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No excuse for staying quiet

18 Mar 2013

By Sean Rogasch

A perfect storm of events has led to arguably Southbank’s most intriguing month of planning issues in its history.

Both the State Government and the City of Melbourne are showing more signs of wanting to have community input into city planning than ever before.

The council has evolved into its position as spokesperson on planning for residents. It’s a long way from the organisation that openly admits it let the approval of Queensbridge Tower slip through its processes.

It was the backlash of the Queensbridge Tower decision, coupled with the election of a new team of councillors in last year’s elections that has led the city to be far more active in opposing approvals from Matthew Guy on proposals over the 25,000 square metre limit (the size of which a proposal is handed directly to the Minister, bypassing the council).

Just last month the council officially voiced concerns over both Australia 108 and Clarke St apartments.

This new position is a fantastic opportunity for locals to voice their opinions and feel like they are being heard.

In addition, this month saw two major opportunities to communicate planning ideas and opinions to the State Government.

As our story on page 5 describes, both events are another sign that the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, is starting to, at the very least, understand that he must canvass community ideas before going ahead and approving proposals.

All this boils down to being a fantastic time to make your own voice and opinions on planning matters heard. Locals must move on from the “they won’t listen to me anyway” mentality, because the opportunities are being provided.

If locals don’t grasp these chances while they are available, the State Government, and council will likely turn around in future and say: “when we asked, no body responded, this time we won’t ask.”

 

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