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Kew Cottages Coalition Reg # A0044698H

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Explore the Corruption ?

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....

David Davis MLC
Select Committee
of the
Legislative Council
Public Land Development.

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..."
(Read More)

Audio  Listen to "The Sting.."

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the Kew Cottages Blog


Don't Screw Kew


25 September 2018

heritage Victoria

Heritage Permit 26760 With Conditions issued


21 September 2018

Heritage Council
Heritage Council Victoria Permit Review Decision

Decision P28100


4 June 2018

Heritage Council Victoria Permit Review Update

Hearing Scheduled 18 June 2018

  1.  Public Hearing Scheduled for 18-21 June 2018

Download Kew Cottages Coalition Public Hearing Submission documents and video

1. Submission (.pdf file)
2. Appendix (.pdf file)
3. Video
(.mp4 file)

Links for downloading all public submissions we receive  are

For more documents and background information go to our

26 April 2018
Park 011

Renewed threat to Kew Cottages Parkland

Heritage Victoria's second refusal to permit a developer's plans to build within the tree lined avenue approach to the former Willsmere Hospital is set to be reviewed by the Heritage Council.

Sydney billionaire developer, Lang Walker, has lodged an appeal against Heritage Victoria's insistence  that the whole of the avenue approach to Willsmere  must be properly restored as parkland.

Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition, said today that, "Walker Corporation now appears to have spent over a decade trying to find ways to legally encroach upon this fabulous piece of public parkland.

This is the Sydney developer's fourth attempt to overcome  the long standing Heritage permit conditions imposed on the Main Drive Kew housing estate development

"It's now gone beyond a joke", Mr. Walsh, said. "Nothing surprises me any more."

"It appears to me that if developers have enough money, and access to Government bodies then they can go on appealing against the umpire for ever !

“This application is also frustrating because it directly stops the creation of the new Kew Arboretum that has been proposed by the Kew Cottages Coalition and mirrors the initial vision of Baron Von Mueller who designed this area (and the Royal Botanical Gardens).”

 The Heritage Council will hold a Public Hearing commencing on the 18th June 2018 to review Heritage Victoria's rejection of Walker's application to build private apartments on the parkland.

Heritage CouncilHearing Scheduled 18 June

Thursday 2nd November   2017

Kew Public Meeting

Motion carried Unanimously


This Public Meeting welcomes the recent ruling by Heritage Victoria to reject Walker’s recent building application and calls on Major Projects Victoria (MPV) to now transfer the land to Boroondara Council to establish a Kew Arboretum to fulfill the original von Mueller vision for this heritage site.


7pm Thursday 2nd November 2017
Important Information Update

November 2017 Newsletter

Melways  Map 45 D6

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Download PDF

Download Nov 2017 Newsletter Print Version  here

Wednesday  25th October  2017

Herald Sun

Herald Sun | Inner East

Heritage Victoria stands firm against apartment development on Kew Cottages ground

Paula Maud
Progress Leader

HERITAGE Victoria’s steadfast refusal to permit a developer’s latest plans for the former Kew Cottages site has been warmly welcomed by a long-time community advocate...

Heritage Victoria stands firm against apartment development on Kew Cottages ground | Leader Read More >>

"No" Means No! Submission
                              to Heritage Victoria July 2017

Download  Print Version:
"No" Means No !

Sunday 19th March  2017

The Sunday Age Front Page 19 March

Hundreds of millions unaccounted for from Kew Cottages
Royce Millar

The Kew Cottages redevelopment was supposed to be a three-way winner.

The 480 residents with intellectual disabilities living at the prime site in Melbourne's inner-east would be rehoused in new accommodation; the government's joint venture partner would make a handy profit for his trouble; the state would cover the cost of relocating the former residents and share in the profit, yielding millions of extra dollars to pour back into wider disability services...


Thursday 23rd February  2017

Kew Public Meeting

Motion carried Unanimously

This Public Meeting calls on:

- Major Projects Victoria and Walker Corporation to provide an undertaking to respect the heritage values of the Kew Cottages site, and abandon their plans to build on the heritage parkland at the entrance to Willsmere

- The Minister for Planning and Heritage to amend the current Heritage Bill before Parliament  in order to ensure the best interests of the community are given priority over exclusive or private developments.

- The Minister for Major Projects and the Minister for Community Services to honour the Bracks and Brumby Governments undertakings not to privatise the three remaining heritage buildings, but to adapt and continue to use them for the provision of services for both the intellectually disabled and the wider community.

- The Auditor-General to undertake a forensic audit of the Walker Corporation and Kew Development Corporation books in order to investigate serious financial anomalies including why the project has never turned a profit, despite the significant rise in eastern suburbs property values since Main Drive Kew sales commenced in 2007.


7pm Thursday 23rd February 2017
Important Information Update

Kew Cottages Coalition
                            Newsletter Feb 2017

Melways  Map 45 D6

Follow kewcottages on Twitter

Download PDF

Download Feb 2017 Newsletter Print Version  here


Friday 9th December  2016

Major Projects Victoria revives Walker Contract
like a phoenix rising from the ashes...
6th Variation to Walker
                                      Contract Signed 9 Dec 2016

Link: Victorian Government Contract Publishing System Website (CPS)

Thursday 10th November  2016

                            in Progress


Heritage and public get raw deal in development rush
Jefferson Kinsman
Age - Comment
Page 22

Download Print Version here

Just east of Yarra Bend Park, on the gentle slope of a quiet hill, there hangs in its frame an antique school bell, seemingly suspended mid-swing by a heavy coat of paint.

Alongside the bell, equally frozen in time, are the vestiges of a European cottage system consisting of an 1887 school and chapel building and its two timeworn siblings – a dining hall and a cottage designed for housing children with mild intellectual disabilities. Historians have come to regard the site as an example of extraordinary Victorian innovation, and one of high national significance .

The three buildings and the bell have been lucky to survive one of the more controversial chapters of the state’s recent political history – the privatisation of an enormous tract of public inner Melbourne land, formerly known as the Kew Cottages . The result was a spanking new estate of 300 or so almost identical low-density luxury homes, developed by the Walker Corporation in a rocketing property market, and referred to by some as the tissue box houses....


(Demolition of the Corkman hotel is just the tip of the iceberg)

Thursday 27th October  2016

Walker contract Expires

Developer Contract Expired Notice 27
                            Oct 2016
1. Major Projects Victoria Contract Number 3669 as accessed CPS website Wed 21 Dec 2016
2. As currently published.  See: Victorian Government Contract Publishing System Website (CPS)

Herald Sun

Progress Leader

Tuesday 10th May  2016

Developer pulls Kew Appeal


Greg Gliddon
Progress Leader
Download Print Version here Pdf

A STUNNING about-face has seen Kew Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Walker Corporation, withdraw its appeal to the Heritage Council of Victoria over the rejection of plans for a five-storey apartment complex in Princess St...


Wednesday 24th February  2016

" This Meeting calls on the Andrews Government to direct Walker Corporation to withdraw its application for the Heritage Council to be reconstituted."

Summary of
Kew Cottages and the High-rise
President and Treasurer's Reports
Vice-President's Report
KCC Balloon Assisted 
Walker Building Visualisation

Power Point Slides

You are Cordially Invited to our Annual Public Meeting
at the Kew Civic Centre

7pm Wednesday 24th February 2016

Kew Cottages Coalition
                            Newsletter Feb 2016

Melways  Map 45 D6

Follow kewcottages on Twitter

Download PDF

Download Feb 2016 Newsletter Print Version  here

Monday 15th February 2016

Walker Corporation/Kew Development Corporation
have submitted an Application
for the Heritage Council to be Reconstituted.

Public Hearing Postponed

The Heritage Council has, therefore, determined to adjourn the final day of the hearing scheduled for Monday 15 February 2016, to allow time for consideration of the application, and any material submitted by parties in relation to it.  (More... )

onday 8th February 2016

Community Opposition grows to High Rise in Park Plan 

Walker Corporation uses Photoshop to fight back in the Yarra Parkland ...

Walker Building and Willsmere from
                              Studley Park
       Walker Image Scharp  Fig. V12AA                                                
 Where's Walker ?

Walker Corporation may have tried to make it easy for the public to see  Main Drive Kew in this
Photoshopped Image presented to Victoria's Heritage Watchdog ..

After all,  they have even gone to the trouble of marking their proposed High Rise Block of Apartments in RED


Question  1.
Can you actually Find the Walker Building ?
(If not, try downloading a higher resolution image file of their photo and look again !)

Question 2.
Can you Find the Willsmere Heritage Listed Landmark Building on Main Drive ?

Question 3.
Can you Recognise where Walker's photo has been taken From  ?

Kew Cottages Coalition President, Brian Walsh,  said today that

I am sure that technically this is a very nice photo, and demonstrates a very professional use of Photoshop.
But I think the way that Walker has presented this material to Victoria's Heritage Watchdog  is a problem, because ...

"It  looks to me like mutton dressed up as lamb. 

"Walker appear to be trying to manipulate the true story in at least two ways", Mr. Walsh said.

1. Site selection. There are many other sites, even using their methodology, where the impact of the building is
 dramatic and clearly impacts on the heritage value to the lay person who uses the park and lives in the area.

2. Impact distortion. The use of a 22mm lens minimises the visual impact of the building. Use of a 50mm lens
 is more consistent with what the naked human eye sees. Using a 50mm lens the impact of the development is
much greater – both using the Scharp-selected sites and other routine sites.

'We would like the Heritage watchdog  to be able compare the developer's 'Photoshopped' views with a few simpler and more 'transparent' 
images of the Main Drive Parkland
,' Mr. Walsh said.

So we have undertaken a small 'Test and Demonstration' Project to present to the Heritage Council at their
Public Hearing on 15th February (Details below)

This will include:

1. Balloon-Assisted Building Visualisation - to test Walker's Claims
Walker High Rise site on Main Drive
Kew Cottages Coalition Balloon Building Visualisation  Image                                               
Walker is still fighting to avoid having to return this Main Drive Kew site to its historic Kew Cottages parkland setting
Walker wants to build High Rise Apartments blocks instead.

Our Red balloons (above) provide a 'best case' estimate of the height of the Walker Apartments.


2. Drone-Assisted Visualisation  of Main Drive
to help put Walker's own views into perspective.

YouTube Kew Aerial #1 Dur: 4:36 min

 * Kew Cottages Coalition Drone-Assisted Main Drive Visualisation *


Answers :
Scharp Design Pty Ltd methodology relied on by Walker is  here.
Scharp's  Studley Park camera location (V12AA) is here
and for a closer view of the planned site
See Google Maps Streetview link to Main Drive, Kew below

We would value your feedback.

Heritage Council

Public Hearing

The Walker Appeal Hearing has been adjourned until

Date: Monday 15 February 2016

Time: 9.30am

Planning Panels Rooms
 Ground Floor
1 Spring Street,

Monday 7th December 2015

Kew Cottages Battle goes to
 Heritage Council

Public Hearing

All Welcome

Date: Thursday 10 December


Friday 11 December 2015

Time: 9.30am

Venue: Royal Australian College of Surgeons,
250-290 Spring Street,
East Melbourne


For further information contact
Heritage Council of Victoria
 Tel: (03) 9208 3666
Email: heritage.council@delwp.vic.gov.au

You can follow all the Kew Cottages Coalition Links for the Public Hearing using the links below



Walk the site with Google Streetview

Read the Submissions to the Heritage Council 

Smile at the Sydney Developer's Photos of Willsmere (Magnifying Glass Required-:)

Heritage Tree Protection (Courtesy of Major Projects Victoria) !

Dig into all the Documents -:(


From The Archives...


Monday 20th February 2012

The Mayne Report

A cracking public meeting over Lang Walker's Kew Cottages fiasco

Stephen Mayne

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 >>
Link: http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2012/02/18-1643-8209.html
Mayne Report Donate


Don't Screw Kew Kew Cottages February 2012  Newsletter

Download PDF  Print Version

Follow kewcottages on Twitter

The Baillieu Government promised Disabled a real Alternative at Kew


Failed to Deliver...
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
Restore the recreation building  that was demolished in breach of contract. (The Hamer Centre)
Support the Kew Coalition 5 Point Plan*
Refer Kew Cottages Development to Anti-Corruption Commission by July 2011 Failed

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.

 Don't Screw KewThe Challenge for Change. 
<< 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010  2011 2012 NOW! >>

2011 Ted
                                                Baillieu and Lang
                                                Walker 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...



Monday 10th July 2006

Melbourne Channel 10 TV News Reports

"Yarra Bend Park May Now Be Under Threat"
Deadly Tree Disease
Kew Cottages

View  Windows Media 
wmv video file (1min39s):
mp3 file

(Archive ..)
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): mp3 file

Herald Sun 14.3.2006 p.31

 Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this website, please let us know  so that we can correct or extend the information provided.
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Reg # A0044698H