A win for Southbank!
It was a busy month for the Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) committee, holding two “Meet the Candidates” events for the recent state election, “Joining your Owners’ Committee” information session and a controversial Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting held in Southbank.
Firstly, I would like to extend a massive thank you to the entire community who got behind SRA’s call-out out on social media and our newsletter to assist us with our lobbying to the council after it announced the Southbank Boulevard Transformation project was complete, albeit, missing two stages.
Stage 2 (Dodds St) and Stage 6 were still to be completed. Stage 6, joining the Boulevard to the Yarra River, was was a centrepiece of the Southbank Boulevard Transformation project. SRA was gobsmacked with how the council could arbitrarily declare this project complete with these two fundamental components still outstanding. We certainly felt blindsided considering this was not previously communicated.
The community certainly got behind SRA’s call-out with their own submissions to the council, inundating the agenda item at the FMC meeting which was held in Southbank. I spoke at length to SRA’s submission and the injustice an incomplete project would have to the Southbank community and how we felt we were being played as fools considering the years of promises and community consultation the council had made for the project. My cynicism felt this was an effort to reduce the budget blow-out on this project.
You will be happy to know, after much consideration the council has committed to complete Stages 2 and 6 after all – and so they should! Once again, a big thank you to all who supported our call-out, without you we are not sure this outcome could have been achieved.
Oh, and how great is our new park between Fawkner and Kavanagh streets as part of this project? Every day I see the park filled with excited youngsters and even teenagers enjoying the space. While there was initially a great deal of trepidation and negative sentiment throughout the community, particularly around safety and appearance, I am hopeful this has waned, and those individuals are now on-side. But I guess as the saying goes, you will never please everyone. SRA has been actively involved with this project for more than 10 years and we think this park is going to be the highlight.
We now have the state election behind us. SRA would like to congratulate Nina Taylor on her successful election to the seat of Albert Park having replaced retiring member Martin Foley who represented our community for 15 years. We wish Martin all the very best with his next endeavours post politics and look forward to working closely with Nina to achieve great things for Southbank. Nina, you have big boots to fill!
It has been an eventful year for our SRA committee and Southbank having to navigate post-pandemic life. We would like to extend our warmest wishes to our entire community for a very happy festive season and to keep safe. See you in 2023! •