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Montague Community Alliance

05 Feb 2020

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the Montague Precinct in 2020. It has been eight years since we became rezoned and we hope that the Year of the Rat will bring fertile ground for communications, collaboration and community engagement.

Our precinct of Fishermans Bend is growing exponentially. We have many new businesses and residents moving into the area and it’s now clear that the foot, bicycle and vehicle traffic has grown significantly.

The apartment buildings and townhouses in and around Ferrars and Thistlethwaite streets are nearing completion, and just like Gladstone St, every evening and weekend the streets will be full of newly parked cars.

There’s talk of new cafés opening in and around the community and education precinct and even some shops may come along soon. We are hoping to know within the next few months what the Fishermans Bend Taskforce is planning for the precinct. What roads will become green wedges, and where traffic lights will go on Montague St. Other questions we’ll be contemplating are; will we finally get to name our wonderful bluestone lanes and will we finally create a template for neighbourly connections between existing residents and businesses and builders and developers? All of this is up for discussion.

The Montague Working Group, which includes residents and businesses and the Fishermans Bend Taskforce, will reconvene in the next month to discuss this, and many more things, including when we will hold our next Community Forum, to which you are all invited.

If you haven’t wandered around our precinct recently, please do so. There is so much change to notice … other than the new primary school and Kirrip Park, we have the beginnings of two hotels that are being built on Normanby Rd and fabulous boutique breweries. There are new owners at the Golden Fleece (corner of Buckhurst and Montague streets) with great pub food and a very cute beer garden and pin ball room! There has also been a change of ownership at Wayside Inn (corner City Rd and Ferrars St), which has turned it into a very cool café and bar. It’s wonderful to see experienced hospitality professionals starting to invest in the precinct and providing a service to our neighbourhood. There is also a Brazilian café and new homeware stores just opened on City Rd and a new law firm and counselling service moving in on Boundary St. We really are starting to see the growth of the precinct.

With this growth of course come challenges. As we are becoming a business and residential precinct of choice for many, we do need to consider mindful growth, ensuring a mix of homes, businesses and amenities. Some buildings, like the one on Gladstone St that is a single home of up to five storeys with a swimming pool, as well as the townhouses that start at $1.9 million on Boundary St can change the face of the precinct. We would like to see at least some social housing and more street level community engagement that honours the legacy of the area, not just the future. And, we sincerely hope that we don’t just become an area for the wealthy!

We here in Montague move into another new year with hope and optimism that we can all work, live and play together in an inclusive and dynamic community. As usual if you have any comments or ideas for this column or our community group, please get in touch.

Facebook: @MontaguePrecinct and Twitter: @MontComAlliance

 

Trisha Avery 

Convener - Montague Community Alliance

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