New representation for Parkville Gardens

Spencer Fowler Steen

Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens and Member for Melbourne Ellen Sandell will soon be the new MP for Parkville Gardens after the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) set new boundaries for the state seat of Melbourne.

Ms Sandell takes the reins from Greens Brunswick MP Dr Tim Read, who successfully campaigned in Parliament earlier this year to have more 505 bus services run to the former Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village.

Speaking to North West City News, Ms Sandell said she was pleased to have inherited the role, and had already been working with Dr Read to identify issues that needed addressing.

“The area is only serviced by the 505 bus, but no trains or trams,” Ms Sandell said.

“It’s still a bus that still runs pretty infrequently so it needs additional improvements.

Residents have raised there’s no actual paper timetable for the bus, and because it goes so infrequently, they have to rely on the timetable.”

Ms Sandell will replace Dr Read at the next Victorian election in November 2022.

Parkville Gardens Residents’ Association (PGRA) president Tom Knowles said he was “very grateful” for the interest Dr Read and Ms Sandell had taken in the suburb given its relatively small size and isolated nature.

He said one of the biggest problems still facing Parkville Gardens was that the state government still had authority over all planning issues rather than the City of Melbourne, after planning control was ceded to the Minister for Planning for the construction of the Athletes’ Village in 2006.

“We’re concerned that at some stage in the future, the East West Link will proceed, and we would love her [Ms Sandell] to champion our concerns about the route that will take,” he said.

 

We don’t know what the route will be, but we’re concerned it will greatly affect the amenity of the area in terms of Royal Park and where the traffic will be routed, so it’s going to be a concern that parkland will be torn up and become and part of this monstrous network.

 

Ms Sandell said many Parkville Gardens residents relied on their cars for transportation, highlighting a growing shortage of parking in the area.

“We need more reserved electric vehicle charging stations and car sharing reserved spaces so families don’t need to have multiple cars, they may have one car or no cars,” she said.

Ms Sandell said another issue Parkville Gardens residents had raised with her was school zoning.

“Most schools around there zone to Flemington,” she said.

“Residents have to cross Citilink to get to them, whereas there’s public transport to schools such as Brunswick High, Princes Hill  High, and University High.

“So, we’ll look at rezoning issues for those schools, or easier ways to get students there.”

Mr Knowles also said a new community centre was high on the agenda for Parkville Gardens, as the PGRA had been using a variety of temporary places for meetings including Mercy Health and the Park Club.

As part of the Parkville Gardens electoral boundary shake-up, Ms Sandell will no longer be the MP for the suburbs of Carlton North and Princes Hill with both suburbs going to Dr Read.

Ms Sandell will remain the State MP for Kensington, Docklands, the CBD, North and West Melbourne, Carlton and Parkville •

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