Kinsail Court Park Management Plan consultation

Kinsale Court Park is a popular recreation area

Kinsale Court Park is a popular recreation area

Cleveland Open Space Action Group (COSAG), through petition, submissions and raising matters with Councillors, State and Federal politicians, achieved what was thought to be a breakthrough when the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines (NRM) asked Redlands City Council to provide a Management Plan for Kinsail Court Park (sometimes referred to as Linear Park).

Recently, COSAG members were surprised to learn that Council had prepared and sent a Land Management Plan to the Minister’s Department. This news did not come from Council or the Department but in a published letter from the President of the Redlands RSL to the Editor of the Redland City Bulletin.

COSAG has concern for the future of this park and has previously called for a land management plan. COSAG members expected a proper consultation process that considered all existing uses and users of the Park and the interests of nearby residents. The park is already heavily used on ANZAC Day …mainly for parking. This is one of the aspects that should be canvassed in developing the land management plan. Unfortunately, it seems the “rushed through” land management plan has been prepared “behind closed doors” without proper (or any) community consultation.

Council acknowledges that a high level of community feedback was received (negative and positive) during its public consultation about the proposed ANZAC memorial. The level of community concern resulted in the Minister’s request for a Land Management Plan. However, this community angst was focussed solely on the need or otherwise for a new ANZAC memorial, the size and location of that facility and many “ANZAC” related questions. It is unlikely if any of the objections and submissions knowingly dealt with the future use and development of the park as a whole.

Let it be clearly understood, Council’s consultation to date has been solely centered on the new memorial. The park has a much broader range of uses and many more users. Any changes will likely impact on a range of stakeholders not consulted to date. To learn of the status of the Land Management Plan, through a letter to the editor, confirms the views of many that Council is not a competent Trustee of this reserve.

Kinsail Court Park provides public access to waterways

Kinsail Court Park provides public access to waterways

COSAG believes that a Land Management Plan should consider the full range of existing uses and users, and the park’s functions (including buffering residents homes from the commercial activities of the RSL). The park is part of a greenspace corridor stretching along Shore Street and provides scenic amenity to residents in an area experiencing a rapid rate of residential infill development.

COSAG understands it is normal practice is for a Council to place draft Land Management Plan on its website. A copy of the Plan has not been located on the website but irrespective, COSAG and the 700 petitioners concerned about the scale and location and nature of the memorial were surely entitled to see the Land Management Plan before it was sent (by Council) to the Minister for approval.

Normal practice is for a Land Management Plan to be put out for public consultation by the park trustee. Council cannot seriously believe that utilising the “consultation” undertaken in relation to a specific Anzac Memorial Project design in any way meets a requirement for community consultation on a whole of park land management plan!

It appears that Council is favoring one sector of the community over all others. This is not a good basis for public land management or diligent trusteeship. It is not good public administration.

COSAG again calls on Redland City Council to do its trustee job properly and consult with the community about a land management plan for this park.

COSAG calls on the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines to insist that Redland City Council fulfill its role as trustee of Kinsail Park.

Hon Andrew Cripps Minister for Natural Resources & Mines

Hon Andrew Cripps Minister for Natural Resources & Mines

People concerned about the need for a properly developed Land Management Plan for this park should send an email (with link to this article) to:

Hon Andrew Cripps
Minister for Natural Resources & Mines
07 3719 7360

and send a cc copy to the Redlands Mayor and your divisional councillor

Further reading

Redland City Council’s role as park trustee

What does the ANZAC Centenary mean for Redland City?  by Jackie Cooper