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KEW COTTAGES COALITION
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Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698H
The Big Con ?The Yarra River Green Wedge established in 1984. Kew, Melbourne Australia.
This prize 27 hectare site just kilometres from the city is
being developed on a model than concerns
the Committee greatly....
It was September 11th 2008.
"... The final financial return to the State will not be known until the end of the project...."
Department of Human Services
March 29th 2010
"... If a con game is successful, the mark does not realize he has been "taken" (cheated), at least not until the con men are long gone..."
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Kew Cottages Coalition
The First 10 Years
Kew Cottages Development
* Integrity in Planning & Government ? *
Show them the money
Summary of Apparent Losses
Stage 2 - 7 (unfinished)
2009 ($ 6.9m)
2010 ($ 1.7m)
2011 ($ 6.6m)
2012 ($ 2.2m)
Total Loss 2006-13 ($45.8m)
Source: Major Projects Victoria Annual Reports, and The Age
Show them the Community Facilities You Promised
- The Baillieu/Napthine Government came to power in November 2010-
The Contract Completion Date for the Main Drive Kew Community Facilities was then
30th June 2012
However, the restoration work promised by the Government did not happen.
A year after the new Government was elected, work on the community facilities they had promised had not even started.
So on 13 June 2012, just two weeks before restoration of the Kew Cottages Heritage Buildings and Hamer Centre, including a swimming pool, medical rooms, and a cafe was due to be completed the Government appears to have secretly agreed to change the Walker Contract to extend the Community Facilities completion date by two years to
However, the long standing delays continued...
At the end of 2013 work on restoring Kew Cottages the Community Facilities and the State Listed Heritage Buildings had still not even started...
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"
Tuesday 12th February 2013
Kew Public Meeting
1. We call on the Baillieu Government to declare the profit or loss to the State of Victoria associated with the current KRS development as of February 2013 and the projected profit/loss at its completion.
2. We call on the Baillieu Government to support a community submission to IBAC regarding potential corruption issues related to the KRS development.
3. This meeting supports the Kew Cottages Coalition to make a submission to IBAC investigating possible corruption associated with the KRS development.
>> Read More..
You are Cordially Invited to our Annual Public Meeting
at the Kew Civic Centre
7pm Tuesday 12th February 2013
To Mark Kew Cottages Coalition's
KEW COTTAGES COALITION INC. PRESENTS
Lang Walker, Kew Development Corporation & Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT's
MC Rod Quantock
Sue Pennicuik Local MLC (Greens Southern Metro)
Former Member of the Upper House Select Committee on Public Land Development
Cr Jack Wegman
Mayor of Boroondara
7pm Tuesday 12th February 2013
Phyllis Hore Room
Kew Civic Centre
Cnr Cotham Road and Civic Drive
Melways Map 45 D6
The Topic for discussion:
When will the Baillieu Government restore integrity to
Planning and Government in Victoria ?
1. Will the Government hand back Kew Cottages Planning Authority to Boroondara Council ?
2. Will the Government disband Major Projects Victoria ?
3. Will the Government start the
Controversial Kew Cottages Development referral process
(Victoria's Independant Broad Based Anti-Corruption Commission) ?
Has the Baillieu Government already walked away from its Kew Cottages Election Promise to disabled Victorians ?
The Year in Review.....
Kew Cottages February 2013 Newsletter
Download PDF Print Version
Mar 14 Disabled loose out on deal |Progress Leader Letters 12 March 2013
http://leader.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=JPADUV1QODO --- Continue reading →
Mar 6 Hawthorn electorate pays tribute to ‘decent, honest’ Ted Baillieu a...
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/hawthorn-electorate-pays-tribute-to-decent-honest-ted-baillieu-after-he-quit-as-premier/story-fngnvlxu-1226591928316 Continue reading →
Mar 6 Ted Baillieu resigns as Victoria premier, Denis Napthine takes over...
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/baillieu-gove... --- Continue reading →
Feb 20 Call for land sale return… | Progress Leader 19 Feb 2013
--- http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/central/blame-game-on-funding-promise-for-... Continue reading →
Feb 20 Blame game on funding promise for Kew Cottages development | Leader...
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/central/blame-game-on-funding-promise-for-... --- Continue reading →
Feb 18 Local or national, donor secrecy cheats voters
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/editorial/local-or-national-donor-secrecy-ch... --- Continue reading →
Feb 17 Baillieu defiant as MPs warn of ‘shambolic’ image
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/baillieu-defiant-as-mps-warn-of-shambolic-i... --- Continue reading →
Feb 16 Baillieu under fire amid talk of Rudd-like scenario
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/baillieu-under-fire-amid-talk-of-ruddlike-s... --- Continue reading →
Feb 14 Victorian Government Anti-Corruption Minister refuses to disclose p...
Kew Cottages Coalition Media Releasewww.kew.org.au Release Date: 20130213 Victorian Government Anti-Corruption Minister refuses to disclose potential financial losses at Kew Cottages There was a lot of frustration expressed at the Kew Cottages 10t...
Feb 14 Doyle slams approval of mega-tower
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/doyle-slams-approval-of-megatower-20130213-... --- Continue reading →
Monday 20th February 2012
A cracking public meeting over Lang Walker's Kew Cottages fiasco
I've been to some lively public meetings in my time but few rank alongside last Thursday night's community meeting over the 27ha Kew Cottages site being developed by colourful Sydney billionaire Lang Walker.
The site has a sordid history of broken promises, excessive secrecy and utterly inappropriate political donations by Walker, who even sent Graham Richardson down from Sydney to try and bang a few Labor heads together.
Once the Brumby Government was defeated, things were meant to get better.
Alas, whilst local member and Justice Minister Andrew McIntosh repeatedly called the Labor government's contract with Walker "an abomination" he hid behind so-called "sovereign risk" arguments in justifying little change and the non-release of the contract.
Health Minister David Davis, an upper house member for the region which includes leafy Kew, made the incredible claim that he supported Boroondara Council's recent litigation over Walker's attempts to have nature strips classified as public open space. He even called on Boroondara's Green mayor Heinz Kreutz to further explain what was happening?
It wasn't until Davis had left the meeting that Mayor Kreutz explained that council had only obtained legal advice and this had strongly argued against actually launching litigation.
Given that Kew Cottages is state government land and the previous government kicked the council totally out of the process, it was incredible to have Ted Baillieu's factional enforcer somehow calling on the council to explain what was going on. Mayor Kreutz just asked that the government reinstate the council as the relevant planning authority.
Both McIntosh and Davis came across as being poorly briefed on the whole situation, which is ultimately in the hands of Major Projects Minister Denis Napthine.
The Baillieu Government is badly split on planning issues. Planning Minister Matthew Guy is strongly pro-development, yet Baillieu himself is hugely conservative and believes passionately in preserving Federation suburbs which dominate the Boroondara landscape and includes his Hawthorn electorate.
Throw in a whole bunch of angry new residents who are opposed to ongoing disability services being provided on the historic site and cranky with Walker for failing to deliver their long-promised pool, gym and cafe, and you have one almighty mess.
Surely the Baillieu government should just write a cheque to make Lang Walker go away and then completely go back to the drawing board with a new masterplan for the site which involves Boroondara Council at every level.
Read the Full Edition >>
The story so far...
125 Years Ago, way back in 1887, Kew Cottages was Australia's first 'Government Insurance Policy' for intellectually disabled kids and their families.
It offered asylum for the children on a significant piece of Public Land outside of the walls of the Willsmere that was permanently reserved by an Act of Parliament for the intellectually disabled.
Today, Kew Cottages is like a "canary down a coal mine". Over the past ten years nearly half of the the 27 hectares of Public Land surrounding the Cottages in 2001 has been progressively sold off by the Bracks, Brumby, and Baillieu Governments in a most disturbing manner. The 'State Government Insurance Policy' for intellectually disabled kids and their families looks decidedly battered and bruised.
In 2008 concerns were raised by a Parliamentary Inquiry that the Government sell-off of the Kew Public Land was shrouded in secrecy and not in the public interest. The Inquiry also expressed concern that two property developers involved with the Kew Public Land deal, Walker Corporation and Mirvac, had both made large political donations to the Victorian ALP days before the 2006 State Election.
At the end of 2008 Parliament instructed the Victorian Ombudsman to investigate the probity of the Victorian Government's Kew Cottage's contract, including the role of lobbyist Graham Richardson in the deal.
At the time of the November 2010 State Election there was a strong smell of corruption in the air. The Brumby Government was voted out of office, and the incoming Baillieu Government made an election promise to refer numerous concerns about the redevelopment of Kew Cottages to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission that Baillieu promised to establish by July 2011.
The Baillieu Government also promised that, subject to any contractual obligations to the contrary, all of the remaining Kew Cottages Public Land would be listed on a new Victorian Register of Significant Public Land.
In February 2011 a Public Meeting convened at the Kew Civic Centre endorsed the Baillieu Government policy. The Public Meeting also called on the Government to impose an immediate moratorium on further Public Land sales at Kew Cottages, and to implement all of the Recommendations of both the Victorian Ombudsman's Inquiry, and the Victorian Public Land Inquiry. Read More >>
However, after a year in power, the Baillieu Government has comprehensively failed to deliver on its election promise for Kew Cottages.
And while the Government has so far failed to set up its promised Anti-Corruption Commission, and failed to preserve Public Open Space, it has continued to develop, approve, and sell off Kew Cottages Public Land.
Kew Cottages February 2012 Newsletter
Download PDF Print Version
** NB This year we have rescheduled the Kew Cottages Annual Public Meeting from 1st February to 16th February 2012 **
The Baillieu Government promised Disabled a real Alternative at Kew
Lift the veil of secrecy on Kew Development Contract arrangements
Insist on developer fulfilling all its contractual obligations including preservation of 40% of the site as open space and Failed Restore the recreation building that was demolished in breach of contract. (The Hamer Centre) Failed Support the Kew Coalition 5 Point Plan* Failed Refer Kew Cottages Development to Anti-Corruption Commission by July 2011 Failed
What Needs to Be Done
1. The Meeting calls on The Honourable, Andrew McIntosh, MP for Kew, to at the next sitting of State Parliament repeat his March 2010 request to the Premier of Victoria. Namely:
The action I am seeking is for the Premier to halt this redevelopment until he can provide the promised financial benefits to the services for the disabled, given that 27 hectares of prime Crown land, dedicated to the care of the disabled, is being permanently alienated from public ownership. (Hansard 11.3.10)
2. This Meeting calls on the Honourable Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria, to urgently instruct his Ministers to take all necessary action to ensure that his Government's Kew Cottages Election Promise is honoured without further delay.
The Challenge for Change.
<< 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 NOW! >>
2011 2012 The Developer's Contract
Lang Walker, Kew Development Corporation & Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria
It is January 2012 and it is still not too late to achieve a better outcome at Kew Cottages because the Government still owns the land...
Read More >>
From The Archives...
Thursday 25th November 2010
Baillieu offers disabled a real alternative at Kew
There is now a clear difference in policies between the major parties for the development of the remaining 14 hectares of Public Land at Kew Cottages.
ALP Southern Metropolitan Candidate, Jennifer Huppert, says a Brumby Government will provide four more years of "great success", plus five story apartments overlooking the Yarra Bend Parkland.
Ms Huppert's vision for the future of this project is "that it continues to deliver high quality integrated housing for former Kew Cottages residents."
On the other hand, however, Liberal MP for Kew, Mr. Andrew McIntosh says that a Baillieu Government will insist on the developer of Kew Cottages fulfilling all its contractual obligations, "including the preservation of 40 percent of the site as open space and restoring the recreation building that was demolished in breach of contract".
In this week's Liberal Nationals Coalition policy statement on the future development of the remaining Kew Cottages Public Land, Mr. McIntosh says that a Baillieu Government will support the Kew Cottages Coalition Alternative 5-Point Plan.
Mr. McIntosh says that:
"The (Liberal Nationals) Coalition is also aware of short-comings in the building of the 55 first stage private dwellings. Despite the statement by then Community Services Minister, Sheryl Garbutt in June 2005 that surplus funds from the sale of the land would be invested in disability services, the Ombudsman’s report notes a departmental briefing of the Treasurer in March the same year advising that it was unlikely there would be any surplus from the project."
2009Outlining his personal vision for the future development of the site, Mr. McIntosh goes on to say:
"The future of the Kew Cottages site depends on the extant contractual arrangements between the Victorian Government and the developer. Much of these arrangements remain shrouded in secrecy. As no monies have or are likely to be applied to disability services as the original justification of selling public lands, my own personal vision would be that the Kew Cottages site remains part of the stock of public lands."
Mr. McIntosh says that, subject to any contractual obligations to the contrary, all of the remaining Kew Cottages Public Land would be listed on the new Register of Significant Public Land to be established by a Baillieu Government.
He said that a Baillieu Government would also refer numerous concerns about the redevelopment of Kew Cottages to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission once it is established in July 2011 for investigation and report.
President of the Kew Cottages Coalition, Brian Walsh, today welcomed the Liberal Nationals Coalition policy statement on the future of Kew Cottages. Mr. Walsh said, that "At last the disabled have a clear difference in policies between the major parties that they should consider when they vote on Saturday."
Mr. Walsh said, " The response we have received from both the Australian Greens and DLP is also extremely positive".
Southern Metropolitan Greens MLC, Sue Pennicuik, describes her vision for the site as follows:
"I am on the record as opposing the sale of the land at KRS for private housing and supporting the use of the remainder of the site for much needed disability respite care - in the spirit of what the land was originally set aside for. I support the five points below, with the qualification that I would support a register of public land no matter who is in government. The lack of a comprehensive register of Victoria's public land was a key finding of the Select Committee into Public Land Development, of which I was a member."
Responding by phone to the Kew Survey, Western Victoria DLP MLC, Peter Kavanagh, said he still had major concerns about the State Government's inadequate response to the long standing needs of intellectually disabled Victorians.
He said he welcomed the Kew Coalition's Alternative 5-Point Plan for the Kew Cottages site, particularly the possibility of establishing new respite care and family support services for the disabled.
Mr. Walsh that he personally believed Mr. Kavanagh had been the intellectually disabled community's strongest supporter in the last Parliament, and that Mr. Kavanagh had played a pivotal role in establishing the two recent Public Inquiries held into the Kew Cottages Affair.
Mr. Walsh said, "Hansard is quite clear, the voting record is quite clear - without Peter Kavanagh's vote in Parliament Victoria simply would not have had the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Public Land Development.
"Similarly, without Peter Kavanagh's vote to refer the matter to the Ombudsman, the Government would not have supported the Victorian Ombudsman investigating the Kew Cottages and St Kilda Triangle Tender processes - so I think it is fair to say that Victoria owes Peter Kavanagh a lot," Mr. Walsh said.
From The Archives
Front Page Story
Wed Mar 28 2007
'Richo' on board cottages project' (Click here for Hardcopy Version)
Or Read Online Version at:
/national/richardson-weighs-in -on-cottages-project/2007/03 /27/1174761470790.html
Monday 10th July 2006
Melbourne Channel 10 TV News Reports
"Yarra Bend Park May Now Be Under Threat"
Deadly Tree Disease
View Windows Media
wmv video file (1min39s):
Bracks Government Cover up on
Threat to Yarra ?
Tuesday 14th March 2006
Brian Walsh tells the ABC's 774, Jon Faine, he is astounded that the Government now claims it was unaware of the discovery of the fungus at Kew Cottages. Walsh says the Government claim is nonsense, "our information is that they have known for weeks.. " (see below)
Listen to the full Interview mp3 audio (2min 34s):
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Reg # A0044698H