Columns
Residents' Association Image

Residents' Association

Helping ensure your amenity
Read more >>

Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

Enjoy winter at Bluetrain
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

A siren song calling for fair play
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance

Understanding our history
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Defending human rights
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Flammable cladding: residents ignored
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

A sound love of life
Read more >>

History Image

History

Police Stables - Mounted Branch
Read more >>

Yarra River Business Association Image

Yarra River Business Association

Looking for the reset button for river businesses
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

Safe and secure in our vertical villages
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Injury, see your GP and be your best!
Read more >>

Councillor Profile Image

Councillor Profile

The making of a lord mayor
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Doggie Dollar
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Southbank Residents’ Group

18 Mar 2013

Metropolitan Planning Strategy

By the time you read this, we would have held our community forum for the Metropolitan Planning Strategy at the Town Hall.

At time of print we had over 40 registered attendees coming to hear more about the draft discussion paper and what it means, in particular, to the future of the Melbourne CBD and immediate surrounds.

The question I have for you as residents is: are these community forums a sleight-of-hand on the part of the State Government to make it appear that they are actively engaging with the community – knowing that they may not take on-board any of our feedback, or is it a legitimate call for feedback on shaping our future?

I pose this question as the Minister for Planning has just approved the development of Australia 108 on the corner of Southbank Blvd and City Rd. At 108 storeys, 388m high, it will be the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere. When the planning application was discussed at the Future Melbourne Council meeting, councillors and the Southbank Residents

Group spoke about the advantages of the design to the greater cityscape of Southbank and the city, and the disadvantages associated with a lack of vision on what the future growth of Southbank would look like if this development – in contravention of the Melbourne Planning Scheme and Southbank Structure Plan – were to be approved.

Based on the planning guidelines which are publicly available, the SRG opposed this application and the council unanimously rejected it. Why? Because our planning guidelines do not allow for this large-scale development, both in terms of height and plot ratio. Here we have an example of an open and transparent planning process in action. The guidelines say no, the public say no, the council ultimately says no. All this decision-making and discussion was held on the public record.

So, why then, did the Minister approve it? No one knows. There is no public forum to discuss or challenge his thought process. There is no public gallery where we can hear the state’s arguments for/against the development. And with the Minister choosing once again to ignore his own planning guidelines, what certainty do we have in the future of what our suburb could potentially look like? And where is the public record that clearly articulates his planning guideline reasons for approval?

This lack of good governance and transparency in decision-making is making a growing mockery of what should be a genuine effort for government and community to come together to shape a positive future for our suburbs.

Melbourne Men’s Shed

On a positive note – Barry and I were pleased to attend the inaugural Melbourne Men’s Shed meeting held recently at the Multicultural Centre. There was a great turnout at the meeting where a full interim committee was appointed. About 30 people from across the City of Melbourne, plus a staggering 40 apologies were noted. Great numbers to justify the establishment of a shed in our city.

The committee is now spending the next fortnight finalising a proposal and will call a first official meeting where permanent office bearers will be elected and calls for membership be made.

If you would like to be kept posted on this great initiative or to get involved, please email us at srgi2000@gmail.com and we’ll get you in touch with the Melbourne Men’s Shed team.

Michael Smolders
President
Southbank Residents Group

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.