There is a clear choice regarding the St Kilda Triangle in this State election.
The Liberal Party’s Andrew Bond has promised a community park over an underground car park at a cost to the taxpayer of $36.2 million. The big plus for this plan is that it is clear how it is to be funded. The big minus is that it will not be built. This is an election promise that cannot be delivered. The Liberals did not consult Council on their proposal. It conflicts head-on with the Council’s own Masterplan. The Land (St Kilda Triangle) Act 2006 provides that the Council is the committee of management for the Triangle. Therefore the Liberal proposal could only be built if the Council were to abandon the Masterplan that it has developed with extensive community consultation and significant expenditure of ratepayers’ funds. This is most unlikely. The only other possibility is for a Liberal government to amend the Land (St Kilda Triangle) Act. This is also most unlikely. The amending legislation would not be approved by an upper house, the Legislative Council, which the Liberals will not control. The result is that if the Liberal Party wins the election, the Triangle will remain a wasteland for the next 4 years.
Labor Party’s Martin Foley, in contrast, has promised to work with the City of Port Phillip during the next term of government. The state government and the Council will develop a business case to determine the best long-term strategy for the site. This must include consideration of the Council’s Masterplan and the winning entry in the international LAGI design competition for the Triangle. The Council’s Masterplan provides for an entertainment and cultural precinct, with significant public open space. The LAGI prizewinning design adds art and renewable energy to the Council’s Masterplan. If the Labor Party wins the election, the Triangle should see a great project developed in the next 4 year term of government.
The Greens candidate, Ogy Simic, has made the same commitment as Martin Foley. If elected, he will work with the Council. He says that he will always consult with the community before making any announcements on the future of the site.
The unChain executive believe that the Triangle is an asset of state-wide importance. The Triangle should have a development with the pizzazz and drawing power of its neighbouring icons, the Palais and Luna Park. Such a development would also be a huge step in the much-needed urban renewal of Acland Street and Fitzroy Street.
The unChain executive will actively support Martin Foley (ALP) for re-election as the member for Albert Park in the Lower House.
The executive also believes that residents voting in the Upper House (Southern Metropolitan Region) should be aware of the excellent work that Sue Pennicuik (Greens) has consistently done on local issues since first elected in 2006.