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Montague Community Alliance

07 Sep 2017

Life’s too short to be a sceptic …

I was talking enthusiastically to someone in our precinct the other day about the next Montague Community Forum.

I was telling them that we have Bernadene Voss the Mayor of the City of Port Philip, Marcus Pearl and Ogi Simic the other two councillors who represent the Montague Precinct, plus the new CEO of the City of Port Philip, Peter Smith, coming along to answer the community’s questions.

I also mentioned how delighted I was to be able to have that opportunity, my neighbour responded despondently with “what’s the point of talking to them, nothing ever changes”. And with that response, I realised how far I had come in moving from that same sceptical position to one of cautious optimism.

In the more than four years that I have been involved with the Montague Community Alliance, I have dealt with state government departments, the local council, developers, residents and local businesses here in Montague. At first, there was real angst in the knowledge that we had been Capital City zoned which meant (amongst other things) that no one was required under the law to communicate with us about any development issues.

And yes, it has taken four years to get to a point when senior stakeholders (which now, happily, also includes South East Water) not only communicate with us, but also want to come and talk directly to the community.

As an example, we lobbied the council to retain the bluestone laneway around a development in Gladstone St and won. And as we delve further into the wonderful history of Montague, we hope to work with the council to save more than just the bluestone lanes of old South Melbourne.

Please come along at 6.15pm on Wednesday, September 20 to the Golden Fleece Hotel at 120 Montague St, to ask your questions about the Montague Precinct and to listen the councillors and the CEO’s responses. This is a Q and A – not a presentation, or speeches. It is direct community engagement with those that represent our local interests.

There is only one way to affect change and that is to be involved with the change. So dear workers, business owners and residents please don’t be a sceptic. Life is far too short for that!

Trisha Avery

Montague Community Alliance

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