Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blenheim Park is once again under attack from High Rise Development

Dear Friends

Here we go again! Blenheim Park is once again under attack from High Rise Development !

ü  The purpose of this email is to alert you to an issue that has come up.
ü  Put Tuesday 28th June @ 7pm aside to attend the Council meeting to have your say about this very important issue.
ü  Get ready to text, email and ring your Councillors – not yet, I will let you know when is the right time.
ü  Be ready for a photo in the newspaper in 2 weeks time – I will coordinate it with you.
ü  There is nothing more to do today. I will keep you informed.

As you know, Council on 26th April 2016 unanimously resolved to acquire the 3 houses adjacent to Blenheim Park and to incorporate that land into Blenheim Park. The resolution instructed the general manager to attempt, in the first instance, to acquire the land on commercial terms. That is, the developer would get a fair price for the land as it is currently zoned – low density residential (R2).

This resolution followed Councils 9-1 rejection of the developer proposing a 16 storey development with a floor space ratio (FSR) of 4.3:1.

A rescission motion has been put before Council and will be debated at the next Council meeting on Tuesday 28th June at 7pm. This rescission motion seeks to overturn the decision to acquire the land and return it to Blenheim Park. If the developer gets his way, he wants to try and convince Councillors that he is hard done by. He will tell Councillors that it isn’t fair that he can’t develop his land into 16 storeys. He will tell Councillors  that they will suffer financial hardship if we don’t allow him to develop the site as he wants. He will tell Councillors that there is something underhanded about the proposal that the community, some Councillors and staff want to preserve the amenity of local residents.

Let’s remember, when a developer buys low density residential home sites (Zoned R2) on the hope that they can rezone the land to high density for home units – it is a purely speculative proposal. It is a risk. It is a commercial decision. There is nothing underhanded about the community saying “Thanks but no thanks”. I am always in favour of reasonable development and allowing a mix of housing in the appropriate locations, but North Ryde has done its bit with the development of Lachlans Line and the North Ryde Station precinct. 

ü  Please feel free to pass on this email to other members of the community who has an interest in the future of Blenheim Park
ü  Keep Tuesday 28th June aside to attend the Council meeting at 7pm
ü  Get ready to ring, text and email your Councillors
ü  Talk to your neighbours

Councillor Craig Chung
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Treasure Trove: why defunding Trove leaves Australia poorer

Mike Jones, University of Melbourne and Deb Verhoeven, Deakin University
All swashbuckling pirates (and movie producers) know that if you want to find the treasure buried beneath the elusive X you first need a map. A charred fragment is no good: fortune only comes to those who hold enough pieces to follow the trail.
The National Library of Australia’s Trove service is that map for anyone wanting to navigate the high seas of information abundance. (You don’t even need to be a pirate.)
But our information plundering days may soon be over. Recently announced “efficiency dividends” mean that aspects of the Trove service will be scratched.
The news that Trove will face cuts has led to an outpouring of support on social media, with several thousand tweets using the #fundTrove hashtag.

So what exactly will we lose?
Trove pulls together metadata and content from multiple sources into one platform to make finding what you are looking for an efficient and successful experience.
As of February 25 2016, this includes information on over 374,419,217 books, articles, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives, datasets and more, expressing the extraordinarily rich history of Australian culture.
If, as someone interested in museums, I am looking for information on Sir Frederick McCoy, inaugural director of the National Museum of Victoria, a single Trove search reveals not just books and articles.
I’ll find information on archival collections at the State Library of Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, biographical entries from the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Encyclopedia of Australian Science, digital photographs, transcribed newspaper obituaries and images of documents such as a Geological Survey of Victoria map to which McCoy contributed.
Distributed content is available within seconds. The benefits to researchers, local and family historians, and the Australian community as a whole, is immense, resulting in over 70,000 unique visitors a day.

Yet, as The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday, staff have been told the federal government’s “efficiency dividend” will have a “grave impact” on the National Library. Aside from inevitable staff cuts,
The library will also cease aggregating content in Trove from museums and universities unless it is fully funded to do so.
This is the information equivalent to leaving money, or treasure, on the table.
Making Australia’s existing investment in information resources freely and efficiently available is not just a self-evident public good in terms of equality of access. The democratisation of information has clear benefits for innovation and the Turnbull government’s “ideas boom”.
Trove is a key piece of information infrastructure for many professionals, and this wealth of material isn’t behind a paywall or subscription service. There’s no requirement that users prove they are “bona fide” researchers (whatever that may mean).

It’s accessible to anyone with an internet connection; and the sources it draws on include more than the usual suspects. There’s content from small institutions and large, community collections as well as state-funded libraries, museums and archives.
In a sense Trove has been a revolutionary experience for those of us who rely professionally on access to high-quality information. Once our problem was that there was just too little to go on. Now there’s far too much.
Contrary to the myth of the lone researcher who loves spending hours scouring paper archives and libraries to discover “buried” or “lost” knowledge, humanities research isn’t primarily about the hunt for content. It’s about analysing, processing, interpreting, relating and synthesising useful content that has been found.
By dramatically reducing the time spent on the trail of content, Trove users spend less time hunting for the booty and more time working with the spoils.
Trove not only aggregates content, it provides sophisticated search capability to help narrow down thousands of results. It’s a focal point for the diverse community who help organise, correct and improve the information it contains.

For people and organisations with some coding skills there are also opportunities to harvest and process content via an API (application programming interface) to reveal new ways of looking at our shared heritage.
The Trove platform supports 21st-century innovation and agile practice. As a result, it has become essential and internationally renowned infrastructure for distributed, collaborative and responsive research into Australian society and culture.

As a past manager of Trove, Tim Sherratt, pointed out on Wednesday,
Trove is not going to be suddenly turned off.
But its relevance relies on constantly growing the knowledge and content it contains.
If the National Library puts Trove to the sword as a result of the government’s swashbuckling cuts, this innovative stash of content may end up dispersed and buried again, taking Australia off the map. That would definitely leave us poorer, an information desert island in an increasingly interconnected world.
The Conversation
Mike Jones, Consultant Research Archivist, University of Melbourne and Deb Verhoeven, Professor and Chair of Media and Communication, Deakin University
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.