The Kew Cottages 'Privatisation' Story So
1851 New Colony of Victoria
1852 First Medical Superintendant
appointed at Yarra Bend
1864 Govenor La Trobe reserves 20%
of all of Melbourne as Crown Land -
"For public advantage and recreation'.
1864 Kew Asylum Land permanently
reserved as Crown land.
1870 Charles Dickens dies.
1872 Kew Asylum opens, and education
in Victoria becomes free,
compulsory, and secular.
1880 Melbourne's Royal
Exhibition Building opens in Carlton
1881 Melbourne's first private
school for the mentally handicapped
opens in Moonee Ponds.
1887 Kew Cottages opens in
the Crown Land Reserve just outside the walls of Kew Asylum.
1887 Outer Circle Railway line
extended to Kew.
Over 2 million people attend Melbourne's largest ever event - the
Centennial Exhibition - more people than attended the 1956
1892 Construction starts on
Melbourne's first sewer.
Dax appointed as Chairman of the Mental Health
Authority starts a strong campaign for the Cottages
1953 The Herald's Tipping Appeal for
the Cottages supported by John
Cain Snr.'s Labor Government
1957 Cottages Parents Association
1959 Cottages Paediatric Unit
1966 Hamer flags idea of a
'Green Wedge' growth strategy for
1971 Green Wedge Policies,
including Statement of Planning Policy
No.4 River Yarra, receive Bipartisan support in Parliament,
1975 The Age's Minus Children's
Appeal for Kew Cottages supported
by Rupert Hamer's Liberal Government
1983 Cottages land included as
a 'Non Urban Area of high
ecological and landscape interest value' in the Yarra Green Wedge.
promise (Sep-99) to build more beds at Kew Cottages
Bracks meeting with 'Whatever
it takes' Richardson is followed
by large political donations to the Victorian ALP from both Packer and
Dec-99 Bracks Government amends Boroondara Planning Scheme
amends the Government's Kew Cottages redevelopment
2001 Bracks publicly announces his
new plan to privatise Kew Cottages'
2002 Bracks silently amputates Lower
Yarra Valley and Dandenong Creek
Valley Green Wedges (Sep-02)
2003 The Australian Financial Review
breaks Offset Alpine story linking
Richardson, Kennedy and Rivkin to secret share deals (Oct-03)
Bracks Government suddenly
rezones Kew Cottages Crown Land and removes third-party appeal rights
Coalition and Louise Godwin nominate Kew Cottages for
State Heritage listing
unsuccessfully opposes Heritage listing for Kew Cottages .
revises Kew Cottages tender process.
wins preferred tenderer status from Bracks
Government but details of their agreement remains secret.
Bracks Government apply on
financial grounds for a permit to demolish 3 of the 6 Heritage Cottages
Cunningham Dax calls for a
Judicial Inquiry into the sale of the Kew Cottages Crown Lands
first bulldozers start
work at the Cottages near Main Drive in Brady Lane.
National Trust listed Bishop Pine Tree is found to be dying
in Brady Lane
Bishops Pine is
subsequently diagnosed to be suffering from one of the deadliest tree
diseases in Australia.
Boroondara Council commissions
an expert environmental report by ENSPEC on the diseased Pine.
Apr-06 The ENSPEC Report finds disease management has been poor,
recommends how it must be improved, and says an autopsy should be
undertaken on the Pine in order to help establish when and how the tree
Jun-06 Bracks Government chops down the dying tree but refuse to
undertake an autopsy.
Jun-06 Walkers start removing soil and native vegetation from a
potential Aboriginal archaeological site in the grounds
Sep-06 Bracks Government grants the first planning permit that allows
Walkers to remove native vegetation.
Oct-06 Bracks Government enters into a secret KRS Development Agreement
with Walkers less than 30 days before the State Election
Nov-06 Bracks Government re-elected but Opposition parties now hold the
balance of power in the Upper House.
strongly opposes calls for a Public Inquiry into
Public Land sales
The Age reports Richardson has been lobbying the Bracks government to
approve Walkers on selling their Crown land development rights to rival
developer Mirvac.. Mirvac's Victorian CEO denies Richardson is working
House establishes an all
party Select Committee to Inquire into Public Land Development in
The Age reports Richardson's Kew Cottages exit bid has failed, but
notes part of the development agreement has now been made public, and
quotes Mirvac CEO Greg Paramour as saying 'he expected the
Government to approve his company taking over the latter stages of
the housing project'
Jul-07 Premier Steve Bracks and Environment Minister John
Thwaites both suddenly resign without warning on the same day
Jul-07 John Brumby becomes Premier and appoints his new cabinet.
Sep-07 Just two years after Dr. Dax first called for a
Inquiry, Victoria's Parliamentary Public Land Inquiry holds its first
Public Hearings at Kew.
Sep-07 The new Brumby Government immediately moves to try and
limit the Inquiry's terms of reference
Dec-07 The Public Land Inquiry publishes an Interim Report that accuses
the Government of 'obstruction', and says that the
lobbyist Graham Richardson at Kew Cottages is a serious issue and one
that they will be investigating further.
Australian newspaper reports that Graham Richardson has
been hit with a $2.3 million bill by the Australian Taxation Office
following an investigation into the Offset Alpine share deals, and that
the case will be heard in the Federal Court this year. (Frontpage