EPA Clarification – No support given for sewage plant

Long Trail of events below, but the Crux is that the Manningham Councilors are being asked to vote on the Proposed Sewage treatment Plant:

1. Two days BEFORE the EPA submit thier report to Council.

2. The Councilors & Public have been told the EPA previously Endorsed the plan – which is now confirmed as incorrect.

3. The plants capabilities and need has been superseded.

4. It is within 25 meters of existing residences – when the EPA says it should be 200 meters away.

From Ming to Leigh Harrison, acting CEO Manningham Council 2012-08-16

Dear Leigh:

In response to possible misinterpretation of EPA position on the matter of YVW planning permit application assessment by the Council, I made an enquiry to EPA regarding its processes and the context of its letter to Council dated 18 May. I received an official call from EPA at at 17:31pm, Tuesday, 14 August  giving me a very detail explanation of the status of EPA process of Works Approvals Application from YVW and expressing EPA’s great concern the possible misuse or misinterpretation of its above mentioned letter to council on a planning permit application matter. At At 11:19am, Wednsday, 15 August, the following clarifications were sent and confirmed. Continue reading EPA Clarification – No support given for sewage plant →

Project to make Doncaster Hill water-friendly

More on Councils’ earlier plans for treatment plants in Doncaster.

Attached Interesting article in leader 5/8/10

Manningham planning and environment director Paul Molan said the golf club was the most logical location for the system.

“Development at the Eastern Golf Course is expected to create significant additional demand for water, and this provides additional opportunities for water management within the golf course and on the hill,”


Remember – none of the existing homes near the Proposed Tram Rd Site will actually use the recycled water, as only new buildings will be designed with the third street pipe connection…


Project to make Doncaster Hill water-friendly



DONCASTER Hill will be the first established area in Melbourne where every new resident will use recycled water pumped from a centrally located treatment plant.

Yarra Valley Water and Manningham Council have committed to developing the innovative water project, which will give the 4000 residents expected to live on the hill by 2020 access to Class A recycled water from a local treatment plant.

t will be the first time a system and treatment plant have been introduced into an established urban setting, and the project will put Doncaster Hill at the forefront of sustainable water solutions.

The council and Yarra Valley Water are looking at the Eastern Golf Club property, which is presently for sale, as a potential site for the treatment plant.

Manningham planning and environment director Paul Molan said the golf club was the most logical location for the system.

“Development at the Eastern Golf Course is expected to create significant additional demand for water, and this provides additional opportunities for water management within the golf course and on the hill,” Mr Molan said.

Yarra Valley Water will make it mandatory for all new residential developments on Doncaster Hill to connect to the system, which will provide recycled water to use in toilets, laundries and gardens.

A council report into the project indicates that connecting to the “third pipe scheme” was expected to cost around $300 a dwelling.

Developers of The Pinnacle apartment development on Doncaster Rd have already agreed to install the third pipe to carry recycled water into that building.

Urgent Questions – Tram Road Reserve Sewerage Treatment – Council Minutes 27 July 2010

This from Steve O’Brien,  regardless of how you think the Golf course will be developed, it does beg the questions;

How many plans for a sewage treatment plant have be made,  what deals have been struck, and why is the current location the only one being considered?

It has been stated that the decision is due the proximity of the existing high capacity sewer main, but how does that outbalance the likely capacity of the new developments, and their ability to directly use their own product?


Attn: Leigh Harrison,  A/CEO, Manningham City Council

Dear Leigh

Please see the attached Council minutes of the 27th July 2010 wherein Council categorically states council minutes 27 july 2010-(page 2992):-

Eastern Golf Course Opportunity

1.27. While not located within Doncaster Hill, the potential development of the Eastern Golf course provides an excellent opportunity to leverage the

Doncaster Hill example.

 1.28. The 47 hectare Eastern Golf Course is located immediately to the east and downstream of Doncaster Hill. Its potential redevelopment provides a number of opportunities to support an integrated water management approach, both within the Eastern Golf Course redevelopment and on Doncaster Hill, for a range of reasons, including:

 · Development at the golf course is expected to create significant additional demand for water.

· Development at the golf course is likely to increase the potential for stormwater flows from within the site. There is already a recognised flooding and capacity issue within the downstream Melbourne Water stormwater system, which needs to be addressed.

· Under the provisions of the Victorian Planning Scheme, development will be required to comply with Clause 56 of the Planning Scheme, including

the attainment of stormwater management standards and consideration of opportunities for integrated water management.

· Development of the golf course will provide an opportunity to negotiate with a developer around the provision of land for a potential water treatment plant, and achievement of some broader sustainability principles across the Eastern Golf Course development.

My question is this: Why wasn’t this opportunity that was identified by your Council Officers rigorously pursued and what agreements (if any) were made with Mirvac Group to relocate the Sewerage Treatment Plant to its present location?

I look forward to your urgent response.

Stephen O’Brien

Town Planner

Candidate for Koonung Ward (Manningham City Council)

Phone 044 8147 238

“Because the residents of Koonung Ward deserve much better”

Green Wedge & “Accomodation”

Rosa Miot & I went to Parliament house last Thursday to hear about “Planning Reforms” from the Planning Minister Brian Tee, and RMIT Professor Michael Buxton.

There were several topics covered in some detail, and a lot of enthralling reading handed out – I hope to have the soft copies on this site soon.

As previously discussed, a number of types of development will no longer require scrutiny, nor will you be able to object to them, they will pass as a right of Act.

Although all areas are affected by the new rule soon to be rules, some of the most obvious ones affect the current green wedge protected areas….Dramatically.

You can still submit opinions on these changes and others in VICSMART / CODE-ASSESS until Sept 21st 2012.

Green Wedge : Beware of new definitions of permit allowed activities in the Green wedge – referred to as “Accommodation”

Sewage Time is Tight

There’s a lot of debate going around on the Doncaster Sewage plant  right now, here’s a quick update from Fiona.

One crazy thing is the Manningham council are proposing to vote on it days BEFORE the EPA report is available… stay tuned..

I have been informed by Manningham Planning Officers that their report will be ready for the August Council Meeting and therefore at this stage, the proposal will be going to vote at this meeting (Tuesday 28th of August 7pm). We need you to attend the two following events:

1.     Protest coinciding with the Submitters Meeting Monday 27th of August Manningham Council Offices 6pm

The submitters meeting is held the night before the council meeting, Monday 27th of August, which is where we need to show our presence and present our case. The organizing group will be requesting to present our case on behalf of the opposing residents. Please be there to support us!!! The councilors need to see opposition to the proposal. We need everyone who attended the protest plus a lot more to come along. Bring the  banners used at the protest. If you are really keen it would be good to see some faces at the council meeting on the 28th of August.

2.     Protest coinciding with the EPA Conference Thursday 30th August 6:30pm-9pm Manningham Council Offices

The EPA are holding a conference to discuss the process so far and to hear our concerns. They have not finalised their report yet and are seeking feedback from residents. Again we need as many people as possible to attend. Even if the councillors don’t listen to us – the sewerage plant cannot go ahead without the approval of EPA.

It is time to really get involved now!! A big ask to spend two nights in one week at the council offices but if we can stop it now then we can sit back and enjoy our park!!


Whose job is it to identify major building code failures?

Does it sound wrong to you that professional architects could design a 17 storey building, have it  reviewed by Manningham Councils’ Planning Dept,  and none of them pick up that there needs to be two or three fire escapes to meet the building regs, when there was only one ?

An how the one fire escape that was there, didn’t have an appropriate exit either ?

Surely it shouldn’t be up to the residents to identify this,  nor the many other failings of the design,  as part of VCAT battles. But that is exactly what happened.. Again.

From: Adele M

On Thursday 26th August, the VCAT case for 20-24 Hepburn Road and 1 Short Street ended and we now await the Member’s decision to determine whether the planning permit will be upheld or the Council decision set aside.

The proposed development, of course, is 15 storeys (40 metres) with carparking over two and two-half levels (17 levels in total), and will be the highest development on the Hill if built (and on a side street!).

Over the 3 days of the hearing (28 and 29 June, 26th of August), our team presented incredibly detailed submissions on the failure of Council processes, the amenity impact on the local streets, car park configuration and car stackers, waste management and design response (this last submission covering aspects like the 90+ single dwelling restrictive covenants in the area immediately adjacent to the development, the lack of stepping, the impact of overshadowing, and concerns about fire exits and wind).

I could talk at length about many aspects of our case (and will no doubt submit further articles to Coherence at a later date) but wish to focus here on the scrutiny (or lackthereof) of plans by Council.

As most will know,there are two permits that a building such as this requires prior to cutting the soil – a planning permit (issued by Councils) and a building permit (issued by a building surveyor, almost always a private arrangement). In short, a planning permit is about what you intend to build, and the building permit is about how you intend to build it (more info here: http://brutalart.com.au/architecture-design/building-permit-vs-planning-permit/).

During early discussions that I had with the planner at Manningham, he described the difference as:

planning permit = what does it look like and do the neighbours care

building permit = will it burn down or fall down

I think there’s a subtle but VERY important difference between the two definitions and our experience with 20-24 Hepburn Road has highlighted a dangerous problem by taking the latter (Manningham) approach.

There were two major problems that we detected with the plans that were not picked up during the Council assessment, and obviously brought those to the attention of the Member. Continue reading Whose job is it to identify major building code failures? →

recycled water uses regs & sustainability.

This Plumbers Industry Association document advises how the Grey  / recycled water must be handled, such as that coming from the proposed Doncaster recycle plant. ( Class A recycled water as shown in the table below.)


It is important to notice the irelevence of such a small plant when there are so many big ticket items one can invest to get much better return.  If this localised plant is really good for community as YVW claimed, not its profit, they must justify this and make recycle water available to all reseindets, not just the selected 1960 people in the Doncaster Hill out of the projected 8300+ population.

YVW need to build almost 70 of these sewage plants all over Manningham to serve the projected total population of 135,000 here by 2030!  We cannot take YVW’s line of because this is an oppartunity, so we can build this like one-off. Continue reading recycled water uses regs & sustainability. →

Water Need, Costs, Alternatives.

Just how important will the water contribution of the proposed Doncaster sewage treatment plant be?       Less than 0.1% of the Desal Plant… And at what cost?

It has been superceded by the Desal, & you are already paying for that.

Three details worthy of note below:

  1. EPA residential Buffer zones around this site are 200m & 300 meters, not the 25m proposed !
  2. Westfield shopping town was not required to accommodate this water source, during their upgrades.
  3. Melbourne’s Storm water is 94% of it’s annual water usage.

It would seem that both parties ( Manningham council & Yarra Valley Water,) were locked in long before they called for public comment and councillor endorsement. Manningham Planning Officers made the third pipe mandatory in all proposals from 2009 while YVW designed and located the plant.


  • The Wonthaggi Desalination Plant was given the go ahead 12 months after the 2008 memorandum of understanding between Manningham and YVW.
  • The Desalination plant will have a capacity to deliver 200 gigalitres.
  • Melbourne’s annual water consumption is between 410-425 gigalitres.
  • Melbourne’s annual stormwater is approximately 400 gigalitres.
  • Melbourne’s annual waste water discharge is approximately 300 gigalitres.
  • The higher cost of water due to the running of the Desalination Plant ($1.97 million per day plus contracted water delivery), will in itself further the prudent use of water,
  • In fairness to YVW and Manningham Council there was no decision on a Desalination Plant at the time of the MOU.
  • Westfield Shopping Town does not have the third pipe facility nor do a number of existing permits.

 COSTS Continue reading Water Need, Costs, Alternatives. →


Breaking News.. Some good info from Mary Drost, as discussed earlier, this is likely to intermingle / coincide with the DD08 C96 High density plans Manningham are part way through –  we do need to make our views heard…


The Department of Planning & Community Development (DPCD) have released details of the new zones which can be accessed on www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/reformedzones

The zones are :

  • Activity Centre Zone(ACZ)
  • Comprehensive Development Zone(CDZ)
  • Mixed Use Zone (MUZ)
  • Residential Growth Zone (RGZ)       Similar to the Current DD08 zone – but open to 12.5 Meter height.
  • General Residential Zone (GRZ)      Similar to the Current Res3 zone – Height up to 9m or other set by council.
  • Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ)

The areas that will be subject to the various zones will be selected by our council.

The attached chart provides more information on the purpose for each and sets out height limits etc. Continue reading THE NEW PLANS FOR MELBOURNE →

EPA guidelines say Don’t

Further confirmation that the Doncaster Sewer plant is proposed in the wrong place… this was sent in by Stephen.

Reading Yarra Valleys Waters application to the EPA (dated May 2012) seeking approval for the Doncaster Hill Treatment Plant, raises more questions, than answers. Buffer zones are designed to protect inappropriate land uses from colliding. Nothing could be a perfect example of this as the case of sensitive  residential land uses and a sewerage treatment plant and yet, Yarra Valley Water have ignored even the EPA guidelines with scientific gibberish to skirt around distance requirements. Even the EPA in their document (Recommended Buffer Distances from Industrial Residual Air Emissions, July 1990) states (page 1) “ Even with good pollution control technology, there may still be unintended or accidental emissions which must be anticipated and allowed for. …it is recognised that even “state of the art” technology is not always capable of achieving this goal without fail”..

 It would be hard to imagine Council or the EPA approving this one. Continue reading EPA guidelines say Don’t →