Community Reference Group for the Bills Street development in Hawthorn

Community Reference Group for the Bills Street development in Hawthorn

JOHN KENNEDY’S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to their Elders past and present.

WELCOME AND THANKS

As Hawthorn MP and Chair I welcome and thank those serving on this Hawthorn Community Reference Group (CRG): 8 local residents and 8 others appointed from: Access Health, Boroondara Council (Mayor and Riversdale Ward Councillor), Hawthorn and Malvern Hockey Centre Trust, Hawthorn Cycling Club, Servants Community Housing and Victorian Public Tenants Association. Supporting CRG are Homes Victoria (HV) Staff and Hendrik Jacobs as my Chief Electorate Officer. I look forward to working with you.

INTRODUCTION TO JOHN KENNEDY
  • Boroondara ratepayer since 2004, with John and wife Bronwyn Lane downsizing from their family home in Deepdene to a 6-storey retirement village in Hawthorn.
  • Principal of non-government secondary school and subsequent self-funded retiree.
  • 24 November 2018 elected to Victorian Government as MP for Hawthorn’s 44,828 constituents and 65,331 residents
CONTEXT FOR JOHN’S ROLE AS VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT AND HAWTHORN MP

The Victorian Government’s expenditure of $5.4bn on its ‘Big Build’ of social and affordable housing entails construction of over 12,000 new units including 206 in Hawthorn at Bills Street. Most Australian States have a minimum of 5% of their housing stock allocated for social and affordable housing for those in need of one kind of another. Victoria only has 3% but is now catching up! Whether a mental health or other social issue, a basic step to improving a person’s lot is appropriate accommodation.

JOHN’S INVOLVEMENT SINCE 24 NOVEMBER 2018 STATE ELECTION

My first involvement in the Bills Street Development Project (BSDP) was on 18 March 2019 at a meeting called by Boroondara Mayor and Council Staff to discuss Council’s Urban Design Framework (UDF) for 1-12 Bills St. A document previously issued by Boroondara Council in February 2019 (Council Document) included reference to a Department of Health and Services (DHHS) Concept Plan which it received much earlier in December 2017. The Council Document included “key messages” such as supporting increased public housing but rejecting a 10% increase as “insufficient” and adopting a preferred UDF that restricts building to a maximum of 7 stories and dwelling yield of 228 apartments plus 15 townhouses.

In the intervening years HV has been responding to feedback from community and Council’s UDF. In revised plans:

  • Maximum heights reduced from 12 to 7 storeys (with 7 stories for only two buildings)
  • UDF proposed 243 dwellings reduced by HV to 206.
  • Higher number of social dwellings as part of the total dwelling mix (as requested by Council)
  • Aim to incorporate 15% of the dwellings to be 3 bedrooms
  • No sale of public land
  • Below market rental to provide housing for lower income groups
  • Realign Bills Street to act as a primary pedestrian and cycling connection.
JOHN’S CURRENT ROLE IN BSDP
  • Chair CRG with support from Government and its HV as the responsible and professionally qualified entity for design, landscape and other building matters. Issues of subjective and objective interest might include: amenity, environment, optics, parking, passive and active recreation, public transport, schools, traffic and “welfare” space. The support and cooperation of Boroondara Council, represented by Mayor Garry Thompson and Councillor Susan Biggar, is especially acknowledged.
  •  As the local MP and elected member of the Victorian Government I am here to lead and serve in ways that are fair, productive and compassionate. Education and Public Transport are amongst my areas of strongest interest.
EDUCATION

Bills Street is a very short walk to the well resourced Auburn High and Auburn South Primary which, over 2019-2021, respectively received Government capital and refurbishment grants of $15.63 million and $3.3 million, partly in anticipation of growth in its surrounding area. As a former Principal be assured of my continued deep practical interest.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Equally, as a non-driver and heavily reliant on public transport, I will work to ensure the very best of outcomes for all commuters.

The Bills Street Development is:

  • 2-minute walk to the 624-bus service on Auburn Road which delivers people to the 70 and 75 trams, Auburn and Tooronga Stations, Swinburne University, Monash Caulfield, and Chadstone Shopping Centre. An important job for me will be to advocate for an improved frequency of service as Bills Street families come
    into residence.
  • 10-minutes to Glenferrie Road tram stop for the 16 trams.
  • 13-minutes to Riversdale Road tram stop for the 70 and 75 trams.
  • 15-minutes to Kooyong Station on Glen Waverley line with train every 15 minutes and taking 12 minutes to city, with total travel time from Bills St of about 30 minutes.

For more information about the Bills St development, click here.

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