April 2017 Urgent Action Elsternwick Park

The future of Elsternwick Park North is about to be determined by Bayside Council.

BCCAG is making this urgent request of you to indicate support for the option most in keeping with sustainable, environmental values.
The licence of the existing golf club expires next year and a long community consultative process has been occurring over the past year about the future of the park.
It comes down to one of two preferred alternatives:

Either an expanded and restored wetland, with urban forest surround and upgraded existing amenities, OR
More sports fields.

The motion before Council when it meets next Wednesday is to approve the former, described as Alternative 1A on the Council website at: Council website

However the sports lobby have now collected some 450 signatures on a petition which calls for more sports grounds. They argue that increasing demand on sports facilities cannot be met by existing facilities. This petition may cause Council to waver.

A counter petition has been started by an environmental coalition and we need at least 500 signatures before the Council meeting on Wednesday. Please click on the link to read the petition and consider signing:  Elsternwick Park

Points to be considered:

  • Option 1A was supported by the representative Deliberative Panel and has also been recommended by Council officers.Why pay for such processes if they are ignored. Councilors will have a severe credibility issue if they overthrow Option 1A.
  • Bayside has an ageing population, so non-sport recreation (like walking and cycling) in particular is increasingly important to community health; more so than additional sports ovals
  • Option 1A is best for cyclists.The shared path through the middle, although not there on the Panel’s rough draft, is included to be consistent with Council’s transport strategy and to encourage further bike use
  • The mere fact of being in or near nature (a wetland, an “urban forest” as proposed, creatures, etc. rather than a sporting oval with club buildings, car parks, etc.) has significant, proven, positive health benefits
  • Backing the environment and passive recreation is not anti-sport.It is just a question of balance.We already have many, many sports facilities in Bayside, but there is only one Elsternwick Park and the Elster Creek wetlands are unique and irreplaceable.Also, even under Option 1A, about 40% of the north Park will still be used for sport, and Oval 2 will be upgraded with better facilities anyhow!It is the ONLY win-win solution.
  • Expanding the wetlands is important for:
    • flood mitigation
    • cleansing water before release into the Bay
    • water retention (for drought times)
    • encouraging biodiversity.
  • The wetlands offer significant, unique, educational benefits for the next generation to learn about their environment: the multitude of trees, plants, insects, frogs and other creatures
  • Biodiversity and water resources are increasingly under stress/threat through climate change – we need to preserve what we have while we can
  • There are potential financial benefits from Option 1A that have not been recognised e.g. innovative use of the golf building and the capacity to harness volunteers interested in the environment to help with maintenance, etc.
  • An expanded oval (Option 2A) will have detrimental effect on wildlife in the Park through extra noise and light pollution
  • An expanded oval per Option 2A would bring unwanted additional traffic, noise, floodlighting and parking to Bayside residents living near the Park.They bought at this location specifically to live beside a peaceful, quiet Park
  • The 100 year (or so) history of sport in the Park is often used to support its expansion.But the Park has ALWAYS been a wetland.That aspect of history needs to be recognized as well

BCCAG asks that you PLEASE SIGN IT ASAP AND SEND THE LINK TO OTHERS

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/354/767/434/that-elsternwick-park-north-be-transformed-into-a-wetland-parkland-and-urban-forest./

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