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Southbank Residents Association

06 Apr 2017

Southbank Residents Association Image

The final nail in the coffin

It was the final nail in the coffin last week when the council sealed the fate of the proposed Boyd Park site, selling off roughly a third to a developer for $15.5 million.

As predicted, Southbank will not see a cent from the sale with all funds going to the Queen Victoria Market upgrade.

We have been told the community will be receiving a park on the remaining two thirds of the site but we’re understandably a little sceptical, having already waited in excess of five years for any progress.

In our submission to the council on the sale of the land last year, we expressed concern about the developer’s ability to finance the project. Let’s just hope the City of Melbourne has done its due-diligence and is confident the developer’s finance is sound or else I suspect there will be further delays on the park.

Rest assured, I will not let up on this and at this week’s Future Melbourne Committee I will ask the Lord Mayor about a timeframe and stress that the community should receive this park without delay and not be dependent upon the developer commencing or finishing their project.

As some of you know, I don’t own a vehicle and as such I am spotted walking throughout Southbank almost daily.

Recently I came across construction workers who decided to close the footpath and redirect pedestrians to the other side of the road.

I was suspicious of the closure due to the irrational positioning of their signage, but after confronting them, I was told they were all but following orders.

We know construction is prevalent in Southbank and I’m sure you’ve been equally inconvenienced at times by footpath closures, lane closures, detours and road closures.

It’s a fact of life and we learn to live and work around it. However, I’m suspicious by nature and have often observed works where the closure seemed questionable and I have often doubted if there was a management plan in place.

In this particular case I doubted a management plan was in place owing to the haphazard signage, staffing and temporary nature of the closure and I was right. I phoned the City of Melbourne (9658 9658) and sure enough, they didn’t have approval for the closure.

You mightn’t know this, but the City of Melbourne takes unapproved works like this very seriously and some developers are serial offenders.

If you observe questionable works or processes – including excessive noise, especially at unwarranted hours – then a simple phone call to the City of Melbourne will trigger an officer to attend and inspect.

In my experience they take this seriously and attend without delay as they know some of these actions are time critical.

Developers risk hefty fines in the thousands if they don’t comply with their authorised construction plans and the officers will issue them without hesitation.

Join me in keeping the developers honest and let’s force them to follow the rules.

Tony Penna - President

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