A big group of people turned up at Apex Park in Korumburra last Friday afternoon to demonstrate their strong opposition to the idea that the park should be sold to pay for the purchase of recreation land elsewhere. M283914
CR BOB Newton wants to see an improvement in the standard of recreation facilities in Korumburra.
But he won’t be able to do it at the expense of Apex Park in Mine Road.
That’s the message given loud and clear by more than 60 people who rallied at the park last Friday afternoon, at short notice, to say that the park is most definitely needed by the community.
Their action followed the suggestion, and it was only a suggestion, last week that the park might be sold to help raise money to buy recreation land elsewhere in the town, i.e. part of the saleyards site.
Carrying banners such as ‘We love our park here’, ‘Don’t let our park go’ and ‘Don’t sell our park’ (with a drawing of an unhappy face); they left no doubt about their preparedness to stop any attempt to dispose of it.
“It’s a lovely little park which we call ‘Poppies Park’. And while the locals sometimes have to prompt the council to come and mow it, it gets a lot of use,” said Tammy McMahon, whose father-in-law lives next door.
“I bet they wouldn’t be even thinking of doing this if it was in Leongatha.
“They shouldn’t have to sell off needed facilities in one part of the town to develop parks or buy land in another area.
“We waited for a long time for them to get around to replacing the play equipment here.
“And have they even got a plan for developing Ivy O’Neill Park?
“I reckon it would be a long time before anything ever happened there.
“If they need to buy land elsewhere or fix up some of the parks in the town they should find the money in their own budget, not raid the value of other assets.
“For the money they’d clear out of that exercise, it would be worth it.”
It was Mrs McMahon who initiated the protest but everyone who turned up had an opinion.
Former primary school principal, Bill Jeffs, said Ivy O’Neill Park wasn’t a viable alternative.
“There’s no footpath down there, which is another issue. It’s too dark at night and you’ve got a problem with traffic,” Mr Jeffs said.
“Plus it’s too far down the hill from here where you’ve now got a second generation of kids and families coming through.”
Others said trees dropping their limbs made O’Neill Park dangerous, it’s not level and there’s nowhere else like Apex Park on this side of town etc, etc, etc!
We can take that as a “no” to Cr Newton’s well-meaning but misguided suggestion.
Mrs McMahon said she had heard claims that the shire’s finances were tight but said it was exactly why the council should be spending less on staff wages and more on works and services; including maintaining and improving recreation facilities in the town.
“You only need to take a look at McIndoe Park in Leongatha to see where their priorities are.
“They stuffed up the situation with the saleyards themselves and then cost the town some extra retail development.
“If it’s a good idea to expand the recreation reserve, they should just buy it.”