Balcombe Laneway no longer sad
By Susan Saunders
When walking down Little Collins St recently I was surprised to note that the formerly messy lane, full of overflowing large bins and crates strewn about, was clear and open.
Right down the end of the lane was a futuristic looking, container like object. It was a huge compactor that now takes care of all the rubbish that used to fill over 14 large bins. How wonderful!
The City of Melbourne has used technology to the solve a vexing problem. That is how to manage vast amounts of rubbish that must accumulate from the many businesses that encircle the laneway. (See the Residents 3000 article from the recent May issue of CBD News where we made some suggestions for helping the Balcombe Laneway.)
Now that the area is clear, the city, nearby residents and business owners, have the wonderful potential to make the laneway beautiful. Have a look at the before and after photos.
The walls could be painted with imaginative street art and there is room for some vegetation. Maybe even some trees in appropriate containers.
Whilst I was there, a person walked over to the magic machine with two large bags of rubbish. He swiped a card and the entrance door rolled open. He then deposited the rubbish and presumably the machine crushed it into a small area. Congratulations to the City of Melbourne for adopting modern technology that helps keep our city a great place to live.
For the monthly Forum 3000 event on Thursday, June 7, Residents 3000 members and guests were able to question two experts in the field of owners’ corporation management and law.
They were Rick Deering, owner of Fawkner May, and Deborah Andronaco from KCL Lawyers. The event was attended by around 60 members and guests who were keen to have their questions and concerns answered.
Some of the issues that were raised included:
How to deal with illegal car parking? Suggestions such as engaging a tow away service where the person who has parked illegally needs to pay a large fee to retrieve their vehicle, installing keyed collapsible bollards and using clear signage that explains where the private parking areas are;
Problems with an owners’ corporation committee that tries to dominate the building;
Are the current building rules fair? If not, how can they be changed? Many buildings adopt the model rules that are a part of the current 2007 Owners Corporations Regulations. (See Schedule 2). Residents were advised to become familiar with those rules as they apply automatically. Changing the building’s current rules by adding special rules is possible, but through the committee general meeting process;
When there are real concerns, an owner can resort to lodging a VCAT complaint without having to go through the committee. Many residents did not know that fact;
Security was a big issue. There were stories of storage cages being broken into and owners not knowing what to do about it. The advice was that it was the building manager’s job to report such break-ins to the police and to advise the committee. It is essential that every break-in is reported to the police as they need the information to track criminal activity and to eventually catch the thieves; and
There was good feedback from the residents in the audience. There were comments that many of the problems that were raised could have been resolved by the establishment of good communications between the building managers, committee members, the OC manager and the residents in the building. Many buildings have notice boards, SMS messaging services and web sites where information can be posted on a regular basis.
Overall, residents said that they gained better insight into how their building was managed and found the evening to be of great value. The main message that came through was that it is important to take a real interest in owners’ corporation matters and if you are able, volunteer to be part of the OC committee.