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My door is always open

28 Aug 2012

My door is always open Image

By Bethany Williams

Our newest member of State Parliament wants Docklanders to know her door is always open for them.

Labor’s Jennifer Kanis (pictured right) won the state by-election on July 21 and has since been settling into her role as the Member for Melbourne.

However in Docklands, Greens candidate Cathy Oke was the winner on primary votes, with Ms Kanis coming in second.  And fewer Docklanders voted ALP this year than they did in 2010 when there was a Liberal candidate.

“I think that it’s important to have a look at the results but what I’m really doing is concentrating on getting to know Docklands better and getting Docklands to know me better,” Ms Kanis said.

“I don’t know how Docklands perceives me, but I hope in a year or two Docklands people will know me and know me well. I hope they will know they can come to me for assistance, can seek help from my office for matters that impact on them.”

“I guess in a way it’s the beginning of that part of my relationship with Docklands.” she said.

So far, Ms Kanis’ relationship with Docklands has been limited to visiting the area during lunch breaks when she worked in the city and riding through it on one its bike tracks.

Ms Kanis is a former councillor of the City of Melbourne. She said one of the things she pushed for as a councillor was the Docklands library.

“I think once the library is built that will give the community a bit of residential closeness,” Ms Kanis said.

However, she said there is still work to be done, with more open green spaces and plans for a school – both things she considers a priority for Docklands.

“Even if a school isn’t needed today, I think we need to start setting land aside and making sure we’ve got a plan for the future,” Ms Kanis said.

Ms Kanis also weighed in on the short-term apartment debate.

“I’ve got nothing against short-term residential lettings but the residents who are living here permanently do need to have quiet enjoyment of their homes,” Ms Kanis said.

Ms Kanis said she also has concerns about short-term accommodation in terms of emergency procedures.

“I don’t think there will be a simple resolution, but I do think that the needs of the residents who are living here all the time do need to have some priority over people who are here for a short time,” she said.

However, she suggested the challenges Docklands faces are to be expected – considering its stage of development.

“Docklands is halfway through its development. For a young suburb it’s terrific,” Ms Kanis said.

Ms Kanis said she was looking forward to spending more time in Docklands in the future and encouraged Docklanders not to be strangers to her.

“Come and say hello and let’s see what we can do together,” Ms Kanis said.











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Comments

  • Andrew at 2:14pm on 29/08/12

    Ms Kanis understands little about our community and the important issues here. That is why Docklanders responded in such large numbers to Cathy Oke and the Greens who were here on the ground - standing up for Docklands. We don't need an MP who is on an apprenticeship for the next 2 years - and thankfully, Cathy Oke will continue to work for us on the MCC.

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