Big political changes

Big political changes
Keith Sutherland

There has been significant change politically since my last article with the Albanese Labor Government voted in with a huge vote for Teal Independents, a strong showing from The Greens and our federal MP for Macnamara Josh Burns pushed to retain his seat by local Greens candidate Steph Hodgins-May.

The reason for me mentioning this is because Josh Burns and Labor promised $3 million for a transport inquiry into Fishermans Bend. It has been quite unfair and unsettling for residents with the proposed tram bridge on the drawing board since prior to the  2014 Victorian Election.

I have to say I am quite disappointed with our local member Josh Burns as I have sent three emails and not received so much as an acknowledgment. However, I do accept two of these emails were sent during the election campaign but the third was after, and I am trying to get an appointment to discuss our local concerns on the tram bridge.

Also there have been major changes to the Andrews’ Government Ministry with our local MP Martin Foley retiring from parliament at the November State election. I can understand his decision having held the critical health portfolio during the past two years of the COVID pandemic. It’s been a demanding role and he has done a pretty good job.

But I must point out that Mr Foley told local residents on November 18, 2014, that Labor would not support a tram bridge, yet as we well know, the state government has since provided $500,000 for further inquiries into the tram bridge. To my knowledge the government has not canvassed the views of local residents and it appears it intends to proceed, which, in my opinion, would be an expensive disaster when there are better alternatives available.

On a brighter note, after having had extensive communication with Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan I am pleased that she has been elected Deputy Premier while also taking on the role of Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery as if she wasn’t already busy enough.

I am grateful to the City of Melbourne having had the opportunity to address the Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting in Docklands in May and offer my alternatives to the tram bridge but sadly at this stage the council still supports the tram bridge proposal. I am at least encouraged that Lord Mayor Sally Capp and the council are supportive of bringing forward Metro 2 and providing trains to Fishermans Bend with two new stations proposed for Turner and Fennell streets, as identified in the Fishermans Bend framework.

While on the topic of the council, it was good to catch up with Cr Kevin Louey and have him follow up planter boxes for the boardwalk at Yarra’s Edge – a long overdue beautification of the area.

Also there is some concern from residents between Towers 1 and 2 that the area is being neglected by the council as it has become particularly untidy with bins and business deliveries.

A big thank you to the council for finally changing the parking bays between Towers 5 and 6 to very short-term. This had become a major problem with trades and some residents thinking it was for long-term parking and creating obstacles across the footpaths with no concerns for residents’ wellbeing. I can only the area will now be better monitored by the council.

The residents and visitors of Yarra’s Edge are loving the Wild About Babies and are grateful for the partnership between Mirvac and international artists Gillie & Marc’s bronze sculptures, which have become quite a drawcard. I hope they will become a permanent fixture.

I love the competition of naming our newest residents – it seems to be creating a great deal of interest. This really is inspiring our connected community.  •

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