Community at the heart of infrastructure plans

Article image - Community at the heart of infrastructure plans
Melbourne’s fast-growing Docklands area now has a community garden, proving that inner city living and gardening aren’t mutually exclusive.

The Docklands Community Garden was officially opened in July, and celebrated with a day of fun and activities, and a visit from Vasili, of Channel 31’s Vasili’s Garden.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said that locals had already embraced the garden and that it was much more than just a communal green space.

“Docklands residents have formed a gardening group and have planted a range of edible herbs and vegies. There are lemons and limes on the trees and rosemary for roasts, alongside barbeque facilities for everyone to use.

“With a fire to gather around on a cold day, a range of garden beds and fruit trees, the Docklands garden provides a great new meeting place for locals and visitors alike.”

Councillor Kevin Louey, Co-Chair of the Docklands Coordination Committee, said that the design of the garden particularly reflected the waterfront community.

“In the centre of the garden there is a boat for kids to play in, sitting among salvaged wood and a giant anchor. This is going to be a wonderful backyard for the people of Docklands.”

The opening of the community garden coincided with an announcement by the Victorian Government’s Planning Minister, Matthew Guy and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle of a plan for $300 million in community infrastructure projects in Docklands.

This closely followed the Minister’s announcement that a new cafe, edible garden and outdoor space would be located along the Harbour Esplanade. To be known as the Glass House, the space is intended to provide the intimacy of a backyard while residents, workers and visitors to Docklands enjoy Melbourne’s premiere waterfront destination.

In addition to the State Government projects, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said that the City of Melbourne would kick-start the restoration of the historic ship, the Alma Doepel, with a proposal for it to be docked at Victoria Harbour, the centrepiece of the waterfront heritage precinct.

A community boating hub, oval and sporting facilities, a recreational swimming pool, library and community centre, exhibition and performance spaces, running and walking tracks, and a place of worship are some of the headline projects to be delivered in Docklands over coming years as part of the Docklands Community and Place Plan (DCPP).

Mr Guy said the DCPP was a good example of the strong, long-term partnerships between state, local government and the private sector that are required to make urban renewal projects a success.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the release of DCPP is the culmination of more than 18 months of community consultation and reflects the needs of Docklands’ evolving community.

“We’ve listened to thousands of residents, workers, visitors and experts, to ensure future development in Docklands meets the needs of its people, now and into the future.”