Forecast on the Hill

 Doncaster Hill was the focus of Manningham Growth and the jewel in the crown. However we seem to be getting further away from those expectations every time we review…

From Francis Day

After trawling through reports and studies regarding the Doncaster Hill strategy, we were amazed at the number of flaky assumptions and flawed reports used by Manningham council to justify Doncaster Hill as a principal Activity Centre.

In 2002 Manningham Council officers and their consultants had forecast the population of Doncaster Hill Activity Centre would increase from about 950 to 8,000 residents by 2021. (later updated to 8,300). 2,500 were forecast for 2006, 5,000 by 2011 and in 2014 the population was expected to reach almost 6000.

However, Census of 2011 indicates the population of Doncaster Hill was only 1,194, compared to 794 in 2006 an increase of only 400 residents, 3,806 less than the 5000 Manningham had predicted.

Manningham Officers and consultant’s had predicted that Continue reading Forecast on the Hill →

History Of Rail Endeavour Manningham 1890 to 2014

Bel Harris has been doing her home work – follow on from Rail Ad wasted funds… Addressed to Joe Carbone CEO of Manningham.


Our politicians will not say , but our faceless bureaucrats have already decided that buses will be the transport solution for Doncaster Hill which might help explain the timing of the recent announcements for dedicated bus lanes, shortened travelling times from Doncaster to the city and the way the Premier and the Mayor of Melbourne are now waffling about the disruption and possible closure of Swanston Street, hinting the MMP may be delayed.

The closest we came to getting a rail line to Doncaster was when the government approved the 1972 rail plan. It was officially cancelled after an independent panel recommended against it in 1991, but it was already dead and buried in 1984 when the land reserved for its construction, was sold off.

None of the Doncaster rail studies before or after have achieved anything other than to pacify commuters. There have been at least 10 comprehensive studies conducted over time; 1890, 1920, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2012, the latest costing $6.5 million.

 Brief history taken from internet.

  • Doncaster rail was first proposed by state parliament in 1890,
  • Doncaster rail was included in the state plan for general development in 1929,
  • Doncaster Rail was included in the Bolte government’s transportation plan in 1969,
  • Doncaster Rail route from Victoria Park to East Doncaster, was finally decided upon in 1972.
  • Rapid transport buses were proposed for Doncaster Hill by the Brumby government in 2008,
  • The Napthine government starts a detailed rail study in 2011
  • The first proposal in 1890, was to consider a line from Heidelberg Station which went nowhere.
  • Detailed plans again re-emerged in1969 for a line which would branch off the Hurstbridge/Epping line at Victoria Park and run down the Eastern Freeway median strip to Bulleen Road, Bulleen where it would travel between houses and via a series of tunnels to East Doncaster, which was finally approved in 1972.
  • Despite rising costs, the state governments of the period continued to make assurances that the line would be built. Property acquisition for part of the route was completed in 1975, and construction of a cutting at the city end commenced in 1974, only to be filled in two years later. By 1982 plans to build the line were shelved by the state government, and by 1984, the land reserved for the line once it left the freeway, was sold. In 1991 an independent report investigated constructing the line, recommended against it due to the high cost.

Manningham’s rail submission stated that there will be a grade separation for Bus routes through the Hill irrespective of whether there is rail to Doncaster hill. Does this mean there will be tunnelling? Are you able to provide a plan of what is proposed, a cost estimate and how it will be financed?

My apologies for quoting the normal rate for the Leader full page rail advertisement without taking into account you would have received a substantial discount.

Kind regards,


Wasted Funds on Rail Ad – CEO response

Further to the letter from Belinda last week – we have the response from the Manningham CEO – See below.

It seems Manningham still thinks there is an opportunity for Rail of some sort, even after the State Gov. published funding.

Dear Belinda,

I acknowledge your comment and view expressed in your email of 14 February that Council’s expenditure in supporting a public advocacy position for Doncaster Rail is wasteful of municipal funds.

I also acknowledge your reasoning in quoting some of the publicly stated positions of Ministers Wooldridge and Mulder that point to Doncaster Rail being a medium to long term proposition. Continue reading Wasted Funds on Rail Ad – CEO response →

Expanded bus Service and dedicated bus lanes

In case you were wondering just what is being planned for Manningham to Melbourne city commuters, here is a map and a press release on the topic.

East West Link
MAP  Doncaster Area Rapid Transit SmartBus Continue reading Expanded bus Service and dedicated bus lanes →

Manningham Still Addicted To Cars, Less Full Time Employment and Still No Cyclists

Any significant “Mode Shift” (cycling and use of public transport) is not reflected in the 2011 census data..

 Work journeys TO Manningham :

83 per cent of work journeys to Manningham in 2011 were by car, compared to 84% in 1996, while 5 per cent were by public transport. an increase of 1% since 1996.

Even less people rode by bike to Manningham..0.32% in 2011 compared to 0.36% in 1996

Method of travel (work journeys FROM Manningham)

81% in 1996- – -78% in 2011 by car an increase of 3% and while a Car passenger increased 1% to 8% since 1996 while public transport increased from 8% to 13% from 1996.

0.33% rode to work from Manningham in 2011 compared to 0.15% in 1996

 The Census showed a very small increase in employment since 1996 but a decline of approx 3000 in full time work. 

2014-02 Stats VTA-Journey-to-work-Manningham

Wasted Funds on Rail Advertisment

This letter was sent into the Manningham CEO Joe this week; if there really is no hope for a train in Doncaster, why are we spending money on it… what do they hope to achieve?


Spending $ 4,600 dollars this week on a full page advertisement “to keep our community’s hearts and minds focused on a rail service” seems a terrible waste of municipal funds Continue reading Wasted Funds on Rail Advertisment →


The timing of the government’s announcement about a beefed up bus service for Doncaster plus dedicated lanes in Hoddle Street and possibly Victoria Street has coincided with the Manningham’s campaign for a train service. See the Article from the Manningham Leader here.

2014-02 Doncaster Expanded Bus Service


High Density Ammendment C96 now approved by state Gov.

The last stage of the C96 saga has now been completed, the state Gov has approved it.

As you will find in the plethora of previous articles on this site, C96 amendment was an update to the Planning scheme particularly around DD08 overlay. It allowed higher buildings along main roads, and tried to enforce restricts on smaller side street sites.  But there was still ambiguity, and it will remain to be tested with new developments.

Approval of Amendment C96 Tightening of DDO8 Controls

Supposedly there were minimal changes by the State Gov.

The Planning Dept info is here…including all the new regs and maps.

Manningham C96 Implements a number of actions from the ‘Manningham Residential Strategy (2012)’ and provides clearer guidance for higher density dwellings around activity centres and along main roads.

Doncaster Westfield Car Parking On Development Sites – 500 today

The five level Car Park, proposed by Westfield to accommodate 570 cars, will more than replace temporary off-site parking at three adjacent building sites currently being used to accommodate up to 500 cars. The three sites pictured below now have permits for high rise development.

So after all is done – Westfield will have more onsite parking, but overall little change in total parking available… Continue reading Doncaster Westfield Car Parking On Development Sites – 500 today →

Westfield Doncaster to add 5 storey carpark $25M

If you live near the already huge Westfield complex , you might want to check this Application for Five Level Car Park at Westfield for 570 Car Spaces.

Neighbors already get a tonne of “light noise” at night, and car noise all day from the high rise car parks.

How ever most shoppers will confirm the parks are often full… Pity more people don’t  / can’t walk, or bus there.


Manningham City Council Planning Register

Planning Application PL13/023936 Continue reading Westfield Doncaster to add 5 storey carpark $25M →