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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Community Response

03 Aug 2010

By Roger Gardener - President of the Docklands Community Association

The second decade will continue to be about development, but with more attention to community input and ideas and provision of infrastructure. Some would say they’ve left that a bit late. The launch documents I’ve seen are short on detail.

The Docklands development has not been problem free, especially in terms of lack of town planning.

A handout says forums will be held to give “an opportunity for all Melburnians to explore how to strengthen the Docklands community and sense of place”. Clearly with the amount of criticism levelled at Docklands for being cold and lacking soul, the authorities are anxious to get ideas to fix it. As to how much the community’s ideas will be heeded in planning remains to be seen.

There has been talk of provision of amenities including a larger community centre, library, sports facilities, a primary school and dare I say parks. However another part of the same document states that “around 98 per cent of developable land is contracted to private developers”.

We would like to know when and where the long-awaited facilities are to be provided. Docklands is badly in need of parkland and public open space but where will it go? Who wants to be herded under Bolte Bridge where nobody wants to build anything. Apparently developers are being asked to provide some space back but what we have seen are only token size areas. Perhaps it is possible for VicUrban to buy back some land.

Another key problem that has to be addressed are the wind tunnels caused by the high-rise buildings, which the public are highly critical of. Wind canopies and breaks have to be provided. Angled breaks can help break up the wind.

And let’s also try and get some harmony of exterior design.

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