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Editions

Community forum gains traction

02 Jul 2013

Community forum gains traction Image

The Docklands Community Forum (DCF) is gaining traction as an effective lobbying body.

At a meeting of the forum on May 29, DCF parent representative Janine Standfield shared the success she’s had in furthering discussion about the need for a school in Docklands.

Ms Standfield has been campaigning for a local government school for the past few years and said since becoming a DCF representative she’s had more success progressing the issue.

Ms Standfield has met with Lynne Sutton, Peter Henry and Jeff Tait who work for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s (DEECD) south-west region. The group advised that a review of zoning in Docklands was being conducted.

Ms Standfield also contacted Greens federal member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt.

This resulted in Greens state education spokesperson, Sue Pennicuick putting a question on notice to Education Minister Martin Dixon about the source of figures he has referenced regarding a projected demand of 156 students in Docklands by 2016.

He has been asked to explain this figure, considering it doesn’t match other projections, which are considerably higher.

Ms Standfield also met with member for Melbourne Jennifer Kanis who said she would look at ways of raising the issue in Parliament.

Ms Standfield has also been in correspondence with the member for Albert Park, Martin Foley, who is working in his electorate to raise funding for a South Melbourne school.

She’s received acknowledgements from Mr Dixon, Premier Denis Napthine as well as Melbourne councillors Kevin Louey and
Ken Ong.

Ms Standfield encouraged other forum members to use the leverage of the forum to lobby for Docklands issues.

The forum is currently focusing on water activation and at the May forum meeting, the discussion focused predominantly on ways of activating the water and waterfront.

However, focus also turned to the issue of governance and the fact that around 16 pieces of legislation govern Docklands waterways.

Accordingly, any waterway activity or project is difficult to get off the ground.

The idea of Docklands having its own port authority was raised at the Melbourne Waterfront Forum in October last year.

At the May DCF meeting, Chamber of Commerce representative Stephen Clement said a port authority was the answer to Docklands’ water activation issues.

Council’s city design director Rob Adams said the City of Melbourne was progressing the concept with the State Government (see the story on page 2).

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