FERNTREE Gully Village traders opposing the controversial 44 Station Street apartment block have won one round, but not yet the fight.
Height controls imposed to restrict the proposal have succeeded in reducing its original four storeys of 38 apartments to two storeys of 18 flats, but traders say the plan still lacks sufficient parking.
A spokesman for the developer, town planner Michael Dunn, confirmed the proposal was rescaled to meet the new 7.5-metre height controls.
The amended proposal has a “similar footprint” to the first application, but is now only two storeys high with commercial use on the ground floor and apartments on the upper level.
Mr Dunn said the new plans were submitted straight to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal because there was no ordinary council meeting scheduled before the issue was heard on appeal at the tribunal on February 11.
Traders and residents were last year united in opposition to the development, warning it would block views towards the Dandenong Ranges, and result in over-crowding and undue pressure on parking. In response, the council sought interim height limits of 7.5 metres for the Village area, which were approved by the state government earlier this year and will stand for two years.
However, traders say the new application still does not address many of their issues, primarily parking concerns.
Village trader Des Higginbotham said they would fight at the tribunal for the application to be considered a “new application”, meaning it would be assessed again by the council.
He said the modifications should be assessed by the town planning department and that community consultation was vital. Mr Higginbotham said trade would suffer in the Village if the parking requirements outlined by the applicant were approved.
The two-level underground car park was reduced to one level, with one car space allocated per apartment. The applicant is asking for dispensation because there is parking in the surrounding areas.
Traders say those car spaces are for shoppers, not residents. “There are only 18 spaces out the front. If older people see there is no parking, they drive on — that is the nature of strip shopping,” Mr Higginbotham said.
As the application has been submitted directly to the VCAT, the council’s original decision to reject the proposal will also stand, because there is no time for the councillors to vote on the proposal.
Mr Higginbotham said it was his understanding that the council’s solicitor would also fight for the application to viewed as ‘new’.
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WHEN Laurie and Lyn Kane were told the news no parent ever wants to hear — their son had a 4 per cent chance of survival from a devastating car accident — the decision they made changed three lives forever.
The Bayswater couple’s son Andrew was 17 and enjoying teenage life. He was about to start his third year as an apprentice, had a new girlfriend and was looking forward to Christmas.
But on December 22, 2005, he was hit by a car while crossing Scoresby Road. He died in The Alfred hospital.
An off-duty nurse, caught in the traffic that built up when Andrew was hit, administered CPR on the scene. It kept the blood flowing to his heart and meant his organs were suitable for donation.
After they were told that Andrew was unlikely to survive, Mr Kane said his wife approached the staff and told them she wanted their son considered for organ donation.
It was something the family had discussed several years before when an advertisement came on the television. “Andrew lived like that; he was generous. He began donating blood on his 16th birthday and in the November before his accident he made his fifth donation. It was always his decision. He was never forced,” Mr Kane said.
A day after the accident, the couple were told Andrew had not survived. A Donate Life nurse sat with the Kane family, including their other son Shaun, and talked to them about the organ donation process. “We couldn’t understand anything at that stage; she was an angel.”
The Donate Life nurse stayed with Andrew during the surgery, as his advocate. “She stayed with him; there was dignity.”
Andrew’s heart, liver and kidney saved three men’s lives that day. The Kane family have received several letters from the recipients since that time.
“We lost Andrew. Nothing could change that. If I could take back all his organs and put him back together, I would, but I really can’t. This [donation] represents all the good work our son did,” Mr Kane said.
In Victoria last year, there were 92 deceased organ donors — the highest rate in Australia — who provided transplants for 267 people.
Mr Kane urged families to discuss their wishes about organ donation. “If you had a child or a loved one who needed something, you would move heaven and earth to make that happen.”
Living on: Lynn and Laurie Kane saved three lives by donating the organs of their son Andrew. They have created a memorial in their back garden with a miniature Murrindindi Bridge, where the family often camped and where his ashes were scattered. Picture: Rob Carew
WITH West Tigers fever running high in the Southern Highlands over the weekend, players visited schools in the area on Monday to promote the message of anti-bullying.
Players split into groups to cover as much ground as possible from Moss Vale out to Colo Vale and Hill Top.
Students were excited to say the least at being able to meet their NRL stars and the players were just as happy to give their time for a good cause.
“There’s a lot of important messages these days, anti-bullying is definitely one of them and healthy living and making sure you respect others and each individual,” new Tiger Braith Anasta said.
“It’s just a given for us and we’re blessed to be doing what we’re doing and to be able to try and help these young kids in any way that we can is a great thing for us.”
Senior Tigers player Lote Tiquiri said it was important that children knew bullying would not be tolerated and that people were there to help.
“It’s a very important message. I think kids suffer in silence with bullying. If you need a voice you should speak out and if we can help in any way I think that’s great,” he said. “I hope to meet a few kids and hopefully inspire or encourage kids to speak out about bullying.”
The Tigers have also had a busy pre-season under new coach Mick Potter and Tiquiri said while it was a bit of a shake up, things were going well.
“He’s certainly a lot different from Tim Sheens in the way he approaches things but we’re working really hard and we just can’t wait for the season to start. The boys are pretty fit and we’re ready to go.”
With a few players coming back from niggling injuries, Tiquiri said they were a long way from thinking about winning the premiership, but they would be working hard towards that goal.
“I think we want to get through the first part of the season first and the main thing is that everyone is healthy as well. We’ve got to be smart about what we do off the field as well.”
For Anasta, it has been a big change moving from the Roosters, but the new recruit said it had been a smooth transition.
“Mick coming in, he’s been fantastic. Very tough and stern and he’s building a culture at the club and I think it’s all been positive since he’s been here,” he said.
“I can’t fault the place since I’ve been at the club and I’m excited about the year ahead. “
The Tigers held a skills clinic at Mittagong Sportsground on Sunday afternoon, which also proved popular.
More photos page 45
. I think it’s probably a good time for me at this time of my career. Just to have responsibility myself and if I can concentrate on my own game a bit more in the back row.”
Tigers fans got to meet their favourite players. Photo by Roy Truscott
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
A TOTAL ban on public smoking in Knox would be an infringement on civil rights, a Ferntree Gully trader says.
The comments followed calls by a Melbourne City councillor to ban smoking in all public spaces right across the central business district last week.
Newly elected councillor Richard Foster wants the ban to apply throughout the city, from Southbank to North Melbourne. The plan has little appeal, however, for some cafe owners at Mountain Gate shopping district in Ferntree Gully who oppose any such ban in Knox.
Chosen Bean manager and owner Steve Koster said he would not support a smoking ban because it infringed on smokers’ rights.
“They are already relegated to the outside. The smokers say they would then have to sit in a car or in the car park — they might as well stay at home and not get a coffee,” Mr Koster said.
He called it an “infringement on people’s civil liberties” on an already “quite controlled society”. “They make up lots of rules, but like this one would be, they are very rarely enforced.”
However, Euro Bakehouse and Cafe supervisor Sothearith Seung said if smokers butted out, the environment would benefit.
He was hesitant about how exactly the law would be enforced, but is a keen advocate for self-enforcement. “I would be comfortable telling people to stop smoking if they lit up when they weren’t meant to,” Mr Seung said.
Kim’s Cafe and Bakehouse owner Kim Le said customers often asked to smoke outside her shop after buying a coffee. In her three years running the cafe, there had never been any complaints.
“But if they did ban it, they might just go and drink their coffee in their cars,” Miss Le said.
Quit Victoria policy manager Kylie Lindorff said that while the idea was good in theory, there were better ways to tackle the issue. “A total ban on smoking in all public places in an area as large as the City of Melbourne may be difficult to implement,” she said. “Most smokers want to quit but for those that can’t, they do need a space to smoke where they won’t impact on others.”
She said Quit’s focus was currently on banning smoking in outdoor dining and drinking spaces, to bring Victoria into line with other states.
“Smoke-free outdoor dining and drinking areas reduce the visibility of smoking to young people, remove cues that prompt quitters to relapse and protect hospitality workers and patrons from second-hand smoke.”
What do you think? Post a comment below.
Our choice: Steve Koster, second from right, sits down with smokers Ron Metcalf, Lyn Strune and Jan Metcalf outside his cafe. Picture: Wayne Hawkins
WHEN sisters Kate Hutchinson and Deb Dorn went on a holiday to Cambodia almost four years ago, they could not have known how much their lives were about to change.
While travelling around the country, the Ferntree Gully women witnessed women and children struggling to rebuild their lives after being forcibly involved in the sex trafficking trade.
“We saw a really big gap. No one was supporting or finding solutions for them, they were shattered,” Miss Hutchinson said.
What they witnessed resulted in them starting a charity, Connecting Hands, to aid the women and girls in their plight. Miss Hutchinson said it was a matter of turning compassion into action, and not offering mere lip service.
They connected with another charity on the ground — AFESIP Cambodia — and for the past three years have helped rescue women from sex slavery, as well create better lives for them.
“Deb is a grandmother, and she kept thinking, ‘imagine if that was my child’. Everyone wants to sponsor a child, but when they’re affected by sex slavery, they don’t want to touch it,” Miss Hutchinson said. “But they’re normal everyday people and they can’t get out of the situation.
One of Connecting Hands’ fund-raising projects was a cook book featuring recipes from ‘celebrity chefs’, Pete Evans, Maggie Beer, Poh Ling Yeow and Neil Perry being among the 12 contributors.
Connecting Hands hopes to soon open a cafe in Cambodia where women can gain experience in running a small commercial kitchen in the hospitality industry. “A lot of the women want to become chefs, so the training will be empowering for them and teach them to live a sustainable life,” Miss Hutchinson said.
The sisters also want to open a cafe in Melbourne to raise money for their overseas programs and, one day, provide sex trafficking victims with an opportunity to live in Melbourne.
Miss Hutchinson said she and her sister were inspired by the women’s positivity and plans. “They sat in their huts, talked about their dreams — they were even bigger dreams than we have. One girl wants to be a lawyer, another a communications specialist.”
Connecting Hands also educates men to stop them using women in the sex trafficking industry, as well as provide psychologists for the women and a recreation cottage where they can relax.
“We look at the positive angle, because otherwise you can get bogged down. We’re more looking towards the future and hope,” Miss Hutchinson said.
Connecting Hands hopes to raise funds for its work with a fun run at Albert Park Lake on Sunday, February 17. Information is available at connecthinghands南京夜网.au.
Helping hand: Deb Dorn and Kate Hutchinson published a cook book to raise money for their charity. Picture: Wayne Hawkins
BY day, an SES volunteer may sit in front of a computer for eight hours grappling with obscure points of law, but by night they pull on their orange overalls and are on call to any crisis, from car accidents to storms or floods.
At the Knox SES unit, among those 40 volunteers on call for seven days every three weeks are a young lawyer and funeral industry worker.
They are often on standby — day and night — to clean up storm damage, rescue people from accidents and prepare homes for flooding.
The Knox SES has an urgent call out for more volunteers to help serve the community.
Emily Stubbs, a 24-year-old lawyer of Knoxfield, first donned the distinctive orange overalls three years ago. She said she enjoyed the diversity of the “hands-on” volunteer work.
“I like making a difference in people’s houses, to see how grateful they are that you saved their pride, their home. That’s really rewarding,” Ms Stubbs said.
For Knoxfield funeral director’s assistant Paul Keddell, his 20 years as an SES volunteer helped him live out a boyhood dream.
During 2000, the helicopter-loving volunteer took part in a four-day search — with two days airborne in a chopper — over rugged, mountainous areas.
While SES volunteers can sometimes face horrific scenes or even death, Mr Keddell said it was less confronting than his paid job.
“The SES is easier because you don’t meet the families, but in funeral work that’s what it is all about,” he said. “But I do like the jobs with a happy ending.”
There are three teams on rotation at the organisation and during that time, a volunteer’s social life may not be as active as usual — but Ms Stubbs said there were plenty of ways around it.
“I plan my social life around it and I can swap if I need to,” Ms Stubbs said.
While Mr Keddell admitted to struggling with scaling back his social life, he said it was worthwhile.
“I really do enjoy it — I get a lot out of it by helping people, and I get to blow off a bit of steam, train with the team and have fun,” he said.
For people interested in volunteering at the SES, an information night will be held on Wednesday next week at 102 Lewis Road, Wantirna South from 7.30pm. Details: Craig on 0450 730 491 or Leanne on 0418 122 087.
On call: SES volunteers Emily Stubbs, Trudi Pratt, Brian Mackey, Paul Keddell and Garrey Dove aim to protect the Knox community. Pictures: Rob Carew
I had no idea that the Victorian economy was as hopelessly stuffed as local industry leaders claimed today. Time to join the trek to WA and Queensland or reverse the traditional flow moving to South Australia and Tasmania.
If “a unanimous chorus of industry leaders from lobby groups, peak bodies, unions and economists” are correct in claiming that “capital spending is the lifeblood of the Victorian economy”, the Victorian economy has little future.Victoria at a standstill as major projects wind upJosh Gordon: Big project pipeline at a dribble
Capital spending, investment in infrastructure, is certainly important, but if that is all an economy has going for it you will soon run into the little problem of who might be prepared to pay for it.
Victoria and the rest of the states have already hit that fiscal wall, but I somehow doubt many of the lobby group and unions are prepared to stick up their hands for an increase in their taxation. (And given the contribution the Victorian branch of the CFMEU has made to construction costs, it’s a wonder unions aren’t embarrassed to show their face in any discussion that even mentions the desalination plant.)
Some of the economists would, as they realise Australians are relatively lightly taxed and can afford to pay for the things we need from government, but the group definitely running away from that idea is the politicians.
Some of the economists also might agree with the five present and former Reserve Bank board members recommending that the federal government borrow at present low interest rates specifically for infrastructure projects, but again, you’ll be stopped by politicians full of fiscal rectitude and running scared of the “debt” word in their search for a surplus.
Victoria needs greater investment in infrastructure to clear the bottlenecks that restrict productivity. It also will need greater investment in education, health and aged services as we face our demographic certainties and the proportion of working age people in the population shrinks. But to have those investments, businesses and individuals will have to be prepared to pay for them.
What it doesn’t need and certainly can’t afford is anything that remotely smells like a “make work” project. You know, employing folks to dig holes and then fill them in again and calling it job creation. It’s not the job of state government to make jobs, but to make the state attractive for other people to do so while meeting social necessities.
There’s always some fat that can be trimmed in government spending, but it’s not of the scale that can deliver the cash required. Neither side of federal politics is going to ride to Victoria’s aid, which is why Victoria and the other states are on the front line of tax reform, however much they try to deny it.
They know they need to resuscitate their payroll tax base and institute a broad land tax to replace their stupid reliance on economically and socially bad real estate stamp duties and transfer fees. But that takes political courage and that’s sadly lacking.
As for fast-tracking infrastructure projects, good luck. The complicated beasts can’t be rushed – or politicians end up with school shed and Pink Batt scandals.
If it’s any comfort, Victoria is not alone. The decline in non-resources construction employment is not new and has been widespread. It has the dubious distinction of being the nation’s biggest employment loser. Even manufacturing did better last year.
When the expansion phase of the resources boom was at full speed, that wasn’t such a problem. Indeed, it was somewhat necessary to free up the required skills for jobs that weren’t being funded by taxpayers. There’s still plenty of resources investment going on, but the pace is easing off as it must.
And that’s why the federal treasury and the Reserve Bank are betting on reduced interest rates being enough to reinvigorate housing construction. With politics ruling out the alternatives, that’s what we’re all left hoping for anyway.
Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contributing editor.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
Celebrate: Kristina Lieu, Alannah Ho and Brandon Ho are ready for Lunar New Year. Picture: Wesley LonerganCELEBRATIONS to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year in Cabramatta will begin on Friday, February 15.
While the actual new year occurs on Sunday, February 10, thousands are expected to join the festivities which start at Canley Vale on the Friday and move to Freedom Plaza on the weekend of February 16 and 17.
“We are fortunate to be living in one of the largest Asian communities in Sydney and can share in this unique cultural experience,” Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone said.
“Lunar New Year is a chance to start afresh, cleanse the home of bad omens and welcome prosperity.”
In Canley Vale there will be entertainment from 4pm on February 15 to welcome the Year of the Snake before a fireworks display at 10pm.
Cabramatta’s town centre will also be transformed on the Saturday, with entertainment that includes traditional rituals, cultural performances and authentic new year dishes.
Chefs from restaurants Holy Basil and Iron Chef will give demonstrations, and there will be the bun eating and prawn peeling competitions.
There will also be the St George Bank shopping promotion, where visitors who spend $10 or more at any shop in the Cabramatta town centre enter a draw to win flights and cash.
Our New Year feature starts on page 19.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
Hockey Victoria is offering scholarships to promote women in coaching and umpiring. HV is looking to develop the skills and confidence of 10 female coaches aged 16-30 and 10 female umpires aged 14-20 by putting them through several development sessions.
The umpire scholarship holders in 2012 attended professional development sessions with elite umpires and also officiated at the junior country championships and junior state championships, receiving one-on-one feedback from coaches.
The coaching scholarship holders were given the chance to work with leading junior sides in the lead-up to major tournaments while also attending VIS squad training sessions.
For more information or to apply, go to hockeyvictoria.org.au.
NEW Scoresby coach Sean Kavanagh believes his club could debut up to five teenagers in the opening rounds of the Eastern Football League division 1 season.
The long-time Magpies under-19 coach was elevated to the senior role in the off-season replacing Scott Whyte and said he planned to promote the club’s younger players into the senior side, as long as they showed they were physically ready for it.
The Magpies under-19s, formerly the under-18s, have been a consistent contender in the division 1 competition in past seasons winning premierships in 2011 and 2012.
He said successful juniors David Del Papa and Stephen Scott were two midfielders who had shown promise during pre-season training while 10-12 other players could also earn senior debuts this season.
“We have injected those 20 or so under-19 players into the seniors and they have put a spark in the group,” he said.
“Training has been outstanding, with 81 players on the track and we have expanded our junior program to get our under-17s involved in the senior club.”
The Magpies have lost Paul Chadwick to Vermont while Nathan Buxton-Wale and Jake Dunn have transfers pending to Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League club Upwey-Tecoma.
Kavanagh said he wasn’t keen to discuss any departed players, instead looking to the chance to promote younger players into the seniors.
Kavanagh said he was also excited about the form of Rhys Van Rheenan who is expected to get more regular senior appearances alongside his brother Luke.
The Magpies’ list will again feature several sets of brothers with Kavanagh and the club keen to build on the family connections within the club.
The Magpies will play practice matches against Corowa (away) and Avondale Heights with other matches still being organised.
The Magpies are also keen to recruit more under-17 and under-19 players for its development program with more information available at the club website.
Handy player: Scoresby will look to promote younger players this season—Jarrod Hicks is pictured for the Magpies last year. Picture: Gary Sissons