Tuesday, 3 April 2018

BETRAYAL, or ABROGATION? Melbourne City Councillors Sell Out Community, Listed Heritage

Crs Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oke (Melbourne Greens) and Cr Nic Frances Gilley (Indpependent) last night voted to demolish the C graded heritage structures on Thierry Street.

As predicted, Melbourne City Council last night voted to approve its own development on the Munro site adjacent to the Queen Victoria Market, and within the Queen Victoria Market overlay. CLICK HERE for the full background.

Cr Rohan Leppert, who has made considerable mileage out of his past efforts in support of heritage, and with some real rationale to that claim, appears astonishingly to have commenced his Mayoral bid by voting to demolish all the C grade listed heritage along Thierry Street.

He did move a curious motion of his own, suggesting that the plans that he had just voted to re-affirm would need to be brought back to Council in future, but his opportunity to listen to the community and stop these plans - which are completely unsupported by his constituency - was last night.

And so, we hereby withdraw our previous suggestion that we would endorse his Mayoral bid if he were to revisit the market proposal overall. Nor will we endorse any Councillor who voted for this in any future Council ballot.

Once again, we would like to ask which of these 9 Councillors is going to be willing to front up at VCAT and oppose the developer who wants to demolish any other "unprepossessing" C graded heritage from the City North Review, or indeed any other C graded heritage anywhere?

The precedent Councillors have willingly and knowingly created here is dangerous in the extreme, and for any of these Councillors to make any claim in future that they represent the interest of our city's heritage will now be wholly invalid.

Guilty as predicted - Team Doyle, including sitting councillors Kevin Louie, Beverley Pinder, Aaron Wood (acting Mayor) and Chair of Planning Nicholas Reece . Also depicted: Smudgey Mc SmudgeFace and Some Dude

Since yesterday's post, it has become clear that the bulk of the proposed new development at GROUND LEVEL, even if you ignore the 18 storey tower sitting atop the podium, will very markedly alter the two storey industrial streetscape and replace it with (another) modern apartment frontage. In short, Councillors have voted to wreck the heritage precinct by destroying the contributory nature to the precinct of the entirety of Thierry Street.

The latest iteration of the proposal, as approved by Councillors last night.
The heritage precinct is to be trashed in scale and form. Retaining the existing facades would have
clearly strongly mitigated these effects.

This is the most cretinous of possible outcomes. While we expected Team Doyle Councillors (and Liberal, Phillip le Liu who essentially always votes with them) to bow down to the memory of the man who left them listing so leaderless and rudderless, the behaviour of Melbourne Greens Councillors in particular, given how much noise they routinely make about a) heritage, and b) listening to the community rather than the vested interests of business are particularly damned.

Also Guilty: Liberal Party member Phillip Le Liu

So, while the wider community has been completely unsupportive of the proposed changes to the Queen Victoria Market, last night Council voted 9-1 to approve everything.

Shutting voices completely out of representative debates, and instead delivering results that would have embarrassed Saddam Hussein is exactly the vehicle via which voters' faith in the processes and politicians becomes eroded.

Thank GOD or your relevant conception of a higher power for Cr Jackie Watts, who has once again proven the sole representative on Council not completely tone deaf to the interests of her actual constituents. But what's to be done if even the GREENS can't grasp the basics of the concept.

Cr Jackie Watts - sole voice for the community's concerns

We look forward at this point to Cr Leppert's mayoral bid, during which we shall be routinely reminding him of his vote last night. Likewise should any of these Councillors deign to ever seek re-election.

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