At last ... a residents’ group is restored in Docklands!
By Sean Car
After several years without an established residents’ group, the Docklands Representative Group (DRG) has finally become an incorporated organisation marking the beginning of a new united voice for the Docklands community.
Following the demise of the former Docklands Community Association (DCA) in 2017, the DRG has officially filled the void after becoming an incorporated entity last month under the inaugural presidency of Ben Ball.
The DRG was born through the City of Melbourne’s Docklands Community Forum initiative and has been slowly building momentum in recent years as members of the group have sought to establish their own standalone organisation.
And with the group now formally incorporated, the DRG’s inaugural secretary Dr Janette Corcoran told Docklands News that “the training wheels were now off ” and that it was now inviting members of the local community to join.
“It’s a huge milestone and we’re really excited about what that now will allow us to do and allow us to be,” Dr Corcoran said.
“We’re really chuffed that it’s got to this stage and a lot of the groundwork has been laid. Ben [Ball] referred to it as the training wheels coming off. I think what’s been good is that we’ve now got a track record of putting on events and deal with issues that are demonstratively important to Docklands.”
“There needs to be a way for the people and the place of Docklands to connect with decision-makers in Docklands, which can be difficult. We’d like to be a conduit for connecting the many and varied. Our focus wants to be on the people and place in Docklands.”
“That’s the people who live, work and have a connection. Whether they play sport here or have a cultural connection.”
For many years now, Docklands has remained the only suburb within the City of Melbourne without its own official body representing the interests of local residents.
Given the number of pending cornerstone projects in Docklands, the establishment of an independent DRG comes as welcome news to the community which now has an official platform to advocate for change.
Dr Corcoran said the group was keen to bring together a diverse range of voices and skillsets in the local community to represent all residents from NewQuay to Yarra’s Edge and would be included in Lord Mayor Sally Capp’s new resident panel.
She also added that the inaugural committee of five was very keen to both collaborate with other resident groups within the City of Melbourne and also look towards establishing an owners’ corporation network for Docklands.
“We’ll be playing around with the model of it but what we’re looking at doing will be hosting forums that address issues of interest for owners’ corporation because unfortunately, at the moment, there aren’t a lot of resources available. We’d like to formalise that,” Dr Corcoran said.
“We have been engaged informally on the residents’ panel with the Lord Mayor and now we will be becoming part of that. It’s not finalised yet but we will be meeting on a regular basis and that not only connects us with the City of Melbourne, but other resident groups too.”
“The people who are there [committee] have been working with this entity and have been drawn from a particular group of people and we just want to make sure that anybody who is interested in it has the opportunity to engage as well. The whole idea is to have a diversity of input and perspectives.” “Because of the vast array of things that are happening here across different levels of government and the different departments, sometimes it’s very difficult to know who to talk to or what channels to go through. I think that’s the role that this group can play.”
The DRG will also soon announce details about its next community forum via its website •