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KEW COTTAGES COALITION
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Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698H
YOUR INVITATION... ALL WELCOME !
7pm Wednesday 26th February 2020
KEW PUBLIC MEETING
Important Information Update
Melways Map 45 D6
Download Feb 2020 Newsletter Print Version here
Friday 20th February 2020
Photo: Walker Development Stage 8
Proposed Oakwood Apartments site
Main Drive Kew 3101
Heritage Tree 191- the Canary Island Pine, on the left in this picture appears to have died in a very similar circumstances to a Bishops Pine that was found to be infested with the deadly pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi after construction works began in February 2006
View Channel 10 TV News: Threat to Yarra Bend Park Monday 10 July 2006 >>>
The Canary Island Pine Tree below is much to closer (approx 50m) to Yarra Bend Park than the Bishops Pine that was located further to the east on Main Drive Kew
Photo: New Tree Fencing installed around Tree 191, (Sunday 16 February 2020)
Following Kew Cottages Coalition Stop work call, Thursday 13 February 2020
Walker's Oakwood Apartment Observation tower was suddenly removed, and new
Tree Protection fencing was installed around the dead Canary Island Pine Tree 191
Thursday 13th February 2020
Threat of deadly plant pathogen
resurfaces at Kew Cottages Development.
Read more >>
Mr. Walsh said, "It beggars belief that a nationally recognised threat abatement plan that has operated on a State Government major project for over a decade suddenly appears to have ceased without any warning to the public!"
Monday 10th February 2020
Residents remain confused because Heritage Permit Conditions for the proposed Oakwood apartments clearly state that works are not to begin before a series of safeguards to ensure the long term protection of the trees have been satisfied.
Read more >>
Yet none of these safeguards yet appear to be in place.
No plant quarantine facilities
No Phytophthora cinnamomi warning notices.
No new Permit details
The new Stage 8 works appear to be in breach of the Heritage Act - just like the excavations in January 2019
Photos: New works begin, Walker Corporation's proposed Oakwood Apartments site, 1 Main Drive Kew, Monday 10 February 2020
Photo: Boring Machine, 1 Main Drive, Monday 10 February 2020
Walker Development Stage 8
New excavation works commence
Proposed Oakwood Apartments Site,
1 Main Drive Kew,
The iconic Canary Island Pine (Heritage Tree 191) now appears dead.
Despite this, no protection measures appear to have been put place for neighbouring heritage trees.
Instead, Walker have erected a lookout tower alongside their Oakwood Apartments Sales office (see below)
Photo: Main Drive Kew, 12 Feb 2020
Monday 7th October 2019
Vale Max Jackson, Former CEO of Kew Cottages
Some sad news from Kew Cottages Coalition
Max Jackson, Former CEO of Kew Cottages, and a founding member of the KCC has died of cancer at Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne.
"Max was a lovely guy and terrific advocate for the intellectually disabled. Max was a fantastic supporter of the KCC and all that we are fighting for," said Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition.
"Max never complained about his illness. He was always there when others needed help. The Kew Cottages Coalition will forever be in his debt," Brian said.
When The Sunday Age ran its front page story , "Where's the Money from Kew Cottages" in March 2017, Max was there among the dilapidated heritage buildings to tell The Sunday Age and Victorian taxpayers how they had all been duded by successive governments.
Max explained that, "The Kew project was supposed to be the revitalisation of disability services."
"However, standing on the periphery of the redevelopment it appears that transparency has been the loser, and Walker the big winner."
"This government has an opportunity to rectify a lack of transparency by successive governments and ministers," Max said.
He called on the Andrews government to "come clean".
The Sunday Age Editorial said Max was right on the money..
" ....If the government truly wishes to learn from the experience of the development at Kew Cottages, an independent inquiry should be established into the outcome. At the very least, the auditor-general should be asked to examine the circumstances surrounding the deal," The Sunday Age said.
We will remember him...
Tuesday 16th August 2019
Walker's Proposed Apartment Site
1 Main Drive
The Heritage listed Canary Island Pine Tree 191
is now suffering from significant dieback
The Tree 191 is a short distance down hill from the site of the illegal excavations that took place a few months previously
Tuesday 30th April 2019
Parliament of Victoria
Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Planning,
Read more >>
Wednesday 20th March 2019
Parliament of Victoria
Clifford Hayes, MLC, Southern Metropolitan, Sustainable Australia
Tuesday 5th March 2019
Fresh claim on heritage fight
Developer allegedly ‘damaged Kew Cottages site’
An activist group has accused developers of breaching the Heritage Act at the former Kew Cottages site.
The Kew Cottages Coalition held a public meeting on February 26 to discuss alleged “unauthorised excavations” by developers Walker Corporation which president Brian Walsh said happened on January 21.
“Walker Corporation apparently breached the Victorian Heritage Act by drilling bore holes in a very sensitive heritage area without a permit,” he said.
“Developers always appear to be trying to cut corners — it’s not safe, it’s not fair, it’s got to stop.”
Mr Walsh said he had lodged a complaint to Heritage Victoria regarding the alleged illegal works.
Last year the Heritage Council overruled Heritage Victoria’s refusal of permission for a three storey and basement apartment building on the site, a decision slammed by Boroondara Council.
Sustainable Australia member for Southern Metropolitan region Clifford Hayes has said he would “fight tooth and nail” to have the planning controls returned to Boroondara Council “so that the voice of the community is heard”.
“This 27ha landscape is one of the few pristine, culturally significant spaces of open land left in the area, and it should be protected,” he said.
Walker Corporation spokesman Tim Allerton said the project started in 2006 under multiple permits, including “both planning approvals and heritage approvals.
“Walker Corporation continues to work closely with all appropriate approval authorities with respect to the development of the Kew Project.”
Fresh claim on heritage fight - Progress Leader, 3/5/2019Click here for Hard Copy >
Tuesday 26th February 2019
Kew Public Meeting
Motions passed Unanimously
The following Motions were passed unanimously by the Meeting:
1. That the Victorian Government and Development Victoria must immediately cease all further development at the Kew Cottages Development site.
2. That the Victorian Government must immediately reinstate Boroondara Council as the Planning Authority for the Kew Cottages site.
3. That the Victorian Government must ensure that Heritage Victoria is provided with adequate funding to both:
- proactively inspect and monitor compliance with heritage permits; and to
- properly enforce and defend its decisions in the public interest.
7pm Tuesday 26th February 2019
KEW PUBLIC MEETING
Important Information Update
Melways Map 45 D6
Download Feb 2019 Newsletter Print Version here
Kew Cottages Remix
Rod Quantock, MC
Clifford Hayes MLC
Cr Phillip Healey
Heritage Victoria, response to unauthorised works at Kew Cottages, 25 Feb 2019
Monday 21st January 2019
Excavations and tree trimming observed on Walker's proposed apartment site
Kew Cottages Coalition lodges an official complaint to Heritage Victoria.
Read more >>
From The Archives...
Monday 20th February 2012
A cracking public meeting over Lang Walker's Kew Cottages fiasco
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 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 >>
Kew Cottages February 2012 Newsletter
Download PDF Print Version
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 Failed Restore the recreation building that was demolished in breach of contract. (The Hamer Centre) Failed Support the Kew Coalition 5 Point Plan* Failed 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.
The Challenge for Change.
<< 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 NOW! >>
2011 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...
Read More >>
From The Archives...
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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Reg # A0044698H