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Construction Progress at old savoy tavern site melbourne opposite southern cross train station Fragrance group development

I was in Melbourne for the day, and happened to pass by the 1800m2 old savoy tavern site opposite southern cross Spencer street station, on the corner of Bourke street and Spencer street. (134-160 Spencer Street, West Melbourne)WP_20170815_17_08_03_Pro

Beyond the fence was a gigantic hole where the new building’s basement was being constructed into the bowels of the earth with huge pile drivers, concrete and steel.

Being built on the site by Fragrance group is a 68 story tower, which will house 660 apartments, and 160 hotel rooms.

Fragrance group is controlled by the billionare singapore businessman Koh Wee Meng, who also goes by the name James Koh.

The this is a significantly downscaled project compared to the original proposal, of a 300 metre high tower, which would have overshadowed the Yarra River, and housed over 1000 apartments, mostly of sub 40m2 “dogbox” proportions.  (see pic below from fairfax website)

find more at this link:


Pic: fairfax group.

Fragrance group bought the site off an Australian, Mark Rowsthorn who had held the site since 2005, who has acquired the property from the Republic of Nauru for the bargain knockdown price of $9.9m, and left the site derelict till 2014, when the original savoy tavern building was refurbished in conjunction with Sam Danish, who reportedly hopes to secure a presence in the new building, as trade at the pub was strong during it’s short revitalized history over the last couple years. Back in 1973, the savoy tavern apparently sold more litres of beer than any other single pub in the whole of the state of Victoria, highlighting the prominence of the site and commercial potential for any business which may operate there int he future.

Its first Australian acquisition was a site on Hobart’s historic waterfront, at 28-30 Davey Street, which it has grand plans to develop a 20 story hotel and conference center, designed by architect Samuel Haberle.

Fragrance already has a 296 room hotel under construction on Macquarie street, and has plans for another hotel in collins street, pictured below.

Hobart is unsure about the appropriateness of this development on its historic waterfront precinct.

Fragrence goup collins street development proposal.


Healthy Choice 1000W kitchen mixer ebay australia review unboxing Lenoxx MMX150

A new recent WP_20170909_13_19_02_Proacquisition from eBay that arrived last week  is the bargain “Healthy Choice” branded 1000W power kitchen aid style stand planetary action kitchen mixer with 5lt stainless steel bowl, splash guard, egg whisk, mixing beater (k beater), dough hook and for some reason, a plastic spatula.  (Who knows why they bothered with a spatula!)

The instruction manual was even useful because it was written in understandable English for once!

The mixer also goes by the name of the Lenoxx 100oW MMX150
It was a present for the lass, who dearly wanted to make up a very special cake.

When picking up the box from big W using the very convenient click & collect service, we were a little concerned that the box the mixer came in was made of old cardboard and duct tape… but inside, the normal retail box was revealed, with the packaging still sealed, suggestive that we had received a brand new item for our money, as had been promised.(phew!)

WP_20170909_13_05_37_Pro  The machine inside the retail box was well packaged, with moulded styrofoam, and silky plastic baggies on all accessories, cords etc to prevent scratching, so it easily survived it’s probable role as the ball in the aussie post and woolworths distribution centre football match it probably went though on the way to its destination.

Visually and aesthetically, it’s a handsome machine, especially considering the bargain sub-$150 pricetag, and that we used one of ebay’s regular 20% off discount codes when using paypal.






Build quality is not half bad for the price, with thick cast alloy attachment accessories (pictured above), a stainless bowl of a decent gauge which is not flimsy, and a pretty solid and high quality feeling “business end” on the planetary mixing action (see image below), and thoughtful design additions like VERY VERY sensitive and sticky suction cup feet, which, to my amazement, somehow even managed to develop a death like grip on the lightly oiled chopping board I initially perched it on for inspection.


WP_20170909_13_22_28_ProMy only criticisms are fairly minor, in that the outer case of the machine itself and it’s controls aren’t of particularly heavy weight plastic-all the quality engineering and manufacturing budget for the machine clearly went into the essential working parts.


I’d say if it fell off the bench, or you were a bit rough with the controls there’s no doubt that it would end up cracked or broken- it’s not built for an abusive environment.

That said, most people look after their appliances, and it has those amazing sticky feet I mentioned earlier which would prevent any inadvertent kitchen kamikaze antics from this device- there’s no way it can “walk” and buck off the bench while unattended.

Notes on operation-

The control dial indicates four key speeds of operation- off, MIN, MID, and MAX, with about 10 apparent graduations in between, creating a theoretical 40 speed mixer.

In practice however, the mixer has about SIX main speeds, and the dial is digital, not analog in nature- What does this mean in english though? i.e. the position of the dial dictates a “target” speed for the machine- unlike on old sunbeam units like your grandma probably still uses, where moving the dial INSTANTLY feeds extra power immediately to the motor, or brakes the motor immediately, the digital controls on this machine are a fair bit more indirect- there are probably some fancy electronics in there which protects and STOPS the motor from being overloaded, or braking too sharply, causing damage to the motor and drivetrain- a very good thing!

What this ultimately means though is that this machine should last longer because the way the chef dials the controls abruptly simply cannot cause damage to the machine- it protects itself from abuse.

For example, smashing the dial up to MAX, from stationary, with the dough hook wodged in some very thick cake batter, will result in the machine Sloooowly working up to maximum speed at a rate that isn’t bad for the motor- the inbuilt intelligence in the unit also makes the mixer less prone to stalling when working hard, overspeed, or overheating.

Healthy choice mixer MMX150

Australian standard electrical compliance and manufacturer status.

Upon turning the machine over, a clearly legible, silver sticker on the base shows an RCM mark, which should be a clear indication that the machine has been professionally tested at an accredited test lab, and paperwork relating to the safety of the machine has been compiled- the mixer is clearly NOT a dodgy grey import, of questionable quality that is likely to kill you through electrocution, or burn your house down.

The RCM mark, and the fact that the machine was imported by a reputable electronics company, Lenoxx, which has been around for a long time gives the consumer a great deal of confidence that this is a quality and safe product, whose manufacturer warranty is likely to be honored if there is a problem.




Gong Gong Reservoir park reserve ballarat public BBQ & bushwalks + address GPS location

Gong GongWP_20170826_15_32_12_Pro reservoir park is located less than 10 kilometers outside of Ballarat, along the Daylesford-Ballarat road, just past the brewery tap road turnoff.

Technically, the address to tap into your GPS is:

255 Daylesford Rd, Gong Gong VIC 3352

The public recreational park in Ballarat is operated and maintained by Central Highlands water.

Tours and community educational activities are run by CHW on a regular basis on the site

Call CHW on 1800-061-513 for more information.


The reserve contains large open grassy areas among european style gardens, gas BBQ facilites, and outdoor numerous sites featuring  smoky woodfire BBQ and site heating pits, picnic facilities including tables & chairs, drinking water fountains, public toilets and sufficient car parking for your family and friends.

If you have a fishing license, you can even fish for trout in the gong gong reservoir, but you cannot use any burly to attract the fish, as this will contaminate the drinking water supply.of Ballarat.WP_20170826_16_16_05_Pro

Gong Gong park Ballarat is a favorite venue in Ballarat to host wedding ceremonies, receptions and other family   functions, and includes paved, flowering vine draped pergolas positioned against beautiful natural bushland backdrops, perfect for wedding ceremonies.

You have to book if you have a party of more than 30 people planned,, and there is a no confetti, and take home rubbish policy to adhere to however.

Your friendly pooch however, is not welcome, due to the population of native animals in the park, some of which are rare or threatened species and for the quiet enjoyment of the facilities by other patrons who would not appreciate misbehaving dogs rampaging noisily though their picnic, or blatantly stealing sausages.

Attached to, or within the Gong Gong park are a number of great bushwalks-

  • Yarrowee river Catchment Habitat and Water Trail
  • Waterwatch Wetlands Trail
  • Native Nesting Box trail


All walks are leisurely walk along and over the river, or through bush land with regular interpretation panels at intervals explaining and highlighting the diverse and wonderful native flora and fauna that the river and park supports.WP_20170826_15_27_15_Pro

Inexplicably thought however, access has been limited to many parts of Gong Gong reservoir for an unstated reason with walks fenced off, and signs proclaiming “no public access” in areas where ballarattians were free to venture. Why parts of Gong Gong reservoir has been closed is a bit of mystery.

The Gong Gong reservoir itself is one of the oldest elements of the Ballarat water supply infrastructure, and was built in 1877 has a capacity of 1902 megalitres, (1902ML) and is up to 22 meters deep.

Gong gong reservoir forms one of the largest dams of the white swan system.

The reservoir was named after the Chinese water god Gong Gong, who is considered to be responsible for enormous floods- this naming highlights the importance of the Chinese community’s influence and contribution in ballarat during the gold rush years.


The new upgraded spillway, pictured below was built  by Engineer-in Chief for the Ballarat Water Commissioners 1945-1970, A.E. Stohr

More details on the infrastructure can be found in the book

The Ballarat Water Commissioners report concerning water supply to Ballarat and district with special reference to the White Swan Reservoir Project / by A. E. Stohr.



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