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Southbank Residents’ Association

06 Feb 2019

Welcome to the new year

I would firstly like to welcome all our readers into 2019. Surprisingly there has been a reduced tempo over the Christmas and New Year break – thank goodness!

It is not unusual for the government to make controversial announcements which they are no doubt hoping will be missed by the broader community. Hopefully we haven’t missed any, but maybe it is too soon after the election for the government to have considered anything that might have been controversial.

For the year ahead there are a few things to keep your eyes on. Particularly Crown’s application on One Queensbridge St as its application for that site will expire in March/April. It is expected Crown will apply for an extension, but without a change to the planning scheme I am not too sure that an approval is a formality.

In any case, after the controversy the original application caused, and the dissenting views of the approval from our local MP, Martin Foley, maybe there could be more to it. But I doubt it. Certainly watch this space.

We have seen great progress with stage 1 of the Southbank Boulevard upgrade. This will come to a close around August.

Some minor works on City Rd will commence as part of the City Rd upgrade. We will continue to lobby council to get some meaningful funding and a starting date for that long-awaited project.

There will also be a federal election sometime in the coming months. Your SRA committee will do all it can to try to get the candidates together for another “Meet the Candidates” event so you can ask the hard questions.

We will be holding our annual general meeting in July and, once again, will be reaching out to the community in search of passionate locals who would like to get involved by joining our committee.

More recently though, we have been informed by Heritage Victoria that the development application on the site adjoining the historic Tea House has been rejected on heritage grounds.

You may recall SRA bringing this application to the community’s attention and we encouraged you to have a say. SRA also lobbied hard for this outcome and we are delighted to have learned of the Heritage Victoria decision.

However, as usual with most development applications, a simple objection is not usually the end. I suspect there will be more to come with this. In any case, with the change in the property market, we can only hope that maybe the developer might consider its proposal no longer viable and may give it a miss - for now.

I am looking forward to seeing you around throughout 2019 and receiving more feedback from our members about how our neighbourhood can be improved.

We would certainly welcome your membership, if you are not already a member. You can join up on our website southbankresidents.org.au or through our Facebook page. It is only $10. Without our membership, then we don’t have a voice and we would not be taken seriously by council or the government. We need all the support we can muster from our community.

Tony Penna

President

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