Kensington Challenges     

Jackie Watts

Kensington Challenges                                                            3/10/2020


Today, on the invitation of a constituent, I walked through the streets and along the weedy green of the watercourse trailing through Kensington – masquerading as public open space – in order to better understand the particular challenges facing the Kensington community today. The scruffiness and tangled weeds of the watercourse mimic the tangled mess of multiple bureaucracies responsible for the care of this extensive tract of ‘open space’ beneath the freeways and alongside then railway line.

It’s also a dangerous place. No one has bothered to paint Shared Zone on the path. Speeding cyclists are a very real hazard to pedestrians.  Who is responsible? Who cares? Fix this before someone is seriously hurt!

This is but one of the challenges facing Kensington  –  residential/industrial mix, the projected explosion of population, dense inappropriate developments, expansion of the sub-station, butchered trees along the electrical easement, blocked drains, complete inadequacy of useable open space etc. etc

However, there is considerable charm and obvious pride in the heritage residential areas valiantly withstanding the onslaught of mega development projects. The watercourse trickles on, or floods without the cohesive the attention or management it deserves. Another wasted waterways  ‘public asset  ‘in Melbourne.

Kensington deserves better.

How can it be that three Councillors who are actually residents Kensington/North & West Melbourne during their 8 or more years on Council, have been so evidently ineffectual in addressing the appalling waste of resources and bureaucratic ineptitude prevailing in Kensington? Yet – It’s well known amongst other Councillors that this ‘corner’ of the municipality is accorded a disproportionate level of attention on Council.  At least two of Greens Councillors, live in the precinct. Perhaps such ideological representation is not what residents need?

I found the walk particularly along then watercourse a perplexing frustrating experience – and I am sure residents share my frustration. Such unfulfilled ‘promise’. Surely ‘solutions’ to problems arising in places in transition like Kensington need not be so elusive?

Next term on Council, it’s imperative the multiple responsible authorities – which includes the City of Melbourne, be held to account.  It’s not ‘rocket science ‘– its competent administration.

Kensington deserves better.