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14 December 2009

"You should all give yourselves a big pat on the back! Stand up and take a bow! Well done and next time you need some help I shall be there! Thanks again to all of you for showing us the possibility of community action. Much Love and blessings!"
Susan Humphrey, St Kilda

10 December 2009

"It has been a long robust fight - we have not stepped backwards, we have not worried who stood against us but, we have always valued who stood with us and who we stood for. To you all thank you for standing against all odds and never flinching. Thank you for all you contributions. Thank you for standing next to me and helping me and your community through this. Democracy belongs to people who stand up."
Paul Coghlan, St Kilda

8 December 2009

"I have to congratulate everyone at Unchain St Kilda for your amazing work. I must also apologise to everyone involved in this wonderful organisation because I had given up hope and had decided to meekly succumb what I thought was inevitable. You have restored my faith in the power of the community. I will not break like that again. I cannot thank you enough for your efforts. Bless you all"
Omid Shayan, St Kilda

"Congratulations to all at unChain St Kilda! Thank you for all your hard work, determination and personal commitment to the campaign, thank goodness balance and reason has prevailed."
Amanda Carlton, St Kilda West

"Well done. This news has made my day. Thank you all."
Toni Noah, St Kilda

"HAPPY HAPPY DAY!!! The best Christmas present I could wish for. Thank you unChain St Kilda for all your efforts on our behalf."
Geraldine, St Kilda

"If ratepayers are expected to pay the Citta Group $5 million compensation there should be full disclosure to them and the community of the St Kilda triangle contract between the Citta Group and Port Phillip Council, including all state government involvement.

Since the project is off there should no longer be any commercial-in-confidence cover-up possible. From The Age report, 8/12, the original contract seems extremely one-sided, locking the Council in indefinitely and allowing the Citta group to stall indefinitely and leave the site unused for many years. This seems to have made it hard for the new Council to negotiate out of the deal and has cost ratepayers $5 million. Because of this any settlement should involve full disclosure of contract details and all Council files.

To prevent a repeat of this the roles of the state government and Council's staff should be given full public scrutiny by Council in the public interest, preferably with an independent inquiry. It should be asked why this project was ever approved, especially considering the huge opposition from residents involving 5000 written protests. This unprecedented level of opposition was arguably verified by the defeat of the old Council.

The state government should be held to account for taking away the legal right of residents to appeal against the development considering the huge opposition to it. Why would the Government do that when a principal argument of residents was that it would significantly add to the alcohol related violence already experienced in St Kilda? Their active sponsorship of this project brings the state government's credibility in tackling the serious problem of alcohol related violence into question. And it is a very serious problem. There has been a 75% increase in public hospital admissions from alcohol related violence in recent years.

It is arguable that by taking away the right of residents to legally appeal against the project the state government is at least partly responsible for the $5million ratepayers now have to pay. They should at least meet half this cost."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

"As a displaced member of a Fourth Generation St Kilda family I salute all those whose tremendous efforts have stopped the chunder palaces. Now let us hope for pleasant gardens in the Catani style."
Bryan Finlay, Nyora

"Congratulations to unChain St Kilda for their persistent work in protecting the integrity of St Kilda against unnecessary commercial developemnt of the foreshore and - at last - congratulations to the elected members of Port Phillip Council for a wise decision."
Elizabeth Creed, St Kilda

7 December 2009

"BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! at last some sanity has prevailed. Well done to all at Unchain for fighting the good fight. What an awesome moment - my faith has been somewhat restored. Will be at Council next Monday the 14th resplendant in Bells"
Bobby Valentine, Sth Melbourne

"We will be spared that monstrosity!!!! I am so chuffed, and immensely relieved. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this effort, especially the incredibly switched on and hard working core group of unChain."
Christine Banks, St Kilda

21 August 2009

"THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH for your caring and diligence that finally sees these disgraceful practices brought to public scrutiny. Honestly, $600G without a proper tendering process! Bring out the hounds. I wonder just how many creative projects were shelved because this robbery was allowed. I live on Grey St. and the past 10 years has seen it abandoned to the graffiti vandals (unfortunately not the fun creative Banksy art) and tree destroyers (not one destroyed tree has been replanted in this time!) A mere fraction of this money would have assisted to keep this ugliness in check.

I will continue to support your fight to prevent the monstrously huge ugliness planned for the beautiful St Kilda beach. I give an atheist's prayer that Babcock & Brown will remain sunk in financial oblivion."
Dani Guerzoni, St Kilda

26 May 2009

"I have felt so inspired by your campaign - when I learnt that the two members of Unchain St Kilda won their seats in council, I myself felt a sense of empowerment, and that justice in fact could prevail. It had proven to me that the community had a right to participate, and that through creative and collective means they could demand to do so. No doubt there are many others who have felt for a long time a sense of disempowerment with today's neo-liberal, commercially driven environment, where economic values take precedent over everything else."
Molica, Aspendale

20 May 2009

"Needless to say I was very disappointed at the VCAT decision. The thought of that monstrosity proceeding fills me horror and dread.

I can only hope that the further proposed courses via planning and council will continue with the same determination.

What a mighty effort has been made by all and we must not lose heart even though the true heart and soul of St Kilda is to be blighted.

Thank you to all those people who have fought the mighty fight."
Edwina Green

22 April 2009

"I guess having councillors is no different to having a board of directors (there is no real difference except for the level of renumeration). Both sets, despite legislation and/or codes of conduct, can influence officers of the council/company.

From a council officer of nearly 30 years point of view this can have a demoralising effect on staff when even one councillor can manipulate management for personal reasons that may not be in the best interest of the municipality or law.

The other edge of the sword is now in play, with councillors influencing management for the benefit of the community, not just for short term gain, and for future generations of residents and visitors to St Kilda.

Change is inevitable, and the St Kilda of 2109 will likely be unrecognisable to us from this century. But in the meantime, the councillors of 2009 can remove the hoardings of secrecy and allow the changes that will take place to be evolutionary instead of revolutionary; for the communities benefit, and not the benefit of a minority with only a view of dollar profit to be made."
Steve Boyce

16 April 2009

"Congratulations to the unChain committee for changing council and taking the legal action with VCAT.

Here's hoping sense prevails.

Well done. Keep up the fight for residents input into St Kilda."
Carol Smith, St Kilda

17 December 2008

"Destroying St Kilda with that massive ugly souless developement would be like gouging out a huge piece of Melbournes' heart. The sadness I feel is profound. I did allot of growing up in St Kilda, school, St Moritz, The Palais, The National Theatre, Acland St, going into the sea fully clothed in the middle of winter as a kid remains one of the best memories of my life. Even though I don't live there, I worship St Kilda as the place in Melbourne I can go and breath in my history and just be. This development proposal is unbearable."
Melita Jansen, Bend of Islands

12 November 2008

"Congratulations to all involved in Unchain St Kilda - now living by the surf (12 Months sabbatical) I am even more sure that this community action has been a fabulous success in raising the issue and FOLLOWING THROUGH. From a distance I am even more clear about the  pain and shame at what our elected councillors have been doing and hey when is Spokes going to be held to account for his web of intrigue.

Port Phillip was a beacon of community involvement - now we have become just like the worst councils with their suberterfuges and behind the scenes actions shame on you Mayor Cribbes, Ray, Logan, Gross, Sait, Bolitho... Judith Klepner excluded of course.

Good luck to the candidates - this is an important time for us residents to renegotiate our social contract with the council..."
Margaret O'Loughlin, Aireys Inlet

28 October 2008

"I too was amazed to see Dick Gross on the T.V. expounding his latest brilliant idea for Port Phillip, his proposal to change the law in regard to councillors and their voting rights etc. It is interesting to see just how determined these councillors are to perpetuate their bad decision making and enforce their will upon us. It is also interesting to see just how carried away they become with their own ill-conceived status and powers. The secrecy behind the deals re the Triangle development is indication enough. It is certainly time for a change at Port Phillip. Bring on the elections."
Edwina Green, St Kilda

26 October 2008

"Whether you are for or against the St Kilda Triangle development there have been some deeply concerning attacks on the democratic process in order to push through the development proposal as far as it has.

Firstly, our Third Party appeal rights were taken away. Secondly CoPPs community backed Urban Design Framework was regarded by the council as merely an aspirational document. Effectively rending it provisional and ultimately unbinding. Thirdly over 4000 written objections and 2000 people in a protest march to Town Hall have resulted in no significant alterations to the proposal.

Now, in the midst of the November council elections, a current Brumby Government bill proposes that democratically elected council candidates are unable to implement their own elected polices if they have previously made an objection to a particular issue. In this case any previously objecting candidate wishing to represent the concerns of their constituents, in regards to the Triangle development, will be excluded from doing so if elected. Apparently it will be deemed a conflict of interest. But isn't that the purpose of elections. To be able to represent and be represented when you have no other recourse, to stand up for what you believe in. This is extremely undemocratic and down right unfair. How much subversion of democracy can one community take?"
Luke Troja, St Kilda

"Watching Cr GROSS, Dick in state line last night (24 Oct 08) made my skin crawl. He put up the proposal for a state law restricting councillors voting rights if they had made a submission on an issue. Not only is this un-democratic it is irrational. Councillors should voter in accordance with their ward constituents wishes not there personal wishes. If a Councillor is elected who has campaigned on an issue then it is fair to say that a majority of ward voters agree with the councillors campaign agenda. Gross reminds me of a little brat who takes his cricket bat & ball home if he is bowled out first ball which is likely to happen on 29 Nov 08.

For the record I am not standing this year as my B&B business is full on at the moment and I want to make lots of money while it lasts.

Someone on a comments blog in the Herald Sun said the acronym VOICE should be used at all council election which means Vote Out Incumbent Councillors Everywhere. While this does not necessarily apply to Cr Judith Klepner (Albert Park Ward), who opposed the Triangle development, perhaps it is a good guide to go by Victoria wide. Some councillors in power for to long can become spending megalomaniacs with our rates."
Adrian Jackson, Middle Park

17 October 2008

"This obvious example of council corruption has been going on for months, if not years. It takes a global financial crisis to put the corrupters on the back foot. That's pathetic. Bring on the November elections."
Chris Jones, Kew

15 October 2008

"It was welcome news I heard and read this morning about the developers' financial woes threatening to derail this white elephant development. It was also nice to see that UnChain's legal challenges has had some effect also, so bravo Serge and fellow UnChainers.

As it is a given that some form of development will go ahead eventually, I'd like to see more of what the Linfox Property Group proposes - it seems more user friendly.

Isn't it amusing that just across the border in conservative Bayside, it's the council that is fighting over development by organising street protests and petitions. Frankston Council, faced with a poor image and old built form throughout the municipality, is using evolution instead of revolution to recreate itself. Yet a council that was elected primarily due to over development concerns is fighting FOR over development. The mind is boggled, and the gob is well and truly smacked."
Steve Boyce, Frankston

19 September 2008

"I have been gob-stopped when reading that the agreement between Council and the developers is secret and cannot be obtained under FOI. What exactly has this council negotiated on the behalf of ratepayers that must be secret.

And as for recent comments by some residents that the Unchain St Kilda Group is only a small representation of residents, I suggest that these persons who are in agreement with this proposed commercial white elephant must surely live far from the site. Obviously these people will in no way be disadvantaged by the proposed late night bars, an even larger increase in violence and crime and last, but certainly not least, the traffic flow. It is easy for those whose lives and amenity will not be impacted, to scoff at protestors.

I cannot express how much I admire and appreciate the fortitude, determination and actions of our group."
Edwina Green, St Kilda

"Regarding the comments made by Cr Cribbes reported by The Age on September the 10th.

Branding Unchain St Kilda as "unhinged", "celebrity-led" and "intellectual elites"


"Are we to assume the UnChain St Kilda and its supporters are uniquely capable of responsible consumption of alcohol while the rest of us are not? In their view of the world, we swill in beer barns while they sip bubbles in multimillion-dollar bay-view penthouses,"

Furthermore Cr Cribbes accused UnChain St Kilda of hypocrisy after a recent fund-raising event was sponsored by an alcohol company.

These comments are obliviously an attempt to provoke and alienate sympathies of Unchain St Kilda. This, "us and them" mentality will not further the councils case or the community in regards to the Triangle development. However my real concern is that Cr Cribbes comments reveal that the council still doses not understand the argument against the drinking venues in the Triangle proposal. This is not about individuals, or individual groups, and how responsible they are when consuming alcohol. Our concern is that St Kilda has, and continues to support, an Alcohol centric culture and the triangle site is being uses with the prospect to increase and spread this situation.

Cr Cribbes, if you are thinking UnChain St Kilda is hypocritical, do you also assume that what happens at UnChain St Kilda community gatherings called for the purpose to discuss and action community issues and strategies, with the presents of alcohol. Is the same as the alcohol centric and violent culture that is prevalent within your councils borders witnessed on a Friday and Saturday nights, specifically around the proximity of the proposed Triangle development? Cr Cribbes, you don't have to be an "intellectual" to see the difference between these two situations. The difference is stark.

St Kilda, on Friday and Saturday nights, is largely associated as a place where you go to get drunk and play up. Of late Premier Brumby was compelled to visit St Kilda to see the problem first hand. Even the once arts and culture centric St Kilda Festival is now widely regarded as, overheard by an attendee on the day, a "big piss up". Cr Cribbes, this is evidently not just "our view of the world". It is taken for granted that St Kilda has an alcohol and image problem. However if you want to ignore it, prejudice and talk down the people who want to change it. I think it is you, Cr Cribbes, who will be "unhinged"."
Luke Troja, St Kilda

12 September 2008

"Mayor Janet Cribbes might have claimed (Age, 10/9) that opponents of the St Kilda Triangle are "unhinged" but it is more likely the Triangle itself will become unhinged following two events today(11/9), just a day after her abusive remarks.

Firstly the report of Legislative Council Committee on public land development found that there was a basis for concern over the inappropriate use of public land in the development (Finding 5.10) and that the Ombudsman should investigate the probity of tendering processes (Recommendation 5.7).

Secondly, also today,partner in the development, Babcock and Brown's shares dived a further 14.89%. They have crashed from $28 to $2 this year.

Mayor Cribbes might explain her contingency plan if finance for the project becomes unhinged, because there would only be one thing worse than the triangle development: a half completed one. It would make Council's current disgraceful mess on the site look positively beautiful in comparison."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

16 August 2008

"Quote from Citta Group Sydney manager:

"The revised plan delivers more open space, even better views of the sea, less retail and a more diverse and family-friendly mix of entertainment options," Mr McMillan said.

My question is this: Why wasn't this done in the first place. How can we trust these people. And after the latest revealations about alleged fraud within the council, how can we trust any of them?"
Edwina Green, St Kilda

29 July 2008

"I wish to correct two errors in a previous post re the Skate park.

The first correction is that the council has always maintained the the skate park is for the local skaters and residents of Port Phillip. (Refer Ordinary meeting of Council 22 nd November 2004-"13.1 Council reaffirms its commitment to the devlopment of a local skate facility within St Kilda."

The second is less important, but may be symptomatic of the anti skaters campaign. The writer he quotes name is spelt with an A not an E."
Keith Millar, South Melbourne

26 July 2008

"Financial Review 11 March 2008. Dick Gross says "Planning corruption never occurs because of third party rights to object". Thank goodness CoPP planning is okay or have we just seen the tip of the iceberg?"
Geoff Gowers, St Kilda

25 July 2008

"A second failure of due process in tendering at the City of Port Phillip (The Age, 25/7) further erodes the credibility of Councillors and the CEO. In view of these latest revelations how can the State Government still maintain its faith in the Council's handling of the tender for one of Victoria's major Crown land sites - the St Kilda Triangle? Now more than ever it is imperative that the veil of secrecy surrounding the Triangle is lifted for public scrutiny and judgment. The first step has to be unrestricted access to the Development Agreement, signed by Council and State Government with Babcock & Brown and Citta, in May 2007. For over nine months requests under the Freedom of Information Act have been repeatedly denied, even for the release of non commercial-in-confidence clauses. The Age was right to lament the 'stagnation of movement towards more open and transparent government' (editorial 24/7). Port Phillip leads the way in demonstrating the outcomes of a culture of secrecy."
Serge Thomann, President, unChain St Kilda

"With the integrity of tendering processes in question (The Age, July 25) there should be an independent review of all major projects at Port Phillip Council starting with the massive Triangle development which is overwhelmingly opposed by the resident community yet, despite this, is still going ahead."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

"Another day; another front page story in The Age about the CoPP. Yet another demonstration of an apparent failure in probity and governance. It is time to stop the rot. It is time for lawful financial management and administration which exemplifies integrity. Enough already!!!"
Leigh Johns, St Kilda

23 July 2008

"The people of St Kilda know how Premier Brumby feels about having the peace of his home invaded. 5000 of them opposed the Triangle development which will bring thousands more binge drinkers to their doorsteps all hours of the day and night but Mr Brumby took away their legal right to appeal against the development. Both invasions are wrong but the St Kilda ones will be on-going and are likely to be far more lethal. They could even lead to murder as we saw in King Street."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

"I find it incredibly disappointing that a group with the noble aims of unChain St Kilda has so thoughtlessly thrown its lot in with the reactionary forces of Jonathon Raymond's Save Our Park group. Is unChain St Kilda in the habit of vilifying and profiling the youth of this city as drug-taking, violent, destructive hoodlums? Because that's exactly what you've just agreed to in supporting this small-minded group of liars."
Michael Mulcahy, St Kilda

21 July 2008

"The Triangle is not the first planning issue of major importance to be shrouded in Council spin, misinformation and disregard for due process. Recent comments in the media by the Mayor about the proposed skatepark further demonstrate CoPP's manipulation when dealing with issues of public concern.

The Mayor and Councillors have long sought to characterize objectors to the skatepark location as 'anti-youth'. That's a bit rich, given one of the principal objectors is the St Kilda Park Primary School, which has considerable credibility when it comes to looking after local youth interests. Furthermore, with five skatepark facilities within a 5km radius of the proposed site (Riverslide, Prahran, Port Melbourne, Elsternwick and the existing ramp in Albert Park), many of us with children are not aware of a desperate need locally for another skatepark facility in the area.

But if the Council is determined to build one, we have long agreed with the UDF that the most appropriate site for a St Kilda skatepark is in the foreshore vicinity, with other rolling sports and 'a backdrop to Luna Park'.

Council has never properly explained why it did not proceed with the site adjacent to the Marina car park, which was the preferred site in about 2000, switching, instead to Albert Park Reserve location in 2004 and removing the skatepark from the St Kilda Edge foreshore re-development mix.

Now the Mayor (EHW, 21.7.08), and skatepark campaigner Keith Miller (PPL, 22.7.08), are saying that a foreshore site is inappropriate, because the proposed facility is for locals, not for tourists.

Apart from making little sense, these statements are at odds with the Council's earlier statement that the proposed skatepark in St Kilda was designed to attract young people and businesses to the area.

The Minutes of the CoPP's Strategy and Policy Review Committee meeting on the St Kilda Skatepark, 3 November 2004, state, under the heading Economic, 6.2.1:

"A skate park in St Kilda would complement Council's existing suite of attractors in St Kilda, attract additional young people, and the services and businesses that support or become demanded by the activity".

The Mayor needs to get her stories straight."
Jonathan Raymond, Save Our Park, St Kilda

13 July 2008

"Even with the passing of Scheherezade cafe in Acland Street (Age, 13-7-08) it's not time to write St Kilda's obituary, yet. The final nail will be the triangle's completion. It will mark St Kilda as a binge-drinking, democracy-free, developers' zone. It's time to start thinking about a new name for St Kilda which reflects that status."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

28 June 2008

"Residents should realise that St Kilda has been designated a binge-drinking zone by the State Labor Government and the local Port Phillip Council. Labor-organised Community forums like the one reported in The Age on Saturday 28 June will get residents nowhere in reducing binge-drinking.

Labor has championed the St Kilda Triangle development which will expose St Kilda to thousands more binge-drinkers than it currently has to contend with. This is despite overwhelming community opposition. 5000 written objections to the development were lodged by the community because it is sick and tired of the effects of binge-drinking on its iconic suburb: the violence, smashed bottles, vomit and lack of peace on its streets.

How could any St Kilda resident believe that Labor was seriously worried about binge-drinking? Labor has even taken away your legal right to appeal against the triangle development and its inevitable increase in binge-drinking."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

25 June 2008

"The best thing about st. kilda is about to be gone. Scherezade on Acland St; the original owners who sold the food business to the current owners are not renewing the lease and doubling the rent for new occupants. Acland Street and the whole of St. Kilda is going down the toilet. And sadly no one seems to really care. Especially the Council. Its almost like they want it to happen..."
Nathan Davey, St Kilda

23 June 2008

"There are some really smart people in St Kilda and Leigh Johns is bang on!! P.s. The proposed plans look like Chelsea Heights Hotel complex!! Scary!!"
Julie Butterworth, St Kilda

20 June 2008

"St Kilda does not need another supermarket! people do not go to St Kilda to shop, people go to St kilda to have a good family time, enjoy the vista, sip a coffee by the beach. Don't spoil the fun for money please!!!!!!!!!!"
Christophe, East Melbourne

19 June 2008

"Am I the only one that thinks that Port Phillip Mayor Janet Cribbes comments that it's time to remove the Grand Prix from Albert Park smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order ("Melbourne Grand Prix to end : council)? "Why should they (residents) have to suffer the noise and the inconvenience of a car race in a park?", she asks. Why, I wonder, is Cr.Cribbes so desperately passionate about ridding her electorate of the Grand Prix when not six months ago, she voted to have the same residents suffer the noise and inconvenience of the St Kilda Triangle development?

The article went on to quote her, "It simply doesn't stack up on economic, social or environmental grounds." Well, Cr.Cribbes, in no way does the St.Kilda Triangle development stack up on economic, social or environmental grounds either, but you and your council approved that. Your residents will have to put up with noise, inconvenience, traffic woes, anti-social behaviour, littering and vandalism from the Triangle for 99 years, a fair while longer than we've been living with the Grand Prix. What, I wonder, could possibly warrant you to want one thing so badly, yet dislike the other so passionately?"
Damien Nicholas, St Kilda

16 June 2008

"With Babcock & Brown's share price falling so dramatically last week it is surprising that the City of Port Phillip dismissed any suggestion the share market turbulence could affect the St Kilda triangle project (The Age, 14 June 2008). Do they know something the banks (who now have a right to a market-value-triggered review of B&B's debt) don't?

The BBC Consortium developing the St Kilda triangle, comprising B&B and the Citta Property Group, will already be feeling the pinch of the 7 February decision of the Port Phillip Council to cap the allowable retail area as a condition of it approving the St Kilda Triangle Development Plan. Further, capping "chain" stores at 50% will also affect the BBC Consortium's return on investment; not that either of these measures go far enough to deal with the concerns of residents.

In circumstances where B&B must now look to dispose of assets on its balance sheet to accelerate the repayment of debt, how can the reduced return on the St Kilda triangle site continue to be a part of B&B's strategic plan for future earnings?

While noting that B&B's net tangible assets are now greater than its market value (which is suggestive of some irrational market behaviour), on any assessment the events of last week are a material adverse change in circumstances for B&B. It has affected confidence in B&B and its brand.

Under the 2007 Development Agreement between the BBC Consortium and the Port Phillip Council, the Council must now call the BBC Consortium in explain how they plan to deliver on the St Kilda triangle in the face of the current credit squeeze.

Further, the Port Phillip Council should use this opportunity to renegotiate a better deal for the St Kilda triangle; one consistent with the wishes of St Kilda residents."
Leigh Johns, St Kilda

14 June 2008

"A small residents' victory has occurred within the City of Port Phillip. The planned skate park for Fitzroy Street has been stopped by the Supreme Court of Victoria and it has been ordered back to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and an independent panel.

I don't like skate parks much. They attract trouble, anti social behaviour and noise, but kiddies need somewhere to skate.

The problem with the CoPP skate park proposal was its location. St Kilda attracts people, which attracts more people and it is now somewhat over run on weekends by tourists of the local type, and those from further afield. Mega dollars are spent at the beach front now, and since there is a lot of open space, why not put the skate ramp there? It could only add to the so called atmosphere. Instead they want to put it in a quiet area of parkland, with the only nearby activity being a primary school. This is very valued parkland and an area where the local Aborigines had a strong presence.

The silliest part for me is that the council argues that it needs to be provided for the local kids. There are a few very middle class kids in one direction and they are still some distance away, that is Middle Park. I don't think they care much for skating. Otherwise, St Kilda is pretty well bereft of kids.

The users of the skate park will be all out of towners, not only attracted by the skate park, but by the 'ambience' of St Kilda.

I would hate to think what the council has cost ratepayers with their fight for this skate park against such heavy resident opposition.

City of Port Phillip, encouraging anti social behaviour in a park near you and spending ratepayers money very unwisely.

I think, no longer than four years ago, perhaps even three, I was quite proud to live in Port Phillip. I was happy for some of my rates to be spent on expensive public art projects and other things that added amenity to our local council area. This is not so any more. The waste, the opposition to residents, wanky things like you may have read in The Age this week about the employment of a spiritual type to re-organise the council structure, for so many tens of thousands of dollars, the skate park, the Triangle site, my duplicitous local ward councillor, providing housing for the poor (clearly not the responsibility of the rubbish bins and drains people, that is our council).

I am just fed up with them. I think in the eighties, pretty well the whole council was overturned by residents' votes and pro residents councillors were elected, headed by Mary Lou Jelbart. I hope this happens again at the next election."
Andrew P, Port Phillip

"Devastated to see the share prices falling for Babcock and Brown...cup of Karma anyone?"
Christina Chiodo, Elwood (not for much longer though)

9 June 2008

"i am a new resident in st kilda, one of the reasons i moved is because it has spirit and character, I am fully againt any Chadstone style megaplexes. i often go to chadstone to shop but i dont want it in my backyard"
Troy McCarthy, St Kilda

"The governments 2am lock out at pubs and clubs will have an impact on the development if it goes ahead. The lock out may deter future club operators and drug dealers from operating in the St Kilda Triangles proposed beer halls and trashy clubs."
Adrian Jackson, Middle Park

6 June 2008

"I think the proposal that is approved is excellent. It has been smartly designed to not block the views. I think it will make St Kilda the Melbourne is all I have to disagree with Unchainstkilda I'm afraid...."
Anthony Saint, St Kilda

29 May 2008

"It's difficult to understand why the Councillors are supporting the CEO on the issue non compliance with the Local Government Act re contract expenditure. The Act is quite clear on this matter, and I can't see why additional legal advice was required. We all know that contract values blow out, and contract extensions are often required, but really, $600,000 is at the highest end of expenditure for the local government sector on an individual consultant. It should have been clear to the CEO that the work needed to be halted and a public tender process undertaken. Councillors, there's really no excuse for this one."
Rachel Powning, East St Kilda

25 May 2008

"The Local Government Act requires contracts over $100,000 to be tendered however this requirement seems to have been overlooked by the Council including the CEO in the appointment of the "change consultant" Ms Shahbaz and the consequent estimated cost of $800,000. Let's hope the Shahbaz affair is just an isolated administrative slip. Can the Lord Mayor assure us that the rate payers are not unnecessarily funding any other administrative slips and in particular matters associated with the Triangle."
Geoff Gowers, St Kilda West

22 May 2008

"Now that I know that our city is run by witches and wizards, I'm reassured that the good White Witch will come and cast a nasy spell at those nasty gobblins who are bent on turning our beloved place into a hellhole for drunken demons. Harry Potter please come back, all is forgiven!"
Alex Njoo, St Kilda

20 May 2008

"Should I move out of St.Kilda Julie Szego? I am a married, white, Anglo father of an 18 month old, a family Kevin Rudd would class as rich (household income of >$150,000). I have a career in property development, so am naturally biased towards that side of things. In fact, I actually think it may have a positive effect on the value of my property in the long run.

I don't oppose the Triangle for selfish reasons. I oppose the Triangle for the terrible results it will cause to St.Kilda, the waste of a great opportunity to develop an icon, and the ruinous effects it will have on our everyday life through drunken hoons rampaging our street.

The Council are completely ill equipped to deal with this proposal, and have shown this. In a time when Councillors should be working to resolve this issue properly, people like Dick Gross are patting themselves on the back with payrises.

That's the story Julie Szego."
Jamie J, St Kilda

"Szego is employed by The Age, she's also linked to Gross and is married to a State Labor politician; where does the AGE stand in all this? Where's the independence of the Fourth Estate? Just asking."
Alex Njoo, St Kilda

"Off with their heads it's what we say! Marie Antoinette it's the only way. Sack them ALL!"
Jonathan William, St Kilda

19 May 2008

"Right, that's it, the Spook (Spokes) has to go."
Sandra Seddon, Elwood

"Sack the council"
Daniel Tippett, Sandringham

"Do these people think everyone else is a complete idiot?"
Sharon Dennis, Hampton East

12 May 2008

"I have read like many the outrageous article in last Saturday's Age by Julie Szego. It is worth investigating a few points raised by the journalist. First, it seems to be that the derision of the St Kilda triangle protesters is a Gross family affair. First Dick Gross' wife writes to The Age using her maiden name to insult the thousands of citizens who marched against the St Kilda Triangle plans in February. Now, the wife of prominent State Labor MP Tony Lupton and one of Gross' friends, Julie Szego, writes this tirade (St Kilda's devil of a triangle, The Age, 10/05) against those same citizens.

Their crime, according to Szego, is to speak their outrage at the theft of Crown Land and manipulation of planning laws. But the superficiality of understanding underpinning her article is perhaps best typified by her dallying with the semantics of the name of 'unChain St Kilda.'

'UnChain' in our context means 'to liberate'. Nothing more, nothing less. UnChain St Kilda's primary purpose is very simple: to liberate the Triangle crown land from the massive commercialisation imposed by the State Government, Port Phillip Council and their developer allies. At a broader level, we also hope soon to liberate the citizens of Port Phillip from the machinations of a Council where bureaucratic fiat dominates decision-making, to the serious detriment of community interests. The November 2008 local government elections offer us this opportunity.

Szego conveniently stereotypes unChain St Kilda as a nimby-based group of self-interested gentrifiers, casting a slur on the many thousands of ordinary citizens who, on a week-night, at dinner hour, took the time to exercise their democratic right to tell a meeting of Councillors that they did not want Crown Land alienated for 99 years by a process which the Council shrouds in secrecy and on terms and conditions it veils in silence.

The Crown Land grant - by which the Triangle site was gifted to the community of Port Phillip - is intended to provide amenity and recreation to be freely enjoyed by all citizens - rich or poor. That this Crown Land is to be handed over to a developer, whose 'clever vision' for the site includes blocking its spectacular and unique vistas to the Bay, and turning recreation into shopping and boozing, is a travesty.

This travesty is compounded by the fact that community opposition to the proposed use of the site for commercial purposes - in particular, to provide nightclubs, bars and licenced venues for over 6000 people - has been constantly and consistently ignored by the Council. The situation is made even worse because the Council of Port Phillip voted to deny the community recourse to VCAT. For this reason the only civil channel available to unChain St Kilda is through action in the Supreme Court.

Whilst Ms Szego did not articulate the reasons why we will challenge the Council in the Supreme Court, her understanding in this respect at least is soundly based."
Serge Thomann, St Kilda

4 May 2008

"When speaking on corruption in Victoria, Dick Gross of the Municipal Association needs to lift his head out of the sand. Election campaign donations play an enormous role in the success of elected councillors. When those funds are allocated to a "pool" of councillors who then represent a majority faction, the risks of irregular/corrupt decisions increase.
The entire donations issue needs to be addressed. Dick Gross' suggested restriction on developer donations does not go far enough. Donations offered by other business/real estate agents question the contract award process of councils.
VCAT is not the appropriate body to hear issues of alleged corruption. Over the past 7 years I have lodged more than 60 submissions to the State Government and relevant authorities alleging corruption involving the Brimbank City Council/councillors. No satisfactory investigations have been performed despite holding evidence of payments made to councillors.
The register of donations relies on the honesty of councillors to complete. In Brimbank, where the faction members produced very expensive campaigns, "Nil" donations were mostly recorded. The only way the planning process is to be cleaned up, is to appoint an independent crime and corruption body that exists in other states.
Our State Government continually refuses to act because of the serious threat of involvement posed by their members.
Want to read more? Go to"
Marilyn Canet, Taylors Lakes

24 April 2008

"I went to the opening of the new Town Hall, and it suddenly occurred to me that the Council have got it all around the wrong way. The Town Hall site should be the site of the $20million shopping mall - it's a perfect location for a mall, it gets all the passing Nepean Highway traffic... a shopping centre there would be a huge success. And the Triangle site would be the perfect place for a new Civic Square and Town Hall combination, just like they have in Europe."
Deanne, Elwood

22 March 2008

"Free Space, Local art, educational facilities for people who can really use it. A few cafes and a kept view of our beautiful bay, not a gallery on that beautiful grassy slope where I have shared kisses and secrets.... please please I beg NO, to losing the view, the light and the memories.. Trees Grass Music and lovely energy. And a Big Brightly painted shuttle bus to Chadstone!"
Kate Plant, St Kilda

11 March 2008

"We are hearing a lot of words from Kevin Rudd on a myriad of topics but little action; targeting booze and binge drinking among the young is just another example.

If he really cares, there is something concrete he can actually do: prevail on his State Labor Government to stop championing the triangle development on crown land in St Kilda. The development is about to expose 6000 more young people, all hours of the day and night, to alcohol and binge drinking.

The development is opposed by the community, who lodged over 5000 written objections because it is sick and tired of the effects of binge drinking on its iconic suburb: the violence, smashed bottles, vomit and lack of peace on their streets.

It's a challenge to you Mr Rudd to actually do something rather than simply utter words, set up talkfests or committees."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

10 March 2008

"I came all the way from Tassie to see my favorite band at the Palais and discovered St Kilda in the process. I can see why people would fall in love with the area - I hope it doesn't get destroyed by tacky developments. Best of luck with the campaign!"
Mike, Hobart, Tas

6 March 2008

"Mayor Cribbes, I am in receipt of your open letter to Dear Citizens attempting to placate the "rage and rancour" arising from this absurd and crass proposal. Your claim that the community input has prompted a balanced decision is unsubstantiated and deceitful. Contrary to your claim the facts have not become distorted. However council has failed to understand and honestly and professionally respond to the community outrage. The development in its current form will destroy the legacy that Carlo Catani left us. The development is not needed, it is not wanted by the community, it will bring further anti social behaviour to St Kilda, it will make traffic management even more unmanageable in the area, a Chadstone type shopping mall is crass, it is inappropriate environtmentally, etc. Contrary to your claim the proposal is a crass commercial development unfit for a treasured locale, it is illogical and it is heartless. However the greatest disappointment is firstly your inability to recognise that the community does not want the development in its current form and secondly your failure to admit to the mistake and take action to address the mistake. Your support and that of the other three councillors, of the development and your failed attempt to justify it will be judged at the coming elections."
Geoff Gowers, St Kilda West

4 March 2008

"It should be clear to Port Phillip residents in particular and Victorians in general that the present state government is bent on implementing their Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy to the detriment of all citizens. The Triangle is a case in point. Therefore, come next election, given that Mr Brumby is enjoying favourable polls outcome at the moment, some of us are faced with a difficult dilemma
1) a vote for Labor means the same opaque government that's bent on PPP,
2) a vote for the Greens is a de facto vote for Labor
3) a vote for the state Coalition guarantees the return to the Kennett years.
The Triangle issue isn't dead yet. Even if the council and the developers think that they've got the whole thing in the bag. We have to get rid of the present mob come next council election in November. The long term goal is to ensure that the council's governance is transparent and democratic. Although 2010 is still a long way away, we must make sure that whoever wins the next state elections does not have an absolute majority. It seems the only way to ensure that the government we elect is honest is to keep them electorally marginal."
Alex Njoo, St Kilda

2 March 2008

"St Kilda is an arts precinct don't block the views of melbourne."
Miles Tobias, Seddon

29 February 2008

"But dear John Middleton and all the rest of the Greens. You chose to support the candidates you refused to reinstate the right to object to this crappy over-development at the triangle. None of the Greens preferenced the candidates who wanted the restoration of this right. None John. None. Your attempt to distance yourself and the greens from that grubby political deal just won't wash. The fact is, for all their rhetoric on the triangle the Greens are partially responsible for this situation. They chose to support those who made this happen in preference to those who had a chance to nip it in the bud. Now they see votes in the air. Sad that the greens are just another political party now."
Stratos Pavlis, South Melbourne

"the advertising for this Melbourne Central by the bay has started. Why did the council bother to have a vote? The first pages in all the local press would have been booked months ago, and the spin was already in!!!Another Dimaru!!!you would have to be crazy to take a retail lease there! and how much "open Space" will be non smoking. Has Janet Cribbes got Southland mentality and just doesn't "get"ST.KILDA!!!Message to council, the next election, you are so done . CHEERS to Donlevy Fitzpatrick, he created this blessed and beautiful town without commercialising it and we have an awesome community because of his efforts."
Julie Butterworth, St Kilda

27 February 2008

"all this talk about drunks, fights, idiots, voilence, being scared to to go out side.... welcome to the triangle. After seeing a 20+ idiot brawl that went on and on opposite luna park into the middle of the road the afternoon of the st kilda festival I cant wait till its like that every night Dick Gross. But you'll be rite, you dont live anywhere near the place. lucky, i'm pretty handy at looking after myself and I STILL WOULDNT go out in that crowd. And cant wait till all those cars are parked ideling away stuck at all the new lights that we'll need so all those shoppers can go to yet another shopping center. Good bye acland st, hello chadstone. what a crock of shit your deciion was. ruining St Kilda in so many ways, I hope your happy, you need the sack."
Tony Whitehead, St Kilda

24 February 2008

"The 20 Feb 08 3LO talk on a decomtamination of the St Kilda Triangle site begs the question what is leaching into the bay? Perhaps we may be seeing a re-run of the problems of long running Gas Works Park and Albert Park High School site hear. One thing is for sure past governments and councils (St Kilda in this case) have not done their jobs properly in the race to develop land and bring in revenue for, at times, vested interest."
Adrian Jackson, Middle Park

22 February 2008

"This is from NineMSN News, and shows precisely what can happen if this development goes ahead as planned:
Hoteliers worry about guest safety
Saturday Feb 23 15:38 AEDT
Melbourne's top hotels have urged the city council to block new late-night bars because they fear for guests' safety on the streets at night, the hotels' industry body says.
Australian Hotels Association (AHA) chief executive Brian Kearney on Saturday said his premium hotel members' concerns over deteriorating security on the streets had led the AHA to go to Melbourne Council.
In a proposal put forward during the last month, AHA asked the council to stop issuing any new permits for bars to operate after 1am in the CBD.
"We represent the four- and five-star hotel properties, and they are increasingly concerned about the safety of their guests and the image of Melbourne as a safe city," Mr Kearney said.
"And in the international scene, if word should spread that Melbourne is not safe, it will impact tourism."
Street crime in Melbourne's CBD and inner suburban hot spots rose 17 per cent last year, prompting police to launch a new 50-person taskforce to crack down on street violence last October.
A strip of new late-night bars in the Queens Street area is attracting thousands of revellers in the early hours of the morning and is increasingly drawing police attention for brawls and violence. "
Steve Boyce, Frankston North

"what about the don't butt in our bay campaign, now our bay will become one giant ashtray, with more big ships going in and out, with more polution, the trucks won't be able too stop and pissed kids will be killed. This area is unsuitable for this sort of development. Stick it in Camberwell!!!"
julie butterworth, st kilda

22 February 2008

"This development sounds awful. It's just like what happened to Glenelg in Adelaide - you used to be able to drive down Anzac Highway and see right through to the sea ... until Holdfast Shores happened. How disappointing when an English friend said "It's just like Marbella". (That's not a compliment). Best of luck with your fight!"
Alex Prichard, Headingley, Leeds, England

21 February 2008

"I must correct Mr Pavlis yet again. His contribution of 20 February contains two significant errors.

Firstly I am not, and have never been, a member of CAPP.

Secondly, as a candidate at the 2004 Port Phillip council election, I strongly opposed the removal of citizens' appeal rights. This is a direct extract from my campaign leaflet:

The choices are not simply between no development and overdevelopment. The balance lies in acknowledging community concerns, and will not be achieved by local councils and the state government working to engineer community input out of the planning process.
Darren Lewin-Hill, Northcote. The Age, November 2.

Engineering the community out of the planning process is exactly what has occurred in the case of the Triangle site (near Luna Park). The current council capitulated to the state government and, in the process, has signed away citizens' rights to object; just for a deal that is probably unenforceable anyway."

John Middleton, Middle Park

"Below is a deceitful, misleading statement that has been posted by the Council on its web site. This is typical of the misinformation that has been fed to the public throughout this process by both the Council and the Developer. How stupid do their spin doctors think people are? Fact is that the Mayor's vote decided the issue - if she had joined the dissenting councillors she could have had the proposal rejected.

The Council's rubbish:

"The facts about how the mayor really voted
Much has been said and written in the media about the council vote at which the triangle development was approved. Much of that coverage is misleading, particularly the assertion that the mayor's vote alone tipped the balance in favour of the development.
It is important to note that there were two distinct parts to the voting process on the night of 7 February. The first involved each of the six councillors present delivering a brief speech on how they intended to vote and why. In keeping with council tradition, the mayor spoke last. Part two of the process was the vote. The mayor, who was chair of the meeting, called for a show of hands for and against. The motion was carried 4:2. As this was a majority vote, there was no need for the mayor to exercise a deciding vote."

John Bennetts, St Kilda

"Disgusting all started for me when the Novatel replaced The Venue!'s gotta stop ...angry :\"
Xain, Parkville

20 February 2008

"regarding John Middleton's attempt to re-write the facts and greens policy of 2004. John, you did preference Judith who DID NOT support returning 3rd party rights regarding the triangle. This was a major part of my campaign and CAPP, the party Judith and you belong to, were the ones who removed those rights and were NOT prepared to return them - and they still haven't. These are facts John."
Stratos Pavlis, South Melbourne

"I moved to St Kilda from Glasgow, Scotland because of the eclectic, historic beauty of the area. I am appalled by the size of the proposed development and lack of utilities for under 18's and families other than retail. I am also horrified that the Grand Prix is subsidised but not the wonderful Palais. The traffic problem has not been addressed and will be a disaster around the Sea Baths at weekends."
Karen Grant, St Kilda West

19 February 2008

"Criticism of the Greens by Stratos Pavlis (comment, 11 February) is way off the mark.

The facts are that the Greens have campaigned from day one against privatisation of the Triangle site, against removal of the community's planning appeal rights and against the project that is now proposed. These campaigns included the 2004 council elections and both the 2006 state election and the 2007 by-election in the Albert Park electorate.

It should also be noted that it was Councillor Klepner (who was elected to Port Phillip council on Greens preferences) who foreshadowed a motion to reject the proposal and was one of only two councillors to vote against it.

Please be assured that Greens candidates will be nominating for the forthcoming council elections and will again be campaigning on our key themes of democracy, social equity and economic and environmental responsibility - all of which are encapsulated in the St Kilda Triangle issue.

We don't believe that the Triangle issue is a lost cause yet - not by a long way."
John Middleton, Former Australian Greens candidate at council and state elections

"I continue to be amazed that our community is surprised and shocked by the behaviour of elected officials. The development is a sad day for the municipality indeed and yet this should come as no surprise to anyone who realises that in the majority, self-serving, self-indulgent people seek the public spotlight under the cloak of an elected official. You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, that's true, though be wary of those who seek headlines, appear in the press too much and wear loud clothing to make no valuable point or contribution to our community. A change of council representatives, yes, a change of the process and system, yes please."
Royston, Elwood

18 February 2008

"I'm saddened that the beauty of the area will be spoiled by the commercial development. We need to try and keep these special areas for ourselves and future generations to enjoy. Living in Jerusalem, one can appreciate the most simple things which augers well for the body and soul."
Sandra Dahan, Jerusalem, Israel

17 February 2008

"mmm politicians ignoring the voice of their voters. Have the councillors been taking lessons from John Howard?! I look forward to the "triangle sorry speech" from our NEWLY elected council at the Nov elections!"
Paul Eastgate, Elwood

16 February 2008

"Now the council has given the go ahead, can't the argument that an full assessment on the climate change impacts of the development has not been undertaken. For example, the risk of tidal surges on the development.

There have been a number of cases in the NSW environment court that have used this argument and have required an climate change assessment to be undertaken."
Neil, Eastern Suburbs

"Do the commentators in the media and the Planning /Architecture/Design academics seriously believe that those who are opposed to this development consist solely of the gentrified new classes that have made St Kilda their home since the mid-nineties?

Granted, there are countless "real" St Kilda locals now living in the inner West who look with pity - and more often than not, revulsion - at what has become of St Kilda. However, there are still many of us left who see St Kilda being connected by a very fine thread to its former days. Yes, we do exist and yes, we are probably more revolted by this development than those whose sole concerns are the retention of Bay views.

Why might we be revolted? Well, we firmly believe that this development will spell the death knell to this area with the nature of this development being counter to everything that St Kilda stands for - and has stood for - for the last 150 odd years. That's the Alpha.

The Omega consists of a list as long as ones arm - and then some.

A State Government that is hell bent on not investing any energy - serious impartial analysis, money etc. on public land within a community that is not just of local, but of national importance. A complete disregard for what this community has contributed (and I am thinking primarily of the Arts) to Australia and the World. There is no way that a community that is permeated by greed will continue to produce the Tuckers, Moras, Caves et al.

A local Government which makes much of six or seven years worth of Community input, then (at the last hour) deems that very input to consist of "aspirations", which made any input null and void. A local Council who claims that its hands are tied by the State, and then spinelessly accepts this monolith of greed instead of putting its hands up and stating that something about the whole process just isn't right.

What's more, despite all the evidence to the contrary, we have a Mayor who (like somebody feeling their way around the dark) claims that history will prove that Council has made the right decision. The developer needs this thing to appear to work in order to make billions and will use every possible PR trick for it to be so. If attendance is the sole determining factor in this development being claimed a success, then get ready for four former self-justifying, local politicos trumpeting from the "Yellow Brick road" in 2010.

The reality though is this. The triangle development, as it stands now, is to St Kilda what the Spice Girls were to Rock n' Roll. Sometime after 2010, the last person who makes St Kilda what it was (and barely is) will leave and turn the lights off. There'll be no bells and whistles to mark the fact, but come 2060 St Kilda, Victoria and Australia will be poorer for it."
Kylie, St Kilda West

15 February 2008

"Kenneth Davidson's comments regarding the Victorian state government's modus operandi ("Victoria's sultans of spin try to mask growing problems", The Age, 14/2/08) apply equally to the City of Port Phillip Council.

I quote:
"And, as with far too many other infrastructure decisions, the channel-deepening decision was taken first and then it became a process of rationalisation.

This means that statutory processes such as environmental impact assessments tend to be micro-managed so that they achieve the right results and opponents of the decision can never be reconciled because they believe process has been corrupted.

The Brumby Government has ceased being the servant of the voters and has become their masters, managing public opinion with spin and justifying its decisions based on what it argues is superior understanding of the issues. Of course, this claim to superior understanding is based on tight control of information which, in most cases, is shared with the corporate interests directly involved in profiting from the decision."

Substitute "triangle development" for "channel-deepening", and it reads just as true."
Christine Banks, St Kilda

"CCTV monitoring; Crowd controllers; Responsible serving of alcohol; 24 hour security; External security lighting; Crime prevention through environmental design; Emergency response locations.

The above are included (but not limited to) in the Operational Plan put forward by the gang of four who supported "Chadstone by the Bay" at the 7 Feb. meeting.

No surprise that the supporters already concede that the night club and tavern component of the development is going to be a nightmare.

The liquor outlets, Taberets, Seven Elevens etc will be added later once the budget squeeze begins."
Geoff Gowers, St Kilda West

14 February 2008

"The plan to build a massive commercial centre in one of melbourne's most charming, oldest and most loved areas is absolutely revolting. I live in St. Kilda and it would break my heart to see my home lose its adorable quirk, vitality and uniqueness to a tackily planned commercial area. This unnecessary development couldn't be more incorrectly placed and will kill the charm of St. Kilda. Residents of Melbourne, on behalf of us St. Kilda residents, on behalf of the city, on behalf of St. Kilda itself - take action."
Lottie Betts-Dean, High School Student, St Kilda

13 February 2008

Inspired by Steve Boyce's poem of 9 Feb and the crime of the decision.

St Kilda Triangle

Trumpet the white elephant
Who thinks himself grand
Who thinks himself elegant

Trumpet his masters
Who see not his doom
Its Decision fated disaster

Trumpet freely he roams
This monstrous creation
What was ours he now owns

Trumpet Town Hall
You think you have won
Lost is goodwill and hated by all

Trumpet not "Reveille"
We weep for that lost
Our sorrow weighs heavily

Trumpet "Last Post"
No more will the Triangle
Our pleasures to host.

Trumpet in shame
Trumpet in sorrow
Trumpet loud 'Greed is to Blame!'

I believe that developers destroy what they seek to own. How true for the Triangle.
Loretta Leslie, Phillip Island

"Every part of Mellbourne, as with all great cities from across the globe, has pockets and suburbs that represent a unique way of life. St Kilda represents artistic life and self expression - a unique suburb where an unconventional way of life is celebrated. Adding a commercial development of this nature WILL destroy what St Kilda is and Melbourne will lose a part of who we are. This cannot go ahead."
Trevor Munn, Beaumaris

12 February 2008

"Council has 'pimped' the Triangle site to commercial interests, and destroyed the integrity and history of this important public place. We owe it to everyone that enjoys St. Kilda to fight this development every step of the way."
Emma McGann, Elwood

11 February 2008

"Could a case be raised for an administrative investigation into the Council? What would possess someone to sign away to this type of double deal? 18 million office refurbishment, oh, but we can't afford to refurbish the Palais - let's give Crown Land away! Some may be thinking they are Royalty?!!!"
Joanne, st kilda

"Why is it that the vast majority of people who sit in these positions of decision making are souless,visionless fools?How does someone like Justin Madden even become Minister for Planning?These types of people[like our spineless concillors} have been chipping away at St.Kilda for a while now, but this monstrosity of consumerism coupled with the dredging/devastation of our Bay will be the death nail in this special little part of our world.There are more of us than them-ITS TIME TO STORM THE BASTILLE-we have to stop them before they destroy this unique place which is greatly loved by many more people than just those of us priviledged enough to call it home.I was unable to be at the meeting last week but my time is yours if I can help in anyway at all.Also my deepest thanks to all you wonderful human beings who have been so committed to stopping this abomination from becoming a reality..."
Elizabeth, St Kilda

"I think the development is very good and I fully support Council's decision."
Joel, North Melbourne

"The St Kilda Triangle has been a passionate issue for 5 years since the Port Phillip council took away 3rd party rights to object to any development there. Since that time the council promised us that only 'appropriate' development would be aproved, and that even though the residents had no rights, they would be heard. I guess the council needs the batteries in their hearing aids changed as it seems everyone else in the state has been hearing the objections but them.

I ran for council on 2004 (and lost as a result of the Greens preferencing the candidate who favoured denying the residents the right to object) on the premise that a council who takes away your right to object and then says 'trust us' is simply not acceptable. Let's hope that the Greens are going to work for us this time rather than cut deals to deny us our rights again."
Stratos Pavlis, South Melbourne

"Give it up!!! Get a life. This development is good for the area!!!"
Adam Owen Clark, St Kilda

10 February 2008

"I urge all Port Phillip residents to withhold your rates in protest of this treacherous betrayal of those they represent. We must continue to fight."
Edwina Green, St Kilda

"I am a bit distressed by the media representation of the protestors, especially channel 7 and even the ABC decided to show the very least flattering side. They did put in Patricia tho and she was lovely!

I wish to note here, that if its taken 8 years to get to here, hasnt the council been a bit slack? Why dont they incorporate chadstone into the Shire complex. Much more convenient for Councillors to shop! And still fund the Palais refurbishment and a great forshore.

Kim Beasley took probably (and Im taking an educated guess here) 8 years of lobbying as a Member of Parliament to get the South Perth foreshore in Perth to be preserved as parkland. It takes more than a quick call to the State Government to get a bit of funding going!!!

With state policies of Health, education and ? forgot the last one, you could spend $25 million on the foreshore and instead of a shopping centre - the other 60 million on these little items!! Might help with inflationary pressures too!"
Joanne, St Kilda

9 February 2008

"What is wrong with these people have they lost there minds why ruin such a perfect place, first adesalination plant on our beautiful bass coast now this monstrosity on our bayside in stkilda these places are to be preserved for our enviroment NOT REVENUE RAISING GREED we vote because we have to trust there policles i cannot believe the council is so agaist us and our rights."
Max Dunn, St Kilda & Venus Bay

"All of the Port Phillip councillors were elected with a mandate to protect and sustain the natural and built environments. That's what they've always stood for in the past. We didn't vote for Jack the Ripper-style entrepreneurs who would plunder the foreshore to create a 'King Street by the Bay'. The guilty four have abused the trust instilled in them by residents. It appears that a handful of councillors will either bow out or be thrown out, come election time. So who will be left to sort out this sorry mess?"
Kerrie, Port Melbourne

"its such a loverly monument and it would be horrible for it to be destroyed. the land also should be used to make a park or suthing like that because it is public land and the public should decide what happens to the land..."
matt hay, oakleigh

"I am particularly concerned by guaranteed increase in traffic that will be generated by the size of the triangle development. I have seen this occur at the Richmond development site near the Yarra. The traffic is already heavy around St Kilda and the development will make it an absolute nightmare."
Julie Larke, Elwood

"This Land belongs to the people and should remain with the people as open public space and parkland. A place for artists and performers. We DO NOT want a 'Chadstone' in St Kilda! The current Mayor should be forced out of office!"
Jason Franklin, Balwyn

"why would anyone build such a monster in such a beautiful place like saint kilda! how big will this monster be?"
Tali, St Kilda

8 February 2008

"At current and very conservative rates, 150 stores paying $2000 a week for their leases amount to 1.5 billion dollars over 99 years. The Council gave this development away on the back of needing 20 million dollars. The developer should add a donkey ride for those who believe that this development is about beautifying the area."
Thorsten Richter, St Kilda

"Thanks for all the efforts of UnChain St Kilda - you did a great job last night. Have donated some money to the legal fight. If there is anything else I can do, please let me know."
Sarah Baxter, St Kilda

"Thousands of bouquets to the wonderful people of unChain St Kilda! I agree, we must fight on and do what ever we can to stop this travesty."
Christine Banks, St Kilda

"Last night was a complete farce and utter disgrace. Look no further for evidence of corruption and misrepresentation in an elected body. How did a local council get this much power in the first place, and how do we take it away? I just hope my rates are not going to pay for their legal bills in the Supreme Court."
Anna Degotardi, St Kilda

"I can't believe this has been approved in face of obvious local opposition. The Councillors have completely ignored the people who put them where they are today"
Rachel Higgins, St Kilda

"St Kilda is a cafe culture. St Kilda is an Art Hub. St Kilda is a place where the rich and the poor share the same footpath. It's a place where small business flourishes, where the word unique is celebrated and embraced.

I heard someone once say about St Kilda, "If you are a St Kilda Local, you don't go home at night and shut the door to block out the world and turn on the box, you come home and mingle in the community, over a coffee, you talk amongst other locals and you generally live you life outside on the side walk or in the park or on the beach".

Our architecture is St Kilda - you will not find the style of historic mansions and coffee palaces (The George, The Espy) anywhere else in Australia, add to that the good and the bad modern architecture mixed in with the old, it all gives our St Kilda a flair you rarely see.

The people, you can spot a St Kilda Local a mile away. They are friendly, interesting, social, come from an amazing variety of backgrounds and cultures. Some are travellers, some are wealthy, some are poor but all have something in common - St Kilda. If you don't live here, you wouldn't understand, people that move here comment that the experience of St Kilda is something you must experience - or you just won't get it.

John, and others from outside the area that call us whingers, you are not a local, that's obvious, you are welcome to our suburb, who said you weren't? But do not come in to our home and turn it into yours! Visit us for the experience you CAN NOT get at your home! No one goes to Werribee for the pleasant experience! We are trying to protect an area that the WHOLE of Melbourne loves. And to those who think we are just about hookers and drugs, come take a visit, look around and remove your blinkers, there's more to St Kilda than that. I guess most of you are so bland that that's all you see.

Now enter the shopping mall. Chain stores. More nightclubs, more cinemas, more constructions to block our awesome views. Chadstone, Northland, Southland, Highpoint. What's the difference between all these places? There isn't any. There's a new addition to that list - it's called St Kilda."
David Hewison, St Kilda

"go for civil disobedience"
Margaret Bullock, Eltham

"This is a disgusting and unnecessary imposition on the environment of St Kilda."
Wendy, Mt Eliza

"The Doom of the White Elephant

The white elephant trumpets,
encouraged by its keepers.
It believes the St Kilda Triangle
is space enough to roam.
That the joys of many people
will forever fill its home.

Little does it know its doom
some mere few years hence.
The happy crowds will steer well clear
as one by one the shops vacate.
When drunken vomit, blood and anger
begin to stain its innocence.

The light of day a brief respite
so short as night draws near.
Howls will fill that night
as hoons and drunks patrol.
So lonely now the white elephant
as it waits its death in fear."
Steve Boyce, Frankston North

"Very, very, disappointing. Poor process + poor judgement + bad design = an ill-conceived development at odds with the significant site."
Karina Veal, East St Kilda

"Where was Darren Ray? The biggest issue in years & not all of our elected officials chose to come? And why can the developers go to VCAT Dick Gross when you have removed that right from the citizens?"
Robert K Taylor, Spotswood

"Please tell me they considered the safety of both residents and visitors with this development. Particularly with the increased volume of cars in the area. Am I correct in saying this development is the size of Chadstone squeezed into the Telstra Dome playing field? Sure looks like it to me.
Lee Erskine, St Kilda

It has about half the number of shops as Chadstone. But yes, the land size is fairly small for the level of development proposed. ~ web site editor

"This is only the start. It was so predictable. But have no fear a desecration which is opposed by the whole community will be stopped. The St Kilda community now knows exactly who the enemy are. Public opinion will bring this theft of public space to an end. Forget shonky ways to prevent legal appeals. They will not resist overwhelming public opposition. There should be no compromise again. The reasonable are invariably taken down by developers and their supporters. What was proposed was theft of public space. It should have been opposed in its totality once it was clear, after years of games, that there would be no real preparedness by developers to listen to the community.

The triangle site should remain public space. It is owned by all of us in the community, not by a handful of developers and their supporters. It should be beautified and landscaped for the whole community and future generations to enjoy. The next St Kilda Council should hold a public enquiry to determine how a handful on the Council opposed the wishes of the whole community and effectively ignored 5000 objections, siding with a few developers."
George Finlay, Balaclava/East St Kilda

"Thank god the triangle development has been given the go ahead. In case none of you noticed, the site has been a visual blight on our suburb for years - now it will be something stimulating and beautiful. There will never be agreement on what is the 'right' mix of commercial and public space - personally I feel the balance in this case is fine. To those who continue alluding to a 'Chadstone by the bay'; have you been to Chadstone lately? Its about 15 times larger than the triangle site! Lets focus our attention on fighting the real blight on St Kilda's image: the disgusting and eternally inappropriate Edgewater Towers on Marine Pde."
Steven Eliot, St Kilda

"So, Port Phillip Council DID ignore their own appointed expert. And of course the pro development councillors will ignore calls to resign. But they must now be hoping though that there will be sufficient numbers of ineligible to vote petitioners for them to avoid not being removed from office at the next council election."
Steve Boyce, Frankston

"The council have shown their true colours. Five years ago they took away the right to object to anything related to the triangle, and now we know why. Bring on the elections."
Stratos Pavlis, South Melbourne

"The Council has let the residents of St Kilda down in the biggest way possible with their decision last night to approve the project. How can representatives elected by the people of Port Phillip approve something that is so strongly and widely rejected by their constituents? I moved to St Kilda 6 years ago from Brisbane because it had a unique culture. Now the council is making moves to make St Kilda look and feel like everywhere else. Chain shops, car parks, cinema complexes - that's NOT st kilda. It's too big and it shouldn't be on public land."
Kate Hannah, St Kilda

"I've already email a councillor. No more disgusting development in St Kilda!!!"
Josh, st kilda

"I've lived in st kilda for 17 years and although i am not opposed to development in general, i feel this development is a violation of rights for st kilda residents."
kinta buck, st kilda

7 February 2008

"Port Phillip Council may be able to disregard 6000 petitioners as inconsequential, but will they dare ignore Professor Roz Hansen's comments against the redevelopment - an eminently qualified person chosen by Council itself to project manage two major strategic planning documents!"
Steve Boyce, Frankston North

"KEEP IT GREEN, KEEP IT CLEAN. Call me crazy but i want a park there! This space should be a green space. no commercial use at all. Smart urban design and innovative architecture could see the better usage of the brick/concrete embankment (upper espy opposite the trangle) into tunnel style shops (think: the subway at flinders, singapore style train shopping precincts.

Next campaign: Keep the Chain Stores out of St Kilda. They're killing our community, killing local business opportunities and raising rents - NO MORE Jay Jays, Subways, Sportsgirls in Acland!"
Celia Dymond, St Kilda

6 February 2008

"recent press reports of some councillors feeling overwhelmed and some in particular Councillors Sait and Cribbes wondering whether to stand again..... so they are feeling the heat... my dear departed mother used to say "you only have yourself to blame" - attention to personal survival in response to a naive approach to governance is of little interest to me - the media either has not asked the hard questions or the aforementioned could not or would not answer the obvious - Will you or won't you be brave and influence a change and cessation of what is occurring and ensure PROCESS and commonsense prevails - that's all you need to do councillors"
Margaret O'Loughlin, St Kilda

"The area around the Palais is landmark area, and befits development that has a sense of uniqueness, for all generations, and peoples of different backgrounds and lifestyles. Let's not settle for a mundane development that focuses on yet more shopping outlets that only the major retailers can afford, and nightclubs that will benefit only one section of the community. Let's get a standout, exciting, world class unique development, something that will attract everyone, that kids to grandparents, all walks of life,locals as well as tourists can share and enjoy and says this is what St Kilda is all about."
Judy Becher, Elwood

5 February 2008

"The St Kilda precinct holds a special place in the hearts of all Melbournians who visit it. It is a place where artistic nature runs free, cultural diversity is encouraged, small cafe's and corner stores still enjoy good patrionage and you can walk down Fitzroy and Ackland Streets with a view of the ocean. A development like this has the ability to destroy the very nature and soul of this eclectic area. Instead of Sunday market stalls we will have high-street shopping chains, unsavory bars and more night spots attracting and encouraging unethical behaviour. Please leave this site as it is. The palm trees, grassy areas and views should be there for all people to enjoy into the future."
Mark Gustowski, Elwood

"As I see it, the situation is really quite simple:

Residents' appeal rights were taken away on the *promise* that their interests would be protected by adherence to the planning rules for the area, so the Urban Design Framework (UDF). It was never stated that this was merely an 'aspirational' document - David Spokes, please take note.

As has been clearly demonstrated, not only is the current plan out of compliance with the UDF in numerous ways, it also raises great concerns in various other areas, including heritage protection, traffic management and public safety on the streets of St Kilda. Independent consultants engaged by the Council have said as much - and it is just not acceptable to merely 'budget' for the expected injuries resulting from drunken violence. The 'Net Present Value' of residents' future safety and freedom from intimidation and disturbance is beyond calculation.

So, whilst the plan contains some good points which can be further explored, it simply CANNOT be approved by Council in its current form. Councillors must have the courage to resist the pressure they are under to grant approval under these circumstances.

Various innovative alternatives have been tabled for the use of the land with corresponding financial arrangements - including for the restoration of the Palais without the need to rely on profits from a giant adjoining shopping mall.

I hope the good points of the current plan will be taken forward and incorporated into a much more acceptable and pleasing development plan - this time with proper community involvement and no nasty surprises at its conclusion."
Paul Michael, St Kilda

"Whatever happened to balance and logical thinking, council members reconsider this proposal, open your eyes and your hearts. It's OUTRAGEOUS!!! And it's TOO BLOODY BIG!"
Amanda Carlton, St Kilda West

4 February 2008

"REJECT OR RESIGN - On Thursday 7 Feb when we march from The Palais Theatre to St Kilda Town Hall lets be loud and proud by shouting - REJECT OR RESIGN!! A simple but powerful statement. The only two options we should give the Councillors of Port Phillip!"
Jane Skarratt, Albert Park

"The first place I stayed whilst visiting Oz was St Kilda. I was amazed by its simple beauty. It was like walking along a boardwalk area from the 50's. One of those places that you would want to keep the way it is forever. It is low key, calm and serene. I would hate to think other visitors could not enjoy stepping back to a simply time.......if only for a couple of hours. Good luck in keeping St Kilda, from a grateful visitor."
Tara Doyle, London

"Way too big. I want a park with trees and seats. I dont want a massive mall with or without cinemas and bars. If they build it I will take my recreational spending elsewhere by no 96 tram."
Deb Moore, St Kilda

"It seems that public consultation has been a rubber stamp exercise in this case. For the sake of democracy, whatever the price, it is important that residents be heard, and part of that is open information in advance. The beautiful site at St. Kilda will be given over to businessmen who will encourage antisocial behaviour to make a quick buck, if this proposal goes ahead."
Simon Groves, St Kilda

2 February 2008

"THERE SHOULD NEVER BE DEVELOPMENT ON crown Land. This land belongs to the PEOPLE."
Francis Nelson, Scoresby

"This precinct should be left as a major tourist site. I am a tour guide and my coach passengers from all corners of the world love the fact that our beach area is so low key and not all high rise as in other parts of the world. This will be such an over development of a site and traffic will become even more difficult than it is now in summer. Please!!! City of Port Phillip and VCAT listen to the people and not the developers for once."
Carol O'Reilly, Hampton

"In today's Age (2/3/08):
"Please help St Kilda survive the festival," is the message from Port Phillip Mayor Janet Cribbes. "Keep yourself nice, keep St Kilda nice. It's a great way for families to spend the day. Enjoy, don't destroy."
Methinks the lady has a warped sense of irony. But worst of all is that indigenous musos are being given the impression they will be welcome at the infamous Triangle. Someone had better tell artists of all kinds that they'd better have money in their pockets if they want to be "welcome" at any part of this Chadstone-on-the-foreshore."
Suzanne Yanko, East Melbourne

"Far too much development of a lovely area - and with a serious lack of car parking."
Mary Bainbridge, Gardenvale

1 February 2008

"I have read the SGS social impact assessment and am at a loss as to why the broader Victorian community was considered when assessing the impact of increased crime. Surely it is reasonable for the impact of crime on a local community to be considered when assessing the suitability of any development? How does SGS justify this? Since when does a LOCAL government ignore the impact of development on their local community?!!!"
Rachel Powning, East St Kilda

31 January 2008

"Please stop this development!"
Mark Turner, Port Melbourne

"If this proposed St Kilda Tringle development, the dredging of Port Philip Bay, the Desalination plant at Wonthaggi et al go ahead, then the Brumby government is GONE at the next election. From regular visitor to Theatres and restaurants in St Kilda."
Grace McCaughey, Castlemaine

29 January 2008

"The most important thing to remember is that the triangle site is Crown land -- public land and it belongs to the people of Victoria. What is before the public now is a total overdevelopment of the site. Everyone agreed that the site needed a makeover to improve the public space and the community was promised an upgrade of the Palais Theatre, a focus on art and public entertainment and improved public open space.
Instead the community has been presented with an over-the-top commercial proposal that inappropriately incorporates the Palais building, which should remain free standing on all sides. The Palais does not belong to the developers - it is a public building. The trashing of the 100 year old Catani vision for the St Kilda foreshore, which could and should be enhanced on the Triangle site is a travesty. The commercial focus is a total abuse of public land. It sets a very bad precedent for the use of public land elsewhere around Melbourne and Victoria.
The state government has consistently refused to commit public funds to the upgrade of the Palais and of the triangle site as a whole, which is an abrogation of its responsibility as custodian of the site on behalf of the people of Victoria. And so the community is being presented with what is no less than a shopping complex to pay for the modest improvements that were needed on the site. Most people that I have spoken to in the community are totally dismayed.
I will continue to oppose this terrible development in parliament when it resumes next week."
Sue Pennicuik, Elwood

"We are, yet again, wasting a terrific opportunity to build something of beauty in the Triangle, thereby enhancing the natural beauty of the site. The upper Esplanade, with its white buildings, sweeping curves and palm trees reminds me of some of the great Mediterranean cities, Algiers in particular. We can of course all argue about what constitutes "beauty", since there are no objective criteria. But at least, the aesthetic intention is there. No such luck here: the "intention" driving the DP of the Triangle site is, as in many other domains of modern Australian life, crassly materialistic. How ugly! How depressing!"
Corinne Border, Elwood

"The district cannot contain the current levels of 'feral' activity in the form of drunkedness, littering, vandalism and violence. The ratepayers of Port Phillip, especially St Kilda, want the Triangle Development Plan (DP) to attract visitors to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of St Kilda and its foreshore. The DP as proposed contributes very little integrity to the St Kilda environment, just a venue for 3000+ extra vacuous ferals to congregate and be disruptive. The Council must take control of the DP, eliminate the obvious greed of developers,listen to the Port Phillip electorate and incorporate the wishes of ratepayers in a revised DP."
Geoff Swanson, St Kilda West

28 January 2008

"Signs of a council out of its depth (Age 24/01/08)

Helen Halliday (Opinion, 22/1) articulately identifies concerns about the proposed public-private redevelopment of the triangle site in St Kilda. The requirement, at a very late stage, for the Port Phillip council to defer approval of the Babcock & Brown proposal to allow for the generation of further reports on its economic and social impact is a manifestation of the council's inability to cope with the planning parameters its proposal entails. The council will further consider the matter on February 7, yet many planning matters still remain unresolved.

Clearly the Port Phillip Council, as a planning authority as well as the designated triangle site manager, possesses neither the sophistication in governance nor the requisite planning capability to cope with a proposal of the Babcock & Brown dimension on a site of such value to the state.

I also observe intensifying community disaffection with the council, the developer and the Government, whose legislation has allowed the situation. If sustained, this disaffection may well have political spillover effects.

I urge the Premier to ask the Planning Minister to refer the entire question of the redevelopment of the triangle site to the Priority Planning Panel, which sits within the minister's portfolio. I hope the Premier will be prepared to agree that his Government will accept recommendations from the expert considerations the panel will provide."
Paul Morgan, St Kilda

27 January 2008

"Memo to the Premier

Last week on ABC 774 in response to the caller Helen from St Kilda you let the word 'democracy' slip out. I was surprised that you think the Port Phillip Council is handling decision-making for the Triangle development in a democratic manner.

Democracy will be at work next November, however, when the existing Council will be voted out. Why? Simply because of the Council's arrogant and inept management of the Triangle development and the unwillingness of Councillors to listen to their constituents.

How you and Planning Minister Madden continue to ignore the likelihood of a disastrous planning decision being made for St Kilda and Victoria is beyond me."
John Brudenall, St Kilda

"develpment stinks of council in bed with big business. It goes against what St Kilda was founded upon and will irrepairably damage the postcode forever."
Andrew Syme, St Kilda

"Melbourne is a great city but with only a handful of beautiful areas. The triangle with the Palais and Esplanade is one of these beautiful areas. Would the French build a Chadstonesque shopping centre beside the Eiffel tower? Would Sydney build one at the Opera house on the harbour? Councillors be strong, say no and STOP this nonsensical monstrosity for Melbourne!"
Paul, Elwood

26 January 2008

"First Thankyou for all the work you are doing. I have a question. In the paper yesterday it was reported that Bondi Beach has been added to the National Heritage List & this will protect it from overdevelopement. Doesn't St. Kilda Beach deserve to be on the National Heritage list? The Duke of Cornwall & York who opened the first Australian Parliament at the Exhibition Building landed at St. Kilda Pier. How can we get St.Kilda on this list? I have emailed Mr. Brumby about this today."
Joan Campbell, St Kilda

25 January 2008

"At the UnChain St Kilda information meeting last week, CoPP committee members said that the UDF process was a good one, but that it just had a couple of fatal flaws. I can't see how a process that has got fatal flaws can be a good one. Especially one that has an outcome as disastrous as this. And one that removes peoples civil liberties.

I understand that there were years of work, and goodwill on some people's part, in constructing the UDF. But whatever the ideals involved in creating it, CoPP, in David Spokes words, sees it as merely an aspirational document. What a shame the community was led to believe that the UDF was a binding policy document, and therefore trusted the council to enforce it."
Andrea Paul, St Kilda

"It will be known as THE ALP's COFFIN because if the triangle goes ahead not only will the ALP lose control of the City Council but they will also lose control of the State seat of Albert Park and the Federal seat of Melbourne Ports."
Jack Jackson, St Kilda

24 January 2008

"The Australian (25 Jan 08) reported today that developers Babcock & Brown have lost 45% of their share value in 3 months and are now being forced to "buy back" shares from the public. Run for your lives shareholders, as the sky will fall in as the US economy falters and implodes."
Adrian Jackson, Middle Park

""The bad news from the SGS report is: "the Triangle site development could potentially generate additional crime due to the concentration of bars, and nightclubs." (p59) The good news is: "...any additional crime in St Kilda associated with the Triangle site development will be 'transferred' from another part of Melbourne. So there is no net cost to the Victorian community." (p59)"

23 January 2008

Why would crime be transferred from one part of Melbourne to another?? Are the other nightclub areas closing down? Wouldn't the crime problems which currently exist in those nightclub areas still exist, and the St Kilda Triangle site paves the way for additional crime? Therefore there WOULD be a cost to the Victorian community?"
Jacqui, Elwood

"If I hear one more councillor burbling on about how the earlier UDF process allowed the community to have their say... Yes, we had the UDF process - but Council IGNORED and MISINTERPRETED the results of it. NO ONE said they wanted a huge shopping mall with 150 shops and a supermarket. NO ONE said they wanted a cinema complex or a hotel. Instead, what people said in the UDF was that they wanted recreational open space, with maybe a FEW specialised shops to offset this.

Council (and this includes Mr Spokes) - who is running Port Phillip, you or the developers? You KNOW this is all wrong - stop trying to justify it. Be strong, not weak - DO NOT pass this development."
Liz Van Dort, St Kilda

"Carlo Catani the designer of the St Kilda Foreshore and a founding member of the St Kilda Foreshore Trust Committee had a vision for the Esplanade and the Foreshore. The proposed Triangle development disregards the vision Carlo Catani had for the esplanade and the foreshore and the development will destroy the legacy he left us.

Unfortunately the Port Phillip Council and the State Government are intent on destroying rather than enhancing that legacy. The encroachment of unnecessary and unwanted commercial development on the triangle is clearly crass and only those who are either ill informed, lack keenness of mind or have ulterior motives would support the proposal in the current form.

Time to replace the council."
Geoff Gowers, St Kilda

22 January 2008

"After hearing the latest update from UnChain St Kilda on Monday night, I feel so disillusioned that Council and State Government hold us in total contempt as a community, that I propose all St Kilda residents opposed to this apalling development refuse to pay any council rates as a way of protesting what now seems an inevitable outcome."
Kathryn, St Kilda

"The State government thinks developments of this kind are acceptable for St. Kilda because it is regarded as Melbourne's "playground" and are therefore not subject to the same consideration as 'proper' people who live in 'proper' suburbs. We are all supposed to be arty, creative, and 'bohemian' people who live in garrets, sleep by day, and paint pictures by night. We rarely wash and our cold-water flats are just "sooo" St. Kilda. And people from Caroline Springs want to visit St. Kilda in the hope of seeing a weird local. And while they are here, they might as well buy some clothes from a chain store (such as they have in Caroline Springs), and a Big Mac from Maccers (such as they have in CS), and perhaps a coffee from Gloria Jeans (ditto). And for some reason, their curiosity borne of the boring lives they lead in CS has become a mantra for CoPP (and St. Kilda councils before them) to encourage tourism to our town. But there is no benefit for us in that - we just have to put up with their litter and their bad behaviour.

So this new development continues that line of thinking about our town and us as being a curio for the bored and listless of Melbourne. There is nothing in this proposal that will benefit, enrich, or enhance the lives of the residents of St. Kilda or the environment in which we live. This proposal is not about us - it never was. It is just being put here because there is available land in an area considered to belong to no-one and everyone. The inevitable adverse consequences on the quality of our living space will just be regarded as collateral damage. What we have known and loved about living in St. Kilda is about to become a memory. "
Philip Meyer, St Kilda

21 January 2008

"St Kilda is one of the last special areas in melbourne, primarily because of its community-based character and its beautiful seaside location. If approved, the proposed development will be irreversible and will drive a stake into the real heart of this iconic landmark. I just hope that common sense prevails!"
Keren Leizerovitz, Elsternwick

18 January 2008

"This is utterly disgusting! St Kilda's unique 'village charm' has already suffered a massive blow with the influx of hairdressers, frock shops and cafes, catering to the office workers and the weekend visitors.. to the absolute detriment of the poor residents. And now to inflict this on the poor beleagured St Kilda - don't the developers get it? We Have Enough Bloody Shopping Malls!!! No more Palais? The Espy will be next.. Imagine St Kilda with no live music to hear, no fresh food to buy, security cameras everywhere and no vibe. Just like the gold coast, yanchep, byron bay and everywhere else that used to be beautiful! Please just don't let them do it! The Berlin Wall came down as a result of a small group of people in an outer Berlin suburb meeting every sunday.. the group got bigger and bigger until the powers that be Had to listen! Don't ever give up the fight!! The people must prevail! How do these Councillors sleep at night?"
deborah vincent, broome - ex st kilda

"The bad news from the SGS report is: "the Triangle site development could potentially generate additional crime due to the concentration of bars, and nightclubs." (p59)

The good news is: "...any additional crime in St Kilda associated with the Triangle site development will be 'transferred' from another part of Melbourne. So there is no net cost to the Victorian community." (p59)"
krystyna kynst, st kilda

17 January 2008

"The inept City of Port Phillip Council is clearly out of its depth. I have no confidence that it will put iconic St Kilda first in approving development work on the Triangle site.

"If only" all decisions concerning the Triangle site could be put on hold until after the Council elections in November. This would give me and other residents of Port Phillip the opportunity to elect a Council that will listen to its community and insist that the development of the Triangle site must be in the long term interests of St Kilda. "Vision for Success" would be a great starting point for the new Council.

I hope my "If only" wish comes true. "
John Brudenall, St Kilda

"The Triangle Site Impact Report Exec Summary reads like a PR document for the proposal. Written by automatons with little sense of what true 'cost' means or of what a culturally-driven vision for the site involves.

A couple of staggering excerpts from the Executive Summary:

- "Some of the potential adverse impacts on Acland Street in Scenario 2 could be mitigated if the mix of retailing in the different areas was encouraged to be highly complementary. For example, there was an increase in focus on household goods (as found in department stores, discount department stores, and other shops specialising in homewares) within the retail mix of Acland Street".

- "The majority of the benefits are due to increased tourism expenditure and travel cost saving. With the major cost being the loss of amenity of St Kilda beach during the construction phase...By definition, any project that has a positive NPV (Net Present Value) produces a Net Community Benefit, that is, an improvement, on balance, in the welfare of Victorians."

- "The entertainment venues within the Triangle site will be at relatively large distances from the nearest residential dwellings when compared to some existing venues. This will assist in the mitigation of noise and other residential amenity impacts. A concentration of venues can be beneficial as it can provide an integrated approach to dealing with anti-social behaviour."

I mean, really?

Do we really need more homeware or discount department stores in the neighbourhood? What about a small grocer, perhaps?

How does the proposal improve the welfare of Victorians, really? [My already astronomical St Kilda rent is about to go up nearly 70 dollars a month in one swoop].

And, what about the impact on the ecology of the shorefront, aside from residents? Irrelevant I guess.

So misguided.

I have been interested to see the result of the latest Council driven 'renovation' of the St Kilda beachfront - unveiled in front of The Stokehouse this month is what must be the ugliest concrete walkway with a handful of already entirely dead, dusty trees shoved in holes in the concrete. It is a tragic sight - and surely emblematic of what this council sees as an "upgrade"."
N Mitchell, St Kilda

"Thanks for all your updates on the triangle site. I am sorry that I cannot attend the meeting on Monday 21st to express my horror at the plans for the site, however slightly modified they are. How wonderful it would be if our Councillors were enlightened and had the foresight to reject gross commercialism."
Kate, St Kilda

"Well we have absolute proof that CoPP doesn't give a flying fruit bat about the local community -- on page 54 of the 'Triange Site Impact Assessment', in the section "Social Cost Benefit Analysis" the community is defined as "THE WHOLE OF VICTORIA" (emphasis mine). What a load of crap! Mike from Mildura won't have to live in the proximity of this travesty. It won't be Shirley from Shepparton who has her car jumped on. Glenda from Glen Iris won't have her neighbourhood invaded & vandalised by drunken party animals. And Judith from Albert Park won't have the cancer of chainstores destroying her local neighbourhood's character. The contempt this council shows for the local community is breathtaking."
Christine Banks, St Kilda

"Breathtaking assumption underpinning the SGS report: the Triangle community is the State of Victoria!!! If this is the case, it logically follows that decisions made in relation to the site ought be made by the government of Victoria, not the Port Phillip Council. The land is after all Crown land.

Interesting to note that pursuant to the SGS assumption, the report observes that the State absorbs the lion's share of the benefits, and the local community of St Kilda carries the lion's share of the costs."
Paul Morgan, St Kilda

12 January 2008

"I was born and bred in St Kilda in the early 1950's when the triangle site was known as "Little Luna Park", complete with its amazing carousel and electric water boats, and the Saturday arvo matinee at the Palais was a must, followed by a hair-raising ride on the Big Dipper at Luna Park.

In my teens, as a member of St Kilda Lifesaving Club I spent my summer weekends patrolling St Kilda Beach and soaking up the unique atmosphere that was the St Kilda foreshore.

I have lived in Perth for the past 25 years and am appalled to read of the plans to turn the site into a grotesque, over-developed commercial eyesore totally out of keeping with its surroundings.

THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN !!! The will of the people must prevail and greedy developers put in their place.

I support scaled redevelopment with a sensible blend of open space, entertainment and retail .... NOT SOME SURFERS PARADISE MONSTROSITY !!!"
Russ Davis, Subiaco WA

10 January 2008

"I have just read your latest update on negotiations, and my jaw has hit the floor. I am simply gobsmacked.

"Councillors have directed us to address our position and vision with the developer. They said that it was not up to them to negotiate with the developer." What???? Have they bungled things so badly they are now hamstrung for fear of being sued? Or are they just corrupt?

"During the discussions Councillors argued it is their legal obligation to provide for visitors and those visitors need shops. Some Councillors even believe this will assist in the battle against climate change." What???? I'd have thought their legal obligation was to the people and existing traders in St Kilda. Surely it is OUR needs,concerns and wishes they are obliged to meet, as elected councillors?

The world is a long way short of carbon neutrality. In the meantime, EVERY SINGLE consumer item or fashion article bought fuels more climate change. How exactly is the encouragement of more retail spending going to "assist in the battle against climate change"? Surely they can't be that stupid??? Surely this must be another ploy in their appeasement of Citta?

This whole thing REEKS!"
Christine Banks, St Kilda

"Surely St Kilda doesn't need another gym, or is there truth in the rumours that South Pacific will be moving from the Sea Baths when the new development is complete? I for one will be cancelling my membership if that is the case and I would strongly urge all other members to do so if this happens."
Preston, St Kilda



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