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10 years on

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Away from the desk

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Chamber update

Run for the Kids
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Docklander

Johannesburg to Docklands
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Health and Wellbeing

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New Businesses

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Owners Corporation Law

Bill fails to protect residents
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Pets Corner

A road trip companion
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SkyPad Living

Vertical village parcel delivery
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Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios
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We Live Here

More support for OCs in the new Bill
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What Women Want - With Abby Crawford

Do not fear how love can hurt you
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Letters to the Editor - May 2015

28 Apr 2015

To the editor,

I wish to set the record straight about some of the comments made with the Harbour Esplanade Master Plan (‘Harbour Esplanade – the real story’, Docklands News, 1 April 2015).

Calling our consultation process ‘deceitful’ diminishes the voice of those who took part in the Harbour Esplanade community engagement in 2014. This includes those who live and work in Docklands and members of the wider community who rightfully had a say given the significance of Harbour Esplanade to Melbourne.

The majority of those who took part told us that they would be comfortable with 40 per cent built form on Harbour Esplanade and 60 per cent open space. When you take into account the public spaces in the master plan, the continuous eight metre wide waterfront promenade, the protected view zone at the end of La Trobe Street and the three metre wide eastern edge pathway, the actual ratio of built form to open space is about 22:78 (22% built form and 78% open space).

Having some buildings on Harbour Esplanade will mean visitors can buy a drink or an ice-cream, or see a show or an exhibition. The community told us they wanted to see things like fresh food and seafood markets, restaurants, event and performance spaces and gallery spaces. These are the things that will help to bring Harbour Esplanade to life. Buildings will also provide a link to Docklands’ history through the potential reinstatement of heritage sheds and support proposed water uses such as a ferry terminal.

No large structures are planned. In fact, the master plan includes a maximum height of nine metres (or the equivalent of a reinstated goods shed) on the waterfront and ten metres on the street. The level of RL2.4 was determined in consultation with Melbourne Water to meet the Victorian Government’s requirements for authorities to future-proof new buildings against a minimum sea level rise of no less than 0.8 metres by 2100.  

The heights of the proposed new decks also have this in mind but we will look to minimise the number of level changes for pedestrians when we move to more detailed design.

Consistent with the delivery of Docklands, the redevelopment of Harbour Esplanade will be delivered with both private and public funds. To state that we are trading land to developers to pay for new infrastructure unjustly criticises the backbone that Docklands was built on. Docklands’ developer contributions have assisted in paying for valuable public infrastructure such as Library at The Dock and the new Family Services and Boating Hub, one of the largest public art collections in the world and many parks and playgrounds. It’s hard to argue that there is no public benefit in that.

Simon Wilson
Places Victoria General Manager

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