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Southbank Residents Association

13 Jul 2017

Southbank Residents Association Image

You may recall last month I wrote about a newly planted Hoop Pine I spotted on Kavanagh street and that I would ask council about it’s suitability in light of the Southbank Urban Forest Plan.

I have had a response from council and they have agreed the tree had been planted too close to the footpath, but the species is appropriate for achieving the outcomes of the Urban Forest plan. We have been advised the tree will be relocated closer to the centre of this small ‘pocket park’.

I am pleased to report that the City of Melbourne has allocated $15.6 million for works in Southbank, including the Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St upgrades in 2017/18.

Southbank Promenade is being given a facelift to the tune of $2.9 million and a further $1.7 million will be spent on the commencement of the highly-anticipated Boyd Park.

Southbank will no doubt be looking forward to these improvements but we’ll be looking closely at how and when these funds will be spent as well as participating in further consultation on each of these projects.

While on the subject of Boyd Park, last week the council made a significant announcement that the agreement with the developer (Cairo Pty Ltd) had fallen through.

The council was selling part of the block for a future high-rise development and, subsequently, it plans to embark on a new tender process. We’re not certain why the agreement didn’t come together, but I recall advising the council that, while the community objected to the sale of the land to build yet another high-rise in Southbank, we were dubious about the funding arrangements that Cairo was spruiking.

That said, we have been assured by the council the park will be proceeding and, as I mentioned above, the park has been funded in this year’s budget which is reassuring. We believe the draft concept plan will be available to the community in the coming month for comment.

Since my last column, I’ve been approached by several residents complaining that Southbank doesn’t have its own post office or bank branches and I readily agreed.

Later that week on a trip to the GPO in the CBD, I thought on this further and realised it was only a short walk from my residence in Southbank. I decided to look into this further, and after “googling” post offices, I learned that Southbank is surrounded by a number of post office choices.

From a rough central Southbank location of the intersection of Power St and City Rd, there are seven post offices/shops within 1.5km, and three within 1km. Depending on where you live in Southbank, your nearest post office could be much closer. While the bank branches weren’t as prominent, there were still several branches within the same 1.5km radius, depending on which bank or financial institution you’re with of course.

Having said that, banks are privately-owned and will decide on branches where they are commercially viable. While Australia Post is government-owned it also needs to be prudent when it comes to branch locations and investments.

Southbank once had an Australia Post outlet located at Freshwater Place, but after a number of years it closed because it was not commercially viable.

Conversely, when looking at the post offices and bank branches in other suburban centres, residents frequently need to travel further than 1.5km to their nearest post office or bank branch. Also considering Southbank is the most serviced suburb for public transport, is it absolutely necessary for Southbank to have its own post office or bank branches? Particularly if they are not commercially viable?

Postcode boundaries aside, what’s in a name? Are we becoming too precious or entitled? Does Southbank really need bank branches and our own post office within our postcode? If you’d like to weigh in on the debate, feel free to send a letter to the editor and keep the conversation going.

After the success of our last “New-to-Southbank” event, we will be holding another event at Boyd in August and you’re all invited.

Even if you’re not a new resident I can almost guarantee you’ll learn something new so please come along. You can register on our website at southbankresidents.org.au

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