It may be just a little park in suburban Goulburn, but the nearby residents love it and they fought for it.
After Goulburn Mulwaree Council listed half of the park at 30 Albert St for reclassification earlier this year, a step before selling it off, the residents rallied to save it.
And save it they did. Councillors decided at the June 4 meeting not to reclassify the park and to keep it in community hands.
Among other recommendations in response to a Public Hearing on Council Land Classification, they resolved that: "30 Albert Street Goulburn be retained by the council under its current classification of community land."
Cr Peter Walker rose to his feet and spoke in defence of the park and in support of the many residents who turned up to a previous public meeting about it on April 11, chaired by Stephen Richardson from Cowman Stoddart Pty Ltd.
"We had representations from a group of people who said these areas should be retained," Cr Walker said.
"Parks in Goulburn are hard to come by and easy to get rid of, but once they are gone they are gone forever.
"There are 4-5 parks in the area, but it is a green space and a lifestyle space and not everyone wants to go to Victoria Park.
"It needs to be retained, but I reiterate that there are no funds to improve the Albert St Park in the current budget.
"We can put it in a later budget, but I am hoping that people in Lions or Rotary might pick up on this and provide some more seating in the park, or other amenities."
Cr Andrew Banfield spoke against keeping the park.
"At the risk of being stoned in public, I say we should look at the other council park at the corner of Hoskins and Newton Streets and put facilities into that space," Cr Banfield said.
"We are under-utilising that park. I grew up in Godfrey St and I used to play in both parks.
"I can't see the need to retain the Albert St Park. We should use the space 100m up the road."
But he was voted down and the recommendation was carried.
After the meeting, Cr Walker acknowledged the passion of the residents who turned out to the April public meeting.
"There were very passionate about saving the park. It is a green space and not just a park," he said.
Cr Leah Ferrara agreed with Cr Walker that green spaces in the city were important.
A report to the council meeting had been presented by business manager property and community services Ken Wheeldon in relation to the park at 30 Albert Street and other properties.
"During the hearing, it was communicated that should the council resolve to re-classify half of 30 Albert Street to 'Operational' land and subdivide/sell half of it, the proceeds of sale would be used to provide new, updated park equipment with remaining proceeds going towards continued improvements at Victoria Park," the report said.
"Although there was strong sentiments at the public hearings to retain the whole block, it still remains the opinion and advice of management to subdivide the block and develop a quality playground facility on the corner part and sell the balance.
"This will reduce the cost liability to the council of mowing and maintaining of excess land to the neighbourhood needs - remembering that Victoria Park with all its wonderful assets is well within easy walking distance."
But this was defeated.
The council also resolved that land:
- Land at 59-61 Hovell Street, Goulburn be re-classified as 'Operational' land under the Local Government Act 1993 and arrangements commence for this land to be re-zoned from RE1 - Public Recreation to R1 - Residential.
- Land at 20 Hercules Street, Goulburn be re-classified as 'Operational' Land under the Local Government Act 1993 and remain zoned as RU2 - Rural Landscape.
- A public notice be advertised informing of Council's decision to re-classify 59-61 Hovell Street, Goulburn and 20 Hercules Street, Goulburn as 'Operational' land.
- Private treaty negotiations commence with the owner of 18 Hercules Street to sell them 20 Hercules Street, Goulburn, subject to agreeing to pay the current market value and costs associated with registering a stormwater easement along the northern boundary with both parties to meet own legal fees.
- The council seal be affixed to all documentation necessary to complete the sale of 20 Hercules Street, Goulburn.
Some 28 people attended the Public Hearing in April and 11 verbal submissions and four written submissions were made in relation to the park at 30 Albert Street reclassification proposal.
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