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10 years on

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Away from the desk

The little bent tree
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A view to a hill (with an explosive secret)
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Housing All Australians – a new paradigm
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Owners Corporation Law

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Pets Corner

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State MP

After COVID-19: do we want to go back to “normal”?
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Sustainability

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The District

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We Live Here

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Abby's Angle

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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Docklands Community Association - June 2015

04 Jun 2015

Greeting everybody

Trust you are well. A couple of significant things have recently occurred as reported below.

New Quay tower approved by council a disgrace

The May Docklands News reported council’s unanimous approval for MAB developers to build a 17-storey residential tower on the existing piazza in Waterfront City, which will destroy the iconic open event area. The article did not refer to that or to substantial residents’ objection and other background. It was the first we knew of council’s consideration and approval, given quietly at its April 21 meeting.

There are a number of important criticisms.

There was no consultation with the Docklands community. Council’s unanimous approval is a disgrace. Some councillors have notified a conflict of interest when it comes to development proposals; apparently one declared a conflict of interest in this case.

Importantly, the building should be constructed at the rear of the area fronting Docklands Drive and leave the piazza alone.  Instead, as a puny offset they propose to put a small “park” at the rear (approx. 45m by 45m) which will lack an open view of the water; also the “park” will have a roadway on the side to provide access to and from the building at the front.

We voiced this to Places Victoria and Council previously, as well as the Minister who expressed concern, but nobody in authority has been prepared to go against what the developer wants. As I’ve said previously, developers rule.

Due to the proposal to put the building on the piazza we have already lost major events held on it including the annual Japanese cultural festival, attended by up to 10,000, as well as concerts, shows and markets. It is also used by families for relaxing.

A public meeting attended by over 100 people was held on the Piazza on October 6, 2011 protesting against the proposed building. It was reported at the time. It is the only public protest meeting ever held in Docklands. This was not mentioned at the council meeting. The agenda documents for the council meeting made no reference to this background.

Ironically, council could have applied for an amendment to the Master Plan for the area but apparently officers talked them out of it in a closed meeting beforehand saying it was unlikely to succeed. This was not mentioned at the public council meeting. The only aspect queried by a councillor was parking.

Any development over 25,000 sqm requires ministerial approval, Anything below that can be approved by the council. Apparently the developer marginally reduced the size to enable approval by council.

I sent an email to all councillors criticising the quiet approval and providing the background. Robert Doyle responded he is investigating. Only one other councillor responded, saying he had visited the site. This lack of response from others is par for the course.

From what I’ve seen, there is a distinct lack of energetic debate at council meetings. That’s totally different to what I was used to as a mayor and councillor of a large metro council where heated debate was regular and divisions were called for to record who voted for what. This is partly explained by MCC having no ward system that requires each councillor to be responsible for his/her area and no councillor lives in Docklands.

The process and the decision again shows that, when it comes to development in Docklands, council has no regard to community amenity.

Cage fighting proposal for Etihad

We passed on the result of the resident online survey, with 75 per cent of 124 responses voting against, to Etihad management, with copies to the Premier and the police commissioner. The police are already against it.

The Etihad CEO was not happy. So be it, as we are trying to protect the welfare and image of the densely-populated residential area. This is the first time we have objected to any proposed event over the years at Etihad. They have plenty of events without the need for that.

Short stay/ serviced apartments – State Government Panel of Enquiry

The panel of which I was a member has finished its sittings and recommendations are to be put to the Minister. I was the only representative of affected residents, with some support from one other member. The area covered by the enquiry was inner Melbourne including Docklands.

I was outnumbered by industry and tourism representatives. Council abstained on the basis that they do not have the resources to handle registration and enforcement of any requirements. I have put in separate recommendations which will go to the Minister.

That is all I have space for this month.

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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