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Tram shame

Southbank Residents’ Group

12 Jun 2012

Are you having increased difficulty in finding a parking space for yourself or your visitors? Well “hang on to your hat” – it is going to get much worse as new developments come online.

You may or may not have heard of or read of Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C133 promulgated by our Minister of Planning on March 25, 2010.  Referred to as the maximum car parking rate, it applies a maximum number of car parking spaces for residential development rather than a minimum standard that used to apply.

This amendment allows for the provision of zero on-site car parking spaces and places a discretionary limit of one car parking space per apartment over four stories. In some cases this could mean some new developments do not allocate any on-site car spaces for dwellings. Yes, no on-site spaces at all and a projected population increase to from presently 11,500 to 74,000.

We are told it responds to the market demand for dwellings with no or minimal parking.  I would submit this so called “market demand” was not a request from occupiers or prospective occupiers. I am not aware of any public consultation regarding this change. It smells of collusion between developers, the Government, and their minders. No car spaces adds up to more apartments for a given area and additional money in the pockets of their shareholders.

The other argument given in support of this amendment was that the residents have excellent accessibility to public transport and goods and services and encourage a shift towards public transport and car sharing. They have to be kidding.  Then we have all the mumbo jumbo about environmental, social and economic considerations. Another of their frequent dose of spin-doctoring.

We continue to be dictated to by impractical short-sighted decisions well beyond the capabilities of these elected representatives and their bureaucrats. Take the issue of lack of schooling and can they plan a satisfactory method of getting our primary school children to the nearest school at Port Melbourne or Albert Park or St Kilda without a car. What about medical services and of course a bank or post-office or sporting ground nearby would be handy for the children?

Amendment C133 is another example of the lack of planning, influence of developers and incompetence of our Governments at all levels. The Southbank Residents Group has been pressing the authorities for 15 years to ensure a well-planned Southbank with little or no response. We have attended multitudes of consultations and have made numerous suggestions for balanced development.  Overall, it would seem a waste of time.

We have exhausted our influence by using logic, rational argument or common sense to address the obvious problems generated by our rapid development and all that’s left is the ballot box.  

We must ensure that at all levels of government we elect only those that are sensitive to the wishes of the people, regardless of their political persuasion and intelligent enough to ensure our infrastructure is at least level or preferably ahead of the developers.

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  • Julie Reid at 11:33pm on 07/07/12

    The waiving of carparking or the limiting of carparking to one space per unit is iniquitous.
    How can my children call in to see me if I am sick or bring their new baby to see me? Put it another way - how can parents from the suburbs come over for lunch or to babysit if there is no second carspace or, at the very least, a ratio of visitor car spaces per 10 apartments. People actually DO want to see their families - we don’t all live in isolation - just going round the corner for coffee is not the sum of our social life.

  • James Mahony at 12:53pm on 14/07/12

    If you want lots of car parking, low scale buildings and no noise, don’t live in Southbank. There are plenty of low level suburbs for NIMBY’s in Melbourne, so please don’t ruin the only suburb with any vibrancy in this city.

    The very thing that makes Southbank the great suburb it is, is the high density living arrangement which means more people on street, more restaurants/cafes etc can open because theres a higher population.

    Car parking is not an issue because in a suburb like Southbank you don’t need a car in the first place. Tell your kids to take a train….there’s plenty of options, you just need to escape the typical conservative Australian values of “I need a 1/4 acre block with a car”.

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