Cottages.

Do you:

1. Answer the Question ?
2. Ignore the Question ?

Clue: The Upper House requires Ministers to respond to Questions on Notice within 30 days.

    3. It is now November 2003

To see how well you have scored against your peers click here.

For more help and examples click the hyperlinks on the Board.

To learn how Dame Edna will finesse red balloons instead of hotels in 2004 click here to go directly to Camberwell Station..

Do not Pass Go... Do Not Collect $200.... Go Directly to....

2003: The People


November 2003

  1.  It's official - there are now over three thousand (3000) people on the State Government's  Disability Waiting lists for supported accommodation  - and we understand that is the largest number in Victoria since the 1970's !

  3. Now you can add your voice to the thousands of Victorians who have already asked the State Government to think again about its plan to sell Kew Cottages [more....]

The Story So far.....
Many thousand of Victorian have already voiced their opposition to the State Government's proposed sale of Kew Cottages. They have signed petitions, written to newspapers, gone on tailback radio, and attended public protests and meetings..

In mid 2003 the ongoing protest action of local residents and community groups  led to the formation of  our own association the Kew Cottages Coalition.

Hundreds of residents  have attended our public meetings in Kew, and passed motions unanimously condemning the local Boroondara Council and Victorian State Government plans.

However, on 5th August 2003, at a late night 12.30am Council Meeting  which had heard objection after objection from the public gallery,  the Council pressed ahead with its decision to accept the principle of  the first  high rise residential development on the Cottages land - public land - once described as "the lungs of Melbourne' -  land that has been reserved for public parkland, health and community services, since before Federation.

Subsequently, Boroondara Council and the Government  both claimed to have undertaken  'extensive community consultation' about Kew Cottages.

Yet within hours of the Council decision Melbourne talk back radio switchboards lit up with calls of condemnation.

Australia's largest circulation daily paper the Herald Sun began running regular stories under the banner 'Kew Cottages Battle'.

The Herald Sun 'Voteline' on 6th August recorded 2079 calls, of whom 1998  (96.2%) voted NO to the question "Should Kew Cottages be sold and redeveloped?" only 81 of calls (3.6%) voted 'Yes',

Within days over 600 people attended the protest rally we organised in conjunction with the Kew Cottages Parents Association underneath the Canary Island Pines, at Kew Cottages itself. Speakers came from all political parties except the Brack's labor Government. The Premier, Steve Brack's instead sent his apologies, and a letter to be read to the rally.

Protesters came to the rally not only from all over Melbourne, but also from as far away as Bendigo, Ballarat, and East Gippsland. They booed and jeered when Steve Brack's letter was read out claiming "the Government is committed to acting in the best interests of the residents and has planned the redevelopment on the basis of their needs..." many spoke of the failures of State Government policy to address the real needs and concerns of Victoria's disabled, and their family members, not only in Melbourne, but throughout regional Victoria.

Kew Cottages had become a rallying call for some of the State's most disadvantaged citizens.

Protesters also came from resident action and environmental groups who have been fighting other proposed  public land sales and private developments at  Abbotsford, Point Nepean, and Royal Park - land that has been used for  community purposes since before Federation.

Kew Cottages had become a rallying call too for those who had an alternative political vision of  public land use and what our generation should ensure remains in trust for our grand-children.

So Kew Cottages was no longer just a local issue for local residents and politicians, Kew Cottages it appeared had become too important to be left to the politicians.

By August 2003 the Battle for Kew Cottages had become a Statewide Campaign....

So now the Kew Cottages Coalition is going to try and give a voice to those of you who could not make it to our meeting, to those of you who do not live in Melbourne, to those of you who have only just heard  about the fight for the Cottages, and most importantly to those of you are most disadvantaged by the Government's plans - the intellectually disabled , and their families, - to those for whom our great grandparents originally reserved this public  land  back in 1864.

What you can do now... ?

Please contact us:

Or, if you know anyone in the latter situation, then please bring this page to their attention


 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.

Mail comments or questions to us  here

                Privacy: we will comply with Privacy legislation in the State of Victoria in handling all personal
                information . Unless you advise us otherwise, you agree that  we may  make the information you
                provide available  for the above purposes to the independent disability groups CIPAID (Concerned
                Individuals and Parents Action on Intellectual Disbility), the Disability Network., and the Kew
                Cottages Parents Association. Personal information will not be used for any other purposes [more..]

                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.

What's New | Challenge for Change | Links | Archive | Index

© 2003 Kew Cottages Coalition
Reg # A0044698H