Southbank3006 encourages the City of Melbourne to think creatively
By Jannine Pattison
Who is dreaming of a cleaner, greener, safer, and more sustainable Southbank?
This is the question we posed to the City of Melbourne at the Future Melbourne committee’s recent special budget meeting.
Southbank3006 lay down a challenge to the council to start to think more creatively about green space and how to acquire it. We all know that Southbank is severely lacking in green space per person, but did you know Southbank should have a minimum of 42 hectares of green space based on population and sadly we only have five!
We estimated that the cost to build the shortfall would cost the council $800m plus $2-3 billion to acquire the land. The council’s $17m budget in 2023 to buy land is never going to solve the problem. So, can we creatively create more open space, improve liveability, amenity, and community in our neighbourhood today and at a price we can afford?
Southbank3006 presented the council with three Cs for 2023 to start thinking about what is possible:
Create a new-off leash dog park on the ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art) forecourt and activate Dodds St linear park as a public art space and as the site for a farmers’ market for the community.
Create an annual Southbank Carnivale along Southbank Blvd as part of the reignite Melbourne program.
Create a fully comprehensive traffic management plan for the whole of Southbank and introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which allow for local residents’ access, deliveries, and emergency vehicles but limit general and through traffic. Also, reduce on-street parking and turn that reclaimed land into pocket parks and community gardens right where residents live.
Members of the executive met with the Deputy Lord Mayor to walk around Southbank to discuss the three Cs. These suggestions were warmly welcomed by the council and have been taken under careful consideration.
Southbank3006 hosted a very successful community forum in conjunction with the Department of Transport for a presentation on the City Rd and Power St upgrade, it was great to see such a strong turn-out, and there was indeed a lot of spirited debate and conversation.
While people agreed with the need to fix this problem intersection there was strong support for a comprehensive traffic management plan for the entire neighbourhood as fixing issues one problem at a time was not dealing with the liveability in Southbank.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods will achieve that and can be delivered far cheaper than other projects that have been proposed over the years.
While Southbank3006 welcomes the upgrades, it was clear that residents would prefer to see less traffic, in particular less trucks, with a preference towards a full revaluation and risk assessment of the tunnel. The question remains, has Transurban invested millions in a city bypass tunnel that has inadequate safety measures? This is a question we will continue to ask!
Our next community forum is scheduled for Sunday, July 31 at 2pm at the Boyd Community Hub. July’s topic will be the MAPT (Melbourne Arts Precinct) with special guest speakers. This will be an exciting new addition to the landscape of Southbank, but it needs to be more than a destination for others. It needs to become an integral part of our local community. We know the MAPT will cause lots more disruptions for residents during construction and will change traffic flows so we urge you to come along and hear firsthand how you may be impacted.
Finally, we were delighted to welcome yet another valued member to our committee, bringing our number of committee members to seven.
We have been so humbled by the amount of love Southbank residents have shown us and we want to ensure all residents’ interests and needs are met, so we will be forming sub-committees to head up specific projects and assist with current portfolios. •
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