GoodRest: Christ Church, City Council and VACT compromises Melbourne’s Heritage at risk

Christ Church and the The City of Melbourne compromises and places at risk  one of South Yarra’s most significant and iconic Heritage building.  Goodrest (Toorak Road West) The proposal was supported by Melbourne Greens Councillors Cathy Oake and Rohan Leppert
A recent decision by VCAT approving Christs Church’s re-development of the Goodrest site runs the risk of causing irreparable damage to existing A Grade heritage building.

The main issue of concern is the proposed underground carpark and its impact on the heritage significance of the site

The City Council’s heritage policy allows Underground Carparks to be constructed with the entrance blocking the view of the historic mansion.



Proposed Underground Carpark Entrance (Artists Impression)

Goodrest is a significant  iconic building for the South Yarra precinct and the construction of the underground carpark will obscure the building as seen from Toorak Road.

The City of Melbourne’s Heritage policy allows Underground Carparks to be constructed with the entrance blocking the view of the historic mansion.

The recent decision of VCAT , which approved the development with conditions, failed to consider heritage issues.

In spite residents’ concerns the Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group failed to list Heritage as a concern in its submission, concentrating instead on the impact of traffic on the amenity of the area.  The Residents association should have opposed the construction of the underground Carpark but failed to do so.

An engineers assessment commissioned by local residents states that the construction of the proposed Carpark risks damaging the Goodrest building itself.



The Age: Punt Road widening a vexed question for councils on either side of the road

City of Melbourne Traffic Engineer fails top consult residents or consider the alternative option of a Road Tunnel with above traffic servicing buses and local traffic . The costs of a “cross city” Road Tunnel between the Yarra Rver and Nepean Highway (4.3km) would be less than the amount of money wasted by the Andrews Government in scrapping the East West Link Tunnel and marginally more than the cost of the proposed road widening.

The State Government is conducting hearings on Punt Road Road Widening

Residents are asking why a Road Tunnel is not under Consideration. Some residents are concerned that the Government would over-inflate the cost of a tunnel thus ruling it out. Estimations of a tunnel with a exit ramp to Dandenong Road varies between 1 to 1.5 Billion Dollars


Extract of Article by

Clay Lucas
City Editor, The Age

Stonnington council says an option to widen Punt Road should be scrapped.

Stonnington Council says an option held since 1954, to widen Punt Road from four to six lanes, should be dumped.

Stonnington Council says an option held since 1954, to widen Punt Road from four to six lanes, should be dumped. Photo: Darrian Traynor

An option held by VicRoads since 1954 to bulldoze hundreds of properties on Punt Road to widen it for traffic should be dumped by the Andrews government, inner-city council Stonnington has argued.

But a transport advisor to Melbourne City Council has backed the need to keep the widening option in place, saying that ultimately Punt Road may need to be widened from four to six lanes so that dedicated bus lanes can be created.

And new, lower speed limits should be contemplated when permanent Punt Road clearways are introduced, the transport expert has recommended.

Public hearings began this week into whether to preserve the 2.5-kilometre public acquisition overlay along the eastern side of Punt Road.

Punt Road residents in South Yarra and Prahran want it scrapped, arguing the option to take their homes creates uncertainty and urban blight along the infamously congested arterial route – used by up to 40,000 vehicles a day.

But VicRoads wants the overlay kept, saying it will eventually be needed.

Labor went to the 2014 state election promising to review the overlay, saying it gave “locals no control over the fate of their own homes”.

Stonnington Council this week voted to ask for the Punt Road overlay to be dropped, and is appearing before the planning hearings to put its case.

The council has also highlighted the consequences for parking and traffic on side streets in South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor if Punt Road were widened.

Stonnington mayor Claude Ullin said widening Punt Road would not solve the congestion problems.

“It would just attract more traffic, as we’ve seen with all of the freeways we have. They were all built to ease traffic but now they are part of the problem.”

Cr Ullin said he had previously owned two properties on Punt Road and, in the two decades since he had sold them, traffic had not increased.

“Widening Punt Road just seems so unnecessary,” he said.

“It would create so much difficulty in terms of compensation, and all the heritage houses along there that would be destroyed.”

However an experienced transport planner hired by Melbourne City Council to give his view on the project has found that there could be a long-term need to widen Punt Road.

A six-lane road would “best cater for the long-term movement needs in the corridor”, wrote Knowles Tivendale, a principal at transport consultants Phillip Boyle and Associates.

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Punt Road Public Acquisition Overlay – City of Melbourne Draft Submission

The City of Melbourne adopted last Tuesday a draft “Punt Road Public Acquisition Overlay Options Report”

No consultation with residents or the local community most effected by the proposal

This draft was referred direct to Council without going though the Council’s Future Melbourne Committee, locking out public input into the draft submission.

There is an ongoing loss of confidence in the City of Melbourne’s Transport Portfolio chaired by Green Councillor Cathy Oake .  Councillor Oake and her fellow green Councillor Rohan Leppert, have been widely criticized for only consulting with Residents North of the City in Kensington.

Missing from consideration in the report is the long term solution and the preferred option of building a road tunnel under Punt Road.  All other solutions put forward in the City of Melbourne’s Draft plan spell a disaster for the local community and costs just as much as a Road Tunnel proposal estimated to cost around 1 Billion dollars

A road Tunnel should be considered in conjunction with the Metro Rail project as it also crossed  under Punt Road at its intersection with Toorak Road.

Although the Metro Rail Authority have stated that the Metro Rail Tunnel would not preclude a Road Tunnel under Punt Road they have no as yet presented and schematic draws that back up this statement.  The two must be designed together.

The failure of the City of Melbourne to canvass Road Tunnel in its draft submission  does little to instill public Confidence in the City of Melbourne Planning and Urban design departments.


Copy of the City of Melbourne Draft Submission adopted last Tuesday (24 November 2015)


Notice of Motion – David Davis

The following motion has been listed on the Victorian Legislative Council Notice Paper (yet to be debated).


187* MR DAVIS — To move —


That in accordance with Standing Order 11.01, there be tabled in the Council by 12 noon on Tuesday, 8 December 2015, a copy of all documents relating to traffic flows, projections and plans produced, developed, considered or researched by VicRoads, State Government departments and other State Government authorities concerning Punt Road (also referred to as Hoddle Street) between St Kilda Road and Swan Street, including but not limited to —

(1) the Punt Road Public Acquisition Overlay documentation, and any assessments thereof including legal advice;

(2) advice or assessments concerning road alternatives and alignments and road options to better connect the ends of Punt Road between St Kilda Road and Swan Street, including tunnel options, ‘cut and fill’ options along the current Punt Road alignments or other alignments and options to widen Swan Street Bridge;

(3) all documents, correspondence and briefings received by the Punt Road Public Acquisition Overlay Advisory Committee, including material provided for or from public consultations;

(4) all documents examining the impact of widening or other changes on the amenity of Punt road and neighbouring residents;

(5) all documents examining the impact of widening or other road and traffic changes on the health of Punt Road residents and neighbouring residents;

(6) all documents examining the impact of widening or other road and traffic changes on the local schools and students attending those schools, including Christ Church Grammar, Wesley College (all local campuses and facilities), Christ Church Grammar Pre-School, South Yarra Primary School, Melbourne Girls Junior Grammar (Morris Hall), Melbourne Girls Grammar School (Merton Hall), including any examination of the impact of potential changes, especially examinations of changed risks to safety brought about by increased traffic movements, including students crossing Punt Road;

(7) all documents examining the impact of widening or other road and traffic changes on the aged and other care facilities, including Centennial House Nursing Home, Royal Freemasons Homes of Victoria, Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, The Alfred Hospital and Montefiore Homes for the Aged;

(8) all documents examining the impact of widening or other road and traffic changes on the access and amenity of residents in neighbouring streets, including the impact on local community of the above potential road changes;

(9) documents, assessments or examinations of the impact of different road options considered on the preservation of public green spaces, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Yarra River and associated Precinct and Fawkner Park;

(10)the use of the Morell Bridge, including changes of access and new bridge options or alternatives, including connections between Punt Road, the Morell Bridge and Anderson Street;

(11)options and models for funding road widening and traffic changes alternatives (including all tunnel or cut and fill alternatives) including levies and tolls; and

(12)all consultancy or internal reports undertaken, completed or otherwise, relating to the above.


[Notice given 10 November 2015 — Listed for 1 day].

Melbourne Metro – Public Consultation

Questions to Melbourne Metro Authority,

Will the Domain Station incorporate an underground Shooing Mall to meet the local residential communities needs given that the City Council has failed to protect the local amenity in teh Domain Road Precinct?

Will the design of each station be subject to a competition and independent tender so each station will have a unique local character (As is the case in the Moscow Metro) or will it be bland corporate style conformity across the network?

Will the Metro Tunnel facilitate and include a design for a Road Tunnel under Punt Road or will it preclude a Road Tunnel?

When will Metro Rail be able to provide a schematic design showing RLs and how a Road Tunnel will be function at the intersection of Punt Road?

Would it not be better and cheaper to design and construct a Road Tunnel under Punt Road between the Yarra and Carsile Sreet /St Kilda Road (4.3KM) at the same time as the Metro Ral Tunnel?

Given that the Government is now proposing to not build an Interchange at South Yarra Station, what impact will this have on the Tram Network and the Domain Interchange. Even more so if Yarra Trams plan to abolish the historic Number 8 Tram?

Are Metro Rail taking to and consulting Vicroads, Yarra Trams in the design of the Network and how it relates to South Yarra, Punt Road and the Domain Precinct with the long term vision in mind or is it piece meal each doing just their bit?

Will there be a future train tunnel link from Domain, South Melbourne and Fishermans Bend?


Link to the Metro Tunnel web site Click here

Letter from Melbourne Metro Rail Authority

Dear South Yarra Residents

Please find below details of our upcoming information sessions and yoursay portal.

Information Sessions

Members of Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group are invited to drop in anytime during these sessions to meet the project team, view tunnel and station locations and provide feedback on project plans.

Tuesday 10 November: Seasons Botanic Gardens, 348 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 5:30 – 7:30PM
Saturday 14 November: Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston St, Melbourne, 11AM – 1PM
Wednesday 18 November: Punthill South Yarra Grand, 7 Yarra St South Yarra, 6 – 8PM
Friday 20 November: Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston St, Melbourne, 12 – 2PM

Have your say on the Melbourne Metro Rail Project

You are also invited to provide feedback on the project, which will be used to help us prepare our official planning documents. These documents will go on public display next year. It will also help us as we continue to develop the design for Melbourne Metro.

You can visit to participate in online forums and complete a short survey about how you use the proposed project areas.

I will arrange to have some information packs posted to you ahead of your AGM.


Dave Kristy
Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Melbourne Metro Rail Authority

MM BROCHURE 20151008 Eastern Portal Precinct Brochure 4pp PROOF


Vicroads review fails to consider Road Tunnel under Punt Rd

Vicroads in reply to correspondence has stated that they have not considered a road tunnel option for Punt Road. this in spite the fact that John Brumby had previously considered a number of various grade separations options for the Punt Road.Hoddle Street Corridor.

It is estimated that the retention of the compulsory acquisition  and purchase of property to allow Punt Road to be widened would cost approximately 750 Million Dollars.  Estimations for the construction of a road tunnel under Punt Road varies from $150 to $250 Million dollars to build a Road Tunnel.

What is important is the design of the Metro Rail project which crosses Punt Road at Toorak Road.  Metro Rail claims that the design woll not impact on a Road Tunnel under Punt Road but have failed to provide any schematic design drawings that confirm  the two can co-exist.  Vicroads statement that they have not considered a Road Tunnel option raises serious questions as to the planning process.  The terms of reference for the advisory committee makes no reference to a Road Tunnel option.

Thanks again for your email, we appreciate the time you have taken to email us.

A number of the questions you have raised have been addressed in the Punt Road Background Report and Punt Road Concept Options Report currently online at:

You will see on the website an independent advisory committee has been appointed to report and recommend on whether to modify or remove the Public Acquisition Overlay affecting Punt Road within the City of Stonnington. It is recommended that interested parties like yourself make a submission on the Background and Options reports, as part of this process. Submissions can be made online and close at 5pm on Tuesday 24 November 2015.

In terms of your most recent question no studies have been undertaken into road tunnels, in the area you have requested. Therefore costs, constructability (e.g. cut and cover or boring), interchange locations (entry and exits) and tunnel infrastructure locations (e.g. ventilation stacks, control rooms) are unknown.

Thanks again for your query.

Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact me on the phone number below.

Kind Regards

Mark Rowland
A/Manager – Tram & Bus Projects
Metropolitan Projects (Central)
1 Spring St
Melbourne VIC 3000



Avoiding the question – Yes Minster Style. What to do with Punt Road?

Earlier this year we wrote to the Minister for Local Roads seeking detailed information as to the propose changes to Punt Road and the cost of Road widening versus a Road Tunnel.


We specifically asked

I would like to know how much world a Road tunnel under punt Road cost to construct and if he development and design of the Metro Tunnel which Cross Punt Road will impact or preclude a future Road Tunnel.  Ideally the two would be constructed together.

Nathan Corcornon from Vicroads wrote back with the following reply ignoring our question

Thank you for your email in regards to Punt Road.

The ‘Punt Road Investigation’ aims to provide the government with possible short-term options to improve the corridor. The investigation aims to improve safety for all road users, help traffic flow, increase reliability of public transport and improve accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians along and across the entire corridor.

Possible improvements that are being investigated include implementing 24-hour clearways, introducing a fifth lane within the existing road reserve, east-west connectivity improvements and public transport priority measures.

Tunnels require significant financial resources and typically involve a long and disruptive construction period. At this point in time Punt Road is not as efficient as it could be, the focus of the Punt Road Investigation therefore, is to develop solutions that maximise the operation of the infrastructure we already have (i.e. Punt Road) to ensure it operates at maximum efficiency.

Additionally, only 15-20% of vehicles are travelling the majority of the length of the Hoddle-Punt corridor, therefore there will still be significant demands on the surface road network that need to be addressed.

Any options to improve Punt Road are being examined alongside the Streamlining Hoddle Street initiative which aims to improve travel times and reliability of trips along Hoddle Street.

As we are still in the ‘exploring’ phase of the project, feedback received is being used to help us prioritise areas for improvement and subsequently guide options development. These options will be presented to Government in early 2016.

Once again, thank you for your input.

Kind regards,

Streamlining Hoddle Street & Punt Road Transport Investigation Project teams

In 2009/10 the Brumby Government looked at what to do with Hoddle Street Punt Road and cam up with a proposal for grade separation and a tunnel at budget cost of 1.5 Billion Dollars

This proposal has fallen off the radar and Nathan Conornan is apparently not aware of it.

What is of concern is that the cost of purchasing property top facilitate a road widening of Punt Road is estimated to cost around $750 Million and it will not facilitate or address the traffic concerns along Punt Road.

Contrary to the statement made by Nathan Conornan the percentage of vehicles traveling along Punt Road that travel the full length from the Yarra to Carlisle Street is greater than 80%.  the 15%-20% figure he quotes is the full Hoddle/Punt Road (Clifton Hill to St Kilda) corridor.

Whats more the Metro Rail Project which will no longer stop at  serve South Yarra is most likely ignored the need to design both tunnels (Road and Rail) together.  The Metro rail may prohibit any future road tunnel option under Punt Road.

State Planning at its worst.   Again the Government is remaining numb on these issues. Metro Rail is not talking to Vicroads and both are not talking to the community. They certainly are not listening.



Melbourne Metro to bypass South Yarra

In a highly disappointing announcement the proposed Melbourne Metro Train will bypass South Yarra.


When taken into consider  with the proposed changes to Tram number 8 South Yarra will not have a direct route to Melbourne University further isolating South Yarra Residents,  This will result in halving South Yarra’s Transport options and makes a mockery of South Yarra Planning and development. South Yarra has a number of high rise high density developement that are specifically aimed at the student market.


Having lost the Seat of Prahran in 2014 the State Government has shown no interest or concern over South Yarra residents who have been ignored in the consultation and planning of Melbourne’s Transport Plans

The Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group is planning to hold its Annual General Meeting on November 12 at which Melbourne Metro is listed for discussion




Punt Road: Cost of building a Road Tunnel

Melbourne’s CityLink Tunnel had a capital cost of $100 million a kilometre (10 per cent of East West estimates) and Sydney’s Westlink M7 had a capital cost of $58 million.

At this rate the cost of building a road tunnel from the Yarra to Nepean Hwy (4.3KM)would be cheaper than purchasing property to widen Punt Road,


Side note: Australia Stock  market lost 9.5 Bill Dollars today


Improving Hoddle Street and Punt Road

The Andrews Labor Government has today started public consultation on its plan to reduce congestion on the Hoddle St – Punt Rd corridor.

The Labor Government wants to hear from motorists, cyclists and public transport users who use the corridor as well as local residents and business owners.

The local communities’ views and the thousands of people who use the corridor every day as a bypass, a distributer and a crossing point, as well as residents and business owners in the area, are a vital part of investigations into traffic management improvements which will be made over the next two to four years.

The community can use an online mapping tool on the VicRoads website to provide feedback on their experiences along particular parts of the corridor.


Residents and motorists will also be able to attend local drop in sessions on:

  • Saturday 12 September – Catholic Leadership Centre Cnr Hoddle St and Victoria Pde, East Melbourne 9:00am–12:00pm and 2:00pm–5:00pm
  • Wednesday 16 September – Wesley College, St Kilda Rd Campus Cnr Punt Rd and High St, Melbourne 10:00am–1:00pm and 5:30pm–8:30pm

This feedback will inform options for the Labor Government’s $60 million Streamlining Hoddle Street Initiative, which will use improved traffic management technology and innovative engineering solutions to streamline traffic and public transport on Hoddle St.

Feedback will also inform short term improvements along Punt Rd. Options being considered include full time clearways, which would involve relocating on-street parking, and the potential to implement a fifth lane within the existing road lanes.

The investigations will focus on reducing congestion, increasing reliability of public transport and improving access for cyclists and pedestrians and improving safety for all road users on the Hoddle St-Punt Rd corridor.

Up to 90,000 vehicles travel on Hoddle St each day and up to 40,000 vehicles travel Punt Rd. Around 200,000 people travel across Hoddle Street on intersecting roads, with around half on public transport.

For more information on the consultation and to have your say visit

“We’re getting on with our plan to reduce congestion on Hoddle Street and Punt Road. The Government wants to hear from everyone in the community on how they use this road corridor, so that we can best reduce congestion. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to unclogging our roads, ensuring Victorians can get home safer and sooner.”

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan