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Montague Community Alliance

09 Jun 2020

Kindness and communication: the route to the future

By Trisha Avery

As we emerge into a new phase of managing this pandemic and start back into the world, it is important to notice the effect on our community here in the Montague Precinct of Fishermans Bend.

There are some distinct things we have noticed emerging …

Frustration

For obvious reasons there are less in-person community meetings and time for people to support each other in those hitherto unnoticed casual meetings on the streets, in the market, in a café etc.

These casual encounters provide a sense of belonging and connectivity that supports our wellbeing and indeed our mental health.

The consequences are that there is a notable growth in people feeling frustration about the current restrictions, with the most minor things that the community would not normally even notice or mention … some examples reported are: builders arriving too early, people not taking in the bins, dogs off leash on the streets, and groups of cyclists, often families, using the footpaths rather than the bike paths. Really as a matter of normalcy these are inconsequential, but it seems that our neighbours are struggling with the small stuff.

Sadly … racism

As in Southbank, we here in Montague have a growing population and from the perspective of the Montague Community Alliance (MCA) we enjoy and encourage a diverse and inclusive neighbourhood and community engagement.

Sadly (and with my own sense of frustration) there has been a marked negative response towards certain members of our neighbourhood. We must do everything we can to be inclusive and welcoming especially as we are a precinct that is growing so quickly.

No communication

We have nothing to report regarding any meetings or contact with the City of Port Philip, Fishermans Bend Taskforce, or our local state member. We have tried …

And a sad and salutary reminder that we have no third party rights in Montague, every weekend morning a group of residents from Southbank, Montague and Ferrars St in South Melbourne take our dogs to Kirrip Park - the only off-leash park in Montague or Southbank. We, the dog owners, are obsessively focused on cleaning up after ourselves as we collect litter from other users and we care about the park and our neighbourly connections.

Last Sunday, with NO warning, or communication to the community (yes, City of Port Philip … there is one!) signs went up saying it was no longer leash-free. To say we were shocked by the lack of communication or notice is somewhat of an understatement, as a community we are being ignored again.

It is worth noting that in the new apartments in Gladstone St there are more than 20 extra dogs.

Where is the amenity?

Where is the communication?

Where is the kindness? •

 

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