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Behold the structure plan

15 Nov 2011

The Southbank Structure Plan 2010 is beyond our comprehension.

The 30-year vision and strategy proposes an increase in population from our current 11,500 to 74,000 by 2040 in a 160 ha precinct, without addressing the community needs of open space, sporting facilities, medical facilities, banks, post offices, shopping strips and primary schools, to mention a few.

It is beyond our comprehension at the lack of logic or future vision by our planners in not satisfactorily addressing these requirements.

The most recent development is the Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C171 that, in part, effectively removes current building height limitations both recommended and gazetted in amendment C20 which has us zoned “mixed use”.

The Southbank Residents Group (SRG) has made a strong, detailed objection to these amendments. Some 223 other private submissions were also made to the City of Melbourne. The question is: will our representatives take note? Our experience is “no”. They have already made up their mind and these so-called consultative sessions ending up as farce.

It has been my experience at Southbank that the developers seem to have an enormous influence over state and local governments and their bureaucrats –including VCAT.

Our problem is the lack of expertise and money to be able to fight these huge development companies when we consider they are ignoring the needs of the people and making millions of dollars at the expense of our residential harmony.

It may be time for “people power” to show our distaste at the decisions of our elected representatives without considering the social implications of their actions.

On a positive side the Boyd Girls School development into a community centre is well under way and is expected to be completed in the new year and will, in part, help to infuse some “heart” into our area so all is not gloom and doom.

A City of Melbourne electoral review will take place in 2012 to examine the return to wards. The SRG in conjunction with the Coalition of Residents and Business Association (CoRBA) is in favour of both attendance voting and provision of wards as best serving our needs. The current system makes councillors all but invisible. Wards would help us have better representation.

An escalating problem area has arisen in our totally apartment-driven residential living by developers or organisations using residential developments as short-term serviced apartments with an associated break-down of security, damage and anti-social behaviour.  We have set up a sub-committee to see what can be done to address this issue but we believe

it will be a difficult one to solve, but solve it we will.

SF (Joe) Bagnara    
President (acting) SRG

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Comments

  • Peter Daniel at 7:26pm on 03/12/11

    Couldn’t agree more for need for “people power” to vote the elected officials out of office for the disgraceful job they are doing in representing the overall interests of the electorate. The question is how to mobilize people in an organized manner to send them the message!
    The Queensbridge site proposal is a perfect example of what is wrong with the present system. Does anyone think the developers would have bought the site if there wasn’t high confidence and some back - door agreement they could break all present planning guidelines re set- back, separation, and height?
    As for City Road—- what an eye-sore! How could anyone in their right mind allow this to happen.  Unfortunately, money trumps integrity.

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