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In support of low-rise

Southbank Residents Group

13 Nov 2014

A rare victory for Southbank

I am excited to report that it seems we, the residents of Southbank, have had a win.

I have no doubt the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has heard the message the residents were sending him and he has thought long and hard about the 300m tall Cbus development on Collins St that was to overshadow the south bank of the Yarra river into the public open space at Queensbridge Square and the Crown forecourt, and as a result has decided to reject the application.

While this is great news, I am cynical that the decision was probably influenced by the looming election and the Albert Park seat being marginal.

In the past, the Minister has approved an application which also overshadowed the Yarra river, so a precedent was already there.

I would formally like to thank the Greens candidate, David Collis, for listening to us and offering his support through his party by way of a disallowance motion in parliament.

Talking about the election, the Meet the Candidates resident question-and-answer forum at Boyd was a great success with a great number of local residents present and armed with the questions that mean the most to them.

The forum was dominated with questions around planning. I feel the candidates left the meeting with a very clear understanding that planning is the number one issue on the minds of residents at present.

I was concerned that should Labor win government and the Cbus developer make an amendment to their application and resubmit for overshadowing exemption under a Labor government, as to where Labor stood on that.

The audience was assured by our local Labor member Martin Foley that under a Labor government overshadowing of the Shrine of Remembrance and the Yarra River will remain off-limits to developers.

Naturally the CFMEU affiliation with Cbus but also the Labor Party could only make one a little concerned, but thank you Martin Foley for putting our minds at ease.

Still on open space, the City of Melbourne has commenced community consultation on what the open space should look like for the final phase of the Boyd site redevelopment.

There is a board in the Boyd community hub where residents are asked to write their ideas. The board is photographed and sent to the council officers daily. This is your (our) space, so make the most of this opportunity and make your ideas known for consideration. Consultation has been extended by a week to coincide with my promotion of this at our AGM.

We have the Southbank Residents Group’s AGM this Tuesday, November 18 at 6pm at Boyd Community Hub, 207 City Rd.

I would like to invite all residents to attend and learn some more about your local community group that is trying its best to lobby council and Government on issues affecting us all. However if you would like to vote during the meeting, then you will need to be a member.

Are you also a passionate resident and would like to assist our committee? Why not consider joining our committee? For further information about Southbank Residents Group, our AGM or to join our committee, send me an email to Don’t forget to like us on Facebook - Southbank Residents Group.

I hope to see many of you on the 18th at the AGM.

Tony Penna

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