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Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698H

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15th November 2003 ......  Truth overboard at Kew Cottages too ?

Keynote speaker at the "Save our Suburbs  Melbourne 2030 Forum"  at RMIT today was State Minister for Planning, Mary Delahunty.

Challenged to explain why she had acted in secrecy on 11th November to prevent the State Government's new plans for Kew Cottages being put on public exhibition , Delahunty claimed in her defense that community groups representing the 3,000 people on Government's Disabled Waiting lists for Accommodation had asked the Government to act promptly on Kew Cottages...

She failed, however, to identify a single organisation that had actually  asked her to intervene and take the draconian step of preventing the Government's plans being put on public exhibition ...

Kew Cottages Coalition, President, Brian Walsh, said the Government suddenly appeared to be panic stricken that the Kew Cottages issue was getting out of control politically, and worried that private property developers would pull out of bidding for the Government's multi-million dollar private residential development project at Kew.

Mr. Walsh, said he did not believe the Minister was silly enough to expect the public to actually believe her suggestion that community based groups had recommended Government abandon  community consultation . "But", he said," the truth is probably even more unpalatable."

"Because of its own ineptitude the State Government still has a very large number of disabled people who have been stuck on "Urgent Waiting Lists' for supported accommodation for years - and that same Government is now effectively saying to those people and their families:

"Yes, your needs are urgent - but not urgent enough to warrant you getting a single new house, not a single new unit, not a single new Cottage, not even a single new bed, not even respite care,  on that land at Kew - and "No, you won't even get a few dollars from the land  sale out of it...

Because, as Sherryl Garbutt, Minister for Community Services,  said in her media release last week, "Every cent raised from the redevelopment will go towards providing high quality housing for KRS residents in the community."

In other words it appears that the Brack's Government now expects that just getting the existing disabled residents out of Kew, and off the land, and out of the way of the private developers is going to use up all the money from the land sale.

"This must be causing them significant consternation", said Mr. Walsh,  because successive Victorian Governments  since 1864 have  effectively held  the public land in trust as an asset for future generations of  ALL Victoria's intellectually disabled - not just for the few hundred residents who happen to be living on the land at any one time.

"So now they have got to explain to not only the thousands on the disability waiting lists, but also to all their families, why they should not feel bad about  being short-changed in the Government's latest public land deal with private developers... "

"I do not envy Mr. Brack's his  task", Mr. Walsh said. "I guess it would be a bit like trying to explain to  'missing' brothers back from the war, that the family farm has been sold off, and that "every cent raised went towards providing high quality housing just for those who were lucky enough to be on the property at the time..."

"No wonder the private developers now want 'certainty', as the Minister called it today, in the Kew Cottages Planning Scheme Amendment", said Mr. Walsh.

13th November 2003. C53 - the State Government's 'hidden amendment'

On the same day that:

GARBUTT  tells the disabled that they will be consulted on amendment C53 [More..]

DELAHUNTY tells developers that she has already approved C53 without putting it on exhibition, and without consultation  [More..]

Victoria Government Gazette
No. S 211 Thursday 13 November 2003
By Authority. Victorian Government Printer
Planning and Environment Act 1987
Notice of Approval of Amendment
Amendment C53
The Minister for Planning has approved
Amendment C53 to the Boroondara Planning
The Amendment comes into operation on the
date this notice is published...
.[More......1MB C53 zipped files download.]


The People

The Land

The Press.

Metro Media....

Council set to challenge Kew Cottages plans
Carol Nader
The Age,  Melbourne,
14th November 2003

State to control Kew Cottages
Kate Uebergang
The Herald Sun, Melbourne
13th  November 2003

Urgent attention needed for Kew Cottages: report
The Age,  Melbourne,
4th November 2003

Turf war over prime site
Kate Uebergang
Urban affairs reporter
The Herald Sun, Melbourne
3rd November 2003
  KEW Cottages supporters say the State Government and Boroondara Council are ignoring the
 needs of the intellectually disabled while carving up the controversial site.

 Kew Cottages Coalition president Brian Walsh yesterday said the council and the Government
 appeared to care only about petty-minded bureaucratic turf wars.

 "Both stand condemned for ignoring the real accommodation needs of Victoria's intellectually
 disabled, while the bureaucrats fight among themselves on how best to carve up Kew Cottages," he

 Community Services Minister Sherryl Garbutt and the council have been trading rebukes over the
 handling of planning issues for the 27ha site.

 The council said it would push ahead with its plans, calling for public submissions on the framework
 it approved in August. But Ms Garbutt criticised the council for ignoring the State Government's
 framework, which was released a fortnight ago.

 The Government's plan, involving buildings up to five storeys high, would leave 27 per cent of the
 site as parkland.

 The council's plan guaranteed 50 per cent would be parkland.

 Ms Garbutt said the State Government was not confident of the council's ability to conduct the
 planning process in a timely manner.

 "The redevelopment of KRS is a project of statewide significance and is too important to get bogged
 down in petty local politics or individual agendas," Ms Garbutt said.

 "Boroondara Council took a year and a half to develop the draft urban design framework -- a task
 that should have taken six months.

 "Boroondara Council had the fourth highest number of appeals to VCAT in 2002-03 with 27 per cent
 of these appeals based on a failure by the council to make a decision within 60 days.

 "The Kew redevelopment is far too important to get waylaid by planning uncertainty and council

 Boroondara mayor Judith Voce said the council was only interested in the best outcome for its

 "Council is not interested in getting involved in petty politics," Cr Voce said. "We . . . reiterate our
 invitation to the Government to submit its revised proposal to the independent process in the same
 way any other developer is required."

 Mr Walsh called for a moratorium on further development at Kew and an independent inquiry on the
 future of intellectual disability services in Victoria.

 "The planning process has now obviously gone completely off the rails."

Local Media....

10th November

More Kew Conflict looms
Progress Leader Page 5
10 Nov 2003

By Belinda Mackowski and Matthew Schulz

THE State Government appears set to take control of the Kew Cottages

Boroondara Council urban planning director Phillip Storer has accused the
Government of issuing "veiled threats" it planned to sidestep the council
and take control of the project for 800 apartments and houses on prime Kew
real estate.

The council has already drawn up planning guidelines for the 27ha site
after heated community debate.

But the Government has the power to take over planning for the Kew
Residential Services (KRS site if it deems it a project of state
significance or if it would be in the public interest to make an urgent

Planning Minister Mary Delahunty can also "call in" the project if the
Government believes the matter "is unlikely to be reasonably resolved by
the processes normally available".

Community Services Minister Sheryll Garbutt last week raised the stakes by
labelling the Kew Residential Services redevelopment a "project of state

Last week Ms Garbutt accused Boroondara Council of being uncooperative and
too slow in planning the KRS redevelopment, taking 18 months to do what
should have taken six months.

Ms Garbutt attacked the council after it rejected the Government's revised
plans for the site and instead decided

to seek public comment on its own plans.

"The council's reluctance to work with the Bracks Government on the KIRS
redevelopment smacks of territorialism," she said. "The redevelopment of
KRS is a project of statewide significance and is too important to get
bogged down in petty local politics or individual agendas."

Ms Garbutt said the Government was "not confident" of Boroondara's ability
to conduct the process in a timely manner.

"The Kew redevelopment is far too important to get waylaid by planning
uncertainty and council indecision," she said.

Mr Storer vowed the council would "vigorously resist" any attempts by the
Government to replace the council as the planning authority on the project.

Mr Storer said if the Government called in the KRS project it would create
a conflict of interest.

He said the State Government would then be the landowner and developer and
would also have the final say on what could be built on the site.

The council has also asked the Municipal Association of Victoria to
advocate against the State Government's "call W' powers.

3rd November 2003

Call to Stop Kew Plans
Progress Leader 3 Nov 2003 pg 18

COMMUNITY members fighting the sale and redevelopment of the Kew Residential Services site have called for
the planning process to be frozen.

Kew Cottages Coalition president Brian Walsh said the group wanted a moratorium on any further planning of the
Kew redevelopment until Boroondara Council investigated how other councils were fighting State Government
attempts to sell off public land to developers.

The Government wants to replace the council's development plans, adopted in August, with its own,
and to fast-track them for approval by next June.

Under the Government's plans 27 per cent of the Kew site would be kept for public open space, while under the
council's, 50 per cent would be parkland.

Mr Walsh said the group was unhappy with the council's and the Government's redevelopment plans.

"As far as the plans go it is like two people arguing about who is going to be the hangman," he said.

Before either plan can be adopted a planning scheme amendment is required.

Boroondara Mayor Judith Voce said the council had to exhibit the amendment for a minimum of one month.

The council will allow community feedback on the amendment between October 30 and December 12.

Mr Walsh and Kew Cottages Parents Association president Ian Whalley said they considered the exhibition
period too short for a development of the magnitude and significance of the new Kew urban village.

The Government has told the council an independent panel hearing must be held on the plans, and the panel's
decision considered by the council, before June 30 next year.

City digs in over Kew Cottages proposal
Progres LeaderBy Belinda Mackowski

BOROONDARA Council has refused to throw out its vision for the Kew Cottages site in favour of the State
Government's revised plans for the redevelopment.

The council has vowed to go ahead with its normal planning process and has called for public comment on its own
plans for the 27ha Kew site. Public consultation is until December 12.

The council has warned that it would vigorously resist" any attempt by the Government to "call in" the project and
take over as the planning authority in charge of the Kew Residential Services site redevelopment.

The Government last month released a revised urban design framework for the sell-off and redevelopment of the
site, which has been home to the Kew Cottages' intellectually disabled residents for more than 100 years.

The Government wanted the council to replace guidelines that a working party of council, Government and
community members drew up, with its own framework.

Council urban planning director Phillip Store said the Government's plans were significantly different- from the
urban design framework adopted by the council in August.

Mr Storer told the council meeting last week that the Government had been ' 'disingenuous and misleading" in
promoting, its revised scheme for the development of a high-density urban village at Kew.

He said the Government had not revealed that its plans would reduce the amount of open space on the
redeveloped site, compared with the council's framework.

The council's plans allow for 50 per cent of the land to be kept as open space, while the State Government wants
only 27 per cent as parkland.

Mr Storer also told the meeting that the Government's claims that it intended to cut the number of houses on the
site from 1600 to between 450 and 800 were incorrect and grossly misleading.

"Council's adopted urban-design framework did not and has not ever contemplated dwelling numbers," he said.

Mr Storer said the council would oppose any attempts by the Government to call in the project and override the
council's planning procedure.

He said the council would seek public comment on a planning-scheme amendment this month, then an
independent planning panel would be appointed to hear arguments about the amendment.

"There has been a veiled threat that this may be called in by the Government," Mr Storer said.

"The Government has the opportunity to submit its proposal to the independent panel during the process."

Sarah McKinnon, spokeswoman for Community Services Minister Sherryl Garbutt, said the Government would
continue to discuss the redevelopment with Boroondara Council during the planning process.

"We have listened to the views and needs of the local community and the council and ... developed a new
framework that goes a long way towards meeting their requirements," she said.

"The Government is committed to ensuring the redevelopment proceeds in a timely fashion. "

Kew Cottages' supporters have criticised the Government's revised plans, with Kew Cottages Coalition president
Brian Walsh calling the reduction in open space a "grab for cash".


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