Happy New Year from Parkville
In this column I am focusing on two matters discussed at length in articles published by The Age this month.
Firstly, the City of Melbourne’s Royal Park Masterplan. This has been a very lengthy process and as with all discussions, rumours fly, most of which are not factual.
From the Parkville Association’s perspective, we love it the way it is! In the council’s 2021 lighting strategy it stated that Royal Park should be treated as a “dark space” this was because it is the city’s only wild park and that it contains large areas of landscape of a natural condition.
There is a push by some to have lighting across areas of the park. This will affect birds’ behaviour as well as the thriving biodiversity and human health and wellbeing. The issue is apparently safety, yet why do people have to walk in certain areas of the park at night-time?
There are well lit roads (Flemington and Gatehouse) and trams run down Royal Parade and Flemington Rd arriving outside the Royal Children’s! The few that feel a need to walk through the park with lighting are probably more identifiable as bushes are either side of the track.
There has also been talk of additional playing fields yet again in the “circle” which has had a major programme over the past 15 years to develop native grassland.
Walking through the park it is wonderful to breathe the air and look at the amazing native vegetation. Groups like the Royal Park Protection Group and Friends of Royal Park have worked tirelessly to conduct plantings and revegetate key areas. Playing fields, of course, also require extensive parking!
As Victorians and residents, we should applaud the council for the work done and enjoy one of Australia’s major parks. During COVID lockdowns the park helped many residents and visitors enjoy a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
It is important we all let the council know our views and the link below will let us all register them. There will be decisions made and we need to protect our park!
The second published article concerned the flow-on issues that will arise when the Westgate Tunnel opens.
North Melbourne residents aired their concerns about the amount of traffic likely to come out of the tunnel and flow through their suburb. This has been a discussion that Rob Krelle and I have had with senior council employees for some time.
The North Melbourne group are of the opinion that when opened it will result in an additional 1500 vehicles per day driving through Gatehouse St. If so, that will increase the volume to 5000 vehicles per day along a single lane road that on one side is next to Victorian terrace houses a little back from the road. This is totally unacceptable and affects the lifestyles of residents and their health.
The council has been very sympathetic however wants to wait until it opens to see the results. Sadly, we know what they will be and this needs to be addressed urgently, now, before the tunnel opens.
As many know, the council was against the project where a tunnel being built will deliver thousands of vehicles into a city that cannot handle them! We need to add grist to our mill and there will be a meeting for all in February to meet the council’s engineers to discuss “rat running” and this other matter. Again, please let me know your views by email to [email protected]
While I can alert and work with the council we have an opportunity this year prior to elections to get your views and to ask candidates their positions on these matters. Parkville, while a small suburb, is large in population and should have the views of residents listened to!
Many thanks to the nine new members of the Parkville Association who joined following our call to arms, we look forward to welcoming them officially soon!
Finally, congratulations to local residents Felix Behan AM and Nicola Kilpatrick AM on their Australia Day Honours – well-deserved and Parkvillians are very proud! •