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Yarra’s Edge unites

29 Oct 2013

Yarra’s Edge unites Image

The Yarra’s Edge community will continue to rally against the construction of a tram bridge connecting Docklands with Fishermans Bend.

Last month more than 200 people attended a public meeting held by Marina YE tenants committee and Owners Corporation 1 (which represents all of the Yarra’s Edge towers) to hear about the formal submission the groups are making against the proposal.

The Marina YE Tenants Committee and Owners Corporation 1 have joined forces and have engaged a professional planner and legal experts to create and lodge a formal objection.

The proposed bridge, featured in the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area Draft Vision released in September, would extend from Collins St across the river through Yarra’s Edge.

Local residents and tenants of Marina YE have become increasingly concerned about the impact the proposed bridge could have on Yarra’s Edge.

Residents and marina tenants are concerned about potential impacts of the bridge including restrictions on boat access, loss of vessels from the marina, loss of green space and the noise and visual impact of a frequent tram service running through the area.

A timeline for construction of the bridge has been estimated to be as close as five years away or as far off as 20 years.

According to Marina YE tenants committee chair Philip Lack, the group believes the bridge will be built in the next five to 10 years, making it necessary to take action now.

The initial submission will cost between $20,000 and $25,000 and will be funded by the Marina YE contingency fund and funds from OC 1.

Speaking at the meeting last month, OC 1 representative Philip Spender said the advice received by the group so far was to go in hard early and see if they could put a stop to the bridge at an early stage.

Michael Salter, who forms part of the group’s legal counsel, also spoke at the public meeting and said it was hoped the submission would result in the desired outcome at an early stage.

“You do not want to end up in the Supreme Court in a long and expensive piece of litigation,” Mr Salter said.

Mr Salter said the lobby group would be helped by the fact that the marina has only been operating 2005.

“The absurdity of this situation is that it threatens something that was encouraged just seven years ago,” Mr Salter said.

Mr Lack said the group wanted the Government to consider alternatives to the bridge.

“We want them to recognise that a bridge is not their only option,” Mr Lack said.

“We think if there are enough objections they will be forces to consider alternatives.”

He encouraged people who attended the meeting to lodge their own objections, to lobby politicians and to raise awareness amongst neighbours.

Docklands Community Association (DCA) president Roger Gardner also attended the meeting and offered the support of the DCA.

He said there was a community alliance that would be addressing the Fishermans Bend project and that the DCA would represent the Yarra’s Edge community.

“I want to let you know you’re not alone and other action is being taken,” Mr Gardner said.

Yarra’s Edge developer Mirvac has also engaged a planning expert and legal team to assist with its formal submission on the Fishermans Bend draft vision but declined to comment.

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