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Montague Community Alliance

06 Oct 2016

Montague Community Alliance – The voice of Montague

The Montague Precinct is a dynamic energetic part of South and Port Melbourne.

As the interface with Southbank and South Wharf, we have a clear and present opportunity to develop a unique, contemporary and well-designed urban residential and commercial precinct.

We are fortunate to be geographically connected to Southbank and South Wharf and to learn from the positive and negative development experiences of both areas.

As the convenor of the Montague Community Alliance (MCA), I have been delighted to work with the community to strive for the best urban design, a liveable space for all and a vibrancy that attracts people to join our community.

The MCA was created in 2013 to lobby for community engagement with the local council and the State Government. This community engagement was necessary, as in July 2012, as a previously mixed residential/commercial part of South Melbourne, we lost all of our third party rights, including the requirement for community consultation or notice of developments or any other governance of our area.  

As the City of Port Philip (CoPP) and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning no longer need to consult us, we have over the last three years influenced the CoPP to create a Fishermans Bend Community Forum and have worked with other local community groups to meet with the State Government to express our concerns over planning issues and community consultation.

We have also created relationships with some of the developers. I say some, because this is a challenging and iterative process which requires a balance between ensuring the developers can undertake their business outcomes and we can live and work peacefully to maintain our homes and businesses.

BPM who is building one of the smaller developments (eight storeys of 45 apartments at 161-165 Gladstone St), are a good example of excellent co-operation.  Of course communication usually starts with a problem that needs solving and that is how we started. But we need to recognise all the community’s needs – the developer to build, the small service station to trade and the new mum and her baby to sleep. We are then able to maintain an on-going dialogue and engage all stakeholders and, so far, it has been successful.

Being respectful to all is the key ingredient in managing this pace of development and not every developer has been as willing to connect with the community. There are several I could name but won’t.

At the Montague Community Alliance, we believe that having an engaged community and a desire to work together to take the lead in developing more community consultation is the best way to achieve liveable and dynamic community.

Trisha Avery

Convener - Montague Community Alliance

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