How do we achieve Change? Parliament Steps – Melbourne.

THIS was a good showing, news crews the works – pity the Carbon Tax was bigger news that night, and we were gazumped by it…

Still, Thanks to all that protested and sent the message higher…These photos were taken with about half the crowd there !

….We have an opportunity to take our battle with Council Planning to the next Level, and it is next Wednesday, on the steps of Parliament !

This came in response to a letter to Council and MPs explaining how we are frustrated by the lack of action, and the excess of patronising comments like “you are doing everything right.”

We have a bunch of Banners & placards ready for Wednesday. We want to be seen on TV and in the Paper – make sure the message is seen everywhere. You can also do your own placard.

It needs to get back to Manningham Council that the residents are a force to be reckoned with, and this is a big issue, all the way to State Government.

Now we need YOU.

For those close to the Curlew court fight, this is almost mandatory – if you can arrange the time, we need you there.

It will take you less than three hours, we can car pool, or train to Parliament Station, it can’t get much easier.

Please contact us and tell us you are coming, so we can arrange for you to get your banner.

If you know others that are not on email, please print and pass this on to them.

Brian Tee is the Shadow Planning Minister for Victoria, he is organizing this, and has invited other groups like ours.

Recently Mr Guy (the current State Planning Minister,) said that he had backed down on imposing development against community wishes at Phillip Island because of local community concerns. People are wondering if the Planning Minister will now listen to their concerns about inappropriate development in their communities.

On Wednesday 12 October the Victorian Parliament is sitting. This is a great opportunity to see whether Mr Guy’s decision at Phillip Island was simply a response to a Tweet of Miley Cyrus or whether he has indeed decided to listen to community concerns.

Gather on Wednesday, 12 October
1pm, Front Steps, State Parliament
Corner Bourke and Spring St, Melbourne.

If you are concerned about development in your area and want to send a message to the Government please meet at the steps of Parliament on 12 October at 1pm. As we have seen at Phillip Island a strong community response can make a difference so please ask your friends, family and neighbours to come along.

(Just in case, we are still trying to see if we can get Miley Cyrus along.) ….


More on the Political back flip here


The Residents are voting with their feet !

This was the scene leaving Curlew Court, and marching up to the Council offices on Sunday.

Click on the photos to see the full picture

It was a great turnout – thanks to all for showing their support, and a big thanks to all those that helped make it work. We hope this show of community concern will help the councilors, and the state MPs decide to pay  some more attention to our cause.

You can help us get to the State government by signing our petition, Download Petition, and get a few friends to sign it as well. return details on the bottom.

March past apartments on Doncaster & Thiele St - notice the house size to the left

Curlew on the March to Council.

It’s just another normal day in Doncaster, although a quiet Sunday…

  • Apartments towering over the house on the left
  • And lots of people walking, very health conscious.


How high will it Be ?

Well in an attempt to show just how high 30 apartments ( 10 meters tall,) in Curlew court will be, particularly when compared to the neighboring property, we set some balloons.

These balloons were on a line to hold them at the height of the building proposed next door, red for the mid floor, blue for the roof. Now the wind kept blowing them over, and away from full height, but even then, as this photo shows, there is no other way to describe it than OVERBEARING.

Balloons (almost) showing height of proposed building next door. It will be a bit heigher.



Street Protest a Great Success

Well today’s Community Event was great, good weather, good turn out, lots of interest, and a good sausage sizzle.

Curlew court was a buzz with activity, some feisty chat, the valuable stories and information from the audience, and our message loud and clear:

Stop multistory apartment over developments in Manningham.

  • They are not for the community,
  • They are not  needed for 2030 population growth,
  • They are not affordable,
Council-Protest 2011-09-18

Manningham Council Protest

Curlew Court Protest Crowd

Curlew Court Protest Crowd


There were residents with development concerns from all areas, and zones in Manningham.

RAIDID T    Doncaster Hill,

DD08 High Density Zones,

even the “Protected Res3” streets,

where “Win” told of his troubles and how it was too late for his street – Horsfall St

Win urged every one to act before it is too late for them as well.

When the topic of Manningham council came up there was definitely some angst about the way they are treating the residents of Manningham.

It was obvious that Paul Molan and his Planning department were not popular with the residents present, their sheer mention drawing jeers from the crowd.

… Now who do the council work for again?

Paul Molan is the director of Planning, and the one who was in the Manningham Leader paper two  weeks ago, saying if you don’t like these developments then Leave. Well we say Paul Molan if you don’t like Manningham’s Character, YOU LEAVE.

Last Week Mr Molan said he was taken out of Context… That might have been so,we weren’t there, but we were there when Paul Molan said these things:

  • During the parking and traffic discussion at the meeting RAIDID organised July 21. Paul Molan said, quote “I can assure you, your fears will be realised. The traffic situation is going to get worse. There is no doubt about that. We will manage it as best we can”.
  • When referring to  Curlew court in a DD08 Zone (july 25)    …Curlew court is an area that is TARGETED for Drastic Change.
  • (July 25th)  …A street like Curlew court can handle 2000 -3000 cars movements a day, and that is when we would probably stop approving developments there…. ( That equates to  415  apartments in this small court, or 28 apartments on every original block!)  HELLO – Why can’t the “PLANNING DEPT” see a PROBLEM HERE ? This 2000-3000 statement was then used by one of the Councilors the next night to justify voting for the proposal to go ahead!

So a comment like  “If you don’t like it sell up and leave.” does sound like something he would say – It is certainly the way we have been made feel when dealing with the council on the development next door to us.

We should acknowledge Cr Mayne for attending today, we were surprised, as he did vote against us, and strongly recommended the proposal went ahead. I even reminded him today of his words at that meeting : Cr Mayne : …rejecting  this development would send a disappointing message to our planning department who have worked hard on this, and to the developers…  Having said that, good on him for coming and listening, I hope he shares this with all councilors.

We discussed how Council said they were “Protecting us”, and then Mayor Gough says  – we were “Marked for Drastic Change”. He said this almost word for word, the day after Mr Molan said it.


If the Councilors stop worrying about what we the voters care about, they had better start looking for a new job.

If the council goes against the residents, they then should expect some fight back too.

Banner we love  our community

Curlew crt VCAT part 1 – Practice Day

Hello all,

Well we survived the first day at VCAT, quite Painless really, it was a ”Practice Day.”

Thanks to Frank, Lisa, and Bill for joining me there.

At a practice day the presiding “Chair person” confirmed who we were, whether we would present at a Hearing, rough time needed, and is there any chance for solving the issue at Mediation.

Our mediation date was set for October 11th. The Developer ( Applicant,) stated they had met with our group at two previous occasions, and saw no way of succeeding at further mediation. ( met with us yes, attempted to negotiate – not in the slightest. Neither were even meetings designed for negotiation.)

The developer recommended therefore that the Mediation date be vacated (cancelled.) We were asked if we agreed, which we did, so now we go straight to the main event, the Hearing.

Our Hearing is scheduled for December 19th & 20th, by which time we will need to have all arguments well researched, justified, and have circulated the basis of our grounds or arguments to the council and developer, (Applicant).

The chair person today, suggested that with the number of witnesses, and presenters being proposed at the hearing, and the requested durations to complete the presentations, that we might not get it completed in the nominated two days. That left two options, try to complete in Decembers’ two days, and if needed take another day later, or schedule three days in a row, which would not be available until February some time. We agreed to go with the proposed dates, and see if it can be completed.

Unfortunately this might end up in the developers favor if we do run over, as they get to present last, thus giving them time to prepare details of arguments. I think it would have reflected poorly on our willingness to resolve, & seemed like a grab for “delay’s’ at any cost if we refused.

Now comes the big work – build strong arguments that achieve useful outcomes, and practice our best debating tactics – keep watching those court room shows, or better still:       “GET INVOLVED, HELP US WIN FOR OUR COMMUNITY”

It’s a nice weekend for a Protest – Sunday Sept 18th – 11:30

We welcome you all to join us at our street Rally this Sunday.

With the Councils arrogance flowing out, it is time we send a message of strength out to remind the council that they are there to support the residents that pay their wages.

We will meet at Curlew court Doncaster, then March our protest signs up Doncaster road to the Council offices.

See Full Event Details – Come for a Sausage, stay for the Protest.

Have a look at this weeks Manningham Leader Newspaper, Doncaster residents to stage anti-development protest

I did think it needed clarification on one point though see below:

Thank-you Manningham Leader – We will be joining the voices of many concerned local groups into one this weekend.

Many residents feel that they are having the community they helped build, taken away from them.

I would also like to point out that several councilors voted with us to reject the Curlew court development when it was at Council, and we thank them for that support. It is this protest they have been all been quiet about except for Cr Jennifer Yang who will be interstate.

The Councilors that rejected the proposal were as follows: Cr Yang, Cr Reid, Cr Villarreal, Cr Downie, Cr LaVella. Cr MacMillan also rejected it after consideration. 

However Mayor Gough, Cr Elliss, Cr Mayne, were VERY vocal towards building this Whopping Great Pimple in Curlew court, and didn’t want to  “send a bad message to the Developers”.. 

Well there is a good chance that the Community will make itself heard this Sunday, even to those not there in person.

I suggest everyone remembers who the councilors are that are listening and supporting residents, because it won’t be that long before we are choosing who to vote for again…

Planning Dept Silent on Growth review showing no need for High Rise side streets.

Well it has been well over a month since Manningham Planning dept agreed to cross check our Growth without High Rise side streets plan. In it we showed all the planned 2030 growth can be achieved with zero high rises in side streets, and only 1 in 5 of the 6080 targeted DD08 sites turned into 2 or 3 townhouses. And that is achieved before any new developments are added to the Doncaster Hill list.

Two weeks after Planning Dept. agreed to review, Cr Ellis was talking about the 2030 growth, and when I challenged him with our numbers, he said he would take it up with Planning Dept. Again dead silence.

What do you think, are they silent because they don’t want to admit that the numbers do not justify this high density madness ?


Can anyone remember Paul Molans’ remark at our DD08 Zone info night in July- it felt something like this : The BAD Traffic is coming so get used to it…

Paul Molan (Manningham Planning Director,) is front page news in theManingham Leader this week Council says if you don’t like it, go.


Well if  you don’t clog the Manningham area with unnecessary high rises then the BAD traffic won’t come, and the loyal long term residents, won’t be forced to leave.

We say: If Paul Molan and the Council don’t like the Existing character of Our Manningham suburb, then – They should leave before they stuff it up any more !






Can apartments solve the affordabilty problem?

One of the key hopes for apartments built in the suburbs, is that they can bring the entry price for a home down to affordable levels. If you look at the offer prices there is some hope in this, particularly in the big high rise developments when designed for that purpose. How ever buyer beware, as this article in the Age shows, body corporate fees can catch out ill-informed buyers and negate the low buy price.

Owners corporations: Sharing not always bliss.

…Buying in

  • Considering an owners corporation property? Homework in advance could save heartache later:
  • Read the Owners Corporation Certificate in the section 32 — information provided by a property’s seller. This will include fees — these can range from a few hundred dollars to more than
    $10,000 a year for a luxury penthouse.
  • Read and understand the plan of subdivision and the unit’ s title. What exactly would you own…

There has been a lot of discussion about sustainability of high rise vs the traditional Home…

…Green Building Council of Australia and World Green Building Council chair, Tony Arnel, challenged the high density vision for our cities when Continue reading Can apartments solve the affordabilty problem? →

High-density housing reflects dense government thinking

A very pertinent article written by Dr Tony Recsei president of the Save Our Suburbs community group (NSW Branch). Thanks to Mary Drost for sharing it today – Well worth reading.

Citizens in Australia’s major cities are becoming increasingly unhappy about what they perceive as the escalating deterioration in their quality of life – traffic congestion, overloaded public transport, unaffordable housing for young people, increases in the costs of basic services and overcrowding. There is little doubt that recent election results and unfavourable opinion polls are partly an expression of this dissatisfaction.

‘Save Our Suburbs’ believe that these adverse trends are the result of high-density policies that have been imposed onto communities by state governments. Due to the misleading misinformation that has accompanied these policies, the public may not fully realise the connection between these policies on the one hand and deteriorating standard of living on the other. It is only when one sweeps the propaganda veil aside that one realises how shallow, trivial and sometimes downright deceptive the spin has been.

We should start out by making it clear that we have no issue with anyone that prefers living in a high-density area or with the free market construction of buildings to fulfill this preference. The issue we have is with the enforced imposition of high density housing upon the bulk of Australians that don’t want it.

The premise behind this government totalitarianism is that high-density living is better for the environment. They say that people will use their cars less and that greenhouse gas emissions will be greatly reduced. While these two propositions sound very much like commonsense the unfortunate fact is that the data does not bear them out. An idealised Melbourne study currently being quoted assumes that people, no matter where they live, will drive to the central business district daily. This is a completely unrealistic assumption.  Only 9.9 per cent of employment in Melbourne is in the CBD. The majority of destinations for most people in the suburbs lie close to where they live and they do not in fact make daily trips to the CBD.

To get a better understanding we should look at the Australian Conservation Association’s Consumption Atlas, which shows greenhouse pollution per person in each postal code. The underlying research shows that the actual travel energy used by dwellers in inner Sydney suburbs is more than those in the outer suburbs, even when air travel is excluded.

When domestic energy is added to travel energy, the energy total for people in the inner suburbs is 22 per cent more than those living in the outer suburbs.  This is because of energy needed in high-rise buildings for communal lifts, scores of individual clothes driers and ever-present security lighting in foyers and garage spaces.

While we do concede that private transport generates somewhat higher greenhouse gas emissions than public transport, the difference is not nearly as much as people think. Greenhouse gas emissions per passenger kilometre on Sydney City Rail are 105 gm. The figure for the average car is 155 gm. It is much less for modern hybrid vehicles, being a mere 70 gm.

Furthermore, a study of Melbourne areas shows that the people squeezed into newly converted dense areas did not use public transport to any greater extent and there was little or no change in their percentage of car use compared to living in the previous low-density.

In fact, traffic congestion increases whenever high-density policies are imposed wherever you are in the world. Any slight increase that may occur in the proportion of people using public transport is overwhelmed by the greater number of people squeezed into that area. The resulting congestion causes higher fuel consumption and dangerous exhaust emissions. The authorities fail to admit that many people still require their cars for getting to the many workplaces, sporting facilities, and relatives and friends homes not easily reached by public transport and for transporting items that are impractical or illegal aboard public transport such as weekend recreation equipment and the family pet.

High density advocates claim that high-density saves money. This is palpable nonsense. We are all acutely aware that high-density policies have resulted in a dramatic rise in the price of housing, due to the government enforced infill policy causing land scarcity, thereby locking out an entire generation of young people from the housing market. We are also conscious of substantial rises in the cost of services such as electricity, water and sewerage due to the incredibly inefficient modifications required to increase capacity in areas originally designed for lower densities.

A tragic and often overlooked failure of high-density policies is the adverse effect on human health, especially mental health. There is a considerable body of peer-reviewed research proving the link between density and ill health. An article published on 23 June 2011 by eleven authors in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature, states that the incidence of schizophrenia in city dwellers is double that of people living in less crowded conditions. This article has received worldwide media attention. In view of the serious mental health situation existing in our society, those forcing high-density onto communities that do not want it, should hang their heads in shame.

We reiterate that we have no issue with those of us that preferliving in a high-density area or with the free market construction of buildings to fulfill that limited demand. What we object to, is having draconian high density policies based on demonstrably faulty premises forced upon the 83 per cent of people that Australian research shows prefer to live in a free-standing home.

This is especially so when the result is maddening traffic congestion, more greenhouse gases, a creaking and overloaded infrastructure, the young and disadvantaged unable to afford their own home and poorer health outcomes.

Dr Tony Recsei has a background in chemistry and is an environmental consultant. Since retiring he has taken an interest in community affairs and is president of the Save Our Suburbs community group which opposes over-development forced onto communities by the New South Wales State Government. You can find the Youtube site here; and the blog here.

Are we alone in our struggle ? Don’t you believe it…

You might think that our struggle is very specific, very local. Maybe only because of the Doncaster Hill strategy, or only because of DD08 Zoning… well you would be very wrong.

…Read on for a list of over 120 groups in Victoria alone…

You see over the last couple of weeks alone,  we have received calls from people in Doncaster Hill precinct about 188 apartments on three blocks. From a Doncaster lane “DD08 zone” scared about four blocks in a row all for sale at the same time, and what could happen. Even a call from a group in Horsfall St Templestowe Heights, one of the “Protected Res3 Zones” and how the local shops are now developed to consume all the local parking and the skyline. All that does sound very local, however…

If you have been following us you will have noted the Boronia group, a little further out have the same issues, and there are many more. If you want to know really how many groups are fighting poor planning and over development, then you should have a look at probably the Biggest collection of resident groups like us, shown here at the Marvelous Melbourne Website. There’s go  to be over 120 Registered groups there. there is also a lot of good news on our favourite topics.

Beyond that, the groups also feed Planning Backlash. Continue reading Are we alone in our struggle ? Don’t you believe it… →

Maidstone residents rail at ‘inconsistent’ VCAT rulings

Another Example of how difficult it is to deal with development proposals and VCAT.

And another example of why anyone fighting over developments should attend our VCAT appeals workshop Thursday Aug 25th.

This article in the Maribynong weekly Maidstone residents rail at ‘inconsistent’ VCAT rulings

…MAIDSTONE residents have, within the space of two days, won and lost battles against what they say is overdevelopment in their street.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last month ruled against an appeal by Marsh Street residents over the construction of three dwellings on one block.

Two days later, VCAT handed down a decision favouring residents and overturning Maribyrnong Council’s approval of two two-storey houses on a block in the same street…

It sure is a mine field to deal with,

  • You get your case heard at Local Council,
  • If the developer loses they take it to VCAT,
  • If you loose you might take it to VCAT..
  • If you go to VCAT – do you represent yourselves ?  You might get the right of reply. Lawyers don’t
  • Do you need “experts” to explain your point, like the developer will have.
  • Do you have lawyers, and how do you pay for them ?

Well for $25,  next week – Thursday the 25th of August, you can ask those and other questions of Lawyers who deal with just these things. See our Event

And while we are there we will discuss how to change the whole state planning system…