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Montague Community Alliance

08 May 2018

Can you plan a Montague culture …

There has been a lot of discussion of “culture” this month, what with the Financial Services Royal Commission showing us, the public, how some organisational leadership has been allowing a culture of misdemeanors to inhabit their businesses.

And with the alleged culture of inappropriate behaviour at the Melbourne City Council by the ex-lord mayor of Melbourne, building a workable and successful culture is clearly something we need to take seriously and consistently and requires regular reviews.

In nearly every press release or output from community meetings at both state and local government, we hear about the aspirations for what the “culture” of Fishermans Bend and the Montague Precinct, in-particular will become, these include: creating more bicycle tracks, decreasing the number of cars, more people walking, creating new parks and approving planning permission for buildings of up to 40 storeys.

We had been told that Montague will be the “creative industries” hub – that the developers contribution (paid after buildings have been completed) will be spent on the infrastructure of those precincts they build in (yet to be seen in Montague).

We have a consistent refrain here at the Montague Community Alliance, a message specifically to those planners who have never even visited our neighbourhood, and that is, that we already have a neighbourhood (or precinct) culture and have done for over 100 years.

We are already made up of families, businesses, elderly people and students, we already walk, ride bikes and use the existing parks. Cars however are not decreasing and the building of 165 apartments in Gladstone St has increased the number of cars parked in the street by at least 1000 per cent, and that does not include those that have allocated car parking in their buildings.

So that as a cultural aspiration is a bit “pie in the sky”! Have you driven along Montague St at peak hour?

We welcome our new neighbours, we welcome visitors and we welcome new businesses. Most of us living here understand that growth needs to occur to sustain our liveability and amenity.

HOWEVER, just as one changes an organisational culture by working from within to ensure sustainable transformation and be guided by experts outside the culture, so too here in Montague those living and working here need to be directly consulted about the existing culture and how we might transform to accommodate the large number of new arrivals.

If we want to build a Montague Precinct culture, those of us already in one need to be asked about our existing “culture” so that we can expand and grow that culture as the precinct grows so we have a way of living and working that supports everyone.

Oh, and by the way, I mean you builders and developers too!

And a list of the current permits issued in Montague, can easily be found on dewlp.vic.gov.au 

Trisha Avery - Convener

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