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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Docklands Community Association - March 2012

28 Feb 2012

Greetings everybody

Following the Minister’s announcement of plans for Manhattan-style skyscraper developments in parts of Melbourne, I was invited to join Jon Faine, ABC Radio on air, on Friday, February 17 to comment from a Docklands perspective.

Whilst saying that Docklands is a great place to live I stressed that in the first decade there were a number of inherent problems, including lack of town planning, no control over ugly exterior designs, traffic congestion, cramming buildings in, wind tunnels and lack of open space, adding that we are pressing for major improvement in the second decade.  I managed to get in our objection to the proposed destruction of our piazza. Faine gave me a good go.

There has been no decision yet from Planning Minister Guy re: objections to MAB’s development plans for NewQuay Central / Waterfront City , including destruction of the piazza. It is worth noting that on Sunday, February 12 some 8000 people attended the Japanese cultural festival held in the piazza.

Last month I referred to council’s recently-released open-space strategy and that it was largely window dressing. It contains no new sizeable parks or gardens and references only token strips in Docklands – given that there is little space left.  What is given scant attention in the report, however, is the redevelopment of the widened Harbour Esplanade which, on the contrary, is the only real solution to our open space problems. 

The DCA is responding to council to this effect and I will be one of the community representatives invited to address council on the strategy on March 8.   The Esplanade is the focal point of entry into Docklands and should be redeveloped accordingly.  The DCA has requested that a committee be set up to for this specific project, comprising representatives of the council, Places Victoria [new name for VicUrban], the DCA and Chamber of Commerce.

It is only right that we should have input as stakeholders.  Too often unfortunately we are “kept in the dark” only to be “consulted” after the event. That is not good enough!  It is high time we were supplied with concepts under consideration; rumours include putting an old “heritage” wharf shed on the strip. Heavens, we’ve already got enough of those lining Central Pier. What is needed is a holistic re-development with parkland down to the water, walking paths, possibly a kiosk and some recreation area.

Council has released a tree replacement program for the city including Docklands saying the existing old trees will last only another 20 or so years. Community information nights are being held, including one organised for 7.30pm on March 7 at the Hub, to which you are invited. 

The gracious elm trees planted by our forefathers have done a beautiful job. The concern is what “progressive” types in council are planning to replace them with. This doesn’t apply to Docklands so much because of our trees being new but we can have a say on types of new trees to be planted.

We are requesting council to let us have details of the size and  internal layout of the new community/library centre. So far we know only about the building and its location. We had requested that there be an adequate space included for community meetings. Currently, the small Hub facility is continually fully booked.

Lastly, we and other groups are continuing to push for council to return to a ward structure despite the VEC saying they propose a retention of the existing non-ward structure.

We continue to keep members informed of events and activities.

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 docklandscommunityassociation@gmail.com    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

Sincerely, Roger Gardner
President DCA

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