Eyes wide open …

As you walk around this beautiful city what do you see?  What do you enjoy?

There is Federation Square with its many cultural events, a gathering place for people to see, hear and enjoy.  Shady trees that save us from the unpleasant heat that is amplified by concrete and asphalt. High-class shops, restaurants and cafes that vie with the best in the world.  Hidden laneway retreats where the coffee and company are superb.  We the residents, the visitors and the daily workers want to preserve this lovely environment – naturally!

Melbourne has surprises. As you are walking along, you turn a corner and see a wonderful newly-finished example of street art such as the one here, taken along Russell St just near the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

But all is not roses.  Imagine how a visitor from Vienna (#2 most liveable city) or Vancouver (#3) feels when they come across another scene shown here from the northern end of Swanston St?

Can we feel proud of disfiguring graffiti, cigarette butts everywhere on the pavement and piles of camping equipment from the people who choose to sleep rough in our city streets?  Surely the 37,000 people who reside in the CBD want this vexing problem solved?

As a community we have to do better to recognise that this is a serious problem. It concerns real people who are struggling at the fringe of our society.  Residents recognise that it is hard to solve but solve it we must!

We have to pressure our governments – both local, state and federal, to do more to address this issue.  We have to call on people with special skills who know of ways to bring these unfortunate people back into mainstream society.

There are many stories of people who have successfully changed their lives after enduring homelessness, drug addiction, mental illness and the like and who have later on turned to help others in the same predicament.

Homeless people need help, they need counselling and they need jobs.

At the next Residents 3000 event, on Thursday, April 6, (at the Kelvin Club from 6pm) we have invited three people who work in the field to speak on the topic and who will inform us of what is being done and what is planned to improve the situation.

Continuing our walk, early in the morning in Little Collins St between Russell and Exhibition we come across a bad example of air pollution.  The smoke is being ejected into the street from two backup generators presumably being run according to their maintenance schedule.

What to do?  Well, we send a report to the City of Melbourne via our smart phone app caledl Snap, Send, Solve.  Already its health and safety division is in action and hopefully this problem will be solved.

Was it that the building manager was not aware that the generators were ejecting thick smoke?  Sometimes these impediments to our city environment are not deliberate.  Vigilant residents can help by drawing attention to the problem.

So you see, in this walk about our city, whilst there are wonderful things to do and see, sometimes problems arise. Collectively we need to be responsible citizens and take an active role in helping to solve problems as they come up.

This is how Melbourne can maintain its status as the most liveable city in the world.  We can do it.

If you would like to share your views about living in the city or if you have any concerns, Residents 3000 would like to invite you to complete our new survey here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/R3000survey

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