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Montague Community Alliance

08 Apr 2020

The virtual world of Montague

Well, dear readers, how are you all fairing? It certainly is a strange and peculiar time and our precinct has little or no foot traffic and all the car parking spots are full in the residential areas like Gladstone and Boundary streets.

Kirrip Park is vibrant with dog walkers being respectfully socially distanced, and the locals are walking through to get to the tram stops.

Most of the businesses are still operating, both working virtually and in house for those who can’t work from home. Our precinct has a number of psychologists, counsellors, architects, builders and technology companies as well as all manner of creative industries. It is for the most part, socially distanced, business as usual.

Some of our iconic pubs have remained open for the moment, pivoting their business to match the times. For example, The Golden Fleece on Montague St, one of our favourites, has become a wholesale bottle shop but still providing great takeaway food for local residents and businesses.

Unfortunately, however, construction continues apace and the feedback from those residents who are normally not here during the day, is one of shock at the noise and dust and of course NO social distancing. It is ironic that those now living in apartment blocks that caused existing residents and businesses noise and dust challenges, are now enduring the very same thing. I am sure it will be the same with those properties being constructed right now.

There is nowhere else in Melbourne that is undergoing this level of construction and we do wonder why, again, no one is considering how the constant noise and dust adds to the anxiety and feelings of isolation during this time of virtual contact.

So, here are some tips on how to make that better:

  • Approach the site politely (they are just doing their jobs) and ask what their work schedule is so you can plan your day around the noise levels. Try not to complain, they can’t stop work if it’s their job.
  • If you are working from home, let your colleagues know that there is construction noise and that will sometimes be distracting.
  • If you have small children that need to nap, most sites will have periods of less noise; again ask the site manager for their schedule.
  • If sites are working out of hours, please call either the City of Port Philip or City of Melbourne depending which municipality the construction is in. Construction times are: work times - 7am - 6pm weekdays, 9am – 3pm Saturdays, Sundays and no work on Public Holidays unless they have applied for a permit.
  • Most importantly, stay connected with your work colleagues and friends through whichever platform works best for you and know that it is very likely they have their own challenges in working from home.

So, what will the next few months bring? We can only speculate but we do need to remain engaged with each other. Please don’t despair if you are struggling, be mindful that you can search online services that exist via the state government and City of Port Philip websites. There are a number of people who have offered help in the municipality and the Montague Community Alliance is also here if you need help, you can contact us through our Facebook page @MontaguePrecinct or on Twitter @MontComAlliance.

I wish you well and leave you with this thought … why do workers on building sites have such odd taste in music? •

Trisha Avery - Convener

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