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Southbank Residents Group

14 Aug 2014

It really has been an enormous month yet it seems like it was only yesterday that I was writing my last column. I am only going to be able to touch on very little here with the happenings of the last four weeks, so please like us on

Facebook (SouthbankResidentsGroup) to keep abreast of what your community organisation has been up to. Even better, become a member and ask your tower/complex to become a member.

A few editions ago, I passionately wrote about the lack of internal design with a number of the developments of late.

It seems my timing with this criticism couldn’t have been better as just last month the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has announced he will shortly be releasing the Government’s “design standards” to combat this.

This plan was drafted by the state architect and was based on the NSW plan (apparently NSW has got this right).

This announcement coincided with the City of Melbourne’s (CoM) draft housing strategy which focused primarily on an affordable housing target for 2018 but also on design standards.

On a whole, the council’s strategy was a very good report and welcomed by SRG which we conveyed to the council in our submission amongst other points for it not to overlook.

The closing of community submissions came a few days after an at-capacity forum on this issue held by the Future Melbourne Network (not to be confused with the Future Melbourne Committee at council).

There were great speakers on this topic (of which the state architect was one) and some very relevant questions from the audience. Council recently rejected a planning application with the Lord Mayor commenting on the “flexi rooms” (as described by the developer) as: “A room that doesn’t have direct or indirect access to daylight, ventilation or outlook is not a room, it’s a cupboard.” So let’s hope this is the start to ensuring better design standards are on their way.

The inaugural Southbank Farmers’ Market was a great success. The local community certainly welcomed me with engaging discourse on our community.

The lack of public open space kept getting a mention, so last month I confronted the Lord Mayor at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting asking when the remaining Boyd development site will commence since one third of the remaining block is to be developed into public open space and is currently two years overdue.

According to the Lord Mayor, construction is to commence in February 2015.

I will have further clarifying questions for him on this subject.

Don’t be shy and come and say hi at the next Southbank Farmers’ Market on September 6.

Tony Penna
President

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