The Kew Cottages 'Privatisation' Story So Far...
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
Royal Exhibition Building opens in Carlton Gardens
1881 Melbourne's first
private school for the mentally handicapped opens in
1887 Kew Cottages opens in the
Crown Land Reserve just outside the walls of Kew Asylum.
1887 Outer Circle Railway
line extended to Kew.
1888 Over 2 million people
attend Melbourne's largest ever event - the Centennial
Exhibition - more people than attended the 1956 Olympics.
1892 Construction starts on
Melbourne's first sewer.
1952 Dr. Cunningham Dax appointed as Chairman of
the Mental Health Authority starts a strong campaign for
1953 The Herald's Tipping
Appeal for the Cottages supported by John Cain Snr.'s
1957 Cottages Parents
1959 Cottages Paediatric
1966 Hamer flags idea of
a 'Green Wedge' growth strategy for Melbourne
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
1999 Bracks election 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 Walker.
Dec-99 Bracks Government amends Boroondara Planning
2000 Bracks silently amends the Government's Kew
Cottages redevelopment policy.
2001 Bracks publicly
announces his new plan to privatise Kew Cottages' Crown
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
Bracks Government suddenly rezones Kew Cottages Crown Land
and removes third-party appeal rights
2004 Kew Cottages Coalition and Louise Godwin
nominate Kew Cottages for State Heritage listing
Bracks Government unsuccessfully opposes Heritage listing
for Kew Cottages .
2005 Bracks Government revises Kew Cottages tender
Jun-05 Walker Corporation wins preferred tenderer status
from Bracks Government but details of their agreement
Bracks Government apply on financial grounds for a permit to
demolish 3 of the 6 Heritage Cottages
Dr. Cunningham Dax calls for a Judicial Inquiry into the
sale of the Kew Cottages Crown Lands
The first bulldozers start work at the Cottages near Main
Drive in Brady Lane.
2006 A rare National Trust listed Bishop Pine Tree
is found to be dying in Brady Lane
The 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 became infected.
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
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.
2007 Bracks Government 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 for Mirvac.
Upper House establishes an all party Select Committee to
Inquire into Public Land Development in Victoria
May-07 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
Jul-07 John Brumby becomes Premier and appoints his
Sep-07 Just two years after Dr. Dax first called for
a Judicial 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 involvement of lobbyist Graham Richardson at
Kew Cottages is a serious issue and one that they will be
The 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 22/1/08)