Southbank “neighbourhood portal” goes live
An online portal for those who live, work or study in Southbank has gone live, giving locals a dedicated space to keep up to date with works and events in postcode 3008, and have a say on its future.
One of 10 “neighbourhood portals” that have recently been launched by the City of Melbourne — each covering different suburbs in the municipality — the webpage is intended to be a one-stop space that covers everything Southbank.
This includes, for example, development activity updates, how to book a space or meeting room, how to apply for funding, and importantly, how to have your say on things that were impacting the local community.
Notably, the council has employed a “partner” for Southbank (and all nine other neighbourhoods), who will act as the main point-of-contact on specific issues within the area.
It is hoped that the initiative will allow the community to better connect with the council by helping share its ideas for the future.
The council has acknowledged that there were vast differences in different suburbs within the municipality (for example, between Southbank and East Melbourne) and said its new “place-based” neighbourhood approach would ensure it could understand and respond to unique communities.
It said that this model ensured a “continuous cycle of community engagement”, where local knowledge and priorities were translated into action.
“We know that each neighbourhood has different needs, opportunities and challenges, so we’re proud to be rolling out a dedicated Neighbourhood Portal for every community across the municipality,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp told Southbank News.
“We’re listening to our Southbank community, who told us that creating more dog-friendly places and green open space is important to them.”
“That’s why we’re doubling the number of off-leash areas for dogs across the municipality and unlocking new open space – including a new dog park on the Kings Way and Moray Street Reserve and the lawns of Point Park.”
“Our Neighbourhood Portals are helping us better understand our residents, workers, traders, students and visitors – and the things that matter most to them.”
The portals were endorsed at the council’s Future Melbourne Committee meeting on June 14.
The council’s Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio chair Cr Dr Olivia Ball said at the time that it was important recognition of suburbs outside the Hoddle Grid.
“Many people think of the City of Melbourne as the CBD, but it is, in fact, as you well know, the CBD plus all of the surrounding suburbs and each of them has its own needs and distinctive features,” Cr Dr Ball said.
The council will create a database of people’s views on certain topics, not merely from locals’ input into the online portal but from letters and phone calls, which would be tagged by topic and location.
“We will build up, for our purposes, an internal-facing knowledge bank where we can find [for example] ‘what does North Melbourne think about off-leash dog parks?’ Or ‘what does North Melbourne think about vaccinations?’ Etc, so we have — building up over time — an accessible and accurate picture of what each community wants on different topics,” Cr Dr Ball said.
The first two neighbourhood portals (for the CBD and Kensington) were launched in June and received 1800 unique visitors in the first three months according to the council.
As of October 26, all 10 neighbourhood portals were live. The remaining eight are: Carlton, Docklands, East Melbourne, North Melbourne, Parkville, Southbank, South Yarra and West Melbourne.
To find out more visit participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/neighbourhoods •