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Time to elect new council

16 Oct 2012

By now you should have received your voting card in the mail for the City of Melbourne elections, so here’s your chance to find out how you should cast your vote.

Southbank Local News asked each team with a Lord Mayoral candidate to explain what policies they were going to implement that directly affected Southbank.

Lord mayoral candidate Keith Rankin (Future Melbourne) said Southbank was a success story for Melbourne and his team would ensure this success would continue.

“All we can do for Southbank is hope that the city and developers work together in maintaining the success of the area,” Mr Rankin said.

He also said his team was focused on using the Yarra River in its election promises.

“One of our key policies is for the city to take over the river and Docklands as a port of Melbourne. This would take the financial burden away from Parks Victoria,” Mr
Rankin said.

Gary Singer’s “Melbourne Living” team said it wanted to create more childcare places for Southbank residents, eliminate residential parking permit charges and transform Melbourne into a waterfront capital.

“We have listened to the concerns of Southbank residents and, among other issues, safety, open space and lack of childcare are key messages which we will act on,” Mr Singer said.

He also pointed out that his team would bring Southbank into the city.

“A vote for the Singer/So ticket means activating Southbank to bring it into line with the rest of the city.”

The Brian Shanahan-led “For Melbourne” team said it would create a better deal for Southbank residents.

“We will stop inappropriate development that diminishes property values and creates traffic congestion. We will introduce mandatory height limits to stop developers blocking residents’ views,” Mr Shanahan said.

He also brought back the possibility of a police pod, saying: “We will make Southbank safer by delivering a council-funded police pod. We will also provide council funding for more Victoria Police officers on our streets.”

“Our Melbourne” lord mayoral candidate David Nolte says Southbank residents and local businesses had had the rough end of the stick, and his team would change that.

“The Southbank precinct has been driven by developers’ interests ahead of residents’ and local business interests. Our Melbourne will ensure that planning takes in residents’ and business’s concerns around building heights, views, water and general amenities,” Mr Nolte told Southbank Local News.

He also suggested Our Melbourne would enlist a Southbank-specific council officer, to hear the concerns of the community.

“We will appoint a special dedicated Southbank neighbourhood officer whose sole job will be to liaise between residents and business and the town hall.”

Gary Morgan’s “Prosperity for Liveability” has Southbank resident Sue O’Brien on its ticket and she told Southbank Local News she knew the issues facing Southbank residents and wanted residents to have an opportunity to engage with the elected council.

“The particular concerns of Southbank residents are well understood and strongly represented by myself, a life-long resident of Melbourne and currently resident owner in Southbank,” Ms O’Brien said.

The Morgan Elliott ticket expressed several Southbank policies around safety, open space, planning and tower separation.

“Traffic management also needs to improve and noise pollution be addressed, especially in a non-stop construction zone like Southbank. We propose underground parking on the fringes of the city, more parking in new buildings and improved access for service/delivery vehicles to keep parked traffic off the streets,” Ms O’Brien added.

The Greens, led by Alison Parkes also has a Southbank resident on its ticket, Jennifer Podesta.

Ms Podesta said the party’s policies for Southbank were about supporting environmental and social policies.

“We will prioritise the finding of suitable land to be used as open, green or public space,” Ms Podesta said.

“We will move amendments to the planning scheme that give Southbank residents the right of appeal and also to remove the Planning Minister’s authority over larger developments,” she added.

Berhan Ahmed, the lord mayoral candidate for “Community and Business Leaders” said because of the high rate of visitors to the area, Southbank needed a sharper focus on public safety.

“The safety of all visitors to the region is our priority and we want all people and their families visiting the area to have the freedom of walking along any region of Southbank without fear whatsoever,” Mr Ahmed said.

Another of his policies is to initiate a large tourist information centre along the promenade.

“Apart from delivering information and promoting Melbourne in general, it will have a large focus on promoting the entertainment, eateries, businesses and accommodation of the whole Southbank region.”

“Put Public First” lord mayoral candidate Dr Joseph Toscano doesn’t have any Southbank specific policies.

“Our political program for Southbank is the same as the rest of the City of Melbourne. We make no distinction between various parts of the city,” Mr Toscano said.

Team Doyle failed to respond to Southbank Local News invitation.

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