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KEW COTTAGES COALITION
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Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698H
Sunday 19th March 2017
Hundreds of millions unaccounted for from Kew Cottages
The Kew Cottages redevelopment was supposed to be a three-way winner.Read More >>
The 480 residents with intellectual disabilities living at the prime site in Melbourne's inner-east would be rehoused in new accommodation; the government's joint venture partner would make a handy profit for his trouble; the state would cover the cost of relocating the former residents and share in the profit, yielding millions of extra dollars to pour back into wider disability services...
Thursday 23rd February 2017
Kew Public Meeting
Motion carried Unanimously
This Public Meeting calls on:
- Major Projects Victoria and Walker Corporation to provide an undertaking to respect the heritage values of the Kew Cottages site, and abandon their plans to build on the heritage parkland at the entrance to Willsmere
- The Minister for Planning and Heritage to amend the current Heritage Bill before Parliament in order to ensure the best interests of the community are given priority over exclusive or private developments.
- The Minister for Major Projects and the Minister for Community Services to honour the Bracks and Brumby Governments undertakings not to privatise the three remaining heritage buildings, but to adapt and continue to use them for the provision of services for both the intellectually disabled and the wider community.
- The Auditor-General to undertake a forensic audit of the Walker Corporation and Kew Development Corporation books in order to investigate serious financial anomalies including why the project has never turned a profit, despite the significant rise in eastern suburbs property values since Main Drive Kew sales commenced in 2007.
7pm Thursday 23rd February 2017
KEW PUBLIC MEETING
Important Information Update
Melways Map 45 D6
Download Feb 2017 Newsletter Print Version here
Friday 9th December 2016Major Projects Victoria revives Walker Contract
like a phoenix rising from the ashes...
Link: Victorian Government Contract Publishing System Website (CPS)
Thursday 10th November 2016
Heritage and public get raw deal in development rush
Age - Comment
Download Print Version here
Just east of Yarra Bend Park, on the gentle slope of a quiet hill, there hangs in its frame an antique school bell, seemingly suspended mid-swing by a heavy coat of paint.
Alongside the bell, equally frozen in time, are the vestiges of a European cottage system consisting of an 1887 school and chapel building and its two timeworn siblings – a dining hall and a cottage designed for housing children with mild intellectual disabilities. Historians have come to regard the site as an example of extraordinary Victorian innovation, and one of high national significance .
The three buildings and the bell have been lucky to survive one of the more controversial chapters of the state’s recent political history – the privatisation of an enormous tract of public inner Melbourne land, formerly known as the Kew Cottages . The result was a spanking new estate of 300 or so almost identical low-density luxury homes, developed by the Walker Corporation in a rocketing property market, and referred to by some as the tissue box houses....
Thursday 27th October 2016
Walker contract Expires
1. Major Projects Victoria Contract Number 3669 as accessed CPS website Wed 21 Dec 2016
2. As currently published. See: Victorian Government Contract Publishing System Website (CPS)
Tuesday 10th May 2016
Developer pulls Kew Appeal
FIVE-STOREY APARTMENT BLOCK NO LONGER ON THE CARDS
Download Print Version here
A STUNNING about-face has seen Kew Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Walker Corporation, withdraw its appeal to the Heritage Council of Victoria over the rejection of plans for a five-storey apartment complex in Princess St...
Wednesday 24th February 2016
" This Meeting calls on the Andrews Government to direct Walker Corporation to withdraw its application for the Heritage Council to be reconstituted."
President and Treasurer's Reports
KCC Balloon Assisted
Walker Building Visualisation
Power Point Slides
You are Cordially Invited to our Annual Public Meeting
at the Kew Civic Centre
KEW PUBLIC MEETING
7pm Wednesday 24th February 2016
Melways Map 45 D6
Monday 15th February 2016
Walker Corporation/Kew Development Corporation
have submitted an Application
for the Heritage Council to be Reconstituted.
The Heritage Council has, therefore, determined to adjourn the final day of the hearing scheduled for Monday 15 February 2016, to allow time for consideration of the application, and any material submitted by parties in relation to it. (More... )
Monday 8th February 2016
Community Opposition grows to High Rise in Park Plan
Walker Corporation uses Photoshop to fight back in the Yarra Parkland ...Can you Recognise where Walker's photo has been taken From ?
Walker Image Scharp Fig. V12AAWhere's Walker ?
Walker Corporation may have tried to make it easy for the public to see Main Drive Kew in this
Photoshopped Image presented to Victoria's Heritage Watchdog ..
After all, they have even gone to the trouble of marking their proposed High Rise Block of Apartments in RED !
Can you actually Find the Walker Building ?
(If not, try downloading a higher resolution image file of their photo and look again !)
Can you Find the Willsmere Heritage Listed Landmark Building on Main Drive ?
Kew Cottages Coalition President, Brian Walsh, said today that
I am sure that technically this is a very nice photo, and demonstrates a very professional use of Photoshop.
But I think the way that Walker has presented this material to Victoria's Heritage Watchdog is a problem, because ...
"It looks to me like mutton dressed up as lamb.
"Walker appear to be trying to manipulate the true story in at least two ways", Mr. Walsh said.
1. Site selection. There are many other sites, even using their methodology, where the impact of the building is
dramatic and clearly impacts on the heritage value to the lay person who uses the park and lives in the area.
2. Impact distortion. The use of a 22mm lens minimises the visual impact of the building. Use of a 50mm lens
is more consistent with what the naked human eye sees. Using a 50mm lens the impact of the development is
much greater – both using the Scharp-selected sites and other routine sites.
'We would like the Heritage watchdog to be able compare the developer's 'Photoshopped' views with a few simpler and more 'transparent'
images of the Main Drive Parkland,' Mr. Walsh said.
So we have undertaken a small 'Test and Demonstration' Project to present to the Heritage Council at their
Public Hearing on 15th February (Details below)
This will include:
1. Balloon-Assisted Building Visualisation - to test Walker's Claims
Kew Cottages Coalition Balloon Building Visualisation ImageWalker is still fighting to avoid having to return this Main Drive Kew site to its historic Kew Cottages parkland setting
Walker wants to build High Rise Apartments blocks instead.
Our Red balloons (above) provide a 'best case' estimate of the height of the Walker Apartments.
2. Drone-Assisted Visualisation of Main Drive
to help put Walker's own views into perspective.
YouTube Kew Aerial #1 Dur: 4:36 min
* Kew Cottages Coalition Drone-Assisted Main Drive Visualisation *
Scharp Design Pty Ltd methodology relied on by Walker is here.
Scharp's Studley Park camera location (V12AA) is here
and for a closer view of the planned site
See Google Maps Streetview link to Main Drive, Kew below
We would value your feedback.
The Walker Appeal Hearing has been adjourned until
Date: Monday 15 February 2016
Planning Panels Rooms
1 Spring Street,
Monday 7th December 2015
Kew Cottages Battle goes to
Date: Thursday 10 December
Friday 11 December 2015
Time: 9.30amVenue: Royal Australian College of Surgeons,
250-290 Spring Street,
For further information contact
Heritage Council of Victoria
Tel: (03) 9208 3666
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-:)
Dig into all the Documents -:(
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 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 >>
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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© 2006 Kew Cottages Coalition
Reg # A0044698H