STOP FOOTSCRAY PARK'S PUBLIC OPEN RECREATIONAL SPACE FROM BEING LEASED TO A PRIVATE ENTITY
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In late October 2018, Maribyrnong City Council and the State Government of Victoria announced their ‘decision’ to:
1. lease Footscray Park’s public western lawn area, being all of the public recreational reserve adjoining Maribyrnong Boulevard, to Melbourne Victory soccer club for its own use and competitions;
2. allow for the development of:
- three floodlit soccer pitches, including a show pitch
- six unisex change rooms
- warm-up facilities
- a large, fenced off stadium with seating for 600 spectators; and
3. create a landscape that visually obstructs and detracts from the Park’s western lawn area,looking from Farnsworth Avenue and Maribyrnong Boulevard towards Drew Walk and the Park's upper garden areas.
Footscray Park is of historic, aesthetic, scientific (horticultural) and social significance to the State of Victoria. It should not be leased to a private entity for their use.
COMMUNITY NEEDS COME FIRST
This decision has been made with complete disregard to the needs of the extended community of the Western Suburbs who are users of the recreational open spaces for leisure and health activities, and community gatherings. The Park has been used for these activities since its inception in 1911.
No evidence has been provided to support the basis of Council’s or Government’s decision of how it will benefit ALL members of society, as opposed to a small select group.
This proposal disregards and insults a 110-year investment of community commitment and tax-payers' money to Footscray Park – a park bought by the people for the people. It also removes choice in public recreation from the western suburbs.
Footscray Central is now a Major Activity Centre. It will see continued develop of high-rise apartments in and around the Park area, with an expected increase of at least 20,000 people into the area in the coming years. All of these people will require and should have access to and use of Footscray Park's public recreational space.
The positive benefits to community and society generally achieved through physical activity by access to and use of public open recreational space within Footscray Park is paramount to a healthy society. Footscray Park currently provides that for the people of the west of Melbourne. This decision to lease our open space to a private entity will negate that.
THE PARK SHOULD NOT BE BROKEN UP OR LEASED TO A PRIVATE ENTITY FOR THEIR OWN DEVELOPMENT AND USE
Because the western suburbs of Melbourne lacked the public parks and gardens established during the 19th century in other parts of Melbourne, and that trend continues today, the establishment of Footscray Park represents a significant achievement by the community and should be retained as a community asset for use by all.
Footscray Park's recreational space sits within an existing flood plain. Flood waters have accumulated within the Park during every major flood of the Maribyrnong River. In order to build the proposed stadium, lighting and infrastructure required for the proposed development, the park land would need to be built well up above the flood plain, causing flooding and environmental issues within the immediate area of the Park and along the Maribyrnong River.
FOOTSCRAY PARK IS AN IMPORTANT WATER CATCHMENT AREA DURING MAJOR FLOODS OF THE MARIBYRNONG RIVER. IT SHOULD NOT BE BUILT UP OR DEVELOPED
We do not and will not accept this inappropriate development and leasing decision by Government.
FOOTSCRAY PARK IS FOR THE PEOPLE, NOT FOR GOVERNMENT OR FOR PROFIT.
We are calling for immediate intervention from Government, Maribyrnong City Council and Heritage Council of Victoria to stop this proposal. We seek to retain Footscray Park as a public park and recreational reserve for all the people of the West to use, and for no part of our Park to be leased to a private entity for their own use for any extended period of time beyond 3 days (allowing for community events).
SAVE FOOTSCRAY PARK - A PARK FOR ALL PEOPLE !
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