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Letters to the Editor March 2011

01 Mar 2011

Dear editor

I would like to comment on the article quoting Simon Wilson in the latest Docklands News, (February 2011 Issue 61) in which he writes about the “improving” traffic along Harbour Esplanade. How can it possibly be improved when the traffic lanes have been reduced from two lanes to a single lane?

One only has to observe the traffic travelling towards Footscray at 4.30pm to see that it is chronically backing up to the Harbour Esplanade/Bourke Street intersection. It is totally incorrect to say that the traffic has improved.

f you were unfortunate enough to be driving along Harbour Esplanade on 22 November at 5.45pm it took you 35 minutes to get to Dudley Street, two blocks away. It is also facile to suggest that drivers will be educated to drive along Wurundjeri Way in preference to Harbour Esplanade, when this thoroughfare is already at capacity.

With the “improved” traffic system along Harbour Esplanade, the Bendigo Bank can no longer have its rubbish collected. There is no allowance for the garbage truck to stop in the single lane. This also applied to Harbour Café which is on level 4 of the podium. They have been advised that they have to take their rubbish down to Bourke St where it is collected twice a week. Likewise, deliveries that used to be made to various businesses on level four, via the lift at the side of the Bendigo Bank, can no longer be made.

Last weekend, when three fire trucks responded to an alarm at the Bendigo Bank, they blocked Harbour Esplanade to southbound traffic. If there were an emergency, what contingencies have been put in place to allow access for emergency vehicles especially during peak hour? To my mind this is a significant safety issue.

I think it is disgraceful that $40 million (or thereabouts) has been wasted on this project. At a time when council is trying to encourage more people to come to Docklands they are actually making it more difficult to drive here. And long-suffering residents who are inconvenienced when there is an event or with peak hour traffic will be further disrupted.

Can you honestly say there is justification for this expenditure? Was the project and its impacts properly investigated and planned by qualified personnel with the correct forethought?

This is definitely NOT an improvement – more a waste of good public money and an enormous inconvenience to all concerned in Docklands.

Ivan Smith


Dear editor


I note with horror that it is possible in Victoria to hire and drive a powerboat in Victoria without the requirement of a licence providing the craft is under a certain engine capacity and is restricted to certain areas of water.

I find this anomaly alarming to say the least.  The thought of someone at the helm of a powerboat on our waterways who presumably does not even know which side to pass another craft is very scary and can only end in disaster.

These same boat operators also have no required knowledge of the use of lifejackets.

Surely our legislators need to have a good look at this.

Bill Hamilton

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  • John Kowarsky at 9:51pm on 23/03/11

    Comment about your Editorial Issue 82 March 2011:

    Your editorial, and another article in the same issue, report that there have been or are now moves afoot to place structures on some of the waterfront land that may adversely affect the visual and other amenity of the area.

    If any of the areas in question are Crown land, they may be considered “coastal Crown land” as defined in the Victorian Coastal Management Act 1995.  And if this is the case, Consent under the Coastal Management Act may be a legal requirement.  This Consent has to be given by the Minister responsible for the Department of Sustainability and Environment(DSE, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

    Planning permit matters are dealt with under a separate portfolio, that is the Minister for Planning.

    A decision about Coastal Management Act Consent must take into account, amongst other things, the Victorian Coastal Strategy and any Coastal Action Plan applying to the land. 

    My experience in assisting proponents of coastal developments is that in considering applications for Consent, DSE requires proponents to undertake and report on diligent consultation with affected or interested parties.

    Any people who are unhappy about proposals could consider asking the authorities making such plans whether they have gone through the above approval process, and also that opportunity be given to provide comment on such applications.

    Yours sincerely

    John Kowarsky
    Environmental Scientist

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