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Montague Community Alliance

12 Oct 2017

On yer bike …

The second Montague Community Forum was held on Wednesday, September 20 and it was a question and answer session with the Mayor, Bernadene Voss and Gateway Ward (Montague Precinct is in Gateway Ward) councillors, Ogi Simic and Marcus Pearl as well as the CEO of the City of Port Philip, Peter Smith.

Each presenter was asked the following questions:

  • What do you see/believe/think is and will be the best version of the Montague Precinct?
  • How can you personally, as a Montague representative, assist the current businesses and residents and those about to arrive to manage through rapid change? and;
  • How do you envisage that the community could contribute so we can continue a two-way process and dialogue?

Open space, less cars, more mobility choices, sustainable buildings, affordable housing and future-focused policies seemed to be the overwhelming responses to the questions asked. And the council also confirmed that it had appointed two new officers to be directly responsible for Fishermans Bend.

The questions to the councillors from the audience, were mainly concerned with lack of parking during the heavy development, including tradies and contractors’ parking. Other questions related to the noise and disruption to amenity and liveability as the precinct is developed, and a need for more communication with the community.

There was a general acknowledgment that, until the next iteration of the Fishermans Bend Plan and the Montague Precinct Plan is released, we can only speculate about the actual plans for the area, so some of this discussion will need to be revisited.

It was a lively meeting with vigorous discussion, sometimes challenging and sometimes political.

Even with the understanding that the councillors, as always, intend to do their best for the community and do provide guidance for the council officers, it is clear to us, that they don’t really understand what it is like to live and work in the Montague Precinct.

We believe that they don’t really understand the traffic flow and that, however much they may want to make the whole area car-free, it ain’t gonna happen!

Already with the Gravity Building being completed, there is an exponential increase in local car traffic, more people using the Montague tram stop, more dogs in the local park, more activity on the street and local cafes and a significant increase in litter – and that’s just the first building.

We are not all able to ride bikes. Some people don’t like the idea. Some have small children that cannot go on a bike and some are too old to start riding a bike. Tradies and contractors are not going to use bikes. Business people visiting businesses in business attire are not going to ride bikes.

The Montague Community Alliance is indeed grateful to the Mayor, councillors, the CEO and other council officers who attended our forum.

We do hope that we can continue to communicate the challenges of living and working in a fast-moving environment and work together to ensure continued liveability and mobility.

But not always on yer bike!

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