Urgent crowd-funding required for VCAT battle. No Boxing Day bargain is more important than this

We hope you all had a very merry day yesterday filled with plenty of laughter and cheer. Now it’s Boxing Day. A day traditionally used for spending leftover Christmas money on so-called bargains that often aren’t really needed. So we have a proposition for you and we need this one SHARED moreso than any other post or request we’ve ever made.

Jinshan have applied to VCAT to demolish the Palace Theatre. The City of Melbourne will resist and we want to carry our campaign into VCAT as well. On 23 December Save The Palace committee, Melbourne Heritage Action and  National Trust all lodged applications to be parties to the VCAT hearing.  We have had generous offers of legal support from lawyers and legal firms, however even with the reduced costs offered there is still a substantial cost to be met for senior barrister representation and expert witnesses. We are aiming to raise $15,000 in order to be represented at the Practice Day Hearing on 16 January, possible mediation in February, and the full hearing which will last for at least a week commencing 30 March 2015.

Today  we are today launching our Save The Palace fund.  We are utilising a previously created National Trust donation page but can assure you that every cent raised will be directed towards paying our legal costs and there will be full transparency of where the money is being spent.  Funds can be donated securely online to the National Trust. ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE and all funds raised will be used to help prepare and deliver our combined case legal case at VCAT.

We beg each and every one of you to SHARE, RETWEET or EMAIL this post and donate as much as possible.

We cannot do this part without you.

National Trust – Save The Palace Donation Page



Posted in culture, heritage, itsnotoveryet, melbourne, music, palace, palacetheatre, savethepalace, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘White knight’ finally named. Yes, they’re real!

Many of you have probably been wondering for some time who on earth this ‘white knight’ is? Do they really exist? What on earth can they do? We can assure you that they are well and truly real.
They are the Mint Group and they have had a huge amount of interest in the Palace Theatre since it was originally for sale. Unfortunately for them and us, they were the second highest bidder at that time. They are still interested, in particular, for the purchase of the freehold and if Jinshan Invesments  could just develop some sort of moral conscience we could see the Theatre restored to its former glory and everyone could walk away feeling much better about themselves as human beings. (yes, even their lawyers!)
If this were to happen, the business would be spearheaded by former Palace business owner/General Manager – Greg Young.
One of Mint Groups flagship businesses is Koko in London. A 100 year old theatre restored and now being used as a venue.  Sound familiar?  You can check out the history of Koko here:
Koko UK – History
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Legal or planning experience with VCAT proceedings urgently required #savethepalace (18/12/14)

We need your help and the only way to ensure this news is spread far and wide is to share this post as well as talk to friends, colleagues, family. Please retweet, email or share our post.

Jinshan’s ongoing push will now be going to VCAT. The matter is due to be heard from 30 March 2015. We would expect the City of Melbourne will be resisting the application by Jinshan Investments to demolish and develop the Palace Theatre site. There will be a “Practice Day hearing” on 16 January when all the parties that wish to be formally involved will resolve preliminary or procedural issues prior to the final hearing. There may be a mediation session in February, but with 900+ objectors and such polarised positions between the applicant and objectors this may not happen. We are working with National Trust and Melbourne Heritage Action to be a party to VCAT with legal representation to make our own submissions objecting to demolition. Cutoff date for submissions will be January 9, so clearly with Christmas and New Year in between, time is of the essence.

Friends, family, colleagues. Anyone with knowledge and a background in Planning and Legal requirements willing to offer their time to participate in this, we implore you , please email us: [email protected]

Posted in heritage, itsnotoveryet, melbourne, music, palace, palacetheatre, savethepalace, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Council has requested recommissioning of sprinkler heads for Palace Theatre (16/12/14)

For those who have been concerned with the decommissioning of the sprinklers at the Palace Theatre.
Following our queries at the council meeting last Tuesday, we have been in discussions with the Municipal Building Surveyors confirming to them that one of our committee members witnessed the emptying of the sprinklers on Thursday 21 November.

The surveyor has advised ‘they conducted a site inspection resulting in a Building Order Minor Works having been issued (dated Dec 4, 2014) which included to reinstate the sprinkler heads…..fyi, building orders and notices are not public documents and we cannot provide copies of them’

We are in the process of following up how they confirm this work has been carried out.

#savethepalace #itsnotoveryet

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Future Melbourne Committee Meeting 09/12/14 (Audio)

Stream the discussion around the Palace Theatre from the Future Melbourne Committee Meeting (December 9, 2014) below, or click here to download and listen later.

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This round goes to the #savethepalacecampaign (10/12/14)

At Future Melbourne Committee on Dec 9th, councillors voted 5-3 in favour of refusal to the demolish the Palace Theatre and the subsequent construction of an insignificant 7 storey hotel. The Save The Palace Committee is incredibly thrilled with this result. For a brief moment in time, the world was a wonderful place to be. It’s been a long, arduous journey for us and to see our constant campaigning, lobbying, letter-writing and rallying finally pay off with some results was ridiculously satisfying. We thank everyone who has provided us with support and guidance most particularly the last couple of weeks.

Its not over yet, but for a brief second we’ll sit back and bask in this momentary glory and then regroup and prepare for our next steps and our next battle.

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Back to council for final vote on application Dec 9 (9/12/14)

Big thanks to the guys fromThe Buskers Guide who put this short clip together for us from our rally a couple of weeks ago. We return to Council tonight to ensure that they back up their acknowledgement of the Statement of Significance last week with a vote to reject the demolition and insignificant hotel.
We’ll try to live tweet as much as possible through the meeting. We’re Agenda item 6.1 so should be up first.
All welcome to attend for support
Follow us: @savethepalace13


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There is no shame Jinshan in doing the right thing (7/12/14)

“As with many Chinese buyers they’re not traders of assets, they’re holders of assets. I would be very surprised if he did decide to [sell],” – CBRE’s – Mark Wizel who sold the property to Jinshan in 2012
..and herein is where our problem lies. This developer, Xianwen Xu from Jinshan Developments should cut his losses and sell. We have fought him at every turn and will continue to fight him.
His $180m development is long gone and he’d be lucky to recover his investment with this new one. Seven storeys, only 3 with windows, no views, you can call it boutique all you like. Bates Smart should be ashamed of their work on this as it is nothing but a cheap, budget hotel with nothing going for it. He should show the people of this city some respect, return it to them and look elsewhere. His notoriety within this city now is from nothing but disdain. He could turn it all around and actually earn some respect back.  There is absolutely no shame or failure in doing that, only honour

Palace Theatre enters last chance saloon as the bulldozers warm up.

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Future Melbourne Committee Meeting 02/12/14 (Audio)

Stream the discussion around the Palace Theatre from the Future Melbourne Committee Meeting (December 2, 2014) below, or click here to download and listen to it later.

Below is a brief summary of the discussion. Use this as a reference to jump to specific moments in the conversation:

00:00:00 – Lord Mayor opens meeting
00:00:50 – Planning Officer’s report
00:05:56 – Cr Wood seeks clarification whether the removal of heritage fabric was unlawful
00:07:00 – Cr Leppert questions exclusions from amended heritage report
00:09:47 – Cr Watts questions inconsistency of heritage reports “whole situation is disgraceful”
00:12:02 – Chris Thrum (Save the Palace Supporter) addresses Council
00:15:38 – Jessica Adams (AMMP, Amphlett Lane) addresses Council
00:19:20 – Cr Mayne asked Jessica Adams to present a message from MP Martin Foley
00:20:00 – Cr Leppert inquires about eyewitness account of tunnel between Princess & Palace
00:21:10 – Rebecca Leslie (Save the Palace Committee) addresses Council
00:24:33 – Michael Raymond (Save the Palace Committee) addresses Council
00:28:08 – Katrina Grant (Melbourne Heritage Action) addresses Council
00:31:23 – Lyn Raymond (Save the Palace Supporter) addresses Council
00:35:00 – Rory O’Connor (Norton Rose Fulbright on behalf of Jinshan Investments Pty Ltd) interjects
00:35:15 – Phil Gleeson (Urbis Pty on behalf of Jinshan Investments Pty Ltd) addresses Council
00:38:27 – Cr Watts queries resolutions
00:39:40 – Cr Mayne seeks clarification on what advice Urbis gave to Jinshan
00:39:55 – Rory O’Connor (Norton Rose Fulbright on behalf of Jinshan Investments Pty Ltd) addresses Council. Accuses Cr Leppert of misconduct
00:42:00 – Cr Forster questions Mr O’Connor’s approach to the accusations
00:43:14 – Council Management addresses questions of administrative law
00:45:00 – Tristan Davies (Melbourne Heritage Action) addresses Council
00:48:02 – Paul Roser (National Trust) addresses Council
00:51:40 – Greg Young (Palace Theatre business operator) addresses Council. Introduces new evidence of heritage significance and confirms ‘rumours’ of ‘White Knight’
00:54:30 – Cr Ong speaks about Palace Theatre saga. Asserts that not enough interest has been expressed from music lovers in an effort to save the Palace prior to its acquisition by Jinshan. Cr Ong asserts that this debate has been unfair on the developer.
01:02:05 – Cr Mayne supports Cr Ong’s views. ‘Sovereign Risk’, ‘Changing the rules on the developer’ and describes the situation as a ‘mess’. Encourages better communication from Jinshan with the Council.
01:08:53 – Lord Mayor Doyle supports Cr Ong and Cr Mayne and makes a ‘personal’ objection. Strongly defends the developer and suggests that demolition of the Palace is warranted according to the advice received from Planning Officers.
01:14:51 – Cr Leppert speaks to motion. He seeks to clarify the difference between Council acting as a ‘Planning Authority’ and a ‘Responsible Authority’ and asserts to what the Council’s ‘job’ is. Questions inconsistency between heritage reports by Graeme Butler. Defends himself from accusations made by Mr O’Connor. Seeks amendments to the motion which subsequently are defeated.
01:21:00 – Cr Oke seconds Cr Leppert’s motion for amendment
01:22:00 – Cr Oke speaks to amendment
01:25:00 – Cr Wood speaks to motion in agreement with Cr Mayne’s views
01:28:50 – Cr Leppert moves addition amendment (with some difficulty); seconded by Cr Watts but defeated
01:31:00  – Final vote on motion; carried
01:31:30 – Lord Mayor Doyle invites questions from the public
01:32:30 – Lyn Raymond (Save The Palace Supporter) addresses Council
01:33:50 – Michael Raymond (Save The Palace Committee) addresses Council. Questions social investigation as to why it has not been conducted properly, nor by an expert in that field (social science). The point received little acknowledgement.
01:39:00 – Rebecca Leslie (Save The Palace Committee) addresses Council. Asks where an apparent second peer report (investigation in to social significance) is. Council denies to know anything of it. Council Management confirms that another company was engaged to investigate this aspect but this engagement was terminated by Council. No reason given.
01:41:00 – Lord Mayor Doyle declares meeting closed.

Posted in culture, heritage, itsnotoveryet, melbourne, music, palace, palacetheatre, savethepalace, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The public should be outraged at the Palace turn of events #savethepalace #itsnotoveryet (2/12/14)

The Age reports a nail in the Palace Theatre coffin. It’s this simple, to change a report and recommendations and make it only available to the public on the day of the council vote is outrageous. To not consider the remaining relevance of the building and it’s significance both architecturally, aesthetically, historically and culturally is a crime. We consider that to not act on clear observations of rampant destruction displays possible gross negligence on the council and planning officers part. Do we need to start sharing images of the Regent Theatre of the fire in 1945 that destroyed the building? The Regent Theatre is listed for both its State and Local significance. Council should be considering all of these points in their assessment and will vote on whether or not to protect the theatre tonight. If you feel it necessary to speak to the amendment you must register your intention by 4pm today. Remember: if you register to simply abuse Councillors, you’re not helping anything. Strong argument is what is required.. ([email protected])

A day ago there was no argument to the Heritage Report on the council. Really, who are the goalposts moving for now?

#savethepalace #itsnotoveryet #palacetheatre

Palace Theatre no longer worth protecting after recent damage

Oh, and if you’re interested. This is what remained of the Regent Theatre that is now protected at state and local levels. You remove some plaster and tiles and suddenly the internal significance isn’t there? What a crock. Balconies, floor, ceiling, stage – all intact. The Palace  is a live entertainment venue that has had ongoing use for 100 years. It is socially significant. There is social heritage value. A valid form of heritage afforded protection under national conventions.

Regent Fire 1945

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