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Fishermans Bend anger

14 Dec 2014

Fishermans Bend anger Image

More than 50 residents from Southbank and Port Phillip attended a public forum during November to have their say on the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area.

Hosted by the Fishermans Bend Network community group, the forum was held in an angry response to the now former state coalition government’s strategic framework plan for Fishermans Bend.

It comes after former planning minister Matthew Guy approved the construction of 11 towers in the Montague precinct of the area situated between Southbank and South Melbourne during September.

Speaking at the forum, Trisha Avery of the Montague Community Alliance said her group was frustrated by the previous government’s lack of consultation with the community.

“We have been disenfranchised by the rezoning of our suburb into a capital city zone,” she said. “We have no voice in what gets built next door to us.”

“There is nothing over two-storeys here, but developers have been given permits to build 11 towers more than 10 times that height and we don’t even have the right to know what’s been proposed.”

Community members made more than 160 suggestions at the forum as to how Fishermans Bend could be improved, with immediate recommendations calling on the Government to reserve land for public infrastructure such as schools, public transport and open space.

Helen Halliday of the Fishermans Bend Network slammed Mr Guy for ignoring the needs of the community.  

“We don’t have enough of this basic infrastructure to serve the current community, let alone another 80,000 residents and 40,000 workers,” she said.

“We totally reject the view that these crucial services will be provided by the developers. That is just nonsense.”

The member for Albert Park, Martin Foley, said the newly-elected Labor Government was committed to making sure a community and local government based review of the strategic planning framework was undertaken.

“We want to make sure that it’s done properly and rigorously,” he said. “It’s not up to the politicians to pre-empt that.”

“It has to be done with the community, with the councils and with the developers, so everyone has confidence in the rules rather than the botched mess that Matthew Guy left behind.”

The group will hold a series of workshops over the next 12 months in order to create a holistic and integrated alternative plan for Fishermans Bend.

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