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Residents' Association

Ending the year on a brighter note

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Business in Southbank

Retailers announced at Melbourne Square

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Owners Corporation Law

Dust continues to settle on the Owners’ Corporation Act (2019) reforms

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Montague Community Alliance

And the beat goes on … (or the construction)

Aboriginal Melbourne

The Koorie Heritage Trust: An interview with Tom Mosby


河滨公园大受欢迎 开发项目仍存忧虑

Metro Tunnel

Metro Tunnel mega machine sets course for State Library

Owners' Corporation Management

Why it pays to be neighbourly in a strata building

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Federal Politics

Why Magnitsky Act is important for Australia

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Short-stays exploit family violence loophole

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Southbank’s almost-elected Liberal Democrat

Port Places

Fishermans Bend: the first quarter 2019

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Government needs to invest in housing now

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Southbank and the Olympic Games

Safety and Security

Police Station back open!

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Health and Wellbeing

Passive-aggressive behaviour

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Skypad Living

Skilling owners’ corporations

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Pets Corner

Spoiling princess Chloe

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Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank

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Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank

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What’s behind the lights?


09 Feb 2017

Letters Image

Planning scheme looseness

I am a resident of Southside Gardens, 106 Southbank Blvd (behind ABC).

We have run foul of the looseness of this planning scheme where south of City Rd was supposed to be limited to 100m and the south east of Moore St 40m. When 70 Southbank Blvd, now called Australia 108, was approved, it clearly breached this and will shadow us through summer where we currently are only shadowed in the cooler months.

We supported the council’s opposition to this at VCAT only to be told that the planning scheme only required them to have a planning permit if exceeding the 100m.

They had this and so there was no argument considered. It could be as high as they liked. Subsequently they added to the height significantly.

We would all oppose any breaking down of the 40m limit for the Arts Precinct as well as any further erosion of the 100m limit south of City Rd.

One caution you need to make to affected neighbours is the weakness of the requirements re shadowing. The developer needs only to provide shadowing at the equinox – March and September.

The problem we found is that between September and March is when one would expect your garden and pool, etc., to be used most.

A proposed building can shadow over you during this summer period where you were not previously (as Australia 108 will shadow us).

If your shadowing from existing buildings was in place over winter, and they can also show shadowing at March and September, then they can say you are already shadowed and have no claim.

The fact we are deprived by it over the summer period cannot be considered.



Opposed to more high rise

As owners in Dodds St, Southbank, we are totally opposed to development of high rise structures in the Arts Precinct.

We support Tony Penna of Southbank Residents Association and are members of this group.

We voted for Tony in the recent council elections, but to no avail.

We also support the Facebook site opposing this development which will signal the end to low rise in our region. Unfortunately.


John Bainbridge

Not Docklands

I find it appalling that the Planning Officers are even considering tall buildings for Sturt St.  

I cannot see that the precinct will be improved with more apartments, but they would rather contribute to already existing problems such as parking and noise. Surely Council is aware of the problems in Docklands – why would they want the same here?

Val Holzer

Habitat Filter I

I refer to your recent article in the Southbank Local News regarding the public art Habitat Filter, and wish to provide the following opinion:

Whilst the art may mean something to Transurban (i.e. their three pillars) the sculpture looks meaningless to the public. It also looks rather ugly and out of the arts character of the Arts Precinct. Just my humble opinion (JMHO).

I guess it is too late to do anything about it, but I thought it is worth providing some feedback for future reference.

Cheers, Paul S

Habitat Filter II

This is an exciting new addition to the city. Well done. Regarding vacant land along our roads and particularly freeways, I would like to see some exciting wind turbines installed to make use of such available land.


Mark Johnston

Habitat Filter III

Unfortunately this installation has been taken over by Indian Mynahs.

They have chased off the other gentler native birds, much to our dismay. It tries to be “artsy” but demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of local bird life.

Val Holzer

Habitat Filter IV

I wake up to this monolithic structure every morning. It is as if the 
video game, Minecraft, jumped out of the screen and landed in Southbank 
(That’s what my friend’s 10-year-old son said).

The design is hard in an
already hard space. The original “unused” space was a soft green island
amidst high rise buildings, circulating and criss-cross traffic, 
asphalted concrete bridges in all directions and echoing air brakes of 
semi-trailers as they enter the mouth of the Burnley Tunnel.

“unused” oasis of greenery was a refuge precisely because it was left unused ­– it acted as an interlude that broke up the otherwise hard 
surface of buildings and hard sounds of traffic that bounced from them.

It is called Habitat Filter but in its current hardness what does it 
filter? A filter, by definition, removes impurities or, in photography, 
diminishes the intensity of light. How does it “filter” the habitat that
surrounds it?

Moreover, as I observe from my window, a harsh security 
fence encircles the site, clearly communicating to us that it is 
zoned-off, off-limits and hardly conducive for community engagement.

addition, where is the landscaping? Where are the 18,000 native plants? 
All that is visible to the eye is a barren desert of wood chips carpeted
over a lifeless ground.

It is said above that “the true measure of this
site will be how well the natural elements will thrive within the 
hostile setting that surrounds the site”.

“Hostile” is the operative 
word, and if the natural elements do not emerge then the hardness of the
design will only add to the hostility of the urban space.

Matt Drysdale
says that the full aesthetic of the design will unfold in the course of
time, “five, 10 or 15 years down the track”.

So, what do we 
residents do in the meantime? Turn the other way to avoid the glaring 
hardness of a real Minecraft park that beckons to be overgrown by nature’s vines?

But, won’t it then “slightly” resemble a 
post-apocalyptic world of Minecraft towers in ruins?


Jeremias La Barbera

Engaging with the community

In the last edition of Southbank Local News I was interested to read about one of Port Phillip’s new Greens councillors and his plans to “re-engage “the community with its local council.

While this is a commendable ambition, community engagement is a two-way street and it would appear to be a street not on the Greens councillors’ road map.

Port Phillip has three new Greens councillors, Tim Baxter, Katherine Copsey and Ogy Simic.

All blew into town in the 12 months prior to the local election, bringing with them a level of local knowledge that could be described as vague. They won one seat in each of the new three wards at the that had the lowest voter participation rate in the state, with less than half the community casting a vote.

At the end of last year the three Greens councillors uploaded a video to say thank you for the support throughout the year. In the video one of the Greens officials talks of the busy year that they have had in the local community and the work they have done. However, when she lists the events that have kept them busy locally all year she can name only two, the federal election campaign and the council election campaign. Two events that were driven by self-interest. Not a single genuine community event was mentioned.

Since these three recent arrivals were elected to represent the community they have been noticeably absent at large attendance events (where you might run into a majority of non-Greens voters)

At local events I have attended I’ve been amazed the Greens councillors have seemingly decided not to engage with the community.  For example: -The Theofania – Blessing of the Waters on Sunday January 8 at Station Pier in Port Melbourne;  Albert Jacka Memorial Service on January 15 at St Kilda Cemetery; and a community forum on November 16 at the St Kilda Bowling Club to discuss the problems on and around Fitzroy St and public safety.

Even when the CCTV was being launched on December 16 and an update was being given to the previous safety forum by local area commander Jason Kelly, the Greens councillors were only noticeable in their absence. Liberals, independents and Labor were there. No Greens

Perhaps most alarmingly the new Greens councillors boycotted the Australia Day citizenship ceremony welcoming new citizens of all backgrounds into the country and Port Phillip. Some of these new citizens entered Australia as refugees and some came to our country escaping hardship.

Actions speak louder than words and for all the talk of support for immigration and refugees, January 26 showed that the only action from these Greens was absenteeism and the only words on the subject have been hollow.

Greens councillor Ogy Simic told Sean Car in the last Southbank Local News:  “I think for too long people have been disengaged with what council does and I hope to be able to work towards restoring some of that …”

Just showing up would be a nice start.

Michael Danby MHR

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