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We Live Here

06 Oct 2016

Vertical living should be celebrated

Melbourne has a long history of apartment living. Pre-war, this was the choice of wealthy bohemians seeking alternatives to the Victorian terrace and post-war. It is reputed that one in eight lived in flats.

Melbourne is once again seeing a major change in how many residents are choosing to live, with tens of thousands moving into high-rise apartments and deciding to make the CBD, Docklands and Southbank their home.

Regrettably, however, vertical living is still often portrayed negatively and in terms of space deprivation – a cut-down house – and has yet to pique the interest of local designers.

This stands in contrast to the experience of many other international cities such as New York, Osaka, and Delft where vertical living has been a focus of much innovative attention. Multifunction furniture, moveable internal walls, small scale recycling, cost-effective noise mitigation, individual and building-based gardening, energy alternatives and small-space design for pets are the subject of ongoing innovative endeavour.

This is why next year will see the launch of the inaugural SKYPAD, an event to be held by UpRisings at KNOWMA (the Knowledge Market at Docklands) which will showcase innovative design suited to the daily lives of the vertical dwellers of Melbourne.

Amendment to the Owners Corporation Act

After the amendment to the Act was introduced by the Andrews Government into the Victorian Parliament last month, any prospective owner or buyer must now consider “what am I getting myself into”?

Things to do if you are a prospective buyer

Due diligence will now have to be exercised by all new prospective buyers/owners:

  • Check to see if the owners' corporation committee is independent or being run by and/or subsided by developers or commercially-operated businesses; and
  • Check to see if the strata manager and building manager are appointed by an independent committee and not just appointed clones of the developers, and that no long-term contracts have been entered into (more than five years).

It’s a known fact that in new multi-storey residential apartment buildings, developers are leasing left over apartments that are not sold off the plan to short stay operators.

There is now no protection against serviced apartments ruining your lifestyle and amenity.

Commercial short-stay operations are also affecting housing affordability and rental availability.

How do you build communities when apartments are being pushed out for “hotel rooms” and profit?

The current Bill proposed by the government does nothing to address the real issues facing residents.

We desperately need serious legislation to protect us and regulation of the commercial short stay industry before our homes are turned into ghettos.

It is time for all owner/occupiers and residents to stand up and have your say to protect your way of life.

Have your say

The We Live Here movement strongly encourages you to email/write to your local member of parliament, the Minister for Planning  Richard Wynne and the Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz voicing your disapproval of this new Bill.

Tell them that this new Bill does nothing to protect residents and ask what they are going to do for residents. All you want is effective legislation to protect yourself and to have the commercial short-stay industry properly regulated.

Council elections

Council elections are coming up in October. Before voting, all residents should check out the policies of the candidates to see if they support residents or are entirely pro-business.

This is your chance to have your say. The We Live Here movement encourages you to contact the candidates and seek their views on what their policies are on short-stays in residential buildings and what they are going to do for residents.

Remember your vote is extremely important to them. Make sure that your vote counts.

Have your voice heard

Please support the We Live Here movement and donate to our fighting fund.  Donations can be made through our website www.welivehere.net

Thank you to all those that have donated so far. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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