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We Live Here

05 May 2016

The We Live Here movement continues to gain support and we thank you all for your feedback. Please continue to encourage your neighbours, friends and co-workers to sign up on our website and let us know the issues that are important to you.

Petition

By the time you read this, our petition should have been launched as it is currently in the very final stages. We have already had some amazing support and assistance in preparing it and we are excited to get all of our voices heard on a large scale. The petition will be in circulation for several weeks so ensure you’re signed up through our website for the link.

Consumer Affairs cop out

In our last column we told you that Consumer Affairs Victoria had released an issues paper on the Owners Corporation Act 2006 and are seeking submissions by April 29. We strongly recommend that you take a look and tell them your opinions.

www.consumer.vic.gov.au/resources-and-education/legislation/public-consultations-and-reviews/consumer-property-law-review/issues-paper-2-owners-corporations

We are still working on our submission, which will be placed on our website and available for you to download, review, amend or resubmit yourselves.

Sadly we feel that Consumer Affairs is turning a blind eye to the real issues faced by inner city residential communities and are missing the perfect opportunity to fix these issues.

Under Section 8 Consumer Affairs clearly supports owners’ corporations making enforceable and fair rules yet notes that making rules about use of a lot is beyond its scope and refer back to local planning schemes.

Consumer Affairs also notes that lot owners should be responsible for compliance with OC rules, with ignorance no defence, yet it then claims that short stay accommodation is also beyond its scope.

It refers to the “independent panel” on short-stays report that was submitted to the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation and the Minister for Planning, more than 12 months ago.  

We are still awaiting a response. It appears the “independent panel” couldn’t agree on a solution to protect residential communities, which is perhaps not surprising as the panel included the short-stay operator who is involved in the legal test cases. Hardly “independent” in our opinion!

If Consumer Affairs is copping out of properly empowering owners’ corporations to make rules and regulate short-stay accommodation, how is it representing or supporting the residential communities that its Acts are meant to be protecting?

Upcoming forum

On Monday, May 9 we will be holding our first “event” since the launch of the We Live Here movement last December.

As this is an election year, we thought it would be timely to invite representatives from the City of Melbourne to discuss what the council is doing for residents. It is intended to be a fact-finding meeting rather than a political meeting and will take the form of a panel discussion with a moderator. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has already agreed to attend.

There will be an opportunity for questions to be asked on the night but we’re also inviting questions to be submitted beforehand. Check our website for contact details.

The forum will be held at Library at the Dock from 6pm to 8pm. Registrations from 5.30pm.

Newsletter

Listening to your feedback, we will now be providing a brief fortnightly newsletter to keep you updated on what we’ve been doing. To receive the newsletter you need to register as a supporter on our website.

Support the cause

The We Live Here movement is a grassroots organisation evolving from trying to get our voices heard for the issues we face with inner city residential living.

Our time is gladly given supporting the causes you tell us are important to you, but we still face costs fighting the cause including marketing, external support staff, running functions, web design and upgrades.

If you are able, donations would be gratefully accepted. Please check our website for details and thank you for your consideration.

Please contact us at campaign@welivehere.net if you have issues you would like to have addressed or we can publicise in this column.

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