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Southbank Residents Association

04 Sep 2018

A visionary proposal for Southbank

Last month saw a remarkable event, something we don’t see very often, an international architectural design competition for a residential building – and it is to be built in Southbank.

Yes, last year Beulah International successfully purchased the BMW site on City Rd and anticipate a $2 billion development. The winning design by local architectural firm Cox Architecture, was bold, edgy and in many ways inspiring. It would be higher than Eureka and Australia 108.

Its height would certainly make it fit well with where it is positioned. However, as we have seen with Australia 108, it was not able to build to its proposed height because it would contravene the civil aviation air space. I am not sure how this development believes it could escape the same fate.

I am a little confused with where the government is positioned with this proposal. We have seen with Queensbridge Tower that when they support something that all planning rules go out the window.

It would seem that there is certainly some support here through the Treasurer, Tim Pallas, opening the competition and the State Architect being on the judging panel. Is this a marketing ploy to give the impression it has already got the government’s support despite it not being considered against any of the planning laws? I guess time will tell.

Something that recently came to my attention that other property owners might find interesting, is there is an annual parks charge of $77.10 (min) on our water bills.

This charge is apparently to “help manage and maintain Melbourne’s parks and zoos as well as our Royal Botanic Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance”. Since I am a user of these parks, I have no great concern with contributing to their upkeep, however, this charge is only charged to owners and not renters.

In Southbank’s case, we know that the majority of Southbank’s residential population consist of renters. So essentially renters across the state have the privilege of utilising these parks with no need to contribute to their upkeep. Doesn’t seem fair if you ask me. What are your thoughts?

We will be holding another “New to Southbank” information evening on September 19 at 6.30pm at Boyd Community hub at 207 City Rd. If you are new to Southbank, come along and hear all the little things about our suburb which will help make your stay smooth and enjoyable. Even if you have been here for a while, you are still welcome to come along as I am sure there will still be something learnt. Please register for the event on our website southbankresidents.org.au

Also, the state election is fast approaching. We are joining with Montague Precinct to hold a “meet the candidates” event to give our communities the opportunity to ask the hard questions to help guide our voting intentions. We have confirmed the candidates from major parties. Watch this space in next month’s edition for details of when and where.

Tony Penna

President - Southbank Residents' Association

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