Residents in and around Workington Street Park in Alexandra Hills have joined the groundswell of community opposition to the Council rezoning local parks and selling them off to developers.
Parks go to the heart of community. The broad sweep of Redland City Council’s attack on parks is generating angry reactions across the City.
Save Workington Street Park Action Group (SWAG)
Residents near Workington Street Park (of 2528 sqm) have formed an action group to protect their much loved park. They go by the distinctive brand name of “SWAG” (or Save Workington Street Park Action Group).
The group has an active Facebook page and they invite people across the City to “Like” the page and send a message to every Councillor, including the Mayor.
It wasn’t until a letterbox drop by one concerned resident, that the majority of residents became aware that under the Draft Redland City Plan 2015, Workington Street Park had been assigned as Open Space Lot / Surplus Land earmarked to be sold to developers for low density housing.
Streets near the park are now festooned with signage protesting the proposed rezoning and sale of the Workington Street Park. The anger of local communities having to defend their assets should worry any councillor (or mayor) planning to seek re-election in March 2016.
Workington Street Park is accessed by Scotby Court, Greystoke Place and Workington Street. It’s one of 16 pocket parks in the Redlands under real threat of development. Any cursory inspection of the park will find it being used by local kids and cared for by local residents. Recent sightings of koalas serve to make the site even more valued by locals.
The residents and supporters that formed SWAG are becoming increasingly mindful of the implications of Workington Street Park being rezoned as Residential Low Density under the Draft Redland City Plan 2015.
SWAG builds capacity
Based on advice sought from Council’s own planners ata public consultation “open house”, it is becoming plainly obvious that this ultimately means squished housing on 400m2 lots, with the potential for this to be reduced even further. There are flow on effects such as increased vehicular traffic / noise impacts in quiet suburbia, loss of community amenity and security, and most definitely there will be a detrimental impact on the green corridor and the biodiversity of wildlife in the area.
Members of SWAG are frankly dismayed that little green pocket parks like Workington Street Park are even on the agenda for any re-zoning by a short sighted Council and find it a perverse irony that Redland City Council’s own Parks and Conservation Signage (there are two in Workington Street Park) say “Enjoy … Don’t Destroy”.
SWAG wants the Council to live by its own motto!
Local action by local people
SWAG organiser Robyn Grayson said “we have developed a suite of flyers and bumper stickers to get their message out to both locals and the broader community.
“In the process they have come across other community groups across the city having to defend their local parks, she said.
“It was so sad to see how the people near Teak Lane at Victoria Point have been treated, by the decisions dropped on them by Council and the State Government. Where was the voice of the people? asks Grayson
“We won’t let that happen to us! she warns.
To support their cause, SWAG have an impressive array of bumper stickers and flyers as they press their cause and build local and City-wide support for their cause.
SWAG is circulating a detailed draft submission noting a Council letter dated 19 April 1984 which calls for the park to be set aside as a condition of development approval in Stage 25 of the Vienna Woods Estate.
Locals ask, if the park was needed in 1984 – why not today?
City Plan submissions close on 27 November
If you are concerned about Redland City Council’s plans for rezoning and sale of 16 local parks and open space areas, make sure that you lodge a submission about the Draft City Plan before 27 November.
Advice on making a submission is available here.