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Southbank Residents Association

07 Apr 2016

This month we have great news for Southbank. Firstly I was thrilled to see the Southbank Police Station finally opened.

It has been years in the planning with so much dialogue that many of us probably started to wonder if it would ever happen at all. Well I certainly felt that way.

I know this police presence will be welcome across all corners of Southbank. I frequently communicate with the station commander, Snr Sgt Steve Bills, and I know he is just as excited.

Last month I was delighted to learn that the controversial Cbus application for the old Suncorp site on Collins St in the city has once again been rejected by the Planning Minister citing overshadowing.

Around 18 months ago we fought hard to stop this development by lobbying the then Planning Minister Matthew Guy after the Melbourne City Council endorsed the plans despite their contravention of the planning scheme – namely overshadowing the north and south banks.

Our prized sunlight in Queensbridge Square would have been lost forever at the very time of day when it is most appreciated by visitors and locals.

Our lobbying at the time was successful so the developer went back to the drawing board. While their new plans were a remarkable improvement and had come a long way, the shadowing was still far from acceptable.

We once again lobbied council to reject the application but they endorsed it again.

The planning minister has since negotiated an agreement with the developer for a shorter building and we commend him for taking a stand to protect our scarce public open space from overshadowing.

We hope it sends a strong message to developers to undertake due-diligence prior to purchasing land for development.

If the planning scheme is not going to allow the site to turn a profit, then don’t purchase it! Thank you Richard Wynne.

Almost as exciting is news that Vic Roads is planning on widening the Swan St bridge by one lane. As many of you would be aware, the traffic congestion this bridge creates has a flow-on effect from Alexandra Ave all the way down to City Rd.

VicRoads has contacted me about this project and is planning to work with SRA and arrange public consultation so we can all learn about the scope of their project and share with them our ideas on how it can be improved and our current experiences.

Watch our Facebook page for any updates or, better still, sign up and support your local community voice and get the latest news first hand – www.southbankresidents.com.au.

Tony Penna - President

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