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Docklands Community Association - June 2013

28 May 2013

Greetings everybody.

There’s quite a lot going on as usual.

Our DCA “Meet and Greet” party arranged for Thursday, July 25 is getting closer. The venue is The Nixon in Bourke St opposite Etihad Stadium. Invitations will be issued to everybody closer to the event.

Places Victoria has called tenders for provision of a primary school in Docklands much to the delight of parents here with young children. It is for a private school which appears to indicate a lack of government funds for a state school.

The DCA works in with other community groups in the city, with particular emphasis on planning and infrastructure. A meeting arranged with Minister Guy has been postponed for a couple of months due to other commitments.

Key issues include high-rise density, traffic density and lack of parking, which are particularly relevant to Docklands.

Pressure is being applied to make developers adhere to government guidelines in terms of spacing, overshadowing, sunlight, privacy, vista provision and wind tunnel reduction.  Another key issue is the complete lack of transparency and community consultation.

An example at the moment is a controversial major development in Docklands which was found out about only through a backdoor source, despite it having been under review by both Places Victoria and the council.

A justified objection has been lodged, despite the fact that the Minister, Matthew Guy, who has sole approval authority, does permit objections for anything over 25,000 sqm, which applies to most of the developments in Docklands. Community groups around Melbourne are “up in arms” against this system. We are awaiting a response from Places Victoria.

Local state member Jennifer Kanis has asked to meet with the DCA – a date is yet to be arranged.

It has been said the Docklands Community Forum is still finding its feet. I think it is time for some change and more control by the panel members.

I suggest the following: firstly that the agenda should be reviewed and signed off on by the panel in advance of the meeting. Proposers should be identified under each item.  Hopefully consensus can be achieved despite the varying objectives of members.

The agenda for the May meeting contained a couple of items not directly related to community needs. It was found that the inclusion of one item relating to a developer was requested by a council manager.

The second suggestion is that matters discussed privately beforehand by the panel should be reported at the public meeting. Matters discussed are not momentous or secret and should be reported for transparency. If the panel is or is not in agreement on something then let it be said. Additionally, there should be less presentations and more discussion.

A West Melbourne community group has approached the DCA to initiate liaison for a combined on-going review of the redevelopment of the E-Gate rail area. This is important as it affects both West Melbourne and Docklands, in terms of residential and commercial development, open space and a possible bridge connecting the two areas. It is early days yet as the existing rail leases don’t expire till next year but we need to keep abreast of planning.

A serviced apartment operator has lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court against the Building Appeals Board decision against the operation of serviced apartments in Watergate. The hearing outcome is awaited.

Finally you may be aware that the extension of the Collins St tramline is under way. This will facilitate access to the new community centre and library, due for completion by December.

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)

If you would like to talk to me about any aspect you are welcome to call me on 0412 097 706.  You can also keep up with things on our website http://www.docklandscommunityassociation.com

Regards to all

Roger Gardner
President DCA

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