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Editions

Docklands library decision delayed

02 Aug 2011

The City of Melbourne has delayed by six months making a decision about Docklands’ library and community centre.

The council and VicUrban have $9 million for the project and earlier this year explored some options.

But they found they did not have enough money for what they wanted and went to Docklands’ various developers to explore collaborative options.

The expression of interest (EoI) period closed on March 25 and the council said it expected to make a decision by the end of May.

It is understood that the council prefers Lend Lease’s bid which incorporates a library and community centre into a civic facility it is proposing for Bourke Square – at the intersection of Bourke and Collins streets.

Two other bidders that Docklands News has spoken to are yet to hear from the council on the status of their bids.

It is understood that the council is negotiating with Lend Lease on the specific details of its proposal.

“There are a number of commercial sensitivities in relation to EoI process and negotiations. These details are commercial in confidence and cannot be made publicly available at this time,” a council spokesperson said.

“It is anticipated that a public announcement will be made in relation to Docklands library and community centre in October/November 2011.”

Docklands Community Association president Roger Gardner said the community needed to be consulted about all aspects of the development.

“Our first concern is that we’re kept in the dark about what they’re considering. There’s no community consultation despite the fact that these are community facilities,” Mr Gardner said.

“Council say the negotiations are confidential and commercially sensitive. Well, we say they’re community sensitive!  We’d at least like consultation as to proposed location, size, access etc.”

“Our second concern is that with developer involvement the likelihood is that these facilities will be shoe-horned in like everything else. It is essential that adequate size, space, access and parking be provided similar to what we’ve already said regarding the proposed school.”

“We already know that developers use up every square inch of land whilst leaving little open space and that they do as they like with little or no control from authorities, to say nothing of lack of proper traffic planning.”

“The new community centre should be big enough to cater for future population growth, unlike the lack of foresight shown with the existing ridiculously small Hub centre which also has no off-street parking and extremely limited street parking.”

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