Protecting what makes East Melbourne special
A visit to the suburb of East Melbourne is often the first outing for international tourists to Melbourne.
East Melbourne is a heritage suburb full of locals living in charming terrace houses or apartments. Wide, tree-lined streets and wide plantations flow through the suburb. Traffic still flows smoothly.
The neighbouring MCG makes East Melbourne and Jolimont a visitor hub as fans flow through to AFL football, international cricket, rock concerts, marathon walks, museums and more.
As many as 90,000 fans come to the MCG and 90,000 fans leave the MCG all very cheerfully, peacefully and orderly along the bridges, paths, parks, tram and train stations.
The East Melbourne Group (EMG) is the community voice in East Melbourne. It is Victoria’s oldest community residents’ group, which has been active and in demand for 70 years. The purpose of the EMG is to protect, improve, enhance this iconic suburb.
Since 1954 the EMG has advocated for those who have chosen to make their home in one of the world’s most liveable suburbs. It works with the City of Melbourne, National Trust, Heritage Victoria, and political representatives to ensure that heritage properties are protected and the integrity of the suburb is maintained.
Building developers have a constant keen eye for sites in East Melbourne. They would like to turn heritage buildings and façades in East Melbourne into the front of high-rise developments. This has happened in the neighbouring suburbs of Carlton and Richmond.
Developers are keen to develop street gardens into 80-seat restaurants.
The EMG reviews planning applications and it engages with barristers and heritage planning experts to ensure that the suburb remains protected and well planned. All of this costs money and requires a vigilant committee.
The EMG works as a social group in its political and fundraising endeavours. This year we are celebrating 70 years. A gala dinner will be held in July to raise funds and celebrate the hard work of the volunteer members. Everyone is welcome. •