The state government funding program for the maintenance of existing rail infrastructure and building the MMP tunnel and its proposed extensions, such as the lines to West Doncaster and Melbourne Airport, “is so fanciful that it may as well have had a dozen tatts lotto tickets attached to it”…analogy by previous transport minister Terrence Mulder
Age Newspaper Article Declining Infrastructure Click to Enlarge

Age  article  on Infrastructure
Double Click to Enlarge

The Victorian state government could need Billions to fund overdue maintenance of its existing railway infrastructure without taking into account the $11 Billion required for the construction of the Melbourne Metropolitan Project and the $11 Billion rail line to West Doncaster/ Greythorn Park and Ride. The State government had pledged only $300 Million followed by a further $1.5 Billion to be allocated in this year’s state budget. The Federal government had promised a further $2 Billion towards the MMP but have not indicated when it would be made available except to say that it would be sometime after 2019– one year after the next state election.

Phase One of the $6.5 Million Rail study report given to the Victorian Government in February 2014 estimated the cost of a line from Clifton Hill to the Doncaster Park-And-Ride at Continue reading MELBOURNE’S RAILWAYS IN STATE OF DISREPAIR →


Parents and supporters had gathered at the Manningham offices and on the steps of parliament house, to express their anger at the prospect of losing their primary school for the sake of council’s high rise strategy.
Alternative school site Click to enlarge

Alternative school site
Click to enlarge

The Doncaster, Council Street, primary school land looked likely to be the first casualty under the state government’s rationalisation program because it was located smack bang in the centre of the prescribed high rise zone of Manningham’s Doncaster Activity Centre Town Centre Project back in1994. However the document did give an assurance that primary school would be retained somehow and indicated an alternative site further north towards Turana Street. “Although assurances have now been given that the school will remain in its present location in the Doncaster Hill strategy, it will eventually be swamped with traffic generated by much larger developments in the future than what was previously envisaged and might have to be relocated because of child safety issues, the ingress and egress problems and long queues associated with developments in Council Street and beyond” Continue reading PUBLIC BACKLASH AT PRIMARY SCHOOL REMOVAL →


“If a lot has an area less than 1,800m², a townhouse style development proposal only will be considered but should be a maximum of two storeys”

Manningham Council say they will no longer allow three storey apartment developments on land under 1800 sq m. (usually three house sites) . This applies to precincts A & B of the DDO8 (GRZ 1 & 2) but not in activity centres (shopping centres) or along main roads. The new regulations were contained in the C96 amendment, approved on the 13/2/2014.

Three Storey Complex on small block Click to enlarge

3 storey on small block
Click to enlarge

The changes were first proposed in 2011- 2012, following the retirement of Paul Molan the previous head of Manningham planning. The new officer in charge of planning had immediately called for an amendment to the DDO8 to remove ambiguity and perceived bias in an attempt to regain public trust. The residential strategy document had been introduced by way of amendment C50 back in 2006 but it contained so much ambiguity, it was allowing developers a free hand. Prior to amendment C96, we had the ridiculous situation where Manningham council were spending a fortune in ratepayers funds on employing  consultants and solicitors to defend the strategy against its own residents who had appealed at VCAT.



Recognising Objections Bill 2015, now before state parliament, is so weak and watery it may have the opposite effect and limit resident objections. 
!0 storey next to  town house style  zoned area
10 storey next to a 2 storey zone

The number of objections will only to be considered appropriate when the determining authority deems the proposed use or development may have a “significant social effect” but does not provide any guidance on its meaning.  It is further weakened by an explanatory note which indicates that if objections are not relevant to the permission sought, they may not be considered.

Recognising Objectors Bill     Explanatory Memo

Would the Bill allow objections based on a “significant social effect” to prevent this absurd planning decision by the Manningham council approving a ten storey apartment tower adjacent to a land size where only a two storey town house style development is permitted?

Mary Drost AOM

Mary Drost 

Mary Drost AOM,  Convenor of Planning Backlash, wrote;  “We thank the Planning Minister Richard Wynne for at least honoring an election promise by bringing this Bill to Parliament. However it contains too many subjective words. It seems that whoever wrote this Bill has used many words in it that can be argued in either direction.  We call these words weasel words.  This weakens the whole Bill so that it becomes meaningless at VCAT.  So as it is,  it will not change anything.  For example it says  ‘where appropriate’  Who decides when it is appropriate? Continue reading PLANNING BILL GETS COMMUNITY THUMBS DOWN →


There has been a very small increase of 0.8 degrees celsius in average global temperatures, in the period since they were first recorded one hundred and thirty five years ago. So is it really so far out of the ordinary or anything that the world should be alarmed about?

Can we be sure that an increase in carbon dioxide, a trace atmospheric gas, is the sole reason for the small increase in global temperatures or could it be that the earth warms and cools naturally just as it does throughout the seasons and there is nothing that man can do to stop this cycle?

Al Gore author of The Inconvenient Truth Click to enlarge

Al Gore 

The work of global warming scientists were seriously undermined with claims by Al Gore (Nobel Prize Winner 2007) author of the The Inconvenient Truth, who predicted that the North Pole could be completely liquidated by 2014 due to the impending threat of global warming. Subsequent reports have found that his wild prediction has resulted in the opposite with a dramatic increase in the amount of ice covering the pole.


Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery (Australian of the Year 2007), representing the Australian climate commission preached that global warming would cause permanent drought in Australia “so even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems” ..Since that statement we have had record floods and our cities dams are back to normal..some overflowing.

Top scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who once predicted a temperature rise of 0.2 degrees per decade are now baffled by the fact our planet’s temperature has not increased for almost two decades. There was also an amount of cooling between 1945-1975 and recently between 1997-2015 even though CO2, the alleged cause of G W, had increased Continue reading COOLER WISER HEADS NEEDED IN CO2 DEBATE →


 The higher yield from approving small apartments means more ratepayers for Council and higher profits for developers.

98/1 Bedrooms  602 Doncaster Road Click to enlarge

98/1 Bedroom apts
602 Doncaster Road
Click to enlarge photos

The majority of the Manningham permit application reports indicate that council is allowing at least 40% of the total number of apartments in major high rise buildings to have only one bedroom. These buildings appear to be targeting the lower end of the market by the provision of very small one bedders ranging in size from a minimum of 43 sq m to an average maximum of 50 sq m. One building had 75 one bedroom apartments no larger than 44 sq m.

According to research, the proportion of one bedroom apartments was once only 10%. It is now Continue reading RATE INCOME BOOST – APARTMENTS GET SMALLER →


Sydney CBD and South East Light Rail   Click to enlarge


Light Rail to Doncaster Double click to enlarge

Light Rail to Doncaster
Double click to enlarge

The Victorian Transport Action Group (VTAG), an independent forum of transport experts from various disciplines, shares a vision of a highly mobile Melbourne with an increased population being effectively and sustainably serviced by a versatile, strategically expanded public transport network. In this paper VTAG proposes Route 100 as a solution for the car dependent and congested North-Eastern suburbs. Route 100 is a Light Rail Transit (LRT) service for the Doncaster Corridor which connects into the tram network in Fitzroy.  Melbourne faces crippling and costly congestion, due in part to the transport and land use planning failures of past decades. However, Melbourne, like other world cities can grasp the future and lay out a network that will reduce the congestion and enhance the mobility for and liveability of its residents; and Melbourne has one significant strategic advantage; it has the tramway foundation already in place.                                                      Route 100 Light Rail – Doncaster Hill to inner City by VTAG FINAL 25th May

State Government  had made it clear to Manningham Council that Buses would be the one and only transport Continue reading LIGHT RAIL – DONCASTER TO CITY VIA FREEWAY →


The presence of highly visible rails and overhead equipment of a Tram line on Doncaster Hill would have provided its residents with a stable, reliable and a symbolic connection to the entire metropolitan network.
Balwyn Road Terminus Click to enlarge

Balwyn Road Terminus
Click to enlarge

Tram 48 to Doncaster Click to Enlarge

Tram 48 to Doncaster
Click to Enlarge

Buses, except on the dedicated freeway lanes which cater only for City bound commuters, were less preferred than a fixed rail service because Trams are faster, are punctual and can carry more passengers. A Tram to the city would also have provided access to the adjoining or inner Melbourne suburb’s facilities such as private schools, Hospitals, Specialists and major Sports arenas. The Tram 48 extension would have required only 4.5 Km of extra track, serving Greythorn Village and the Doncaster Park and Ride facility before terminating near Westfield Doncaster.

Manningham were told Continue reading TRAM WAS PART OF DONCASTER TRANSPORT PLAN →


The Government’s proposal to impose a foreign ownership property tax had not impeded overseas investment in Doncaster. The tax is now being reviewed after it emerged there were potentially unintentional consequences for first home buyers and larger developer companies that have significant foreign ownership.

Foreign Investment Click to Enlarge

Foreign Investment
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Planning Application Click To Enlarge

Planning Application
Click To Enlarge

A property at 21 Clay Drive, Doncaster (931 M2), recently sold at auction for $2.350 Million, has set a new benchmark asking price of $2,524 per M2 for properties in Sub precincts A & B in Precinct Two. At this rate an average block of land of 700 m2 could fetch more than $1.766 Million in either of the two Sub precincts. A planning permit application for seven (7) two storey townhouses has been lodged


Despite being endorsed by Councillors and approved by council engineers, after years of promoting the shared path circuit plan with expensive brochures and consultation etc., Manningham council had abandoned the scheme in 2009 due to safety concerns thought to have arisen from the excessive slopes of the area.

David Graham  Ex Manningham

David Graham
Ex Manningham   Now GTA

Unfortunately all that is left of the original plan, according to the One Step At A Time attached document, is a 250 metre shared path from the Civic grounds through to the Westfield Car park. David Graham who helped design the plan is now a director at GTA Consultants. During his tenure at Manningham City Council between 1999-2004,  David was involved in the implementation of the Doncaster Hill Strategy and associated plans. He also prepared scoping reports for a variety of projects including Doncaster Hill Pedestrian and Cycling Strategy Manningham Arterial Road Improvement Strategy  blackspots and bicycle treatments, project managed road improvement projects, developed and implemented LATM schemes and provided advice to Council regarding Continue reading DONCASTER HILL PED&CYCLE PLAN ABANDONED →