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10 years on

Council given more planning powers
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Away from the desk

The little bent tree
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History

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Housing All Australians

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Owners Corporation Law

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State MP

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Sustainability

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The District

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We Live Here

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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Docklands Community Association - August 2015

30 Jul 2015

Greetings Everybody.

Trust you are well. Some of these winter viruses take a while to get over as I’ve recently experienced.

Short Stays/ Serviced Apartments

The Watergate management must be feeling a bit down after VCAT refused their application to stop the short stay operator from continuing the practice. As I understand it this was on the basis that they didn’t have the power. This came after the Courts decreed that the renting of an apartment could not be limited on the length of stay, which brought in the definition of a ‘dwelling’. As to whether the case for limitation was based on the right grounds can be debated.
The Watergate action has been a first in Victoria.

On the other hand there has been a different outcome in NSW where in April the Land and Environment Court ordered the cessation of weekend rentals immediately and holiday rentals from October in the Bridgeport building in central Sydney. The building management were ordered to pay the costs of the City of Sydney who had brought the action.

As I reported earlier, the panel appointed by the State Government, of which I was a member, to review the Short Stay issue in CBD residential apartment buildings completed the review in May. I, as the only resident representative, was outnumbered by industry interests who put forward ineffectual whitewash recommendations. I then put in a dissenting submission. Minister for Planning Richard Wynne replied in writing that the issue is under consideration and confirmed this in a meeting on July 21. Perhaps there could be further consultation.

Better Apartments Discussion Paper

Minister Wynne recently released a discussion paper for review of design of apartments. It listed fourteen elements affecting apartment amenity including daylight, sunlight, space, outlook, natural ventilation, noise, outdoor space, landscape, energy, waste and carparking. Included in these are overshadowing, building separation; wind tunnel effects should be added, which we will mention.

Council approved its submission on July 7, stating the purpose being to develop Victorian Apartment Design Standards to achieve reasonable quality.

The Council submission includes some interesting and telling facts concerning widespread deficiencies in previous building quality. Quote: “only 16% of new developments between 2006 and 2012 were assessed as good. In the high-rise category none were assessed as good. Future Living research also identified that Melbourne has the narrowest and least rigorous policy guidance on housing quality for medium and high density developments compared to like cities. There has been a trend in the City of Melbourne for increasingly small apartments, with 40 per cent having less than 50 square metres of floor space, the minimum size for one bedroom apartments in Sydney, Adelaide and London. There were a significant proportion of bedrooms with no windows which ‘borrow’ light from neighbouring rooms, or saddlebag rooms which provide a window but often with a long narrow window corridor. Many of these issues can be attributed to poorly configured site layouts.”

The DCA supports the comprehensive submission by the City of Melbourne.

Meeting with Minister Wynne

I was one of five representatives of various Community Groups who met with Planning Minister Richard Wynne on July 21. Various matters relating to both suburban and inner city planning issues were raised including control over apartment developments alongside existing housing, tighter design guidelines and adherence and short stay rentals.

Rubbish on Harbour Edges

Earlier in the year Places Victoria stated they were implementing a method for clearing rubbish from the waterfront edges. This is separate from the Council managed traps. Unfortunately rubbish still accumulates along the waterfront and does not appear to be cleared regularly, particularly in corners. It looks most unsightly. We trust Places Victoria will give additional attention to the matter.

Events

The Council sponsored fireworks are continuing every Friday night in Victoria Harbour during July and August. These have been drawing good crowds. Other coming events include the annual Regatta and Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday, August 30. This celebrates Melbourne’s waterways with an assembly of vessels and commemorates Melbourne with a re-enactment of the arrival of Melbourne’s first settlers. The event activity is centred on the Victoria Harbour Promenade and NAB forecourt.

If any reader would like to become a member of the DCA or has any suggestions they wish to put forward regarding activities or issues, they are welcome to contact us on (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We’re also on Facebook.
If you would like to contact me about any aspect or becoming a committee member you are welcome to email as above.

Regards to All
Roger Gardner
President DCA

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