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Southbank Residents Association

07 Sep 2017

Giving credit where it is due

I must give credit where credit is due. Last month saw the release of the artist’s impressions for the transformation of Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St and I can truly say, it will be transformed.

The project team at the City of Melbourne, led by Steve Perumal, has done a fantastic job listening to the needs of the community and translating them into what appears to be a practical reality.

The first $10 million of this three-stage project has already been allocated in this year’s budget by council, so it too has shown commitment to this project. This will add an additional 2.5ha of desperately needed open space in Melbourne’s most densely populated suburb.

Currently open space in Southbank is at 2.5sqm per resident when the city’s goal is 20sqm per resident. However with Southbank’s continuous development these gains will unfortunately be short lived.

I was surprised to learn last month that the new, one-of-a-kind, vertical school being built on Ferrars St in Southbank, has been given an interim name of South Melbourne Primary School while the government considers an appropriate name for the school.

While this part of Southbank is within the City of Port Phillip and essentially borders South Melbourne, Southbank Residents Association was an integral voice with the lobbying, debate and community drive for two additional schools in the area.

With Southbank’s current population of 18,000 continuing to grow, I find it more fitting that the new school be called Southbank Primary School. After all, it is located within the Southbank boundary and the name will help add to the identity of Southbank and continue to make our suburb attractive to families.

It was a long and hard fight to have our voices heard for the schooling needs of our local children, but at least common sense prevailed in the end and a school is being built.

I say let’s call it Southbank Primary School. What are your thoughts?

We have a busy month ahead and are looking forward to collaborating with Boyd to put on another fun trivia night on Wednesday, September 13 at Boyd Community Hub. There will be prizes and it’s free. All you need to do is register at Eventbrite ( to get your tickets.

Also, you are all invited to our AGM on Wednesday, October 11 at Boyd. We are always looking for new members to join our committee and at our AGM we’ll be looking for a new secretary, so if you think this might be you, please get in touch.

For those a little unsure, we are more than happy to answer your questions about what the committee does. Alternatively, you might want to attend one of our monthly meetings to see for yourself whether you’d like to get involved. We’d love you to join our small group of passionate volunteer residents trying to protect the liveability of our suburb, so please give it some thought.

If you can’t volunteer, don’t forget you can always show your support for what we do by being a member and telling friends and family in Southbank about what we do. It’s only $10 a year, which is a small price to pay given all the work we do on behalf of Southbank residents. If you have any questions or want to find out more, please make contact at

A note on our June column, the Hoop Pine at 20 Kavanagh St has finally been moved and we were pleased to see council take positive action after our concerns were made public. The tree has been relocated to the centre of the “pocket park”, and we hope to see it thrive in the new location.

Tony Penna


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