Don't turn our public parks into buildings! Save McDonnell Park (Northcote, Melbourne)
This petition made change with 239 supporters!
McDonnell Park is under threat from Darebin Council, contrary to their own open space policy.
Next week, the Council is meeting to choose a location for a giant multi-sport stadium. Instead of seeking funding to use a brown fill site (like a former industrial site) they have limited their search to a small number of existing public parks like McDonnell Park.
McDonnell park is in a quiet residential street, in a mixed housing area that includes government housing, young families and elderly people. A small community child care centre is located in the park and the outdoor areas of the centre look out onto the lovely treed and grassy park (with grass parrots, rainbow lorikeets and galahs in abundance). During the day the children have excursions onto the oval to run around, play and enjoy the fresh air and space. A number of the children live in government housing and high-rise flats so the fresh air and space to run around is very important to their physical and emotional well-being.
Substituting a public park with a stadium is not encouraging more people to exercise but rather replacing free, natural exercise with costly, structured exercise. I doubt the elderly who walk in the park will substitute their walk for indoor netball. The dog walkers may not take up tennis; instead they'll be forced to tread the footpaths with dogs on leads. The local families who kick balls and fly kites after school/kindy may be less inclined to venture out. The proposal will affect disadvantaged children more, as they will lose the park they play in but are less likely to have access to the stadium. The park is currently used by many sports clubs and clinics such as Auskick. The Council's own report has recognised that sport clubs would have to be "relocated". They are giving with the right hand and taking with the left.
As well as being a much loved source of fresh air and exercise in this increasingly high density area, the park is home to abundant native wildlife. We regularly see rainbow lorikeets, galahs, grass parrots, flying foxes, rosellas, tawny frog mouths and even barn owls. They will not enjoy living on a stadium.
Darebin Council, while we appreciate your efforts to increase the facilities in the area, please don't replace our public parks with buildings. This stadium belongs elsewhere.
UPDATE: Follow us on Twitter @McDonnellPark #SaveMcDonnellPark
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