Immigration and World Poverty – By the numbers

Watching this presentation on you-tube just makes you think WOW, what is the right solution for the world over.

Poverty of the world population illustrated in a simple presentation using  gumballs…

Can  large emigration numbers to the US (or any other country) help?  A  simple but
powerful presentation.


Changing Water Consumer Behaviour versus Costs

The most effective way of changing consumer attitudes towards conserving water is to simply raise the cost. The forecast increase in water bills, due to the construction and running costs of the desalination plant is estimated at 22%, which is anticipated to correlate with further reductions in consumption. ABC PM: True cost of desalination plant blamed for water bill increases

Water is no longer being used as if it were “free” nor do you see patios and driveways being hosed down or lawns and nature strips being watered.

Financial year water consumption,(in litres per person, per day), has steadily declined from 247 in 2000-1 to 161 in 2012-13

Which is a decline of more than 40% over the period.

And that decline has happened while Melbourne heats up… Continue reading Changing Water Consumer Behaviour versus Costs →

Subterranean Apartments

We have a collection of photos below showing how developers are increasing apartment density by sinking apartments underground!

The photos below are of an apartment complex corner of Berkley and Tower Streets in Doncaster adjacent to the Westfield Shopping Centre.

Sunken living areas have been a measure employed to conceal the true height of a building to create a higher apartment yield.

There are several old permits, similarly configured but not activated, in both the DDO8 and the Doncaster  Hill Strategies.

The C96 panel, in regard to the DDO8,  recommended it “be modified to include a design objective to limit below ground light courts so that living spaces have suitable access to natural light” but were not definitive on what guidelines should be applied.

We have previously highlighted the poor design of this practice, in the 2-6 Thiele St Apartments, ( see key issues section)  and Foote St.

Continue reading Subterranean Apartments →

Will Suburbia Apartment Vacancies saw like the CBD?

The Age painted a dim picture with their article below December 17th.

It begs the question, will the same occur in places like Doncaster where both high rise and Medium density apartments are being build en-mass.

Talking to the developers you get mixed stories, some say it all sells, others research shows entry level products are selling, and the larger units, but not much in the middle sizes.

Vacancies soar and rents fall as new apartments stay empty.


Construction Noise – when is it allowed?

If you are living next to or close to a construction, there are rules to when they can make noise such as power tools or machinery.

Allowed operating hours are Monday – Friday 7.00 am – 8.00 pm and Weekends and Public Holidays are 9.00 am to 8.00 pm.

If they start before these times contact Council and lodge a complaint.  Manningham City Council  03 9840 9333.

East West Link – Doubts over planning strategy after key advisers quit

Follow on from our last article where Roz Hansen advised the MCC to reject the East-West Link,

the Age article below, shows how five of the six member panel quit.

Doubts over planning strategy after key advisers quit

Read more:

The Napthine government’s signature planning document has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that its advisory panel resigned amid concerns over key transport decisions.

Five of the six members of the ministerial advisory committee decided they no longer wanted their names associated with the new metropolitan planning strategy, Plan Melbourne. Continue reading East West Link – Doubts over planning strategy after key advisers quit →

East West Link – Roz Hansen tells MCC to reject it.

With the ink barely dry, the new draft planning strategy for Melbourne has been thrown into doubt after its Ministerial advisory panel resigned over key transport concerns.  The panel’s chairwoman, Roz Hansen, has publicly denounced the government’s $6 billion to $8 billion east-west link and called for a state election to give Victorians a choice.  

Listen to Professor Hansen’s comments to a Melbourne City Council meeting on Dec.10 

12 minutes audio ;   From Melb City Council Website – Future Melbourne Comittee.

Or read the associated article from the Age .

The recording above is an excerpt from the Melbourne City Council Meeting, where Roz Hansen points out that the East West link is not the number one priority for the City of Melbourne. Roz urges the Council to tell the CIS in their submission that in principle they  do not support the East West link.


Living through a Development – Boring

If there is a development going up close by, the utilities might have to run in some bigger pipes and power, if this goes underground, then they might just get BORING.

Instead of digging up the entire street, they might dig occasional big holes, and drill or “Bore” in between. this way they only mess up the nature strip in front of every second or third house. However in between some other things can happen: Continue reading Living through a Development – Boring →

Big Building Approved next door what can you do now? Start Growing

Well if VCAT and Council say  it is definately going ahead, what can you do?

1. Move out     2. Build a wall      3. Make the most of the time and start growing.    4. Open a multi-storey car parking complex in your street.

3. Start Growing

So if you have decided to stay, and plan on growing some screening – you have a head start – do you align with the developments Landscape styles, or go with the quickest block out trees?

  • What balance of Privacy versus style are you happy with? Which rooms do you care about privacy?
  • How long do you have before the development is tenanted? Match your tree choice to this.
  • How high does your screening need to be, above your windows, or as high as the development?
  • Will the plants be safe while the building works progress?
  • Do you want leafy screening all year or Deciduous– what about your sunlight.
  • Start Early, and avoid paying for mature plants.

There are alternatives to potastriums – also known as Neighbors be gone trees – these do the job but are shallow rooted, take over the garden bed and destroy most things under it.

You should talk to your nursery about alternative trees with more color and flowers, as wel as vines and creepers. The down side of the creepers is you will need to have a temporary climbing structure as the existing fence will probably be destroyed and replaced.

Make sure you check the distance between trees for best coverage, turn the soil under them as deep as you can, and insert watering tubes, & /or a drip system.


Optimal Supermarket size for Jackson Court

As previously discussed there is a proposal to rezone Michel St Doncaster East, along side Jackson Court to allow a five story building comprising Supermarket, Residences, and Reception Centre. this would meen a huge building immediately adjancent to existing homes – up to 19 meters high is proposed, where it is currently 11 meters maximum, and most homes are under 9 meters.

There are also concerns about what sort of Supermarket is viable or best suited for this environment. An assesment was done for the Council a few years ago, around the time the existing Safeway was closing…. Doncaster East Jackson court Needs Analysis for Supermarket – Tim Nott – Oct 2008

An alternative strategy has been suggested and should be considered in the current context for it’s appropriateness, and long term viability in this location.

What do you think would work in this area? Is big better for you ? What is the future of supermarkets ? How will online affect local super markets in the coming years?

As commented today by Doris Tran, A supermarket similar to the Foodworks in Greythorn (approx 350sqm) could be Continue reading Optimal Supermarket size for Jackson Court →