Friday, September 28, 2012

BUG: Survey


Thank you  for your email.  My main concern is in relation to the design and roll out of the Bicycle network.  Sadly since the introduction of the bicycle helmet laws I have reduced my use of bicycles.  

I am also concerned that little to no consideration has been given to what can be done to improve public safety and services for motorcycle and scooter riders. 

There are some circumstances and situations where bicycle lanes could be used and shared by  motorbikes/scooters and cyclist alike.  More consideration needs to be given to how we share the road network.  There are situations where the bicycle lanes contribute to reduced  road safety. Much more needs to be done to consider the needs of all users in conjunction, not in isolation.   

I do not believe it is the role of individual Councillors to decide on these matters but to seek the advice of stakeholders and experts so as to  ensure that proper planning and development is undertaken in the course of Council’s service delivery and resource planning.


Anthony van der Craats
Independent Candidate - Councillors

Melbourne BUG would like to help you reach the interested electorate in regard to your policies relating to bicycles as part of Melbourne's transport mix.  We have attached a questionnaire which allows open ended answers by you.  If you have time, we would like to meet with you and discuss the questionnaire, but alternatively you can just fill it in and return your answers to us.  To allow us to reach voters in time, we need your answers by 9.00am Wednesday 3 October 2012.

If you can make time in your busy campaign for an interview, please let us know when you are available and we will confirm. We do appreciate your time and attention.


Nik Dow

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Questions about Heritage protection

Dear Katrina 

Thank you for your email. 

Please find attached below brief answers to your questions. 

I would also like to mention that I am a life member and former member of Board of Directors of the National Trust and past Secretary of the Defend Our Heritage group that campaigned to protect the Royal Exhibition Buildings and have it included on the World Heritage List. 

 I am very much supportive of the need to preserve and protect our built and natural environment. 


Anthony van der Craats 
Independent Candidate , City of Melbourne Council Election 2012
Life member of the National Trust of Australia

Melbourne Heritage Action
P.O. Box 24198, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia

Melbourne Heritage Action
Questions for City of Melbourne election 2012 candidates
September 2012

Do you acknowledge that the built heritage of Melbourne’s CBD is a vital element of Melbourne’s character, essence, liveability and desirability? Yes

Within the City of Melbourne, and particularly in the CBD, our built heritage is being steadily eroded. Buildings that were significant to our city’s character and history have been lost (Lonsdale House and 40% of the Windsor Hotel) or facaded (Myer and current proposals for the Celtic Club and Royal Saxon Hotel). Should the City of Melbourne continue to allow full demolition or facading of heritage buildings? No

The City of Melbourne has recently approved a Heritage Strategy for public comment. It outlines some of the many gaps in heritage protection in the City of Melbourne. Do you support the protection of a wider range of places and the upgrading of policy controls for heritage structures and precincts as recommended in the Heritage Strategy? Yes, and I would even go further. One policy that is being ignored by the City Council is the excellent policy document on Victorian Verandahs.  All too often Council officers ignore or shelve policies on heritage protection.

How will you ensure that this vital heritage strategy is carried out and funded in full and not abandoned as previous heritage studies have been in the past? I would insist that the City of Council when review of all planning applications that they take into consideration heritage preservation and where an application impacts on a site of significance that the application conta9in a detailed report and assessment of its impact on the heritage value in accordance with ICOMOS standards and procedures. I would also invite organistations and heritage experts, academics and architectural historians, outside the City Council, to sit on a heritage review committee that would have charter and responsibility to oversee heritage applications and Council policy development. This committee would operate in a similar basis as the National Trust Building Committee

Would you support the establishment of a dedicated heritage unit or steering committee within the City of Melbourne to ensure heritage is properly managed? Yes, see above

The recent CBD heritage review recommended 99 new individual buildings be heritage listed. However, this can only be seen as “stop gap” study. Many more buildings and notable precincts remain unprotected. Would you support more protection of Melbourne’s increasingly rare, smaller scale heritage buildings and precincts, including its laneways? Yes this would be a task that would fall under the proposed Heritage Committee listed above

As it stands a number of extremely significant heritage interiors such as Block Court on Collins Street and the Centenary Hall interiors on Exhibition Steet have absolutely no protection and could be destroyed at any time without the public or the City of Melbourne being notified. How would you ensure that heritage interiors are protected in the immediate future before they are lost? The proposed expert committee would have the charter to consider any application for inclusion on the City’s heritage list.

Melbourne Heritage Action recently compiled a detailed study of the CBD’s laneways and found that only nine laneways had any real protection. Many lanes celebrated by the City of Melbourne, such as Literature Lane and AC/DC lane, have had major developments approved that make little effort to enhance the lanes they are built on. Melbourne’s lanes continue to be sold off. How will you ensure that Melbourne’s laneway network is better protected and managed? The proposed expert committee would have the charter to consider any application for inclusion on the city’s heritage list and Council’s management policy

Following its inclusion on the list of 99 buildings to be considered for heritage protection in the CBD the famous mosaic floors of Rosati’s restaurant in Flinders Lane were demolished because interim protection—requested by the City of Melbourne over a year ago—had not been approve by Planning Minister Guy. Likewise, the historic former VD clinic on Little Lonsdale Street, on same the list, is the subject of a current demolition application by its owners. In your view, how important is the long accepted mechanism of interim heritage protection? High priority
How will you ensure that the Minister does not continue to ignore requests for interim protection from the City of Melbourne?  Unfortunately the Council cannot override the directions of the State Minister however it is appropriate that the Council monitor and highlight any threats to our built and natural heritage as identified by the Council’s Expert Heritage committee and actively use the resources of the Council to advocate for their protection and if necessary seek legal address at VCAT and the Courts 

The Minister for Planning is the responsible authority for projects in the CBD over 25 000 m2. This means the City of Melbourne is bypassed completely. This threshold is now thirty years old, which means that each year many more projects are over this limit and are ‘called in’. This gives the planning minister power over many more developments than was originally intended. Should this limit be raised, or eliminated altogether?
And should there be a different system for dealing with these larger projects which directly impact on the planning of Melbourne’s CBD? The Council remains the planning authority and has the right to make submissions to the State Government and if need be seek appeal and review.  It must retain the right of oversight and if need be the right to appeal to a higher authority or seek judicial review.

Updated; City of Melbourne Act

UPDATE.  The information published by Austlii is outdated.  The version of the City of Melbourne Act published on Austlii is not the current version.  The current version is 19A copy which is available on the Victorian Government Legislation site.    We have contacted Austlii requesting that they urgently update their data files.

Update2 :  Austlii have now updated its legilstative database and the City of Melbourne Act.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Melbourne set for another four years of lackluster

Melbourne City Council is set for another four years of lackluster leadership with Robert Doyle expected to win a repeat term as Lord Mayor.  Doyle's term of office has been uninspiring and seen little change.  His team is more interested in using the City Council to enhance their personal business interests than good governance. Most notable is Cr. Carl Jetter.  Cr. Jetter has been milking the City Council for the last eight years. A quick look at his claimed Councillor expenses says it all.  The good news is that Team Doyle have relegated Jetter to fourth place so unless Doyle can secure 40% of the vote - Jetter is history.

Also vying for the Lord Mayor position, in opposition to Robert Doyle, is ex Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer. Singer has recruited John So as his deputy.  Not John So,former Lord Mayor, but his son. Singer hopes to attract support by trading on John So Senior's good name.

The Greens, who are the only political party to endorse candidates in the City election, are also seeking the top job, but the odds are against them and they are expected to poll around 15% to 16%.  The Greens have no policies on governance, a Greater Melbourne or electoral reform. Their main focus is to use the Council as a stepping stone and platform in seeking State  and Federal epresentation, the City is secondary. Whilst they are not considered a serious contender for the Lord Mayor's position the Greens,in the absence of an endorsed ALP candidate, hope to pickup a second Councillor spot. Failed Melbourne State Candidate Catherine Oke heads their Counillor ticket. The Greens are expected to tank out as the forth candidate left standing for Lord Mayor. 

The best hope and main contender challenging Robert Doyle's re-election is Cr Brian Shanahan.  Shanahan, who is also a member of the ALP. Shanahan is heading up former Lord Mayor and community activist Kevin Chamberlin's Lord Mayor Ticket. Shanahan and  Chamberlian hope to appeal to the resident ALP base and pickup sufficient preferences to remain in the count. Shanahan is second on the ballot paper ahead of Robert Doyle which should give him a slight advantage in the distribution of preferences.  In 2008 this advantage was enough to elect Robert Doyle ahead of his main rival Peter McMullin. 

Candidates who will influence the outcome of the election but not expected to win are pollster Gary Morgan who has teamed up with  controversial identity former Liberal Party president John Elliott.  Morgan is expected to feed into either Doyle or top up Brain Shanahan's ticket.  The full details of preference deals will be known later next week.  65% of voters having chosen their prime candidate follow their HTV card.  The remaining voters tend to spray and then donkey vote down the ticket filling in all preferences.

Melbourne State by-election contender Carlton identity and former Councillor David Notle has also nominated for the Lord Mayor's robes.  Nolte played a decisive roll in determining the outcome of the Melbourne and could do so again in the council election.  To support his bid he has run a team of no less than seven candidates in the Council election which is headed up by ALP member Richard Foster. Nolte is expected to poll around 7-8%

Serial candidate, former Manningham.Templestow Councillor and regular media commentator, Stephen Mayne has also nominated for the one of the Council's nine Councillor position.  Mayne is hoping to secure enough votes to remain a contender.  the reality is he is more likely to be a feeder candidate and top up the Greens in what is a payback sweetheart deal for his support in the Melbourne by-election Mayne polled 4% of which 55%-60% flowed on to the Greens Cathy Oke.

Other candidates running but will have little influence in the outcome of the Election is Joseph Toscano, Benhad Ahmed and Keith Rankin. Rankin has the slight advantage of being top of the ballot paper. He is running primarily to support Doyle.
Whilst Robert Doyle is expected to win the Lord Mayor election, on the back of incumbency as the main and only known candidate, his team will not do as well in the Council election where the last two positions will be up for grabs with three main groups hoping to win.  The outcome of the Council election will be known on Monday when above-the-line preferences deals are finalized. 

 More information VEC web site