Power to the people
30 Oct 2009
The Voice of Docklands has been heard recently with two significant victories for “people power”:
- The City of Melbourne has reinstated Docklands’ 9.15pm family fireworks on New Years’ Eve; and
- Authorities last month bowed to Yarra’s Edge resident pressure and reopened the Capital City Trail along South Wharf.
Docklands fireworks are reinstated
City of Melbourne councillors early last month unanimously decided to overturn a previous decision to discontinue the Docklands family fireworks.
They claim to have not known the significance of a vote they took in late August to cancel the early show in Docklands.
The chairman of the Docklands Co-ordination Committee, Cr Kevin Louey, said the recommendation the councillors voted on in August did not specifically spell out the end of the 9.15pm show.
He said once he and other councillors were informed by the Docklands News of the consequences of the vote, they banded together to overturn the decision.
“They shouldn’t have been cancelled in the first place,” Cr Louey said.
Council officers were concerned about crowds and, in particular, how Southern Cross Station would cope with both the Sensation event and the early fireworks show.
“We will retain the 9.15pm fireworks at Docklands this year and review this decision in future years as we develop and progress our new event format,” Cr Louey said.
The president of the Docklands Community Association Roger Gardner said he was delighted by the reinstatement.
“The announcement that the event was being relocated was a put down of Docklands in stark contradiction to the general effort being put in to promoting the area,” he said.
In the short time that our Docklands News online survey on the matters was active, some 80 per cent of respondents felt the decision was unjustified. Some 13 people lefts comments. Among them were:
- The council decision is evidence that the councillors have no idea of what really makes a precinct of disparate people into a community;
- It doesn’t appear that the decision makers on this have ever been to Docklands on New Years Eve;
- Our grandchildren look forward to it every year. A family get together for NYE is the best way to celebrate; and
- What a lot of rubbish. There was no spectator crush for people going across the concourse after the fireworks last year. There must be an ulterior motive from the City Council.
Capital City Trail is re-opened
And after three years of closure due to South Wharf construction, the Capital City Trail was reopened under the Charles Grimes Bridge on October 15.
This follows a Yarra’s Edge resident-led campaign, which was sparked earlier this year when it was suggested that the trail would remain closed for a further three years due to the Main Melbourne Sewer Replacement project.
“After three very long years we at last have our walkway under Charles Grimes Bridge back,” said resident Cobien Watts, who led the campaign.
“John Holland’s actions were as good as their words, when they removed the much-dreaded barrier walls under the bridge to again allow us access to South Wharf.”
A group of residents gathered to celebrate the victory and conducted an unofficial ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Ms Watts said she was still concerned that a temporary stairway which has been erected by Austexx to connect the trail was not adequate for bikes, prams and wheelchairs.
A John Holland spokesperson said the access would remain open for all but around six full days between now and Christmas to allow for essential concreting works.
“There will be a time next year when the path will be closed for approximately three weeks to carry out works,” she said.
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