Protectors of Public Lands say that notice has been received that the “Greens” Mayor Samantha Ratnam will, tomorrow at 4:30 pm, preside over a “Sod-Turning Ceremony” to mark the start of construction of a monster Moreland Council-funded community/medical centre on Rogers Memorial Reserve in Pascoe Vale. If you can come to the "sod turning ceremony" we will be having a silent vigil of protest. Bring a sign.
Protectors of Public Land
The consideration of the Planning Zones Review should have been referred to the Parliamentary Committee for Environment and Planning which has considerable resources to put the 2,000 submissions on the Parliamentary website and then record on Hansard the hearings of some of the submitters before the Parliamentary Committee.
In her submission to the Victorian State Department of Planning and Community Services, Julianne Bell, Secretary of Protectors of Public Lands, quoting Professor Michael Buxton of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) shows how the proposed changes to Victoria's urban plannin
Threats to Royal Park: East West link, Children's Hospital expansion onto public land under Royal Children’s Hospital (Land) Act 2007, large new obtrusive metal public toilet known as "Doyle's dunny" after the Lord Mayor prioritised its installation. Meaningful community events planned to combat proposed outrages.
Good news! The Federal Budget did not provide funds to Premier Baillieu for the East West Link.
Call for Victorians to write to the Hon. Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport at A.Albanese, to oppose funding of the East West Link and to support funding public transport instead, especially the Doncaster Rail Link along the Eastern Freeway.
The guest speaker at the AGM will be Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member of Parliament for Wills and advocate of sustainable population. He will speak on: "A bigger Melbourne is not a better Melbourne”. All are very welcome to the meeting.
This threat to clearfell half of Melbourne's street and park trees because they are supposedly "nearing the end of their lives" is an unprecedented threat to Melbourne's heritage. I regard the threat to Melbourne's trees as one of greatest threats to Melbourne and its livability. Plus the revival of the East West Link tollway-in-a-tunnel through the inner suburbs and parks.
Overspending Brimbank City Council is trying to sell off 14 - yes, fourteen- parks and open space against the reasonable objections of Brimbank Residents, who they are supposed to serve. Have you ever heard the like? How dare they?
Boroondara Council has proposed development of 48 “Neighbourhood Activity Centres” (NAC’s) over, on and around strip shopping centres or villages throughout the municipality of Boroondara.
Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc.:
General Meeting on "Population Growth and Car Usage in Melbourne"
Saturday 22 May 2010
Members and friends welcome.
When the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration hearing convened to hear from Peta Duke on 12 March 2010, she did not attend in answer to the summons. She had written the notorious Media Plan proposing a sham public consultation process to earn favour with the electorate.
This interesting letter about the experience of a citizen representing a group's appeal at VCAT vindicates the citizen, educates others about the VCAT attitude, and shows VCAT up.
Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. (PPL VIC).
Protectors of Public Lands. When governments fail democracy, you need organisations like this one. Please consider joining to save your state from developers, more debt and worse.
"Dave the Developer" at the Restore Residents' Rights protest rally, June 10, Photo: Progress Leader
Today (8 September 2008) Premier John Brumby unveiled his ominous Victorian Transport Plan in a briefing at Federation Square before an audience of transport heavies.
The Plan no longer includes, however, the proposal encoded in Recommendation 4 of Sir Rod Eddington’s Investing in transport - East West Link Needs Assessment of March 2008.
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:
CTAG Rally 26/10/2008 “Sustainable Public Transport - No Road Tunnels or Freeways” From a photo by Cory Baudman
Melbourne Campaign Opposing Road Tunnels
The frenetic pace of events held since mid September concerning Melbourne’s Transport system indicates community support for improved public transport and opposition to new freeways/road tunnels. Events include:
Royal Park Protection Group Inc.
Media release, 24 October 2008
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
Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc.
Sunday 5 August 2007
On Wednesday morning last 1 August 2007, contractors moved into the Catani Gardens in St Kilda and, ignoring a community picket, proceeded to strip off access chutes on the metal 'possum exclusion bands' high up on the Canary Island Palms, thus effectively stranding about twenty possums asleep in the crowns of the trees. This meant that, come night time, the possums would be unable to get down the trees to feed and so would be condemned to starve to death or die of dehydration. If, in desperation, they jumped from a great height they could be killed or badly injured. Likely as not, once on the ground with no place to hide (since most trees are now banded) they would fall victim to dog attack, human cruelty or road kill.
Members and friends of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. (PPL VIC) called a commercial wildlife rescue service to come to the Gardens to work out how the stranded possums could be rescued. Council refused to engage him and deferred making a decision. On Wednesday night PPL VIC members confirmed that there were, indeed, numbers of desperate possums trapped possible 15 metres or so up in the trees, above the bands.
Next morning, on Thursday 2 August, Council stepped in and ordered Parks officers to inspect the treetops, thus proving us right that there were possums trapped there. Contractors then reinstalled the metal chutes on the trees to allow possums access to the ground and food that night. Had PPL VIC not intervened then Council would have simply left the possums to die stranded in the treetops.
Julianne Bell PPL VIC Secretary comments: "Last year Port Phillip Mayor Janet Bolitho announced that Council had employed a consultant to work out a 'humane' way to exterminate the tiny colony of possums, supposedly guilty of chewing palm fronds and damaging trees. In our opinion installation of the consultant's Heath Robinson contraptions, consisting of a unique arrangement of monster steel bands with access chutes and traps, has proved a major bureaucratic bungle being vastly expensive, completely unnecessary and exceptionally cruel. Also in our view the project is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1975 and possibly under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1985. The Mayor and Councillors may imagine that the trapped possums are spirited away and euthanased quietly. But ASU members have recently refused to handle possums and local vets have denied any involvement. The tragedy is that while Melbourne City Council promotes possum spotting tours in the Fitzroy and Treasury Gardens, Port Phillip Council is attempting to exterminate the Catani Gardens possums, which draw hundreds if not thousands of tourists a year."
Lucy Fairley, a British tourist (name and details can be supplied) wants to be on record as saying: "As a holidaymaker from England, I was thrilled to read in my guide about feeding possums in Melbourne's parks. My daughter and I visited a number of parks at dusk and finally struck lucky in Catani Gardens. There were a handful of lively and almost tame possums - they even let us stroke them; it was the highlight of my holiday. I was struck dumb when I learnt of the council's eradication plans; how they had already killed a number of possums and were on the point of rounding up and murdering these last few, defenceless animals. I am outraged - I cannot believe in such barbarous and short-sighted behaviour. Just to think of the tourist potential the council were ignoring - they should be writing to guide books to publicise their asset, instead of persecuting these beautiful animals... I, for one, would find Melbourne a far less attractive place to visit without this compelling attraction and my estimation of Australians (certainly of council officers) would be significantly reduced if the possums were to be exterminated."
Note that Tourism Minister Tim Holding has declined an invitation to visit the Catani Gardens and over the past few months has been, reportedly, too busy to meet PPL VIC representatives.
Julianne Bell, Secretary, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria (PPL VIC)
03 98184114 or mobile 0408022408 or
Jill Quirk (PPL VIC) on 03 95097429 or 040 09742927.
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