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Montague Community Alliance

04 Sep 2018

Montague Community Alliance Image

Cautious welcome of new governance

The Montague Community Alliance cautiously welcomes the Minister for Planning’s recent creation of the Fishermans Bend Development Board, under the guidance of chair, Meredith Sussex.

We’re encourged that the message from the minister is that: “The Fishermans Bend Development Board has been established to guide the planning and development of this landmark project for Melbourne.”

“The board will guide engagement with the community, advising on precinct plans and major decisions for Fishermans Bend, supporting the growth of healthy, thriving neighbourhoods while creating new jobs.”

We expect that this means the board will engaged directly with those currently living and working in the Montague Precinct.

The history of engagement directly with us is not that good, and we have some concerns about this going forward.

We live and work here and really believe we have some substantial and relevant data to contribute to our precinct plan and the growth of our healthy and thriving neighbourhood.

I suggest that the board members come and meet us, spend time experiencing how we live and work, understand who the people are that inhabit this precinct in South Melbourne. We want them to know what it’s like at street level and, particularly, to walk through the neighbourhood with those of us who reside and run businesses here, not just those who think they know about the area.

We can be contacted through the email address below and would welcome contact about a visit.

We are also concerned about the state election which is only a couple of months away. If the government changes what will happen to the current planning minister’s plans and will we see a return to the developer-driven decisions that occurred under the now Leader of the Opposition when he was planning minister?

As a community alliance, we are non-political but we are concerned with what all parties think would/should/could happen to the livability, planning, design and amenity of the Montague Precinct.

There are many topics to discuss with our political representatives and we are organising a “meet the candidates” evening on October 30 at The Boyd in City Rd. We are delighted to say that we will be partnering with the Southbank Residents Association to bring you this event and the Montague Community Alliance will still be supported by the Southbank Local News.

Further details will be in the next edition of this paper and for those in Montague and surrounds we will be doing a leaflet letterbox drop. As usual please get in touch if you have any ideas for future forums or content for this column, I would be happy to hear from you.

Now it’s … Meet a couple of Montaguans!

Who are you?

We are Boyd Tolley and Dean Nixon, we live in the Montague Precinct of South Melbourne, we have two dogs and love food, wine, entertaining and travelling.

What brought you to live or work in the Montague Precinct (MP) of South Melbourne?

When I (Boyd) moved back from the UK nine years ago, I wanted to live bayside so I could see the water every day. I was looking for an apartment in Port Melbourne but found my little old terrace in South Melbourne and fell in love with it. Dean moved in a few years later.

What are the best and/or most interesting things about living in MP?

We can walk everywhere we need, the bay is 15 minutes, the city restaurants and theatres are 20 minutes and the market – our favourite place in Melbourne – is less than a 10-minute walk.

How does living in Montague affect your quality of life, including your work?

We both work in Port Melbourne. Our commute is six minutes which is brilliant. We could walk but our roles require client visits. Our quality of life is pretty good. We’re very active as we walk our dogs in the park twice a day, we run along the bay several times a week, but this is countered by the fact we can also walk to all our favourite pubs, cafes and restaurants. Being close to the city, our friends come to us as we’re central. There is no need to go out on those cold winter nights. Having an old terrace with a wood fire also helps.

What are the challenges of living in MP?

We have no idea what’s going on around us. Under CCZ zoning, we receive no notification or have any right to appeal developments. We’re concerned we are going to lose some of the buildings with character. Traffic is also a problem. Montague St is a car park and will only get worse with more towers. Parking in our street is getting worse as well.

If you could change something about Montague life, what would it be?

We are all for the regeneration of the area, we sometimes feel guilty about how good we have it in South Melbourne. I’d limit the height of buildings, so we don’t end up with another soulless Docklands.

Trisha Avery

Convener - Montague Community Alliance

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