I was intrigued, as many of my neighbours were, to receive a coloured brochure from the developers of the proposed Eastlakes Town Centre Project. This is a project for the redevelopment of the Eastlakes shopping centre and it is a project Council has some serious reservations about. Unfortunately, both the former and current state governments have decided in their wisdom that this project will be assessed (and potentially approved) by the Department of Planning and Council can only be an interested bystander.
What did intrigue me with the brochure were the colour photographs of people relaxing, meeting, eating, enjoying life and wandering around laneways. A closer look showed all the photographs were of locations in Europe, mostly Italy and the life they depict is so far from local reality that it’s almost a joke.
What this project needs is Council scrutiny not assessment by the State Department of Planning.
The Council has made it clear to the developers that it supports the redevelopment of the Eastlakes Shopping Centre. What the developers want is to make a quid not just from a new Shopping Centre they want to build high rise flats over the top.
I don't know about you, but as a kid who lived in Eastlakes and watched the developers build the flats that currently exist there, I do not want to see more high rise at the expense of the quality of life of our residents just so developers can make a quid.
If it was not for the "Green Bans" by Jack Mundy and the BLF in the 1970's Eastlakes Reserve would not exist, it would have had flats instead.
Council has for a number of years given guidance to the developers to undertake a Master Plan for the orderly redevelopment of Eastlakes. A Master Plan allows our residents to have input so we make rectify the errors of the past. Unfortunately it is not about rectification of planning disasters of the past, it is about making a quid. In my view people come first.