NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers - Australia
Paper: Leader - Progress Press (Melbourne, Australia)
Title: News
Date: October 18, 2005

``We've gone a long way to deal with some of the issues they have had and the process has still been delayed.''

Mr Hunt said residents living in outdated facilities at KRS were the ``big losers'' in a drawn-out process.

3. Boroondara Council spent 18 months penning its own planning guidelines for the KRS site only to have the State Government seize control as the planning authority in November 2003.

When the Walker Corporation plan was announced, the council accused the State Government of withholding details and argued that the proposal flew in the face of local planning rules. A legal challenge was launched at VCAT with the council seeking an injunction against Mr Hulls making a decision on the plan.

Boroondara Mayor Jack Wegman said the council wanted its feedback to influence the site's future, its concerns to be taken seriously and a speedy resolution through negotiations with the government.

Cr Wegman said the council would need to meet obligations for roads, drainage systems and open space when the redevelopment was complete.

``That is the reason we have taken very strong action in the interests of our community,'' Cr Wegman said.

4. Kew Cottages Parents Association president Ian Whalley believes the role of his group is simple.

``We really care first and foremost for the people,'' Mr Whalley said.

Formed by relatives and friends of disabled residents in 1958, it is an independent and self-funded group serving the interests of the residents and their families. With the average age of present residents just under 50, many parents are aged in their 80s and 90s and the Public Advocate now cares for up to 90 residents on-site.

But the group is still at the forefront of the fight for rights for the people Kew Cottages was set up for and for the land that until recently they knew as their own.

Mr Whalley's sister Jenny, 46, is a long-term KRS resident and like many members, he is concerned about the service's financial viability and services it will offer. He said parents wanted ``to die knowing their sons and daughters would be cared for'' and they would ``annoy the hell out of the government'' to get their way.

5. Formed in 2003 by Kew residents disgruntled by how a valuable block of land in their backyard and its residents was being treated, lobby group Kew Cottages Coalition has more than 100 members.

President Brian Walsh said the group initially wanted a ``centre of excellence'' built on the site for disabled people. But it was now also interested in the site's heritage significance, crown land value and public access.

Mr Walsh said better facilities were needed but he questioned the reasoning of the dramatic transformation.

``We've got a totally unsympathetic developer in from Sydney and an unsympathetic government taking no notice of what are some very sympathetic issues,'' he said. ``They're just trying to ride roughshod over the democratic process, which is just a disgrace.''

Copyright, 2005, Nationwide News Pty Limited

Section: News
Page: 035
Copyright, 2005, Nationwide News Pty Limited