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On behalf of the FRA committee, welcome to the seventh edition of FitzTalk, our first for 2022. 
Those who attended the 2021 Annual General Meeting held at the Aegean Restaurant on 14 December, 2021 received the Annual Report. It can be accessed via Members also participated in a Q&A session with PK, representing People of Gertrude Street.
The meeting thanked Jean Darling and Sue Wheatley for their contribution to the work of the FRA Committee. Jean had provided expertise in social enterprise and social and environmental change over the past 2 years and Sue had served as Treasurer for 8 years and was passionate about our heritage and community lifestyle.
The members of the 2021/22 FRA Committee are:

Martin Brennan — Chair 
Martin joined the Committee 5 years ago and has lived in Fitzroy for the past 12 years. Before moving to Fitzroy Martin lived in North Melbourne for some 40 years and was a Melbourne City Councillor for three terms. His professional life was spent working with local governments across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands on the causes and impacts of climate change. His interests include participatory local government and achieving equitable, liveable and sustainable outcomes for the local community.
Brad Reynolds — Deputy Chair
Bradley joined the Committee almost four years ago. He has been a resident of Fitzroy for 16 years, and came from Sydney and hasn’t left. Bradley joined the FRA Committee with a keen interest in heritage protection and seeking improvements to community amenity including diverse and vibrant “high streets”. He has represented the FRA on the Yarra community graffiti trials, and that resulted in an improved resident offer being provided by Yarra City Council in September 2020.
Greg Chenhall — Secretary
Greg joined the Committee as Deputy Chair and was Council Liaison in 2019. In 2022 he has taken on the role of FRA Secretary instead, and continues as a member of Yarra Council's Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) until June when Council reviews HAC. Greg intends to work on furthering the connection with FRA members in 2022 through his contributions to FitzTalk and the planning of PubTalk events for members.
Mark Hoare — Treasurer & Memberships
Mark Hoare has lived in Fitzroy North and Fitzroy for almost 25 years.  He joined the FRA as a member in 2020 and then the committee as Treasurer in 2022. Mark is a CPA and has worked with leading technology companies providing digital transformation solutions. He is keen to work with the FRA committee and members to meet our objectives of improving the liveability and sustainability of Fitzroy.
Erin Tidswell — Social Media and Engagements
Erin joined the Committee in 2018, soon after moving to Melbourne in January of that year. She is a keen advocate for supporting and protecting local resident amenity, heritage and culture — that is what makes Fitzroy such a desirable place to live. After working in the corporate media and marketing industry for ten years, Erin returned to study in recent years, and is now working as a qualified Social Worker in the mental health sector. She is passionate about community development and connectedness, and promoting positive social activism.
Busra Sharp — Arts & Business
Busra has been calling Collingwood home and Fitzroy her playground since May 2021. Before COVID-19 hit, Busra worked for some of Melbourne’s most prominent arts organisations and festivals. Her career took a U-turn with the changing world — she now works in the digital team for the state government, supporting Victorian businesses. Busra believes in the transformative power of sense of community and shared experiences. By joining the FRA and the Committee, she strives to create new connections between arts organisations, small business owners and Fitzroy residents — contributing to things that make Fitzroy tick. 
The 2021 AGM confirmed the work we had undertaken which aimed at ensuring the liveability and sustainability of our suburb and our City. The continuing presence of COVID-19 requires all levels of government, business and residents to work together and build the community’s capacity to adapt to our changing circumstances.         

Your committee at work

The FRA will continue to respond to a range of local and city-wide opportunities and issues that will foster community and a sense of place. We will continue to seek development that respects our streetscapes and heritage, and ensures buildings are sustainable. We will work with residents impacted by new developments and assist them in seeking improvements. Our focus will be on strategic planning in support of residents seeking improvements to developments that adversely affect their street and neighbourhood. 
We look forward to working with you over the coming year.

Martin Brennan

Melbourne Pride — Sunday 13 February 11am to 9pm

A large street celebration will be held to commemorate 40 years since the decriminalization of sex between men this Sunday on Gertrude, Smith and Peel Streets in Fitzroy and Collingwood. The Midsumma organization has been engaged by the State Government to manage the event, which is supported by the City of Yarra. 
More information on the event, including amenity issues can be found on page and there is a FAQ section.

PubTalk # 1 — Save the Date

The FRA will hold its inaugural PubTalk for members and friends on Sunday 20 March 3.30pm to 5:30pm. Drinks will be available at bar prices. Before and after the Q&A session starting at 4pm there will be opportunities to chat with other members.

Planning Amendment C270

As reported in 2021 the request for built form interim Design Development Overlays, (DDOs) for 9 Collingwood / Fitzroy precincts was sent to the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, in January 2020. However in August 2021 the Minister only approved only 4 of the 9 DDOs, and excluded 5 DDOs that relate to Fitzroy. 
The Minister was of the view, unlike the Council, that increasing development pressure interim controls were needed, while the Council prepared an amendment to introduce permanent planning controls. 
The Fitzroy precincts cover some of Yarra's significant activity centres including Brunswick Street, Gertrude Street, Smith Street and Johnston Street and the FRA remains concerned especially in the current hyped development market. 
The Minister has established a Yarra Activity Centres Standing Advisory Committee to expedite the planning amendment process, but without the formal exhibition taking place in early 2022, protection of our streetscapes, heritage and environment is in jeopardy.

84 – 104 Johnston Street, Fitzroy 

PLN21/0625 84–104 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
9 storey commercial and residential development and 3 levels of car parking
65 apartments and 103 car spaces.

The FRA has reviewed the planning application for a revised apartment building at 84–104 Johnston Street, Fitzroy (opposite Coles). As readers will recall the Yarra City Council and the FRA were successful in their submissions and presentations to VCAT in October 2020 and Godzilla 1.0 was refused on the grounds of excessive height, massing, and failure to address the heritage values of nearby buildings and streetscape. The proposal has been reduced in height from 11 to 9 storeys and the architectural design has been altered to reduce its impact on the streetscape. Our objection can be read at

88 Kerr Street, 71 – 75 Argyle Street, 380 Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy

The FRA was a party to the VCAT Hearing in 2021 to determine the future of the proposed apartment development. The Tribunal issued an interim approval providing the applicant with the opportunity to address the issues raised during the hearing by preparing amended plans. 
Approval of DDO40 by the Minister, which covers the site for the proposed development, has however called into question the VCAT conditions. The Yarra City Council has therefore requested VCAT to revisit its decision as it contravenes DDO40. The VCAT has instead opted for the Council, applicant and objectors to make submissions that ‘address the issues related to the introduction of DDO40’.

Gore & Argyle Streets, Fitzroy

PLN21/0807 371–375 Gore and 195–197 Argyle Street, Fitzroy
8 storey residential development and 2 levels of car parking
49 apartments and 72 car spaces
  • Height, massing and design
  • Heritage values
  • Loss of privacy and overlooking
  • Traffic generation
  • Sustainable Management Plan
Our objection can be read at

Johnston, Gore and Argyle Streets, Fitzroy

PLN21/0670 223–229 Johnston & 368 Gore Street, Fitzroy
10 storey commercial and residential development and 3 levels of car parking
107 apartments and 146 car spaces
  • Height, massing and design
  • DDO 36
  • ESD
  • Traffic
  • Overshadowing and overlooking
Our objection can be read at

1–9 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

A development within the World Heritage Environs Area (or Buffer Zone) was approved by VCAT late in 2021. VCAT issued a permit which is slightly lower and also had some bulk removed from Marion Lane interface (than the Version 3 proposal put by the developer to Yarra Council). It is not known what the Federal Government will determine under the EPBC Act (in relation to impact of the proposal on world heritage site).

We have Mayor….and a Moderator!

Cr. Sophie Wade is a Nicholls Ward Councillor and the current Mayor of Yarra. Sophie Wade has lived in and around Yarra for most of her life — from her days crossing the Darebin Creek to primary school in Alphington, to socialising at cafes and bars in Fitzroy as a young adult, to playing netball in Clifton Hill. Sophie is a competition and consumer lawyer, and has also spent time doing pro bono work at Refugee Legal in Collingwood. Sophie cares about the climate, inequality, participation in democracy and making the world both greener and fairer. 

The Moderator

On 14 December 2021, the Minister for Local Government appointed Mr Yehudi Blacher as Council's Municipal Monitor for a period of six months commencing on Monday 20 December 2021. Under the Terms of Reference of Appointment, the Municipal Monitor is required to advise and provide assistance and support to the Council in relation to the improvement of the Council’s governance processes and practices across a range of councillor and administrative matters.

The FRA is interested in the brief provided to the Moderator which includes ‘any other Council governance policies, processes and practices’ and would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Moderator and discuss our interests that reflect our membership. It is our democratically elected Council!

Third Runway Proposed for Melbourne Airport

If the noise of planes overhead is an issue for you in Fitzroy, visit to gain information about plans for a third runway and Melbourne Airport’s 2022 Master Plan and make a submission.

We need YOU!

Have you considered becoming an FRA member and supporting the FRA Committee as we respond to local needs and interests? Membership underpins our advocacy role and with your support we can continue to discuss and act on a range of issues and opportunities for members and the wider community. 
Join the FRA at -

Find us on the web

For more in depth information on the work of the FRA go to
Compiled by:
Martin Brennan & Greg Chenhall
For additional information on any of the items in FitzTalk please email
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