We need a local pub!

We need a local pub!

We need a local pub! 

“It is not just a thirst for a drink, it’s a thirst to meet and interact with others!” 

For as long as people have gathered, pubs have always been an integral part of a community. From Docklands’ inception, the Lounge (and its many reincarnations) was a significant part of the fabric of Docklands local community. Unfortunately, the Lounge/NewQuay Hotel, and James Squires are no longer with us, and the Woolshed has been taken from us. We love our local restaurants, but they are not a local pub! 

I have lived in Docklands since 2009. My current local social network in Docklands is made up mostly of people that I met at the Lounge Hotel!

Although we have a short local story and pub history in Docklands, it is certainly a lively one filled with many colourful characters. From the early days when Richo and Daff would be behind the bar, then Hasan, Monique, to John and Janine. 

So many local identities including Billy (his unquenchable thirst is legendary!) and the lovely Elaine, the beautiful Bev – everyone knows Bev! Mark, Paul and Lea O’Halloran, Vince, Soccer Joe, Harley Jo, Phil, Peter and Lynn, Helen and Bobby, Andrew, Stuart, Smally, Pommy James, the Gleeson and Woodruff clans, Evi and Lisa, Ross and Leo, the Travaglini’s, the Andersons, a former Police Commissioner, and so many more. And sadly, some that are no longer with us; RIP John, Guy, and Brendo. 

The music and bands, the after work catch ups, the quiet Sunday afternoon sip. “I’ll meet you at the Lounge before we head to the footy” – and commiserate there afterwards! 

It is not just a thirst for a drink, it is a thirst to meet and interact with others. A pub is a place where new friends are made, and old relationships cemented. When there is a local event or a major one, or just a quiet catch-up with friends, a pub is a place for friendships to flourish and communities to gather. It is, I believe, an essential lifeline of any community. For some, Docklands is a vibrant community but unfortunately for others, it can be a lonely place.

Through the challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19, loneliness and social isolation are growing public health concerns and are significant risk factors for depression. A 2018 report conducted by psychologist Dr Peter Jonason from the University of Western Sydney, shows that individuals who have a “local” bar, pub, hotel or club are more likely to be satisfied with life and have broader friendship and support networks. Dr Jonason said there was little doubt that social interaction had a tremendous importance in people’s lives. “It appears that having a ‘local’ can be good for your state of mind.’’

For many people, their local pub fulfils an evolutionary need for human contact in a society where such interactions are becoming increasingly hard to find. The report found that people who have a local are more trusting and satisfied with life; have broader friendship and support networks and identify more closely with their community. 

There are vacant commercial buildings that would be perfect, and the local population can defiantly make such a venture viable. Investors and publicans please rest assured, that there’s plenty of locals who just need a pub at our door! 

Thirsty Docklander 


How good is Docklands

Some questioned our decision four years ago to move from our family home in a quiet leafy Melbourne suburb to Forge apartments at Yarra’s Edge. To them, the idea of leaving connections forged over 20 years was a step too far.

Fast forward four years, throw in a global pandemic, a dog with dementia and exposure at a Tier 1 site and we were in a pickle! A 14-day self-isolation meant our groceries had to be brought up and our dog (pictured) needed to be walked three times a day. Residents, the building manager and our wonderful cleaner Sam all pitched in. A total of 15 different people took turns. We even received a delicious home-made lunch one day! 

We are so grateful to live in such a wonderful community.



Not the only choir

To the Editor,

As a member of The Open Door Singers – Docklands Group I was very surprised and bemused to read your article in the May 2021 issue No. 174, entitled “Community choir moves into Docklands”.

The Open Door Singers have been a community choir in Docklands for at least seven years under the able leadership of Mr Shaun Islip and have provided entertainment for many events held in the local area over those years.

Your article by Jess Carrascalao Heard would seem to suggest that the Docklands area was a blank canvas and that the new choir was the only place for singing in the Docklands community. This is misleading.

Doubly troubling was the photo of the venue where Mr Welch’s choir was performing. I say this as, up until COVID restrictions the Community Hub at the Dock was the home of The Open Door Singers … on the same evening no less!

When restrictions eased, the Open Door Singers were told that they could not use the Dock space and have relocated to the Mission to Seafarers’ building in Flinders St, though not without some challenges for our choir master.

I can only think that with Mr Jonathon Welch’s profile he was able to take precedence. I find the actions of the Community Hub, with whom The Open Door Singers had a pre-paid, 12-month lease agreement, very questionable to say the least.

At the very minimum the article (with proper research) could have been entitled “Another Community choir in Docklands” – as it is, no-one would know there was a choice.

Jennifer Cleal


Ban short-stays! Bring more residents!

Fill legitimate hotels and give restaurants and bars a boost. How? BAN SHORT-STAY IN MELBOURNE! Here are some compelling reasons to ban short-stay in the CBD now …

Ban short-stay and almost immediately, the city becomes the best value place to buy a home and to rent a home. This will replace empty tourist beds with CBD residents who work, live and spend in the city 24/7. Short-stay operators, hanging on for an upturn in tourism, hinder our city’s recovery, with their thousands of empty apartments. 

Ban short-stay and legitimate CBD hotels get the accommodation customers that they desperately need, now and for the next few years. This will drive a bigger spend in CBD restaurants, bars, tourism and shopping. Visitors spend more staying in hotel than they do staying in an apartment. 

Ban short-stay now to minimise the pain of transition for the short-stay operators. Their expectations are low at this point, and some have already pulled out. Many are considering their options, and looking for tenants. Government has helped with the recent stamp duty reduction for CBD apartments. Great! More can be done, with financial incentives for owners, buyers and tenants. Create a “Live in the CBD” media campaign.

Ban short-stay and the apartment community, without thousands of tourists in their homes, will manage bio-safety far more stringently, avoiding the risk of disease transmission in apartment buildings. Legitimate hotels are far better places for tourists, to ensure contact tracing, to contain transmission risk and support quarantine and isolation. This should not be the responsibility of the private apartment building’s owners’ corporation (OC). Nor should apartment residents be unnecessarily exposed to so many unknown people. 

Ban short-stay now and stop the party apartment tragedies. These are a disgrace and upsetting to many people, including residents. 

Ban short-stay now and we will have OCs interested in the community and the building. This will bring better management and maintenance to all CBD apartment buildings, that are currently controlled by short-stay lobbies, whose only motivation is money.

It will also dissolve a huge amount of animosity in many buildings.  

Ban short-stay now, and owner residents and tenants will no longer have to pay for the maintenance caused by hordes of short-stay guests. Our survey shows a short-stay apartment can generate up to 25 times more wear and tear on lifts, carpets, hallways, walls, common areas, sport facilities etc than a residential apartment.

Owner residents who bought into “luxury” apartment buildings should not have to bear the brunt of this enormous cost while the short-stay operators can charge hundreds of dollars per night!   

Too many city apartments have been overrun by short-stay operators, who dominate the committees and abuse their power.

For example, my building in Docklands – of the 300 apartments, up to 100 were managed by with short-stay operators pre-COVID. At the AGM last year, there were 12 committee nominations – an automatic election. At the last minute, a 13th nominee (a short-stay owner) is added, forcing a vote. The result is an eight-person committee with short-stay operators, through proxy stacking, voting OUT all who oppose their control.

For five years, we have been trying to get a balanced committee. This is a RESIDENTIAL apartment building, not a rooming house. Yet the short-stay operators control all decisions about our building, cutting costs and projects to the bone, to save themselves money at a time where they have greatly reduced income.

They have even turned our heating and cooling off for almost a year now. That is how much they care about the residents. Similar situations are common in many CBD, Southbank and Docklands buildings, with short-stay lobbies shutting down any who get in their way.    

Ban short-stay apartments in Melbourne NOW! Give CBD apartments back to residents – That is what they were built for!

Fill our city apartments with residents now. This will bring our city back to life quickly and help make us the envy of the world.

Tony Moore

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