Dight’s Falls to be rebuilt

Update, 18 November: Here’s an article from The Age which suggests that the Channel Deepening Project may see toxic sludge disturbed by the dredging wash back up the 22 km long tidal estuary of the Yarra all the way up to Dight’s Falls, bringing foul smells with it.

Original article: Well, it’s not the most interesting news in the world, but apparently Dight’s Falls is to be rebuilt so that it looks just the same. Apparently they’re going to have a public consulation. They’re going to make an even better fish ladder to help little fishies, and eels to get over the big bump. Did you know that the eels that live in the Yarra can actually get out, walk around the falls, and get back in? That’s what the web says. What I’d like are some stepping stones across the top so you can walk over it safely. Anyone else?

Best new website this century? Melbourne bike paths plotted on Google world

Now this is what I call a great inovation: Bikely.  It plots bike paths, and users’ favourite on-road bike routes, on a street directory, and lets you look at the map in three views: standard street directory, Google world satellite imagery, or the latter with key roads superimposed (‘hybrid view’). Check out the 10 km loop taking in the Yarra Boulevard here, for example, and the instructions here.  All Abbotsford routes here.  The first hyperlink in this post are to all Victorian routes — 1616 of them. It also has running routes, which must also be walking routes.  It will be interesting to see whether it is possible to put links to Flickr images in the instructions. Maybe one day I’ll finish this blog’s first ever post, and plot the King Walk from the Carringbush to Dights Falls on the site as a running route. The beautiful photo is courtesy of A J Shcroetlin of Colorado.  Leave a comment if you think this site is as great as I do.

Oil slick on Yarra

There’s an oil slick on the Yarra River, from Abbotsford’s Johnston St bridge to Kew’s Fairfield Boat House, about 8 km. No one knows how it got there, but it is thought to result from more than 100 litres of lube oil entering the river. Read The Age here, News.com.au here, ABC here. How a journalist could possibly write with confidence that no wildlife has been injured so far is beyond me. The other report, that there was no evidence of any birds being affected was a much more sensible choice of words.

Tattooed lady corpse floating at Dights Falls

Did you hear? At 2 p.m. yesterday, a walker found a woman’s corpse wrapped in a blue sheet, weighed down by a large backpack full of weights. It was resting against the concrete barrier over which Dights Falls flow. We will know who it was soon enough: she had “Reggie” and “Elsie” tatts adorning her two wrists, and a gold navel stud, but the body has been in the water long enough for police to venture only that it appears to be a caucasian corpse. Keep you posted.

Update: the woman was 27 year old Balaclava woman Lynette Phillips. Her family is from the country. According to Sky News Online, she was a former heroin addict studying drug counselling at Swinburne University, and last seen in her flat on Monday. She is pictured in this Age article. Something I read suggested that the corpse is thought to have been dumped in the Merri Creek at Northcote.

But who was the walker? Abbotsford Blog wants to hear from you.

The other way Dights Falls have been making the news recently is in the government’s contemplation of the possibility of diverting “after-storms water” at Dights Falls and storing it in underground acquifers or in Yan Yean or Sugarloaf Reservoirs. By the end of the year, we will know whether Melbournians are set to drink Yarra River water from close to the centre of the city.

I went for a walk to the brewery

I decided yesterday to stroll down to the CUB brewery and take some photos. I discovered the following things:

  • the Nash Hotel, one block west along Victoria St from Church St (on the corner of Lambert St) looks like a good if slightly sterile hotel with a spic’n’span dining room; I had written it off without ever having peered through its windows: can anyone speak of it from experience?
  • at the end of Church St opposite the back end of the brewery, and near this sign, is what appears to be a hidden residence with spectacular views;
  • there is a warehouse down this driveway off Victoria Crescent which seems to have some lucky folk living in it, luxuriating in views like this and this and this and this;
  • another warehouse is said to be the Victorian government’s secret art storage facility;
  • I rediscovered the hidden park Flockhart Reserve, down the end of Flockhart St, which has The Terminus on its corner, on the other side of the river from the path which leads from the Gipps St bridge to the Walmer St bridge (Victoria Gardens);
  • there is a massive prop and scenery building enterprise down there;
  • there are two horses on a vacant block which must be worth a fortune, adjoining the hidden park, on which is also to be found two antique horse-drawn carriages and the frame only of what must once have been a home — unfortunately it was at this point that my camera batteries ran out.