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Montague Community Alliance

09 Mar 2017

Platitudes and coffee

Well so much for all the talk from the council, state government, developers and builders on collaboration and care for the community.

It’s more than three years since we started discussing issues with all those stakeholders within our precinct, and little has changed. Let me give you an example: traffic! Montague St and City Rd are at a standstill during peak hours. It takes between 10 to 20 minutes to go from the intersection of Ingles and Crockford Street to the intersection of Montague St and Normanby Rd. Nearby, Boundary St, a street bordered by residencies and micro businesses with children and elderly residents regularly walking and parking in it, has two lanes of parking, which barely leaves room for two cars to pass each other. At the moment for six days of the week, it’s filled and blocked with huge trucks delivering concrete slabs with concrete filling trucks lined up outside residents and small businesses, spewing pollution and incredible noise into our homes and businesses.  

I know you might be thinking that we here in Southbank have had to put up with that for years and continue to do so and we understand that. However, the difference is Montague has within in it, and interfaces with, existing established residential areas. As much as we discuss this and we started over three years ago, we are not taken seriously or even comically!

We continually ask ourselves why would the Council lets its residential and commercial rate payers live with this? Why won’t it take its community’s views and voices seriously and not just offer platitudes. We here in the Montague Precinct want to understand the actual value of the numerous ‘have your say’ surveys and community forums conducted by City of Port Philip and the State Government. How is this data utilised? Does the council know how to manage and apply the data for change? Or are we just being placated with copious cups of coffee and sandwiches at the numerous ‘community’ forums to make us feel like we are being heard…

Take action now folks, come and hang out in our areas. Meet us, talk to us, help us talk to the builders and developers so that we can live and work together harmoniously. We are not NIMBYS we are magistrates, battlers, mothers and fathers, students, elderly, academics, writers, film makers, school principals, psychologists, artists, philanthropists, board members, council workers, retirees and children. We are a diverse cultural group with both abled and disabled folks. In other words, we are a normal community.

C’mon CoPP, State Government, Education Department, PTV, builders and developers. Let’s get working together now to get a voluntary code of conduct for all the stakeholders, include the community as a full partner and support the healthy development and growth of our precinct. Let’s have forums where the community can ask questions and get them answered, forums that are not designed to placate or ‘inform’ us but to listen to us and to take direct applied action from what you hear.

We are waiting and wanting to help and we might even bring the coffee!

Trisha Avery

Convener - Montague Community Alliance

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