Royal Park – our crown jewel

Royal Park – our crown jewel
Rob Moore

When Governor La Trobe set aside 10.36 square kilometres in 1850 it was to establish parkland and open space for the city of Melbourne. It didn’t take long to sell off areas of it to establish parts of Carlton, North Melbourne, and the General Cemetery.

We as Parkvillians did our bit from 1871 following the establishment of Melbourne University in 1853.

Various other incursions into the park have included the Commonwealth Games village (now Parkville Gardens), the Melbourne Zoo and, of course, the development of the new Royal Children’s Hospital where the move north should have given back the land used for the new building. This has been fiercely debated!

Either way, what we now have left is most precious. Last weekend I took part in an on-site survey for the Royal Park masterplan. This has been a long time coming, however the City of Melbourne is working closely with any residents, workers or other interested parties to develop a plan for the next 20 years.

The council has extended the consultation and I encourage all residents to visit the site and participate. The survey can be found at participatemelbourne.vic.gov.au 

Personally, my love of the park is for the flora and fauna there, the great natural areas and Trin Warren Tam-boore wetlands. There are magnificent trees and when walking at quiet times the park provides an amazing feeling of peace almost in the centre of our great city.

The sporting ovals are also a great asset, and the council has recently started to rebuild some of the facilities particularly to cater for the great upsurge in female sport. These are wonderful initiatives and add to the park being used by locals and visitors. 

This brings me to the development of the latest tower block on the north-western side and the proposed “sky rail” on the north-eastern corner and on to the Royal Park Station. If the latter goes ahead, the park will be bookended and also cause issues for residents in The Avenue and in Brunswick.

The joy of the park is to look across all vistas and the sky rail will clearly be an ugly addition across the corner to Royal Park Station. La Trobe would be very upset seeing his vision disturbed in so many ways.

The Royal Park protection Group and Friends of Royal Park work constantly together with Chris and the Serco team to plant and maintain the area and any loss of trees for the sky rail will be tragic!

Please complete the survey and ensure the park remains the lungs of the city!

Clearly as I write this column there is no news on the Morrah Street VCAT case. We have completed the funding and all costs have now been paid. The generosity of our residents was amazing. We have our fingers crossed for a positive resolve.

Enjoy our beautiful suburb and if you want a little more exercise Ryan Moses one our committee members has opened a second venue in North Melbourne having extensively renovated the Courthouse Hotel. Good luck to he and his team … it’s certainly worth the walk! •

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