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Montague Community Alliance

11 Apr 2018

The “NON-politics” of the Montague Precinct …

We held our first Montague Community Forum for 2018. And we thank the panelists – Martin Foley, David Davis and Samantha Ratnam – for their time and contribution to a very dynamic and well-attended discussion.

We particularly thank David Davis, as he was the first Liberal Member of the Victorian State Parliament in the last five years to agree to our request to contribute to our Community Forums.

Although we do, with thanks, acknowledge the Liberal councillors of the City of Port Philip for their ongoing support and engagement of and with our community.

HOWEVER … it was very interesting and at times concerning to myself as the moderator, and to the members of the Montague Community Alliance and to other audience members that we were unable in any real way, to communicate with The Shadow Planning Minister, David Davis.

What we needed to hear from the Liberal Party and the Shadow Planning Minister was about its plans for the Montague Precinct. About how it will focus on Fishermans Bend and Montague and that the mistakes of the past Liberal Planning Minister (the current leader of the party) would not be repeated.

To our great disappointment, we did not hear this and, as Mr Davis failed to take up our offer of a briefing prior to the forum, which all the other speakers did, we were not able to assist him in understanding who we were and why we were holding the forums.

To be clear, we as a community group are not politically aligned. We represent a diverse demographic including those of differing political alignments, but all of us are absolutely focused on the liveability and amenity of living and working now in Montague.

We all have a great interest and a desire to prepare ourselves for the thousands of residents, businesses and traffic that will arrive in our precinct very soon.

The State Liberal Party has missed our very reason for existing and we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate what we would have said to Mr Davis prior to our forum:

  • The Montague Community Alliance and the forums exist to provide and communicate with the current residents and businesses in the Montague Precinct and the interfaces with Port Melbourne, South Wharf and other parts of South Melbourne;
  • We have developed good communication channels with the City of Port Philip to assist our community’s knowledge of what is happening in the planning and decision making for the Montague Precinct;
  • We understand and accept the Capital City Zoning and that we are in a significant development area;
  • We are not NIMBYS;
  • We want to ensure through clear communication, that planning departments and planning influencers understand that there is already a population of long-term residents (including families) and businesses in the precinct and that we pay rates and GST, and we happily and willing contribute to our community and to our neighbourhoods; and
  • We have already created neighbourhood agreements and good communications with some developers that can be built on for further reference in planning permits.
  • We are not here to sell our properties or “flip” them to developers. We are here to live and work and enjoy a good quality of life and amenity.

The Montague Community Alliance wants to work with all political parties, however there is a wide spread frustration towards the previous government’s planning minister and we would welcome Mr Davis at any time convenient to him, to talk to us further about how the Liberal Party might develop our precinct and build on the advisory and consultative work done to date and, of course, how they would support our existing and future communities.

We look forward to that opportunity and once again thank everyone, particularly the Southbank Local News, for their ongoing support and attendance at our community forums.

Trisha Avery - Convener

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