Protectors of Public Land

Planning Minister Gatecrashes Parliamentary Enquiry Committee and Hearing Abandoned

Original newsletter sent out by Julianne Bell from Protectors of Public Lands, reporting on the Hearing of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration. Dear Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. members and friends I. Planning Minister Gatecrashes Parliamentary Enquiry Committee and Hearing Abandoned See television tonight - all stations - for footage of fracas in Parliament today when Planning Minister Madden gatecrashed the hearing of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration. Madden's staff member Peta Duke was subpoenaed to attend but was apparently instructed by the Attorney General NOT to attend. ALP MP Matt Viney disrupted proceedings and effectively took over upon which the Chair Gordon Rich Phillips left and then Peter Kavanagh which meant that there was no quorum so the meeting collapsed. Following an interview with Madden there were excellent interviews with Peter Kavanagh, David Davis and Greg Barber. Community reps - Mary Drost for Planning Backlash. Brian Walsh for Kew Cottages Coalition and me for PPL VIC - made brief statements including our dismay at revelations that public consultations over planning developments were revealed as sham and that the farcical procedings today were an insult to Parliament and hence to Victorians. See the for the "Inquiry into Victorian Government Decision Making, Consultation and Approval Processes" On 3 March 2010, the Committee agreed to the following resolution: To inquire into and report on Victorian Government decision making, consultation and approval processes, and any knowledge and/or involvement of Ministers, Ministerial staff and/or Victorian Government officers since 1 December 2006 and in particular issues arising from media plans prepared within the Victorian Government since 1 December 2006. The Public Hearings were scheduled for today in relation to the Inquiry and in particular the Windsor Hotel redevelopment planning process. These included the hearing with Ms Peta Duke Media Advisor to the Minister. Note that the Committee is inviting any individuals and organisations who wish to express views on the terms of reference. See instructions on website. Submissions will close on Friday, 26 March at 5.00 p.m. See Press Release: Press release of Wednesday, 3 March 2010 Contact: Inquiry into Victorian Government Decision Making, Consultation and Approval Processes Council Committees Office Department of the Legislative Council Parliament House Spring Street East Melbourne, 3002 Phone: (03) 9651 8696 Fax: (03) 9651 6799 Parliament Home | Hansard | Legislative Council | Legislative Assembly | Committees | Search II. The Government attempts to resusistate the GAIC Bill by referring it to the Dispute Resolution Committee 2009 The Lower House has given notice that they will attempt to refer the GAIC Bill 2009 to the Dispute Resolution Committee. Apparently it is a matter of dispute as to whether a defeated Bill can be referred to The Dispute Committee. Michael Hocking of Taxed Out raised the question and provided us with the notice. LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF VICTORIA NOTICE PAPER — No 153 Tuesday 9 March 2010 The Speaker takes the Chair at 9.30 am BUSINESS TO TAKE PRECEDENCE STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS — Under SO 40 GOVERNMENT BUSINESS NOTICE OF MOTION 1 MR CAMERON — To move, That the Planning and Environment Amendment (Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution) Bill 2009 be referred to the Dispute Resolution Committee for consideration under s 65C of the Constitution Act 1975 and that a message be sent to the Legislative Council informing them accordingly. $FILE/10NP153.pdf Dont Forget - Tune into the TV Tonight. Channel 10 at 5 pm, Channels 9 and 7 at 6 pm Channel 2 at 7 pm. Regards Julianne Bell Secretary Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. PO Box 197 Parkville 3052

Dr Leigh Glover to speak on Sustainable Transport for Melbourne

Julianne Bell, Leading democracy with Royal Park Protection Group & Protectors of Public Land, Victoria

Royal Park Protection Group - the first of many groups standing between you and a total wipe-out of democracy - is having its AGM. Stand up for democracy; be there at the AGM:

Royal Park Protection Group AGM Wednesday 3 December 2008

Time: 6:45 pm for a 7 pm start. Date: Wednesday 3 December 2008

Key Speaker:
Dr. Leigh Glover

Assistant Director of the Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT) at the University of Melbourne on

“Sustainable Transport for Melbourne.”

Venue: Upstairs Meeting Room, North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne. (Near corner of Errol and Queensberry Streets.) Parking available in surrounding streets. Tram up Elizabeth St.

Why Attend: RPPG is one of the few organisations standing in the way of Royal Park being bulldozed and homes in West Parkville being compulsorily acquired. Once RPPG folds, organised resistance will disappear. So spare a few hours to make the evening a success!

Contact: Julianne Bell Convenor RPPG 98184114 or 0408022408. [email protected]

Recent Royal Park News

(See also article: )

Parliamentary Committee for Environment and Natural Resources – Inquiry into Melbourne’s Future Water Supply:

Julianne Bell made a submission for Royal Park Protection Group Inc. on the need for local water sourcing projects to ensure water supply for Melbourne's Parks and Gardens, including Royal Park. She attended a hearing which included submissions on storm water projects and local water sourcing projects. See the website under for submissions and presentations. Bell reports:

“The Inquiry is proceeding at a snail’s pace despite the crisis re water. The next hearing won’t be till February 2009!”

Royal Park Master Plan Implementation Advisory Committee:

At the last meeting for the year a representative from the Royal Children’s Hospital attended and tried to defend the huge land grab by the RCH. Other unwelcome and unnecessary infrastructure projects are the car and bus parking at the Zoo’s North Entrance; the cycle path through Royal Park which is already built and appears hardly used by commuters or anyone else; and the bus pull in bay outside the Urban Camp which as predicted blocks traffic on Brens Drive.

Council Rejection of Application by CSL for 6 Storey Carpark on Parkville Site

Thanks go the City of Melbourne Councillors for refusing the application by CSL for a 6 storey carpark, which would have overlooked and overshadowed the Wetlands of Royal Park plus intruded on the residential amenity of the Parkville Gardens residential development. (Council staff had recommended that it be approved!)

Protest scheduled for Premier Brumby’s Transport Summit

Royal Park Protection Group Inc.

Media release 4 September 2008

Tomorrow the Royal Park Protection Group (RPPG) and the Yarra Campaign Against Tunnels (YCAT) are, in consultation with resident and environmental groups in the East and West of Melbourne, facilitating a Community Protest for resident, community, and environment groups plus concerned individuals at the Premier's Transport Summit to be held at Telstra Dome in Melbourne.

Opposition to the Brumby Government’s proposed extension of the Eastern Freeway in road tunnels under inner city suburbs, through Royal Park and Holland Park plus the western suburbs has steadily mounted since the Eddington Review was launched. Anger was expressed during June and July at rallies at local Council meetings. Anti-road tunnel protestors forced Councillors at Melbourne, Moonee Valley, Yarra then Brimbank to pass "no tunnels" resolutions. Many community groups were dismayed that the recent Transport Forums conducted by the Government and also by individual Members of Parliament were by invitation only and excluded many interested community representatives. People feel that they have no voice in decisions about Brumby’s Grand Transport Plan.

Rod Quantock of RPPG said today: "The East West Link is in essence a truck city by pass route designed to get freight via the Eastern Freeway and East Link to Dandenong. It will in no way serve commuters as they will not be able to turn off to the City but can only get to the Port of Melbourne or Tullamarine Airport. In the process of tunnel construction over five to twelve years, inner city suburban streets will be destroyed; Royal Park and Holland Park in Kensington will be transformed into giant quarries; and sports fields, community facilities and wetlands ripped up. In addition traffic congestion will worsen and gridlock will prevail. It is extraordinary that the Premier should be favouring building road tunnels at a time when the end of oil is in sight and the public is screaming for improved and expanded public transport. It is tragic that the Premier is considering spending $10 billion of our money on 20th century solutions to a 21th century crisis. Democracy goes underground."

Dr Paul Mees, transport expert and supporter of public transport, commented recently on the Eddington report tunnel proposals: "…the rail tunnel is not needed" and "…the road tunnel is a waste of money." He said that: "We seemed poised to commit the largest amount ever invested in Victoria’s history to dealing with non-problems in a way that will benefit only the vested interests associated with large engineering projects."

RPPG is opposing the construction of road tunnels and is demanding a proper review of the public transport and rail freight systems; remedies for climate change; for the Government to keep its hands off our parkland; and to protect residential amenity.

Media contacts: Julianne Bell on 0408022408 & Rod Quantock on 0438862079

Port Phillip Mayor steps up possum kill in Catani Gardens

Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc.


Sunday 3 June 2007

Port Phillip Mayor steps up possum kill in Catani Gardens

On Friday last, around lunchtime, a friend of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc (PPL VIC) observed workers of CityWide (a contractor hired by Port Phillip Council) high up on a cherry picker in St Kilda's Catani Gardens. They appeared to be taking out a sleeping possum from a large "possum box" (read trap) installed 20 metres up in one of the giant cypress trees and were forcing it into a large white bag, obviously for disposal. This represents a new development in the saga of the Council's bid to exterminate the colony of tame possums, which have lived in the Gardens for 80 years, delighting residents, tourists, plus generations of Melburnians.

Jill Quirk, PPL VIC Committee member, explains: "This latest covert operation follows the progressive installation over the last year of huge possum exclusion bands and traps designed to drive out the possums from their homes in the palm trees and to trap and euthanase them. It is most disturbing to discover that any possums, which managed to survive and flee to the cypress trees in the Gardens, are still being hunted and trapped. The absurd and discredited rationale for the banding given by Council bureaucrats in the past was that the possums are chewing fronds on the 103 palms and are damaging the trees. It is surprising that senior DSE officers and even Government Ministers appear to have swallowed the Council line that the colony of possums (now reduced to only 41) can damage enormous 90 year old palm trees by chewing fronds. They can hardly use the same excuse for kidnapping possums from cypress trees "

Julianne Bell PPL VIC Secretary points out: 'Port Phillip Councillors and bureaucrats constantly reiterate that their "management" of possums in the Catani Gardens is legal. They cite the Governor in Council Order of 10 July 2003, which requires them to have a management plan for brushtail possums that includes "non lethal" control measures. While Council may well have issued a management plan back in May 2006 it has, by its own admission, adopted lethal control measures of possums. It has openly stated that possums are trapped, collected and euthanased. (The Mayor denied it at a recent Council meeting but has subsequently written to enquirers admitting to a policy of euthanasia of possums.) Last Friday's incident in which CityWide workers apparently removed a possum from one of the latest traps (possum boxes on cypress trees) is further evidence. We are forced to the conclusion that, under Council directions, it is CityWide workers who are destroying the animals, given that veterinary surgeons in the municipality have vehemently denied that they are party to euthenasing possums under Council orders (or anyone else's orders)"

PPL VIC members have observed that ring-tailed possums are living in the Gardens' cypress trees and so are threatened with being trapped and destroyed. This species is protected without any of the qualifying clauses that relate to brushtailed possums. Thus Council is entirely deficient in its responsibilities to protect wildlife in its parks and gardens. Council may well claim that the Gardens are overpopulated with possums but PPL VIC has countered this by having a respected ecologist/zoologist undertake a possum count and certify that the numbers are sustainable.

It is imperative, therefore, that work on installation of possum exclusion bands and traps on the palms and "possum nesting boxes" on the cypress trees be halted forthwith as it can be considered illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1975 and under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986; it is patently inhumane and cruel; and is destructive of a tourist icon and much loved feature of St Kilda. The work involved in the installation of the possum exclusion bands and traps is also disfiguring and mangling the heritage palms trees listed as the State Heritage Register as the most significant in Victoria. A great deal is at stake. Will commercial interests involved in making work for Council's bureaucrats, consultants and contractors in parks and gardens outweigh heritage, community and animal welfare considerations?

Media contact: Julianne Bell, Secretary, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria (PPL VIC) 98184114 or mobile 0408022408 or Jill Quirk (PPL VIC) on 95097429 or 040 09742927