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Taking the next step

August 09 Edition Cover

Survey results

02 Nov 2011

About two thirds of Docklanders are opposed to MAB’s plans for NewQuay Central, according to the October Docklands News survey.

We asked what people thought of the plan for five new buildings, including a 15-storey hotel in the Waterfront City Piazza and a 42-storey residential tower.

Of the 127 responses received, 39 said their general response was extremely positive, six said positive, one was neutral, 14 were negative and 67 extremely negative.

In percentage terms, this equates to 35.4 per cent being positive and 63.8 per cent being negative.

Respondents voted in a similar pattern to a specific question about how they felt about the hotel proposal.




I think this development will bring a great deal of life to NewQuay. At present it feels like a dead end and the hotel at the front is a great idea, as long as there is plenty of interaction with the surrounding buildings and no dead spots.

Narrow-minded greed by MAB with no consideration of current residents. Typical. Big business trying to pay off VicUrban.

MAB’s plan has clearly been devised with NO consideration of community feedback from Second Decade of Docklands forums. Their suggestion for 4-5 more residential towers ranging from 15-43 storeys in addition to a proposed hotel will not alleviate wind tunnels, traffic congestion as they tried to suggest at their “token” feedback evenings. We who attended the protest meeting want a return to the proposed models presented to us by VicUrban when we purchased in the NewQuay precinct, ie maximum eight storeys in and around

Waterfront City, with higher rise buildings closer to freeway off/on ramp to Footscray Rd and fronting Docklands Drive. The cramming in of the number of residents MAB is proposing will no doubt change the “face” of the area in many ways and put undue stress on infrastructure.

I think lower height restrictions need to apply so the area is not closed in and loses sun and space. The buildings should be more separated from existing buildings

Another Docklands planning disaster.

There was no prior public consultation and the proposed plan will destroy the most important public space in Docklands.

It will ruin the balance of buildings and open spaces. Does not comply with height regulations and will negatively impact current residents

This is BAD IDEA - unless of course, your sole purpose is to extract as much developing revenue as possible from the precinct.

Overdevelopment without any apparent consideration for good design or existing structure.

Waterfront city is a great meeting place and area to go. I believe it would be made better and more inviting by having it as a park area.

It is a travesty to take an open space in a boulevard design and block it with a hotel in the middle overshadowed by the what would be the tallest building in the area. All contrary to any published plans. The secrecy, stealth, and deception involved in progressing these developments behind the scenes is appalling.

There are some great ideas, but also some pretty horrible ones.

Dust, noise, dust.

The developers have no regard for the long-interest of Docklands. Their interest is in returns for shareholders. I would prefer a development that delivers a sustainable and pleasant living environment. The current proposal works well for the developers and completely disregards the interests of long-term residents.

Extremely disappointed that an open area which is pleasant to look at, a break from the dull concrete and glass architecture which is concentrated at NewQuay, and is used for many passive recreational activities is to be removed.

As someone that lives in the Docklands, this will be so vital in creating some life down at Waterfront City and not just in the summer time and really help a lot of suffering business in the local area.

We need to retain the open spaces. Far too much of NewQuay area has been over-developed by MAB already. What this area needs is no serviced apartments, no hotels and more permanent owner-occupiers or long-term renters who become part of a community and would bring about greater support for existing infrastructure

Hotels are private corporations and there needs to be an emphasis on public space at the waterfront.

It is true that for half the year Docklands can be cold and windswept but this area comes alive in the summer. The tent has provided a venue for a number of special activities which would otherwise have probably not come to Docklands.

Those opposing this development are only trying to preserve their residential views.

The master plan for NQC has me excited about the prospect of some fantastic architecture and replacing that horrid tent with a protected open space.

Provided some balance to the area facing the water.

The area is extremely exposed and shaded making it a place unpleasant to be in. Why would a massive development improve the area?

Will really improve the area, the plan provides more pubic space and park area. Will generate more people to the area.

Better use of the waterfront setting.

Land grab on existing open space that defies common sense. Location of the hotel is debatable, given reason/claims particularly wind effects. Should if it has to have approval be located adjacent to Docklands Drive to facilitate vehicle access.

Will add to the atmosphere, and a great addition to the area

Why on earth are people so precious about preserving “open space” without any context. The site at the moment is wind-swept and hideous. This retains large areas of public space and provides a civic focus.

The area needs something to bring more life to the area.

Very impressive, will bring a lot of activity to the area which it desperately needs.

Waterfront City needs a wind break!

Better than what is there now.

Love the style, design and density, balancing out the harbour with buildings either side and further down the quay.

Don’t close the area in. Leave it with the current blend of buildings and space. It’s what makes the area unique.

Hopefully it will provided a nice, sheltered spot to relax away from the wind.

This space is completely devoid of purpose at the moment. It has a negative effect on the sense of vibrancy across the whole NewQuay/Waterfront City area. I watched a grand final down here in perfect weather a few years ago and the place was all but abandoned. In an urban context, the quality/purpose of open space is more important than the quantum.

As a resident, I think it is a great idea for the precinct, the piazza area is quite dead at the moment and it is obvious there is no real attraction for people to continue walking down that area considering there’s a whole range of restaurants along the way, and Harbor Town to the rear of the site.

Much needed rethink of a horribly-designed and poorly-engaged area of Docklands. Hopefully this will make people want to actually visit the area, and not feel depressed when they do.

Docklands needs more development and more activity. Docklands was a swamp only a few years ago. The hypocrites and anti-development NIMBYs forget that they are the beneficiaries of development and their opposition is against their personal interests and those of Melbourne.

The area has a nice balance of high rise and open spaces. That’s what makes it attractive to visitors and locals. It has a family feel with sunshine and room to move. Don’t close it in

The new hotel will bring tourists to the area and increase the profile. The building is of a smaller size than was originally approved for ING. The tent was only ever intended as a temporary structure.

While the plaza is breezy, the open space is a rare thing in Docklands and provides a connection to the harbour through to the shopping precinct. To block off that aspect would be a crime!

Its just not needed with what is there already. It will NOT fit in with the ambience of the current setting.

What a disgrace another two years living in a building site and dust bowl. We have been conned once again.

This development is just too big for the area. It will remove the only open space around. This will be extremely detrimental to people who live around the development.

Will consume the open space; will destroy the views of existing apartments.

Plans would have a negative effect on those residing in Docklands. Loss of open area, create more traffic congestion and the 42-storey building creates a overshadow to existing buildings.

Developing will probably last more than two years. During this time there will be not enough parking, traffic jams, noise, dust, no place to take kids for relax time.

This will be in one of the only decent public places in Docklands.

We don’t have enough open space already - leave this alone!

NewQuay needs more open space not less. The open space at this location is multi-function and is much needed.

This will not make the area more liveable. Too many big buildings in a small space.

It adds nothing of significant value to NewQuay and the Docklands precinct in general.

Poorly designed and a massive over-shadowing affecting all the surrounding area. Park is a very poor peace offering. Should be re-thought out and all set back further with protected garden areas facing the water.

Very disappointed with this proposal. It will do nothing for the community.

No more buildings in this area. Docklands is already replete of green areas and meeting places. Ice skating is a good family sport - where do the families go when this goes?

Hotel and tall buildings will be a disaster with shading of the waterfront and increased traffic in narrow streets.

Docklands needs a top-class accommodation destination. The present “higgledy-piggledy” unit rentals are the bottom of the market. Docklands need a destination attraction that can provide a critical mass so needs like water taxis, can be developed.

I share an email address with an owner/occupier, but separately solidly oppose this planned proposal. It negatively impacts the long-term residents and only supports commerce (which is a seasonal benefit to council, not a solid permanent growth and support to local business’ and culture of Dockland’s future).

This proposal will destroy the most important public space in Docklands.

Over development of an already crowded site.

We bought from MAB back in 2001 on the basis that the piazza would be an open space down to the waterside. The tent that is there was supposed to be TEMPORARY. I want what was promised - OPEN GRASSED SPACE TO THE WATER.

Profit driven to the max! Unashamed maximisation of profit gains with no regard for community, innovation or sustainability.

It takes away a current quality of residential life that is not compensated or replaced with the new plans. It’s all about “commerce” not quality living that Melbourne has been noted for, as a preferred destination to reside. It is extremely detrimental to residents and is apparent bullying. No residents have had opportunity of input prior to the “plans” being released. Look after the backbone of Docklands, the residential ratepayers.

I think that this proposal is simply absurd I simply cannot believe that MAB would have the hide to put it forward. We do not have enough open space/parkland in Docklands now! And now here is MAB trying demolish the only purpose built public square in Docklands - Waterfront City Piazza and not only that they want to cast a huge shadow over the precinct with a crammed in 42-storey building! Is this going to be allowed?  Surely not.

Selfish and totally irresponsible.

In contrast to other Docklands developers, MAB has distinguished themselves as lacking vision, creative solutions and a general disregard for the well being of residents, visitors and workers by replacing the only public space which directly faces the water, with yet another building. Why can’t green replace greed???

The greed and lack of vision of MAB is shameful.

The plans are inconsistent with Docklands: the Second Decade. The proposed hotel will reduce open space, and the 45-storey towers will overshadow townhouses and the marina and so-called park behind the hotel. Docklands Drive is likely to be too narrow for all of the traffic generated, and the “wind tunnel” effects overshadowing and blocking of view of the harbour have not been thought through.

I think the plans to erect so many buildings in close proximity to each other is appalling, especially the construction of a 42-storey building which will cast vast shadows over the waterfront.

This will remove the only open area around where I live.

It is the worst possible project that I have ever seen. Hotel in the middle of a piazza, unheard of in the history of the world. France, Italy, Greece all have beautiful open piazzas for everyone to enjoy. Where is Australia’s?

Clearly a money grab by MAB - no regard to the community.

The only functioning community space which is not a windswept desert in the whole of Docklands is about to become one because of a high-rise hotel being built in the middle of it. We all know the effects of wind acceleration around the high-rises. The proposed 40-level adjacent building. 50 per cent higher than the towers on Bolte Bridge is completely out of scale with everything else down there. It will cast a shadow over a vast area of waterfront cafe area already suffering from its southerly aspect. I am a property developer myself and this is the worst bit of planning I have seen in 25 years in the business. It bears no resemblance to the original plan sold to the public back in 2000.

Overcrowding and more high rise will destroy the Docklands area, it will just become an overcrowded extension of the CBD.

Deceitful to past purchasers from MAB.

Only space in NewQuay gone and not recoverable. VicUrban asked residents what they want and no one said a hotel or 42-storey apartments etc.

There is SO much being built in Docklands without ANY proper planning and any consideration for extra parking.

Awful - creates wind tunnels where there is just open area and space.

One of the few open areas in Docklands will be lost together with the towers eliminating the SUN from the NewQuay area.

I like the grass area and the piazza near the water. Leave this open space alone. There is not enough grass area in NewQuay.

The more visitors to NewQuay the better as far as I am concerned.

Destroys plaza; proposed park behind planned hotel is a sham; too many buildings crammed in and too tall; increases traffic jams; lack of space and sunlight.

Looks too plain for my liking, the hotel, even though it is effective as a wind block. It would also stick out and not be in keeping with the rest of the piazza.

I think the proposal is good. NewQuay needs a green park with sun and the hotel should bring more tourists and people to the area which will help business trading.

Hotel in piazza, thus removal of open space adjacent to the water, is a backward step. The suggestion that this is compensated by open space on Docklands Drive is absurd. Height of building (42 floors?) on the west is excessive and will cause overshadowing of adjacent residential developments and marina. Likelihood of excessive traffic in Doepel Way with size of residential and commercial developments on car park site. Lack of consultation on the whole development.

This proves MAB is not interested in residents, only the business $. They insult the residents’ intelligence to pretend otherwise with their spin.

Will be a great improvement on the ghost town of Waterfront City. It is currently depressing and souless.

Positive comments - What do you like about it?


Getting rid of that damn tent that is just ugly and useless. Hope the quality of build is high spec as this could become a pivotal part of the whole Docklands precinct and ensure people want to visit.

It will add more character to the upcoming beautiful living space

Very little, but at least there is some effort to activate the area.


Getting more residents into the area will be great news for the restaurants at NewQuay and Harbour Town - hopefully it will mean a bit more life in the area.

I like the idea of a hotel but worry about road congestion. Perhaps a more easily accessible location for the hotel would be better?

The fact that it will create a more city-like feel to Docklands, as at the moment it feels like a wasteland with no more than five people walking around.

Hotel with significant area given to function rooms might provide more space (but affordable?) for community activities.

I like how the new development creates interesting design features, the park which provides a green space for residents and that the hotel sits on the harbour. It will also be a great wind barrier as that dock area endures a lot of south westerly winds.

New life for dead area.

It will bring more people westward.

Good mixture of building types and heights.

Encourage more people to the Docklands

The building architecture; the building at the front will help solve the wind problem and will get more people to the area. It will actually improve the area which is pretty much a ghost town at the moment. Also will definitely improve the safety and local amenities because more people will come to the area.

Water views.

Concept is brilliant.

It will create a wind breaker to the water, while still allowing there to be parkland for the residents.

The “circus tent” is an embarrassment and the area is dead. Adding some grass and blocking off the terrible wind in that area with a building makes sense. A hotel would help to add a tourist element to the area too.

I like that more green space is added and an unusable area at present (because of the wind) will become usable.

The height and design of the proposed tower to the west of the piazza, the park/grass area, attempt at creating a wind break.

It will energise an area that is struggling by providing better amenity as well as brining hotel guests to the area.

More tourists the better. Greater street life will enhance the area.

Great planning for locals and tourists.

The hotel will invigorate life back into the area, with tourists adding much needed foot traffic. I also believe the idea to build the hotel in front as a wind break is a grand idea, considering how windy the place can get at times. The park is also a great addition, much needed in the area.

Density and provision of grassed areas are also positives.

I like the mix of different forms and functions in MAB’s proposal. There are tens of thousands of people like me in Melbourne who want more development and more intense development in inner city areas like Docklands. NIMBYs need to learn that they do not speak for all of us, and they certainly do not speak for me.

Hotel will provide a windbreak and bring more people to the area.

Looks like a nice building

The piazza in its current form is not good enough for the area. We should make the best use of the space. That does not mean a huge hotel and more residential towers surrounding it.

A hotel is good but must be 5 /6 star and not big

More visitors to use the restaurants and make NewQuay more vibrant

Variation in heights but early renders are too vague.

The park will be a welcome tree change. Waterfront city is desolate and tired. I think that the plan for apartments, hotel and some green space will benefit the area.

At least they are trying to promote some development in an underused area.

Replaces a dead wind swept open space with a larger protected north facing “soft” space with grass and trees.

Will bring more people to the Docklands NewQuay area. The New Quay precinct is currently really suffering with few people around.

Negative comments - What don't you like about it?


The design of the hotel could be more iconic.

Where to start ... Congestion of an area already suffering lack of traffic options, obstruction of views promised to current owners, devaluing of property, loss of a public area that attracts family and visitors. No need for such a monstrosity – it’s pure greed.

We want the open iconic waterfrontage to remain the iconic landmark that it was proposed to us when we invested in Docklands. We do not want overshadowing by outrageously tall buildings, and the inherent traffic and accessibility problems that will arise from increased traffic on already ill-planned one-lane roads to NewQuay.

Increase in traffic, noise. Congestion, loss of open spaces and making Docklands just another group of high rise density living. It will lose atmosphere and its essence of a playground in the city

Building more high rise at NewQuay will put the whole precinct in the shade.

We don’t need more monstrosities built at NewQuay.

It will turn a piece of city paradise into a cold, windswept high density area, not suitable for recreation.

The area lacks open space and has practically no parks. Another building will bring more traffic into the poorly-designed road system. It will create more shadow over the waterfront and enclose the view.

Removal of open space on the waterfront. Probable traffic congestion with the large developments proposed. The 40+ storey development to west.

That the park won’t work because of road and traffic and garbage trucks. I want to play there.

Parks should be retained

The sheer audacity of the developers and the apparent collusion with VicUrban in selling down the drain the monetary and emotional investments of people who have sought to make the area their home.

My major concern is what will be done with the Graham Kennedy statue. Such a legend deserves a prominent space in Melbourne, and I hope the statue is not lost in the redevelopment. Kylie on the other hand ...

All of it


Size of the buildings is too high, it will make shadow over the promenade.

I do not like the idea of a 40-storey building over-shadowing and dominating NewQuay. It will look hideous.

The removal of open space, overshadowing of the boardwalk etc, the building will be sited up to the edge of the Promenade thereby taking away the open space which is currently used as a meeting/gathering point.

Proposed tower is way too high and too far forward causing over-shadowing of the marina and new town house development. Hotel is unnecessary and takes up valuable public space which is sadly lacking in this part of Docklands.

Loss of community space. If you were staying in Melbourne this wouldn’t seem to be the optimum place.


It is not designed to deal with the context or conditions of Docklands.

Ignores residents rights to privacy, sunlight, freedom from noise, reasonable ease of traffic movement and open spaces between high rise buildings

The design should be of high quality as it is on the waterfront and will be a major focal point for the harbour.

Not enough towers

I question if the building at the waterfront is too large and will lead to overshadowing of the waterway anyway. Suggest that it’s the fine grain that is important .g. the quality of finishes to guide people through and around the whole thing.

Decreased area for viewing events such as new years eve fireworks with the hotel blocking views out from the piazza.

Would like to see a real statement building in this position, possibly higher than 15 storeys.

Everything. It will make the area just another clump of buildings in the city.

Hotel should be taller.

I hope they create some nice architecture.

Lack of a major drawcard to bring people down to that area of Docklands - although the park could be considered a drawcard, there doesn’t seem to be much promoting the idea of entertainment at night time, especially during the week..

I would prefer a bigger, taller, more iconic design. Complaints about high-rise development relating to shadows and congestion are ridiculous in the context of a high-density, inner city-precinct such as Docklands.

It will turn a wonderful recreational area into just another place full of high rise buildings and no atmosphere

Planning vandalism of the worst kind even for Docklands

It will take away open area in a region that hasn’t got a lot of open space.

Everything. Another public space demonised by greedy developers.

This development is just too big for the area. It will remove the only open space around. This will be extremely detrimental to people who live around the development.

Will consume the open space; will destroy the views of existing apartments.

The noise the dust, traffic, no sunshine, etc,

The piazza must be retained.

Will create wind tunnels, block views, less land space, look like a city not residential living space.

Uses precious open space. There should be more open space, it should be used for any buildings!

Takes away even more of the meagre open space that is available in this part of Docklands. The area needs more open space not less, and it needs more accessible GREEN open space - parkland with trees and grass not concrete.

It will wreck important public space.

That it ignores almost all aspects and recommendations gathered during the “Second Decade” consultation phase.

Massive 42 story tower will overshadow all the surrounding areas. Hotel is poorly placed in the middle. Massive over-build in such a small area and no regard to existing buildings either side.

The proposed hotel will destroy an important public space.

Blocks views for all the existing residence that have invested in the area.

EVERYTHING!! It’s taking away light for the residents-including restaurants and a meeting place for the public. Where are visitors to park?

No consideration given to people only money making for MAB.

Everything. It takes away space, sunlight, privacy. It creates a squashed, shaded, non-family friendly area.

Building a hotel in the Waterfront City Piazza.


MAB reneging on the original commitment.


Everything. Devalues property, negatively impacts current residents, doesn’t care for, or about the ratepayers that live in the affected area. Residents lose views, spatiality, privacy, sunlight, warmth and quality of living.

I dont like the fact that: 1. It involves reducing dramatically public space. 2. The fact that it involves demolishing the piazza to build a motel. 3.The proposal to build a 42-storey building where it was never intended and will cast a shadow all over Waterfront City is just criminal.

Taking away public space that belongs to the people of Melbourne. There is absolutely no vision for the future.

The open plaza has been the site for many public events involving a diversity of groups and organisations. To replace this with a “park” overshadowed by MAB buildings on three sides is pathetic. Where is the vision of men like Hoddle who planned the City of Melbourne with generous parks which are well used today. It used to be called “the garden city” ....

Building a hotel only benefits MAB AND NOBODY ELSE.

It is unimaginative and is likely to reduce open space, block views, increase “wind tunnel” effects, lead to traffic congestion, disrupt businesses for years, leave the marina and townhouses in shadows, and perpetuate the perception of Docklands as a corporate wasteland without trees.

The amount of buildings proposed. The traffic congestion this will cause and the wind tunnels this many buildings will create.

By going ahead with this plan all it will do is destroy the overall area.

It will interfere with the traffic coming into the Docklands, shadowing on the existing towers, the people will be affected, the type of community that will come into the area.

Buildings too big, too many.

Everything. Not enough open space, not enough parking, overdevelopment, unbelievable traffic problems. It reeks of everything that is bad in town planning.

It hasn’t and won’t address the current dysfunction of the precinct nor the dismal failure of the piazza.

Nearly everything. What about the units MAB sold in the last 6 months.

I can’t understand why there is more accommodation being built as there are SO many empty apartments.

The two side wings will channel wind down the side of the middle building; design is boring; the excuse of a park is laughable; closing up some of the very little open space we have in Docklands now. Yuck.

Loss of sunlight, loss of open space, more wind problems.

We will loose the nice family space in front of the water. It’s great to see kids kicking a footy learning to ride their bikes

Entrance to the hotel. How are vehicles supposed to access it?

The two adjoining towers far too tall in relation to other towers. Disgraceful lack of enjoyable green space.

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