Wheely, Wheely Angry

July 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

The City of Melbourne has had a windfall in new rates up to the value of $1.95 million with the addition of several new corporate spaces in the Docklands area. However, traders at Harbourtown Shopping Centre object to the amount of their new rates – which has resulted in a $900,000 odd reduction of the rates for the 2009/2010 figures.

The traders at Harbourtown feel that with the lack of success and partial demolition of the Southern Star Observation Wheel, their trading conditions have been affected adversely. The City of Melbourne will reconsider the rates paid by the traders of Harbourtown once the Observation Wheel is up and running again.



Thinking Differently About Docklands – Summary of Community Meeting

December 8, 2009 § 1 Comment

An open forum was held at the Digital Harbour building last night (7th December 2009) to address future planning for the Docklands. The evening was facilitated most competently by members of the Melbourne City Council and was well represented and received by members of the community.  

This was an invitation to hear the community’s voice. Opportunities were given so that ideas may be communicated through open collaborative planning tasks. We were encouraged to think big, so that these ideas may be captured and successfully worked to produce a document that will help guide the City of Melbourne with future planning for the Docklands.

We were asked to visualise the Docklands 40 years from now – connecting and blending the old city of Melbourne with the new (that being the innovative Docklands), thus becoming the new central hub for Melbourne as is done with many first class capital cities of the world.

Cognitive thinking processes were put into action with an understanding that the overall outcome would require time. To be successful, we were required to work together – keeping the objective in mind. We were asked to visualise our new Neighbourhood. What would it feel, sound and look like? Key commonalities and descriptors shared, resulted in words such as diversity, sustainability, health, safety, connectedness, innovation, green and growth – masterfully blending this community with work, rest and play.

The analogy of Cirque Du Soleil was cleverly referred to during the meeting. In that, we do not merely want to re-invent the wheel but to enhance it and use it as our canvas. This dynamic company took the main concept of what a circus represented and collectively kept, eliminated, changed and added elements to make the circus less controversial and so much better than it was intended to be. Keep the excitement and risks. Eliminate the animals. Change the performers from circus families to world class Olympic performers and finally add vibrant music and colour.

From this process we were able to address the Docklands in a similar manner. Keep the sailing and activity by the water. Perhaps (as suggested by some at the forum) eliminate the Wheel, serviced apartments, night-clubs and send the port away. Change the traffic to pedestrians by foot and implement the use of inexpensive taxi boats. And finally to add more green, community open gardens, recreational venues, schools and perhaps night water markets!

We do have a long way to go. However, this was an opportunity to be heard. It was a forum that allowed us to understand it is a working place in progress!

If you didn’t have the opportunity to join in last night and you would like some ideas put forward to the next City of Melbourne through JC Street, please do put your comments below.

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