Columns
Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

Season’s Harvest at The Langham
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

OC chair wins $120k defamation payout
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance Image

Montague Community Alliance

Montague – an agreeable neighbourhood?
Read more >>

Metro Tunnel

Anzac Station construction update
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Why Magnitsky Act is important for Australia
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Bill defects need to be fixed
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

Vantage points
Read more >>

Port Places

Fishermans Bend: the first quarter 2019
Read more >>

Housing Image

Housing

We are leaving an intergenerational time bomb for our children
Read more >>

History Image

History

Daring robbery at City Rd
Read more >>

Safety and Security

Winter vehicle and driving safety
Read more >>

Yarra River Business Association Image

Yarra River Business Association

A constantly changing market
Read more >>

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Southbank Sustainability Group

A community that gets involved
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

High-density cycling
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Pablo is learning to be an inside dog
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

Taxi chaos
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance

09 Apr 2019

Montague Community Alliance Image

April showers are not coming our way

Have you had a look at our parks recently?

They are dustbowls, trees are dying and the grass has turned to straw, while Kirrip Park is looking green and lush with proficient and working sprinklers, a sparklingly new park, with very few residents around it.

What message is this giving the long-term residents and businesses in Montague and the Port Melbourne interface, that their parks are literally dying … this is open space, allegedly designed and planted in the 1800s.

Just as we want to keep our bluestone lanes to link Montague and South Melbourne to our history, surely maintaining these precious open spaces, with elms and Moreton Bay figs, as areas for walking, children to play, dogs to be walked and fauna and flora to flourish is worth getting angry about.

Montague and Port Melbourne locals, have started a petition to reinstate the watering systems in Page Reserve and the other parks along the 109 tram line. If you want to express your concerns please contact City of Port Philip on 9209 6777.

The Docklands Representative Group invited me, as a representative of the Montague Community Alliance, to speak at its Community Forum on March 20.

The subject matter was “that the tram bridge will impact liveability”. I was asked to speak for having the tram bridge, which is odd – as I don’t know that we’re for, or against a bridge, or a tunnel.

But what we do know is that the 109 tram is overflowing, the growth of Fishermans Bend has started and the proximity to the CBD means more and more people need to access the city via public transport.

Having transport links over or under the Yarra River is essential and inevitable. Most of the attendees were from Yarra’s Edge, a beautiful (albeit windy) part of Docklands and I can understand why they are very annoyed that the beauty of the area and the amenity of the marina may be lost.

However, we did not ask to be made into a high-density development area and as we are neighbours, Yarra’s Edge like us will suffer the short-term pain for long-term gain and hopefully great liveability and amenity.

I’m sure the federal election will be called imminently. And as development and liveability of the Montague Precinct is a state- and council-controlled issue, we are not holding a meet the candidates forum. The Southbank Residents Association is holding a session on April 16 at South Melbourne Primary, in Montague. Another is being hosted by Unchained on April 30 at the Memo Hall in Acland St, St Kilda.

However, in the lead-up to the election, we are hoping to ask each candidate their views on the Montague Precinct, which is the electorate of Macnamara. We start with Josh Burns, the ALP candidate:

 

Who are you, tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Josh Burns, the Labor candidate for Macnamara, which is the new name for the old seat of Melbourne Ports. I was chosen to contest the seat following Michael Danby’s retirement after 21 years.

I was born and raised in the area which is now Macnamara. I studied at Monash University and have worked in a variety of jobs, most recently as an adviser to our great Labor Premier Daniel Andrews.

I’m married to Zoe, and we have a beautiful baby daughter, Tia.

 

What brought you to be interested in the Montague Precinct (MP) of South Melbourne?

As Labor candidate for this very diverse area I am naturally interested in the issues facing all its communities. I was already aware of the Montague Precinct of Fishermans Bend from my time as an adviser to the Premier. And, I have enjoyed getting to know the precinct better.

 

What do you consider are the best and/or most interesting things about the MP?

The Montague Precinct and those who live there face unique challenges of rapid development and large numbers of people moving in. It is a fantastic place that is so close to so many great parts of our city but the transition from suburban Melbourne to a place that resembles Manhattan needs to be managed.

 

How do you think living or working in Montague affects the quality of life/work, for the current residents and businesses? and

What would you consider are the challenges of living or working in MP?

The Montague Precinct faces the same challenges of all inner-city residential areas, except on a much bigger scale. Things like increased traffic congestion, crowded public transport, poor planning decisions leading to inappropriate high-rise development and constant construction activity with its associated noise and disruption.

Many of these are state or local government issues, but if I am elected, I will be happy to take up these issues on behalf of the local community with the relevant levels of government.

And of course, let’s not forget, the situation in the South Melbourne area has been made far worse by the shocking decision made by Matthew Guy, as Liberal Minister for Planning, rezoning overnight swathes of inner-city land at Fishermens Bend.

His decision meant a lucky few (mainly Liberal donors) struck it rich as their property prices soared. But it ignored the need for parks, schools, healthcare services or community hubs – prompting an independent committee to label his rash decision “unprecedented in the developed world in the 21st century”.

 

If you could change something about Montague life, what would it be?

While increased population density in inner-urban areas is inevitable, and in some ways desirable, I would like to see it managed in a manner which is much more respectful of local environmental, heritage and amenity issues. I would also like to see much more attention to local public transport, schools, child-care and recreational needs created by greater population density.

 

Trisha Avery - Convener

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.