The City of Tea Tree Gully has 600 parks and reserves spread across the City. They include small and large reserves, sporting grounds, neighbourhood playgrounds, BMX and skate parks, linear parks and civic and community spaces.
A number of our reserves, such as Stuart Reserve, are in a natural, unimproved condition and offer limited recreational opportunities for their local neighbourhood. These reserves are often under-used, especially if they’re located close to other larger, popular reserves or playgrounds.
When you consider that it costs our City around $4.5 million every year to maintain our reserves and parks, it makes sense to regularly review these assets. It’s important to make sure they’re giving recreational and financial value to our community. This review is one of Council’s responsibilities. We are also mindful however that open space is an important part of living in our community and that the value of our neighbourhoods are often characterised by the quality and nature of the public open spaces that exist within them.
Before we took any further steps with regard to Stuart Reserve, Council was keen to hear from our community to see whether there is a greater community benefit in potentially selling this land and considering options for its use, particularly in an area such as this where there is a demand for more housing. To do this we needed to undertake a process to change the ‘community land’ classification of the reserve (please see fact sheet below for more information on this process).
Note that on 8 May, Council decided to remove Veronica Reserve, Modbury North from the list of reserves for potential sale.
From 16 May to 13 June 2012, the community was invited to provide their feedback on this proposal. A public notice was published in the Leader and News Review Messengers advising of the proposal and ways to for the community to have their say. Signage was also installed onsite advising of community engagement occurring in relation to the reserve.
Letters were sent to owners and occupiers of approximately 200 properties (residents and landlords) in the vicinity of the reserve with a feedback form and reply paid envelope. Information was accessible from Council’s website and included online option for providing feedback. A total of 38 people submitted their feedback.
An onsite event at Stuart Reserve was also held on Saturday 2 June from 11am to 12.30pm. Interested residents were invited to come and talk to Council staff and Elected Members about their views on the proposal. A free sausage sizzle was provided and approximately 16 people attended.
A petition to keep the reserve as open space was also submitted to Council containing 44 signatures. A number of people who signed the petition also completed Council’s feedback form.
All of the responses were collated and provided to Council for their consideration at a meeting on Tuesday 28 August.
Click on the link below to view the community engagement outcomes report which includes a table of all (de-identified) feedback received.
Of the 38 people who provided feedback, just over half (52%) were opposed to the proposal to change the community land classification for the purpose of potentially selling the reserve. Of those supportive of the proposal (39%) most supported the whole portion of reserve being sold.
After considering the community feedback received, Council decided at its meeting on September 11 to note the report and therefore will not continue with the process to change the community land classification of Stuart Reserve for potential sale.
For more information please contact us on 8397 7444 or via email.