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Docklands:  it’s (nearly) all good

03 Dec 2012

Editorial by Shane Scanlan

2012 closes with a promise of some very good things for Docklands.

We do see evidence around us of some things that could be better in our suburb. And with a chorus of negative sentiment bombarding us almost daily, it’s obviously easy to lose heart.

But Docklands is not a series of buildings, spaces, roads, retail outlets or businesses.

It is a community of people.

And it’s coming in contact with the people who live and work here that gives me enormous confidence in the future.

Docklanders are just getting on with it and this year we saw evidence of an emerging sense of co-operation.

The highlight of 2012 for me was the establishment of the Docklands Community Forum.

The opportunity that it afforded people to come together to work towards a common goal is the achievement.

The way people have responded to this has clearly been a surprise to the forum’s organisers who have not kept up by providing an adequate structure.

The forum met for a second time on November 28 and it was frustrating that the two-hour window of opportunity was largely wasted with presentations from the council and Places Victoria.

The information presented was highly relevant, well presented and appreciated by the audience.

But the two-hour opportunity to talk about the things that matter most won’t come around again until the end of January.  We can’t wait that long.

The Docklanders representing us on the forum had come together before the meeting to map out the things that matter.  But of four items agreed on, only the cancellation of the 9.30pm New Year’s Eve fireworks was discussed.

This was clearly the best part of the meeting.  City of Melbourne director Martin Cutter gave an impromptu explanation and refused to take a backward step in the face of vigorous questioning from the community.

It was real, unscripted and greatly appreciated by attendees.

This should embolden the forum’s organisers to have enough confidence that the Docklands community itself can set the agenda.  Having come so far, it would be a shame to see the forum fail because the council refused to let go.

It should congratulate itself that its work is largely done.  It has set the scene and now it needs to take a back seat.

I would also like to thank all the advertisers who have supported the Docklands News in 2012.  Without our advertisers, we would not exist.  So please support them in turn.

And to our readers, I extend the compliments of the season.  Have a great break over the holidays and come back refreshed and invigorated for the work that needs doing to fulfill Docklands’ true potential.

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