THREATENED PARKLAND IN RESERVOIR
There is an extreme amount of pressure on open space all over Darebin because of the continuing influx of people into the municipality. Council needs to ensure that precious public open space is protected for the environment and for generations to come. It also needs to consider the impact of development upon private spaces like backyards, which are being swallowed up at an alarming rate. These are just a few areas of parkland in my local area which are or have been at risk of being lost:
There is still an opportunity to save Clements Reserve. Council originally failed to purchase the land for a song when it had a chance in 2016, and now appears to be at an impasse with the State Government over price. A report will come back to Council in September 2020.
Darebin Council failed to buy the Dumbarton grassland in 2016 even though the area was classified as being of National Natural Heritage Significance in one of its own reports. There's less than 1% of Volcanic Plains Grassland left in Victoria. Subsequently the State Government has decided to use the land for an inclusionary housing pilot project. The relatively small size of the Dumbarton Grasslands means that it just falls outside of mandated protection. The grasslands can now only be saved by appealing to the Planning Minister.
STRATHALLAN OPEN SPACE
Strathallan Golf Course is 18ha of environmentally and historically significant land which is at risk because La Trobe University wants to sell it off for development. It is part of a wildlife corridor which is connected to the Greswell Forest Nature Reserve. Council needs to work with Save Strathallan Open Space - Community Coalition and Hon Colin Brooks, MP to protect this area in perpetuity. (See aerial photo below).
Council was forced into buying public open space at the former Ruthven Primary School and the former Lakeside Secondary College in 2016 after years of unproductive and expensive dithering. While the parkland is no longer at risk of being sold there are still real problems with consultation over the Ruthven Park Master Planning process. The 'Lakeside' land which adjoins the Merri Creek needs work to encourage the return of Matted Flax Lily (Dionella Amoena) which is habitat for the Blue-Banded Bee.
Darebin Council to bid $7m for two vacant school sites (Harrison Tippet, Preston Leader, September 8, 2016)
Darebin Council negotiating to buy Ruthven Primary School and Lakeside Secondary College sites (Harrison Tippet, Preston Leader, August 28, 2016)
Full campaign chronology and articles 2016-2020 (coming soon)