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A sincere thank you

Southbank Residents Association

14 Dec 2017

We have just come through the storm of the century – apparently

This storm was supposed to have brought with it unprecedented flooding and Southbank was expected to be hard hit. I have asked the question in an earlier column on how prepared we residents of Southbank would be in the case of a 1 in 100-year flood. Does it take such an event before we start planning?

In February 2005 the Yarra River flood level was 1.37m, which caused the ground floor and basements of a number of Southbank buildings to be inundated with water. On many Southbank streets the levels exceed 30cm which included City Rd, Miles, Clarke, Whiteman and Clarendon streets. A major flood level is considered at 1.60m and in July 1891 we experienced a flood level of 2.24m.

So, did anyone think about what they might do if their building became flooded and isolated? Has the question been asked of your buildings’ committee of owners and owners’ corporation managers?

About two weeks ago the naming of the Ferrars St primary school became official – South Melbourne Primary. Yet this school is NOT located in South Melbourne, but Southbank.

The Southbank Residents Association (SRA) was a significant voice with lobbying for a new school to assist with servicing our growing population considering the neighbouring schools were over-capacity. About 80 per cent of the enrolments are expected to come from Southbank yet, for some reason, the Minister decided South Melbourne was most appropriate.

SRA lobbied for consideration of the name to be Southbank Primary or a fitting Indigenous name, even Montague would have been appropriate. What has irritated us most, is the lack of community consultation, or should I say the lack of ANY consultation.

We wrote to our local member for parliament, Martin Foley, every councillor at the City of Port Phillip and City of Melbourne. The only person who replied to SRA, and supported our lobbying, was Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and wrote to the Deputy Premier and Education Minister, James Merlino, supporting the views of SRA.

In our opinion it was a no-brainer to name the school something other than South Melbourne Primary. The silence from Martin Foley but, more disturbingly, every councillor from Port Phillip, was disappointing and ignorant. If they didn’t agree with our position, then they could have communicated that to us and explained their position – not just ignore us. After all, this part of Southbank is within their municipality.

Finally, please don’t miss your final opportunity to provide feedback to City of Melbourne with regard to the draft concept plans for Boyd Park.

As you may recall, SRA has been lobbying to get this park off the ground for many years.

We ramped up our efforts last year and obtained over 1000 signatures on a petition. The plans are positive and council officers have done a commendable job to accommodate the competing needs within the community. So, make sure you have your voice heard.

Plans can be seen in the Boyd Community Hub and online at Consultation closes 22 December and works will being in April 2018. In the interim a temporary park has been created.

From the SRA committee, we send our wishes to the entire community for a safe, relaxing and enjoyable Christmas holiday period. We are looking forward to an exciting 2018, so watch this space to see what we are working on.


Tony Penna



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