Archive for category Liveability
The redevelopment saga of Glen Waverley’s central car park has attracted another community option for best value consideration by Monash Council. This new community option, called People’s Park, was developed as a result of consulting local residents, traders, local school parents and other Monash ratepayers and residents and conducting due diligent business case research. The proposal is a substantiated and viable alternative for redeveloping the central car park, in addition to Cr Lake’s option.
This People’s Park option proposes partnership with Apple to build an underground technology retail and multimedia library center with two additional levels of underground car parks.
It recommends more and viable funding choices than Cr Lake’s option, which only pursues to sell the car park to fund a new library and a small public space, and allow high density developments that will threaten the feng shui of Glen Waverley and increase local population without providing local and green open space in close proximity. The sale of the central car park will also mean the loss of GW’s most prized land that can potentially provide the local community and shoppers scarce green open space amenities and services.
March’s meeting documentation has revealed continuing preference for Cr Lake’s option to progress into Request for Tender. Quality due diligent information to substantiate Cr Lake’s option against the John Monash Multicultural Square (JMMS) proposal (put in by another community group) was lacking, as there was the absence of evidence based business case information and a best value evaluation framework, resulting in the GW subcommittee (lead by Cr Lake) and council staff making subjective recommendations to reject the JMMS proposition. In the three public community consultation sessions (attended by more than 150 people) that Council has organized to discuss the fate of the central car park, MRI representatives who attended all 4 meetings, including the JMMS one, had witnessed over 95% of participants did not want the new library and high rise developments and prefer the central car park remain an open space. This strong non support for Cr lake’s library was never documented clearly in council’s public records. However, the March meeting documentation continues to misrepresent the strong Monash community’s non support for Cr Lake’s option during the community consultations and instead presented information that says otherwise.
Like the selling of Monash and Elizabeth Gardens aged care facilities in 2013 and the deliberate and the long standing deficit financial management of the Euvena carpark, Cr Lake is once again leading and strengthening group-think decision making towards selling the central car park to fund and build a state of the art new library in the Glen Waverley central car park, a personal obsession that he willed on his constituents since the 2012 election, despite the community’s strong non support for his obsession.
Party politics stricken Councillors representing their own interests first is the growing new black in Monash, a proven fact also recently supported by the Waverley Leader, reporting the lateness and poor governance of council meeting in March and their growing failure to represent the community’s views.
Ratepayers and residents concerned about Council’s one direction for redeveloping the Glen Waverley central car park should have their say at a Community Consultation session at Monash Council Glen Waverley on Thursday 28 Jan 7pm. A residents’ investigation aka citizen jury report explains why:
Non-residents and political career hopefuls Councillors Klisaris and Lake are once again imposing another monumental and potentially costly mistake in the form of a library and community hub adjacent to yet another inappropriate high rise on the Central Car Park site, in order to justify their disastrous Euneva Car Park. Lacking in business acumen, they did not get it right with the financial management of operating Euneva Car Park, such as ignoring opportunities for it to attract fees for all day parking. With such poor decisions, should the Monash community trust them with another spending spree?
If the proposed library and community hub usage reflects that of Euneva car-park, it will be under utilised from day one.
Glen Waverley property sales turned over $885 Million in the 12 months to Nov 2015, second (in Australia) only to Mosman in Sydney. Like comparing apples and bananas, does our Council seriously think that the Monash demographic, residing in its 81 sq km, requires ratepayers to upgrade its sixth community funded regional library to mirror the size and criteria of Geelong’s new regional library? Geelong has a lower SEIFA index, higher unemployment and was the recipient of $25 million in state and federal funding for their Regional Library and Heritage (Archive) Centre servicing an area of 1249 sq km. Furthermore, the Geelong library is located on the site of the original 750sq m Geelong library, with views of Corio Bay is adjacent to the large Johnstone Park, and therefore its location does not interfere with commercial precincts. In contrast, Glen Waverley residents and its schools are well equipped to provide technology to those who need it but there will be a lack of open space and social connectedness if all land is swallowed by developers. Open all hours and to everyone, free public open space allows equal access and does not discriminate.
Lifeline received over million calls for help in 2015. “Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel CEO has said Australians’ emotional well being was not in sync with their material wealth. They have three digital devices and sometimes that technology, as great as it is, can also enhance our feelings of loneliness, our feelings of isolation.” ( Ref: 13 Jan 2016 ABC reporter Eliza Laschon).
For the mental and physical health of all in the community and to facilitate ongoing economic activity in the southern end of Kingsway – it’s imperative we retain the whole of the Central Car Park site a public open space, with free WiFi above ground and an underground car park below, as it will be Glen Waverley’s most valuable asset for all to enjoy for decades to come.
EU (you) NEVA (never) want to park here
In attempts to woo motorists to this unpopular 3 ½ year old parking option, Council decided to spend $57,000 on lighting this eyesore, and on the days leading up to Christmas, the Euneva Ave Car Park was advertised on two electronic Traffic Management Signs on either side of Kingsway. However, despite these measures, at 11.20am pre-Christmas on 22 December 2015 Euneva housed 113 cars i.e.35% full and at 2.40pm on Friday 8 January 2016 only 65 cars i.e. 20% parked there. In contrast the popular Central Car Park was full on both occasions.
Therefore, many Monash constituents are increasingly viewing that their self-absorbed councillors are playing ‘Monopoly’ with ratepayers money as if it were their own, to build the new library on the Central Car Park site, in order to force cars of clientele of Kingsway and surrounds, into the inconveniently located Euneva Car Park. Euneva now, and always should have been, available for all day ‘destination’ parking, but it is being reserved for limited parking to satisfy the development of Cr lake’s dream library he imposed on his constituents as his self decided election goal.
In July 2015 the Council approved a $500 million redevelopment of The Glen, and in turn ignored future height controls for buildings along Sneddon Avenue. The ‘new’ Glen will include 3,800 car spaces. Shopping centres very often allow unrestricted parking in order to encourage consumers to increase their time within the centres to maximise spending. Once captured, few will venture outside i.e. to the old Kingsway strip, especially as dining and entertainment has been muted as one of the ‘new’ Glen’s focus.
In recent years Kingsway has diversified from traditional retail to that of food and entertainment strip with late night trading embraced by locals and visitors. To continue to have one hour car parking in front of restaurants and cinemas reflects the disconnect between the council officers who are in control [yet themselves get free parking], and their ignorance of real life consequences as it discriminates against Kingsway traders and their customers. The new one hour electronically monitored constraint does not allow drivers to park one minute late the moment their cars get scanned electronically. This increase car parking penalty fines, as an indirect strategy of new fund raising used by many councils, because of capped rates legislation commencing next financial year.
In Sept 2015 parking overstay devices (PODS) were installed in Monash, including in Kingsway, rear of the existing Library and Council Offices, and the Central Car Park to enforce disproportionate penalties on patrons parking overtime in the immediate vicinity of Kingsway’s food and entertainment precinct. The signage associated with these PODS is fastened with flimsy cable ties, not explanatory of the fines that could be incurred and are often at *right angles to the parking signs and not noticed by motorists. Overstay fines jump from $76 to around $100 if left unpaid. Park and display ticketing options would have been fairer and more acceptable.
While Cr Lake has consistently insist that Monash Council will not charge car parking, he also contradicts the GWAC Transport Plan that confirms that the council is considering a car parking fee scheme. The GWAC structural plan also stated the city planning goal is to make GW a primary pedestrian realm and the transport plan indicates that council will cost shift car parking problem management to the state to find alternatives in other public areas.
When Monash Councillors keep advocating for high density development in Glen Waverley and Oakleigh, our city will be part of this new growing social trend in Melbourne.
The New York Post reported in 2014 that :
“Hookers are using the controversial Airbnb home-sharing Web site to turn prime Manhattan apartments into temporary brothels….One escort service is even saving a bundle by renting Airbnb apartments instead of hotel rooms for clients’ quickies, says a 21-year-old call girl who works for the illicit business.
“It’s more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf,” said the sex worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Hotels have doormen and cameras. They ask questions. Apartments are usually buzz-in.””
In 2015, the Daily Telegraph and International Business Times reported and confirmed Airbnb apartments in Australia are already turning into pop up brothels.Our real estate network says Airbnb is a major tenant in the Ikon building, Glen Waverley.
The underdog rumor is that Glen Waverley would be the new place for Asian pop up brothels and karaoke all lit up PnP (slang for drug party and play) and Oakleigh second in queue, if Monash Councillors continue to sell our public lands to enable more and more high density development in the city.
Decision making without risk management accountability is bad governance!
The Future Liveability of Glen Waverley comes first, or Councillors’ collective opinion of what THEY DECIDE the community should need and have?
The coming acid test is “are Monash Councillors in for the developers or for their community first when it comes to the Glen Waverley square’s development?”….. will good governance prevail for once in this decision making? The truth shall be known in due course….. watch this space develops.
By 2050, Melbourne’s population will hit 6.4million. With services and infrastructure already lacking, how liveable will the city be then?
Jason Dowling and Miki Perkins
Jason Dowling and Miki Perkins from The Age, 22 Nov 2012, report:
WHEN Cara Horner moved to a new housing estate in Epping North, she was drawn by its environmental credentials, the lower land prices and the chance to build an affordable family home.
Yes, her family would be moving away from a well-established suburb but Horner was reassured by VicUrban, the government’s development agency now named Places Victoria, that the estate would soon have the transport links and community services needed to ensure a good quality of life.
Five years later, she is stunned by how many of those promises turned out to be hollow. “We have bus stops here that don’t have buses running to them because the Victorian government won’t put any funding into the route extension,” she says.
Every home on the estate was meant to be within 400 metres of bus stop. Residents were also promised a train, an “Epping North spur line” that would peel off from Lalor station, and an interchange on the nearby Hume highway.
“When we were buying our land we were told the train line would be five or 10 years, then it was 20 and now we’re hearing it won’t happen,” says Horner, who is a member of the Aurora Community Association.
Like Horner, many Melburnians will soon be living on former farmland on the city’s fringes that was recently rezoned residential.
By 2050, Melbourne’s population is forecast to hit up to 6.4 million — an additional 2.3 million people in less than four decades.
This influx is sobering when you consider the amount of infrastructure required to support that many new residents.
The population trigger used by planners to figure out when to build a new primary school, kindergarten or childcare centre is 9000 residents. A new police station is 40,000 residents and a new hospital is 50,000.
And this does not factor in train stations, which are determined by the government, as Horner has discovered.
Delivering the new schools and hospitals will not be easy for the cash-strapped state government. Perhaps it’s not surprising so many people want to move to Melbourne – it holds the much-vaunted title of the “world’s most liveable city”, as rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
But a recent United Nations report, which lists Melbourne as one of the world’s top 10 most prosperous cities, found its weakest performance was in “equity and social inclusion”. As Melbourne’s phenomenal growth continues, both in population and geographic size, one thing seems clear: some people are more equal than others when it comes to access to taxpayer-funded services and infrastructure.
Last month Planning Minister Matthew Guy released a discussion paper on planning for Melbourne’s development for the next 40 years. It was the first insight into the government’s metropolitan strategy, which will replace Labor’s Melbourne 2030 plan.
At the same time as this strategy is being developed, Guy is changing zoning rules that determine what can be built and where and, in his words, transforming planning from an academic into an “economic” portfolio.
Some big questions remain unanswered. Will the eventual strategy match what is being proposed in the discussion paper?
And why change the fundamentals of the system before you know in which direction you are heading?
When he approved towering apartment blocks in the CBD recently, Guy said the government would continue to “provide confidence to the development industry” and there would be “continuing reform of our planning system to increase opportunity and productivity”.
But in the rush to create construction jobs, has planning a liveable, enjoyable city with decent transport services and infrastructure taken a back seat to economic activity? Many on Melbourne’s fringes and in existing infill suburbs say new housing might have mushroomed but there is little in the way of new services.
Guy recently highlighted the challenge of maintaining Melbourne’s “liveability” as a city of 6 million, with only two of the top 10 cities in the Economist’s liveability survey having more residents than Melbourne: Sydney and Toronto (the greater Toronto area).
Indeed, he said “the larger the city becomes, the harder it is to maintain an international standard of liveability”.
“How we plan for that growth is the key to ensuring our city remains one of the most diverse, distinctive and liveable cities in world.”
One of the ideas that emerges from the government’s planning discussion paper is a “20-minute city”, where people “live local” and work, eat and play close to home.
But not everyone in Melbourne will be equal in the 20-minute city, the report notes. For some it will be a 20-minute walk, others will need to drive.
“Whether the 20-minute travel distance is by walking, cycling, bus or car will depend on the area and the habits of its residents,” the report says.
But the “habits” of many in Melbourne are determined by their access to quality public transport, walking and cycling paths and nearby services. David Turnbull, chief executive of the City of Whittlesea, has been working in growth areas for decades and cannot remember a time when there was more pressure to deliver new services.
“I would describe the situation at the moment as the most perilous it has been in 34 years,” he says.
Four years ago, following a rezoning, the number of residents moving to the council’s area jumped from about 2500 a year to up to 9500. On Epping Road and Plenty Road, the main roads that link to the Epping North and Mernda growth corridors, it can take 40 minutes “just to leave your suburb”, Turnbull says. There are about 60 births a week in the municipality and the Northern Hospital is struggling to cope with demand, he says.
But infrastructure funding in growth areas is slow in coming. In Caroline Springs, in Melbourne’s outer west, a road to a paddock is the only sign of the site where a train station has been promised.
“The rural and regional areas have a dedicated growth fund of $1 billion in state funding – the growth areas have no such funding,” Turnbull says.
He believes it is time the government appointed a minister for growth areas, to take responsibility for the proper funding of Melbourne’s newest communities.
Toronto ranks fourth in the liveability stakes and has reached a number of conclusions when it comes to planning: urban sprawl must end and building new freeways will not solve a city’s transportation needs.
“We only have infill development in the city . . . the question is how do we do that infill?” says Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat.
About 15 years ago, Toronto and the regional government realised urban sprawl was destroying natural habitat and threatening the city’s water supply, so it was halted.
Ending sprawl involved significant negotiation with the development industry because a lot of developers had purchased farmland on the assumption they would be able to continue to develop ad nauseam, Keesmaat says.
Once the boundary was made clear it shifted the market and drove a significant amount of development into infill sites. Keesmaat says it was a “huge problem” if developers could lobby the government to move the urban boundary.
Melbourne’s boundary has expanded almost 100,000 hectares in a decade, with developers and planning ministers interpreting the urban “boundary” as a point of negotiation.
Keesmaat says the fundamental issue all cities must address when planning for growth is having “a very clear structure of where growth won’t go”, and limiting urban sprawl is part of that.
“It’s about identifying hubs where there is a very strong nexus of public transportation and an opportunity to accommodate mixed-use growth,” she says.
Toronto has a population of 2.48 million people, or 5.5 million in the greater Toronto area, and much of its development had been directed to the heart of the city. “We have built 177,000 units over the past 10 years and most of them have been in the core of the city, within two kilometres of the centre of the city,” Keesmaat says.
And while the Baillieu government pushes for a new freeway connecting the Eastern Freeway and City Link, Keesmaat says Toronto has moved beyond arguments about freeways and is instead debating whether to build more light rail or more expensive subways.
“That is the transportation of the future,” she says. “Creating environments where people can live and work and play all within walking distance . . . the ticket here is ensuring people can live where they work and the most ideal scenario is a quick transit [public transport] ride, or they can walk, or they can cycle.”
Walking to a childcare centre from her house in the government-planned and developed Aurora estate is not an option for Cara Horner, who is angered by a planning model that allows developers to walk away after carving up paddocks for housing.
“I have to drive to childcare in Epping because there’s not a childcare centre here yet,” she says.
“Those guys are coming out here, buying land at such a cheap rate, making such a profit off it, it seems like they’re the only people who are winning out of this.”
Developers are obliged to contribute only a fraction of the cost of delivering new infrastructure. Since a growth area infrastructure tax was introduced in 2010, Melbourne developers have contributed $33.4 million.
The 3.5-kilometre South Morang rail extension alone, which included new stations and line upgrades, cost $562 million.
The state government’s 20-minute city proposal is “a complete pipedream”, says Carolyn Whitzman, associate professor in urban planning at Melbourne University.
“Whether Melbourne has 4 million or 6 million people, we’re not travelling in a particularly equitable direction,” she says. “I don’t necessarily see population growth as a bad thing, it just has to be managed properly. Currently, we live in a socially divided and environmentally unsustainable city.”
Ruth Spielman, National Growth Areas Alliance executive officer, says growth areas across the country share common problems and the concept of a “tale of two cities” applies in terms of poorer outcomes in education, access to jobs, unemployment and housing stress.
Horner says there is a wider story to Melbourne’s crown as the world’s most liveable city.
“Melbourne is liveable for people who can afford it, or those who are lucky enough to grow up in an area that has all that transport,” she says. “For people on the fringes who have taken out 95 per cent mortgages, plus paying for petrol, it’s killing them.
“It shouldn’t be a ‘them and us’ thing in our city. We should all have equitable access; we all pay taxes and there should be better planning for that to occur.”