Melbourne Lord Mayor By-Election

Dear South Yarra Resident.


Voting for Melbourne’s Lord Mayor closes this Friday May 11, 6PM


We would like to remind residents that both Rohan Leppert and Ken Ong supported the development of a car park under South Yarra’s Goodrest Heritage Building with Ken Ong going as far as threatening South Yarra Resident’s On-Street Carparking permits.

We recommend putting both Ken Ong and Rohan Leppert Last.

Now is the time to elect a woman as Melbourne’s next Lord Mayor.

Sally Capp, Sally Warhaft or Jennifer Yang.


Melbourne Lord Mayor By-election ‘How to Vote’

This is our South Yarra resident’s recommended ‘How=to-Vote’ for the forthcoming By-election ballots to be sent out late April-May.

We have decided to oppose sitting and former city councillors on the basis that they voted to support the Goodrest underground car park development and in the case of Ken Ong his proposal to remove residential parking permits.

The Greens in particular do not deserve our support. They supported the Goodrest underground carpark off Toorak Road placing our heritage at risk.  (Photos of proposed development below). Why?


We have chosen to support Sally Warhaft, Columnist and media commentator to best represent the South Yarra community





Calls for Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group President’s Resignation

Melbourne South Yarra Residents’ Group President, Michael Butcher,  continues to bring South Yarra residents and it members into disrepute resulting in calls for his resignation

Mr Butcher who had first called for the replacement of the Group’s  Treasurer, Pam Dethridge,  because he could not communicate with her, (Pam is death) was criticised for his autocratic and non democratic style of management.

Mr Butcher had also refused to distribute information about the residents association to apartments as he felt that flat dwellers were not interested in community issues or worthy of attention.

Criticism of Mr Butchers style of management came to the forefront in the lead up to the 2016 City of Melbourne Elections following a serious of personal attacks and abuse against the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle.

Residents were also concerned at the decision of the association to to issue a how to vote card during the election. Many residents felt that the association should not have issued an endorsed ticket and that instead should have organised a ‘Meet the Candidates’ meeting so that local issues confronting South Yarra could have been discussed.

Anthony van der Craats, Local Resident, former member of the MSYRG committee and candidate for last years Lord Mayor election said that Mr Butcher’s style of managements is not in the best interest of the groups members and continues to bring teh association into disrepute.  He has refused to raise or pursue a number of issues raised including the proposed Road tunnel under Punt Road, Local amenity and planning issues along St Kilda Road, the lack of Community facilities and heritage concerns in relation to the Goodrest development. ‘If Micheal Butcher was not interested in the issue nothing happens. An example of this was his refusal to support the holding of a public meeting to allow residents to meet the candidates for the state seat of Prahran.  The organisation of this event had to be done by others

“Michael Butcher was reluctant to hold any public meetings to engage residents and the groups members. He consistently ignored the rules to the association and only pursues his own agenda which is centered around proposed apartment development at 91 Millswyn Street”

Due to the lack of community facilities the groups’ Committee meetings are held at Mr Butcher’s house in Millswyn Street, making that much more difficult to criticise or oppose Mr Butchers style of management.

Mr van der Craats has said there was a need for an alternative, more democratic   and inclusive organisation to represents the community.

The recent decision to increase the MSRG’s membership fees to $45 is another example of the degree of elitism that has  been imposed on the association making it one of the most expensive resident groups in Melbourne   The organsiation which has around 150 members receives a subsidy of $3,000 by the City of Melbourne.  The administrative costs of the association are far less than the fee’s being charged. Most other resident’s associations membership fees are around $10 to $25 a year.

Mr van der Craats says he expects a further decline in membership as a result of Michael Butcher’s  ongoing policies of exclusion.

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