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Renewed push for station upgrade

18 Feb 2014

Renewed push for station upgrade Image

While the Flinders St design competition received plenty of publicity last year, the lack of intended action has led the Yarra River Business Association (YRBA) to increase it’s lobbying to have the Elizabeth St underpass upgraded.

The underpass, a key gateway into Southbank from Flinders St, is in desperate need for attention and the YRBA has presented a concept to both Transport Minister Terry Mulder and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

The concept includes an art installation across the back wall, which currently features heritage listed but broken, dirty and generally run-down tiles. The YRBA is not suggesting replacing the tiles, but covering them with art displays.

The YRBA commissioned graphic designers who used a mural from the Arts Centre as an example of just what could be achieved in the space.

The YRBA says it has been lobbying for an upgrade to this passage for several years, but has never had any support at a bureaucratic level.

YRBA president John Ahern said the government was kidding no-one into thinking it had the funds to pay for the revamp from competitions such as the one held last year.

“Everyone knows the Government doesn’t have the money to do anything about the transformation of the station, and future governments are unlikely to either,” Mr Ahern explained.

He said the YRBA really wanted to create a user-friendly entrance into the important tourism section of Melbourne, between Southgate and Queensbridge Square.

“We are saying that the underpass is an eyesore and is an intimidating space for workers and visitors, especially after hours,” Mr Ahern said.

“It’s a brilliant, do-able, relatively low cost concept that would make the current dank space the talking point of the city for locals and visitors,” he added.

Minister Terry Mulder failed to respond to Southbank Local News’ request for comment, while Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said it was a state matter and, as such, would not comment until a decision was made at state level.

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