Our plan for Southbank

As we emerge from COVID-19, we can’t continue with the broken politics that rewards pollution and favours donors at the expense of the genuine public good. We need a Council that puts the people of Melbourne first, and we need Councillors who will work with and fight for the people who live here.

Our plan for Southbank in 2020-24

Since the City of Melbourne Act was introduced in 2001, The Greens have been the only councillors who publish policies and keep them published throughout the term of Council. We are serious about transparency and accountability.

Our policies are for a more sustainable, affordable, healthy and prosperous Southbank:

  • We will commence planning for a major new regional park in Southbank, decking over CityLink, to stitch the two halves of Southbank together. This $385 million project is costed and will be the single biggest contribution to the open space deficit in Southbank – the area of the municipality that is by far the worst serviced by green public open space. (See our Parks For Everyone policy initiative for details.)
  • We will crack down on illegal late night construction by seeking major reforms to the way construction noise is regulated. (See our Good Night’s Sleep For Everyone policy initiative for details.)
  • We will convert City Road west of Power Street into a high amenity, tree-lined, retail-rich, attractive high street for the Southbank community, and finally get the City Road Masterplan off the ground. (See our Parks For Everyone policy initiative for details.)
  • We will halve rates on Southbank’s cafes, restaurants, bars and cultural venues (those places people gather that have been hit hardest by COVID-19) and provide rate relief to residents. We will pay for this by changing our rating system from NAV to CIV which allows for flexible differential rates to be applied, and doubling the rates on gambling premises for 5 years to help the city as a whole get through the recession. (See our Fair Rates For Everyone policy initiative for details.)
  • We will fast-track organics, recycling and waste options without a new waste charge. The City of Melbourne’s waste rates are far too high; we have a plan to support communities to greatly reduce waste and to recycle what we can. We will partner with local networks that are already working hard on composting and resource recovery. (See our Recycling For Everyone policy initiative.)
  • Our municipality-wide inclusionary zoning policy will deliver hundreds of new affordable homes in Southbank and Fishermans Bend, in new medium and large developments. (See our Homes For Everyone policy initiative for details.)
  • We will fight for major reform to planning, building and owners corporation law to distinguish between short and long stay accommodation. The root cause of Government’s inability to regulate commercial short stay accommodation is its inability to distinguish in law between types of accommodation, either in planning, building, or owners corporation law. We will fight to legislate for different definitions, so that Government can once again regulate different types of accommodation, and owner-occupiers aren’t subsidising owners of short-stay accommodation units, given the far greater wear and tear, maintenance cost and nuisances caused by the latter. (See our Homes For Everyone policy initiative for details.)
  • We will complete the Southbank Heritage Review that the Greens commissioned and which recently passed the independent planning panel with strong support. It will return to Council in the new term. Buildings like Queens Bridge Hotel, the Castlemaine Brewery complex and many others will be protected in the planning scheme at last as a direct result of the efforts of the Greens.
  • We will work hard to keep Council honest and ethical on all planning and development issues. We never take donations from developers or gambling interests and we will fight for transparency and accountability in the policies and decisions of Council.

Our achievements in Southbank

In Southbank, The Greens have:

  • Led the charge on new planning controls for the Southbank Arts Precinct to require creative industries uses in the lower floors of any new development along the Sturt Street spine. Moved that the amendment be adopted.
  • Proposed and secured a Southbank Heritage Review, to upgrade 25 years out-of-date heritage controls. This has recently received support of the independent planning panel and will return to Council after the election.
  • Commissioned a post-approval report on the merits of the One Queensbridge (Crown Tower) decision by the Planning Minister, shining a light on all of the excessively generous treatment granted to Crown by the State Cabinet. This added scrutiny contributed to the Minister’s later decision not to extend the permit for Crown.
  • Secured the acceleration of the Transport Strategy 2030, delivering 10 years of bicycle lanes in 4, through Cr Cathy Oke’s Climate Emergency Declaration response. This brings forward Queens Bridge and Whiteman works.
  • Sent Southbank Promenade works back to the community for consultation to prevent construction occurring without any public scrutiny.
  • Championed new design rules for the central city including Southbank, to improve the way new buildings present to the street, shield car parking from view on lower storeys and minimise inactive uses at ground level.
  • Greatly reduced the footprint of proposed new development at the Boyd site, which was previously going to be built up to the footpath on City Road.
  • Directed the creation of the Southbank Projects page for community information.
  • Successfully connected community groups with grants programs to deliver environmental sustainability and social connection outcomes in Southbank.

Vote for a Southbank resident

All eight Greens candidates live in the City of Melbourne. We are the only major team that can say that. The City of Melbourne routinely produces a majority of councillors who do not live in the municipality – the only Council in Australia that does this. Council is too far removed from the communities it seeks to represent. To overcome this, vote for local residents with a plan.

Greens Councillor candidate Nakita Thomson lives in Southbank.

You can read more about Nakita and our local candidates here.

Read more

The October edition of the Southbank News was released on Wednesday 7 October 2020. Check out the coverage of The Greens’ policy proposals for Southbank on the front page, and the paper’s analysis of all candidates, here (PDF download, 11.2MB).

You can see all of our policies in detail here.