Here we are again

Here we are again
Tony Penna

We’ve emerged from another lockdown, yet the rules in our buildings always seem to be changing.

Sometimes we are allowed to open our common facilities while others we aren’t, or if we are, then with restrictive conditions, particularly with our gyms and swimming pools. It would seem we have reverted back to needing COVID marshals monitoring our movements in and out of these facilities.

This was also the case when we emerged from our 100-plus day lockdown but the authorities soon realised it wasn’t practical for high-density buildings such as ours and made some amendments.

I can’t help but feel when they introduced them this time they forgot about the impact on our amenity and ability to implement their procedure and that there was an amended policy.

Or maybe this Delta variant is as such that these tough measures are necessary. I have reached out to my contacts in DHHS to try to ascertain the status of these restrictions in the context of the amendments last time to see if it absolutely necessary for high-density or if it can be tweaked. Let’s hope we can get some consideration.

Martin Foley (our local member) arranged for me to meet with the Department of Transport (DoT) at the end of July to discuss the City Rd and Power St intersection and the allocation of the $2.5 million for “design work” to try to understand just what design work that may entail as these engineers seemed a little expensive to me.

In short, apparently every type of service infrastructure for Southbank seems to pass that intersection and it is a “big job”.

It would seem the Department has an appetite to redesign the intersection as they were adamant the trucks would remain.

While it is early stages yet, there are a few options being considered, but it was conceded the right turn lane would return to being a footpath (as it was around 10 years ago) and all the lanes moved across with the medium strip removed and the light sequence changing.

There was a warning that any changes may likely add up to an additional 30 minutes travelling time down City Rd to the freeway.

In any case, the DoT has assured me it will be keeping Southbank Residents’ Association abreast of the developments as they occur. It is good to know this avenue of communication is now open.

This will be my last column before our annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, September 1. The event will be held at the Malthouse theatre on Sturt St commencing at 6.30pm.

We will have a presentation by the government’s Melbourne Arts Precinct Co as it launches its community consultation on the transformation of the Arts Precinct. This is a $1.5 billion project that is going to truly change the way we interact with this most important part of Southbank.

Our committee was fortunate to receive a presentation from the team a few months ago and was so impressed we thought it would be great if we could invite them to present to our community once again.

We last heard from this team a few years ago when the project was first announced but no timeline or funding had been committed to at the time.

Owing to COVID the funding has been fast-tracked as part of the government economic stimulus. We trust that you too will be just as excited, and impressed, as we were. This is one presentation not to miss!

In case we need to change to a virtual meeting, please register via our website or scan the QR code above. This way we can keep you informed of any changes and it will assist us with planning.

Furthermore, if you are interested in your community and feel you might have a small amount of time to help our volunteer organisation advocate for Southbank, then I encourage you to consider joining our committee.

We are a friendly group of locals who are passionate about Southbank. Committee nominations can only happen at AGMs so here is your only opportunity for the year.

If you think you might have some time and/or skills that will assist us and you like the thought of giving back to your community, you might like to find out more about our committee/organisation before the AGM. If so, then please reach out to me and I can fill you in. Please email [email protected] and I will be sure to be in touch. Failing that, if you feel you don’t have the time to join our committee, then we would certainly welcome your support through membership. It is only $10 per year. Without members we don’t have a voice, so membership is absolutely critical for us to be taken seriously.

I look forward to meeting a whole collection of new faces at our AGM •

Southbank of your imagination

Southbank of your imagination

November 7th, 2023 - Mary Kay Rauma
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