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What’s in a name?

31 Aug 2017

What’s in a name? Image

Editorial by Shane Scanlan

They’re the new kids on the block, but Ashe Morgan is to be congratulated for standing proudly behind the name “Docklands”.

Last month Ashe Morgan renamed its Harbour Town Shopping Centre as The District Docklands.

Some other developers in our suburb avoid the name Docklands because they think it’s bad for business.

Collins Square developer Walker Corporation even tried (unsuccessfully) to have its postcode changed from 3008 to 3000. It, like some others, pretends to have a Melbourne address.

There’s no doubt that the Docklands “brand” took a battering in the first half of the last decade. Led by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and cheered along by Neil Mitchell and any number of reporters from The Age (probably all redundant by now!), an urban myth emerged that Docklands was a failure.

Assisted by “dial-a-quote” academics Michael Buxton and Kate Shaw, the narrative served no useful purpose other than to perpetuate prejudices based on snobbery, ignorance and jealousy.

If developers were being successful, the unstated reasoning went, then it must be bad and should be resisted and pilloried.

Sydney-sider Ashe Morgan couldn’t believe the bargain it got when ING Real Estate sold its Waterfront City assets in 2014. It could see Docklands for not only what it was, but also what it is to become.

Now that Docklands is 60 per cent complete, the knockers have become less vocal. Note the surprise of visitors to our suburb who are prepared to hate it but actually love it.

The urban myth was always going to fade and die in time. The damage to our “brand” was only temporary and now things are on the up and up.

Since it acquired Waterfront City, Ashe Morgan has been ploughing serious dollars into the precinct – and it’s not finished yet. This is a ringing endorsement of Docklands.

It would have been very easy to rename Harbour Town any number of names without referencing “Docklands”. The fact that it has done so should be recognised and appreciated by all Docklanders.

It’s a vote of confidence. On behalf of the locals, Docklands News extends a vote of thanks to Ashe Morgan. Your faith is appreciated and we’re confident it will be well rewarded.

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