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Montague Community Alliance

10 Sep 2019

Are you getting to know us?

We hope so.

Over the last few years we have been introducing you, dear readers, to members of our community – Montaguans.

We hope that in meeting our local community, both residents and business owners, we have demonstrated that we are a vibrant 24/7 precinct of South Melbourne. We hope that we offer a welcome to newcomers and we hope for reciprocal respect from our new neighbours and friends.

To bring these hopes to a reality, we not only need a strong community, but we need support and acknowledgement from those that will decide our fate from a planning and design perspective.

We understand that an enormous amount of work is going on in the background and we as a community are not privy to all those outputs. This presents us with challenges and it’s as if we are holding our collective breath while this work is being done. When information or discussions are available to us, we can exhale a little more.

It’s worth noting, that the Montague Precinct and Fishermans Bend, do not sit with the state planning department any longer. These days the Fishermans Bend Taskforce falls under the auspices of Gavin Jennings MP, Special Minister for State and Minister for Precincts and Regions. The Taskforce itself seems to be going through a transition and we hope that the intelligence and data we have provided over the last few years will not be lost or discarded in this next iteration.

We had set up a “working group” of residents and businesses from Montague, that met with the Taskforce in June and we were hoping to meet again in October. Let’s hope (one more time) that the new team will continue our work together rather than asking us to start again!

These are some of the areas that we have covered over the past few years and specifically at the June meeting:

Creating a neighbourhood agreement – a way of ensuring that the community and the developers can create a precinct together with the best intention and communications.

Recognising there is a clear division between east and west of Montague St in terms of heights, design and current foot traffic. Although this is rapidly changing.

Prioritise intersection upgrades on corner of Buckhurst and Montague streets, particular putting in traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing. This is vital for access to the South Melbourne Primary School, from other parts of Montague.

Parking issues and potential need for precinct scale parking – recognising that we have working parents that come in from the outer suburbs, drop their children of at schools or kindergartens and continue to drive to work. Where do they park?

Keep the fine grain and history of the area as it develops, particularly the bluestone, the industrial heritage, the residential and business history. Ensure that the legacy of the area remains with the locals.

Local businesses and developers working more closely with residents as development and construction occurs and improving notification to advise locals of activity. Ask each of the developers to create a page on their websites where locals can access information about demolition and building schedules (this can be captured in the neighbourhood agreements).

Naming of bluestone laneways – this will ensure that the fine grain and history of Montague is preserved.

Address ageing in place, appropriate location of transport connections for elderly. If we remove all car parking and movement of vehicles how will those who do not, or cannot ride a bike, or walk long distances get around? It appears that developers are creating larger apartments with more amenity aimed at downsizers with money, often this cohort is older and not as mobile, and as we are an aging population this must be addressed in Montague.

Create a Montague bridge/street festival – Let’s celebrate the legacy and vibrancy of our community and show the greater Victorian community that we are not just a thoroughfare to the and from the freeways.

In hoping that these ideas and discussions become a reality we thank you for paying attention to us and more importantly getting to know us.

Trisha Avery - Convener

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