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Southbank Residents Group

12 Mar 2015

I can feel the year is starting to get some momentum, well at least with regard to our community.

There are a few items of concern this month.

The first is a permit request for a cafe on the public open space in Queensbridge Square. As we residents are acutely aware, open space is so scarce in Southbank that we need to ensure that it is not only preserved, but if it is used, it is used in such a way that is beneficial to the community.

I have yet to be informed of any benefits which may flow to the community from this cafe. The proposed location currently has a number of bench seats which I have personally observed being used, particularly during lunch times.

I also have it on good word from local residents that the seats are essentially used daily and throughout the day. If this cafe does go ahead, I certainly hope it will provide some benefit to the community and not just line the pockets of a business owner, whom no doubt probably doesn’t even reside in Southbank.

I will be speaking with Council to find out why Southbank Residents Group was not even informed about this permit.

On a more concerning note is the recently-released Planning Panels Victoria Report regarding their consideration of Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C208 Development Contributions Plan (DCP).

They have recommended the amendment be abandoned, citing differing opinions on the proposed methodology for calculating the level of development contribution.

As you may or may not be aware, the C208 DCP simply forced a figure per dwelling of all new developments to go into an infrastructure fund to fund infrastructure projects in the applicable precinct of the development.

While their recommendation is not positive, it may in fact be beneficial. In my submission to council on this amendment, just over 12 months ago, I also questioned the methodology of the council’s calculations.

To me they appeared to be very optimistic, yet I advised I accepted the figures in good faith without any data to back up my concerns. So, if Planning Panels Victoria is correct then of course there is no benefit proceeding with an amendment which may be flawed.

But having said that, it is concerning as to where this leaves council, but more importantly Southbank with the much needed funds for our future infrastructure needs.

It is still early days with where this may go, but rest assured I am following it closely.

Remember to like us on Facebook (Southbank Residents) and maybe even consider membership - southbankresidents.com.au. We are also in need of committee members, so if you have a passion for Southbank and the time to join our committee and participate please make contact.

Tony Penna
President

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