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Greens call for Labor’s support on overshadowing

26 Oct 2014

Greens call for Labor’s support on overshadowing Image

By Sean Car

Greens candidate for Albert Park, David Collis, has called on Labor MP Martin Foley to make a definitive stand against overshadowing of Southbank.

The Greens Party has stated its intention to move a disallowance motion in State Parliament against a proposed Collins St development which, if approved, will cast a shadow over the south bank of the Yarra.

It comes after Melbourne City councillors last month went against their own planning advice to support overshadowing of Southbank, in return for open space in the CBD.

Mr Collis has called on the member for Albert Park to join the Greens in sending a strong message to planning minister Matthew Guy.

“I challenge the local ALP member for Albert Park, Martin Foley, to follow the Greens in making a firm commitment to vote in favour of the disallowance motion that the Greens will move in parliament,” he said.

“Strong leadership within parliament is needed to bring certainty back to our planning processes. The Greens disallowance motion draws a line in
the sand.”

Mr Foley dismissed the challenge from the Greens, stating that Labor’s position on overshadowing has been well known for some time.

“I welcome late-comers like the Greens to this debate in support of Labor’s position of opposing overshadowing of the Southbank community,” he said.

“It continues to be odd that the Greens Party are quick to lay challenges on to Labor – with a proven track record in this area – but fail to hold the Napthine Government as planning barbarians of the past four years to account.”

Under the deal, developer Cbus has agreed to provide the City of Melbourne with 1900sqm  of public open space for a park, in a “trade-off” for council supporting increased height of its proposed tower.

By voting in favour of the 300-metre skyscraper, it marked the first time the council has supported over-shadowing, which Lord Mayor Robert Doyle had previously labeled as “sacrosanct”.

The Greens candidate says an approval by the Planning Minister would be significantly damaging to the public’s confidence in the planning system.  

“This development will send the message to every developer in town that the prohibition on overshadowing the Yarra’s south bank isn’t a prohibition at all and that mandatory planning control can be overcome.”

“This leaves residents in a state of great uncertainty about what is going to occur in suburbs in which they have chosen to live.”

If approved, the tower would cast a moving 25-metre shadow over the Southbank Promenade, Freshwater Place and Crown Casino during the deepest part of winter.

Mr Collis called on Mr Foley to take a strong lead against the proposal and stand up for his electorate.

“Southbank residents moved into an area with the understanding that sunlight will fall on the south bank of the Yarra,” he said.

“Now they are told that the proposed development will be allowed to overshadow Queensbridge Square and Southbank promenade – Southbank’s public open space is vital to its livability.”

The member for Albert Park asserted that he had worked hard with Southbank residents and advised his local counterpart to turn his focus to those causing the damage.

“Matthew Guy and the liberals have taken a wrecking ball to planning policy in inner Melbourne and Southbank amenity,” Mr Foley said.

“The Liberals’ treatment of Southbank as an endless building site rather than a community that needs quality design, investment in community and people outcomes rather than feed the Liberal fetish for more height and bulk is scandalous.”

“I would have thought the Greens Party would have been better advised to demand that Denis Napthine and his local candidates join this campaign to protect Southbank rather than target Victorian Labor as the only political party which, when in government, protected this critical planning issue,” he said.

Liberal candidate for Albert Park Shannon Eeles didn’t respond to Southbank Local News.

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