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Montague Community Alliance

06 Nov 2019

Montague Community Alliance Image

Is anyone out there?

The Montague Community Alliance has been working to provide communication and support to the community living and working in the Montague Precinct of the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area for six years.

We are volunteers that not only care about the existing community and the history of our small area of South Melbourne but are deeply committed to welcoming our future community. There are very few places that are being developed and changed like the Montague precinct.

What I mean by that is, that there were existing residents, existing businesses and existing infrastructure. It was a sleepy hollow of South Melbourne a couple of stops away from the city and beach, that had a community living and working here since the 1800s.

We do understand that in our rezoning to capital city in 2012, that our third-party rights, including being communicated with, were stripped from us by the then Liberal state government. We also understand that our current Labor state government has kept this zoning, so that they can continue the urban development that Melbourne so urgently requires. Let me reiterate, we do understand that.

However, if we don’t constantly hound the government and council officers for information about development and scheduling, nothing is forthcoming. We understand that personnel in these organisations change, and that the existing relationships are lost. But to have all the hours of the volunteers’ work for our community ignored or fall into a black hole is dreadful.

There are NO neighbourhood agreements in place, even though we have worked on them for six years and both the Fishermans Bend Taskforce and the councillors tell us it’s going to happen. We are constantly being asked to write the template (we’ve done many for them), but NOTHING is happening, council officers are certainly well-intentioned, and everyone is being very polite but there is NO action.

While the Fishermans Bend Development Board continues to celebrate after every new sod of earth in Montague is turned, the local businesses and residents continue to ask how are we being looked after, how are our rights and rates being respected.

We have both small and large development causing significant challenges to businesses and residents. A neighbourhood agreement would, at the very least, provide a schedule of work so these businesses and residents could plan their days and their clients and family activities around the demolition and builds.

One of the social challenges of living and working in an area that is full of building sites is that people use it as a dumping ground and for other activities. As recently as October, a motor bike was set alight in the middle of Boundary St near the corner of Gladstone St; if a resident had not noticed it could have done untold damage to homes and businesses. Campers are using the streets on weekends to camp, there are tradies/crew sleeping in their cars … all of whom are using Page Reserve as a bathroom!

We need action on the neighbourhood Aagreement NOW. The Fishermans Bend Taskforce needs to respond to our emails, continue the good communication and working group and solve the issues that will affect new business and residents as they are affecting the existing and legacy communities.

If you would like to get in touch with our group, or want any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Facebook @MontaguePrecinct Twitter @MontComAlliance

Trisha Avery - Convener

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