web analytics
All Posts By

Bennett Andrew

Local Government Review

By Local Government, Melbourne City Council, State Government

The Andrew’s State Government has initiated a  ministerial review of the Local Government Act and the City of Melbourne Act. The review is due to report next year and changes will not be implemented prior to teh October 2016 election.

The MSYRG believes that there is an urgent need to implement changes to the Act before the next municipal elections

Submission to State Government Victoria_Review of Local Government Act and City of Melbourne Act_16.12.15[1]

Residential Zoning Review v2

By Planning, State Government

The Andrews Victorian government has commenced a review of the residential zoning law introduced by the previous Liberal government.

The existing law introduced by Mathew Guy, and in particular the new Neighbourhood Residential Zone with its mandatory height limits, provides us for the first time a solid basis for preventing inappropriate development in our heritage areas.

It is essential that the certainty afforded in the Guy review is not lost or watered down by the new review.

Our Submission:

Residential Zoning Review


By Meetings, Public Transport, State Government, Traffic


Date: Monday 1 FEBRUARY
Time: 6.00 PM

The attached letter from David Davis MP provides details of this meeting to which all residents and interested persons are invited.

This is not a political meeting but one organised by the PUNT ROAD ACTION GROUP/DROP PUNT which is opposed to the proposed widening of Punt Road.

The Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group Inc. also opposes the widening.

To learn more,  add your views or support the action group you should attend this meeting.


2016 Davis MP_PuntRd

Draft Heritage Report Released

By Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning

The City of Melbourne has published it’s long awaited draft Heritage Policies Review which will voted on next Tuesday December 8, 2015.


Link to the Report.



Members are encouraged to review the documents and forward any comments to the executive. Member are also encourage to attend the meeting next Tuesday, Town Hall, Swanston Street


Purpose and background

1. The purpose of this report is to advise the Future Melbourne Committee of the outcomes of the Heritage Policies Review (HPR) and to seek the Committee’s endorsement to request the Minister for Planning’s authorisation to exhibit Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C258 Heritage Policies Review.
2. The HPR, together with the associated draft amendment C258, is  a 2015-16 Annual Plan initiative and addresses three actions in Council’s adopted Heritage Strategy 2013.
3. In July 2014, Council sought comments from the community on its discussion paper ‘Review of the Local Heritage Planning Policies in the Melbourne Planning Scheme.’ This work identified that the current heritage policies need updating, that statements of significance needed to be created for existing large
scale precincts and that the A to D grading system needs to be phased out.

Melbourne Metro

By Public Transport

Update – 21/3/2016

The most recent information we have is that the Domain Station will be located near the intersection of Domain Road and St Kilda Road – and not in Fawkner Park. This means effectively under the existing Domain Interchange for trams. It is not clear whether all the tunnelling towards the city and the proposed new South Yarra station can be done directly from the site of the Domain Station or whether there may be some disruption of Fawkner Park for the purposes of tunnelling or storage of spoil from the excavation.

The preference of the CoM and MMR is to perform the works from the Domain Station site, but contractor requirements may make this not feasable. We expect more information in May 2016.



Although the plans are not final it appears that the issues for us will include the following.

1.Whether the Domain station remains at the intersection of Domain Road and St Kilda Road rather than Fawkner Park that had been mooted previously.

2.Whether the tunnelling entry and storage point will be in Fawkner Park or north of the Domain Interchange.

3.The disruption of Domain Road and Toorak Road and elsewhere.

4. The decision to not build an interchange stop at South Yarra Station and its impact on local infrastructure and the Tram Network (This ties in with the Tram No. 8 Issue)

5. Whether the Metro Tunnel will impact or prevent a future road tunnel under Punt Road


Link to the Metro Tunnel web site Click here


Letter from Melbourne Metro Rail Authority

Dear South Yarra Resident

Please find below details of our upcoming information sessions and yoursay portal.

Information Sessions

Members of Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group are invited to drop in anytime during these sessions to meet the project team, view tunnel and station locations and provide feedback on project plans.

Tuesday 10 November: Seasons Botanic Gardens, 348 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 5:30 – 7:30PM
Saturday 14 November: Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston St, Melbourne, 11AM – 1PM
Wednesday 18 November: Punthill South Yarra Grand, 7 Yarra St South Yarra, 6 – 8PM
Friday 20 November: Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston St, Melbourne, 12 – 2PM

Have your say on the Melbourne Metro Rail Project

You are also invited to provide feedback on the project, which will be used to help us prepare our official planning documents. These documents will go on public display next year. It will also help us as we continue to develop the design for Melbourne Metro.

You can visit http://yoursay.mmrailproject.vic.gov.au/melbourne-metro-rail-project to participate in online forums and complete a short survey about how you use the proposed project areas.

I will arrange to have some information packs posted to you ahead of your AGM.


Dave Kristy
Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Melbourne Metro Rail Authority

MM BROCHURE 20151008 Eastern Portal Precinct Brochure 4pp PROOF

Punt Road Widening

By Traffic

The State Government made an election commitment in 2014 to establish an independent Advisory Committee to review and report on the future of the Punt Road Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO). On 17 February 2015, the Minister for Planning approved the Terms of Reference for the Punt Road PAO Advisory Committee.

The Terms of Reference are:

“The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to review the future of the Public Acquisition Overlay (overlay) affecting properties within the City of Stonnington on the east side of Punt Road along the 2.6 kilometres between Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra and Union Street, Windsor by seeking input from affected landowners, stakeholders and agencies and to recommend to the Minister for Planning whether to retain, modify or remove the overlay.”


Contact: Susie Warwick.

Ph:  0418 472 490.      Address:  2B Gordon Grove, SOUTH YARRA  VIC.  3141

Briefing document re the Punt Road Acquisition Overlay V1 [519722]

Arup report 20.10.15

Review of Punt Road Public Acquisition Overlay Background Report PDF (1)
vicroads options report 20.10.15

Goodrest: VCAT Appeal

By Planning

The Melbournegoodrest01 South Yarra Residents Group Inc. has joined local residents in opposing the proposed development of the Goodrest site at 120 Toorak Road West, South Yarra

Residents  have submitted an application for an appeal which is listed to be heard on April 11, 2016 at 55 King Street Melbourne at 10:AM.  The matter is now set down for a 5 day hearing

Statement of Grounds for  Appeal

Goodrest_VCAT-Statement-of-Grounds for Appeal





Goodrest – Residents Ignored Again and Worse

By Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning, Traffic

After two years of deliberation the City of Melbourne (COM) decided on 1 September to ignore the residents extensive objections and submissions in relation to the planning application for this site. The objections were supported by reports of relevant experts. This was manifest by the COM issuing a notice of decision to grant a permit to Christ Church Grammar School to operate a primary school in the Victorian residence on the corner of Toorak Road West and Leopold Street.

The Councillors who approved the “Goodrest” planning application were;


Robert Doyle  (Lord Mayor)


Ken Ong (Chair)


Stephen Mayne (Deputy Chair)


Susan Riley (Deputy Lord Mayor)


Arron Wood (Team Doyle)


Kevin Louey (Team Doyle)


Cathy Oake (Greens)


Rohan Leppert (Greens)


Those who opposed the “Goodrest” planning application were:


Richard Foster


Beverley Pinder-Mortimer


Jackie Watts

It was an extraordinary decision for a number of reasons and another meeting where once again, ratepayers and their interests were treated by several councilors in a discourteous manner at best and with disdain at worst. The meeting was conducted in a manner such that most presenters were not given the opportunity to respond to questions and at times facing some councilors who were talking amongst themselves and not concentrating on the presentation being made.

Firstly, the decision.

1. For two years council engineers and planners have been considering and rejecting the school’s application and the school has been making and amending its submission.

2. This rejection was chiefly because of the difficulty in dropping off and collecting 170 young children and the enormous impact that would have on traffic and parking in that already busy part of Toorak Road. The impact would particularly affect local residents in Leopold Street which is unidirectional towards the school and very narrow.

3. For two years local residents have been objecting and submitting expert traffic reports explaining these difficulties in clear terms.

4. Then, within the past few weeks, the school amended its application once again by removing two pedestrian gates in Leopold Street and, to our surprise, negotiating with VicRoads for the provision of five additional parking places on the SOUTH side of Toorak Road outside the Senior Citizens building – approximately 240 metres away. A substantial walk for young children (some pre-school age) and requires crossing an arterial road. There will be additional competition for those new spaces by the pre-existing kindergarten at that very location. It is difficult to fathom that this practically irrelevant provision tipped the Council engineers into support!

5. The removal of the gates does not change the fundamental, and in our view, unresolvable, traffic and parking problems and neither do the additional parking spaces that are unlikely to be used because of the danger of getting young children across the busy road.

6. Nevertheless, for reasons that are in our view unsustainable and unexplainable these two additional and irrelevant changes were enough to persuade those engineers and officers to completely change the view held for the previous two years and recommend approval of the application notwithstanding that in their evidence they were far from confident about the outcome

7. As the officer’s report made it plain that it was these two changes that overcame two years of opposition, an understanding of this and the history would lead any responsible body to the inevitable conclusion that these changes were irrelevant, that the recommendation should not be accepted and that the application should be rejected on the basis that the use of the property for this purpose was unworkable in this residential area.

8. It was the responsibility of councilors to protect residents and reject this application “unless there is a net benefit to local residents and the local community”. It has been plain from the very outset that this activity will cause nothing but difficulties for local residents and that the only member of the local community to benefit will be the school. The application should clearly have been rejected and once again the City of Melbourne has failed in its obligation to residents.

Secondly, the ratepayers.

Over 50 residents attended the council meeting, all except 2 of whom where objectors. Fourteen objectors made verbal submissions. As has been the case on previous occasions, several councillors paid little attention to residents making their submissions and generally gave every indication that what residents were saying was of little relevance or interest to them.

There is an expectation from ratepayers and those presenting at such a meeting that councillors will remained focused and attentive to the task at hand and that chatter between councilors, moving about the room and interacting with portable communications devices is prejudicial to the satisfactory performance of that duty. .

When the offending councillors did have the opportunity to speak to the meeting, it was not to deal with the critical traffic and parking issues but to raise irrelevant issues or make a disparaging remark or implied threat about losing resident parking rights if their opposition went any further. Local residents were justifiably concerned about the issue, had given the matter substantial thought and responded carefully. Regrettably however, several councillors treated them disgracefully.

Residents left the meeting unhappy and angry not just about the decision but about the dismissive and discourteous way they and their views were treated. While the Mayor regularly warns those in the audience about treating speakers courteously, the same rule seems not to apply to councillors.