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May 26, 2011  |  Member's Statement

Bell Street Mall, West Heidelberg: redevelopment plan

I raise the issue of the Bell Street Mall in West Heidelberg. It was built around the time of the 1956 Olympics, and unfortunately it is showing its age. My electorate office is located there. The centre is one of the only original 1950s mall shopping centres in Victoria — maybe even in Australia. Previously I was a member of the Banyule City Council’s mall master plan community consultative committee. We had the Bell Street small urban design framework adopted by the council in 2005, which included the library feasibility study. The master plan, including a community hub and new public spaces, was also adopted by the council in late 2009.

In 2010 Banyule City Council signed a memorandum of understanding with the CEO of VicUrban and senior staff touring the Mall with the traders, who hosted lunch for them, including the Bell Street Mall Traders Association.

VicUrban produced a redevelopment plan for the Mall before Christmas last year, but six months on Banyule City Council has still seen nothing from VicUrban. So what is VicUrban doing? It is leaving the traders in the Mall and the local community with great uncertainty, as the redevelopment plan has not been produced. I call on the Minister for Planning, Mr Guy, to investigate VicUrban and ascertain why it is dragging its heels. The people from VicUrban need to have their heads banged together and produce the redevelopment plan for the Mall so that the West Heidelberg community can move ahead with a new shopping centre for the local community.