News from the DCA
Lorimer Draft Structure Plan
This particularly affects Yarra’s Edge residents in respect of elements such as the proposed tram bridge and developments on the other side of Lorimer St.
I attended the public briefing by CoM and Plan Melbourne officers held at the library on March 11.
The large resident audience was highly critical of the lack of consultation for particular sites, including heights, shadowing, densities and traffic effects. It was stressed that authorities must take concerns of residents into account when considering development proposals. The meeting was advised of forthcoming consultation sessions for the draft structure plan in March and April.
Residents were encouraged to register with Participate Melbourne, the council’s online engagement site, to provide input and follow the public conversation.
Short stays in residential buildings
The first meeting of the panel of enquiry into the practice was held early March at which the issues were identified and assessed. I submitted to members a listing of serious anti-social behaviour, vandalism, damage, added costs, etc associated with short stays/serviced apartments, together with photographic evidence. The problems are now extended by the emergence into the market of international operators such as Airbnb and Stayz. Future meeting will look at solutions and recommendations.
Cage fighting at Etihad – Resident survey
There is concern regarding the effect on Docklands’ image; also safety and security outside the venue resulting from holding cage fighting in Etihad Stadium, which it has been reported in the media will be held there in November. We are, therefore, running a survey amongst residents to obtain their opinion regarding holding it at Etihad. They are not short of events. The police have stated their opposition to this sport.
The director of Digital Harbour, an architect I think, gave a presentation at the Community Forum criticizing the plan by Places Victoria and council to put pavilions along the length of the waterfront. He stated that the harbour views should be maintained and not blocked; also that the public consultation carried out by Places Victoria and council did not necessarily reflect community views.
We have already argued that their public surveys were designed to support their plans. He rejected their claims that built form is necessary to lessen the effect of wind, saying it could be achieved through screening and planting.
We argue that in fact the stretch away from the buildings is no windier than any other open space. He stated that this long derelict stretch has created a barrier for visitors and general use for far too long and that the project should be speeded up.
Police and Community Consultation Committee
I attended the PCCC meeting on March 11, which was well attended by business, media, residential, security and other interests. Police provided stats on crime in Docklands. Overall crime has been relatively moderate since the last meeting in December.
Police had previously reported that short-term rental apartments are at times used for drug trafficking; nothing new in that area. Theft of cars and motorcycles has risen across the whole city.
I again reported the problem of cyclists racing along the Esplanade and NewQuay Promenade commuting to and from work. This scares walkers and can be dangerous. They rarely use their bells although required to do so. Hoon drivers are also a problem.
Construction of the Boating and Family Hub adjacent to the library has commenced and due for completion in December. Improvements to Docklands Park will include conversion of wetland area along Collins St end into a public activity space. Along the Bourke St side new street trees are planned with new park entry and garden bed. Collins Wharf development is in the consultation stage.
AFL football begins at Etihad on Easter weekend. There’s also a messenger bicycling championships scheduled for Easter weekend to run from the NAB down to around Wharf Rd and a women’s cycling event scheduled the following weekend – route not yet known.
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 dockla[email protected]. We’re also on Facebook.
Regards to all
Roger Gardner - President DCA