RIGHT TIME AND PLACE

Melville Times - - OPINION -

MAR­GARET Sand­ford, thanks for giv­ing me an­other op­por­tu­nity to dis­pel your mis­in­for­ma­tion and the non­sen­si­cal ar­gu­ments you put for­ward in your letter (“Site prob­lem­atic”, Melville Times, Septem­ber 19).

You and your group of op­po­nents seem to have a fun­da­men­tal mis­un­der­stand­ing as to what con­sti­tutes pub­lic open space.

The so-called “large cir­cus school area” is a pri­vate lease­hold in­ter­est granted to the bowl­ing club un­der the terms of its lease by the City of Melville.

To say that this is pub­lic open space would be to say that any rented house in the City of Melville is also pub­lic open space. There is no loss of play­ing fields as they will be re­or­gan­ised and ex­panded east­ward within Tomp­kins Park.

There is likely to be the loss of two non­na­tive trees, but the de­vel­op­ment will in­clude hun­dreds of square me­tres of new na­tive plant­ings, so there’ll be a mas­sive biomass in­crease over­all.

More im­por­tantly, the re­moval of the grass bowl­ing greens and part of the play­ing fields will sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the fer­tiliser load which has been iden­ti­fied as the sin­gle largest en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue af­fect­ing the area.

Take a look at the CSIRO re­port, Macro Themes in Sport, which high­lights there is a gen­er­a­tional change away from team-based sports to in­di­vid­ual sport­ing pur­suits that have a life­style el­e­ment (ie. surf­ing).

In the fu­ture, it is likely there will be a need such as surf­ing rather than an ex­pan­sion of team-based sports. There are also more surfers in Perth than peo­ple who play cricket both in­door and out­door com­bined (ABS data).

Perth has a pop­u­la­tion of less than half of Syd­ney and Mel­bourne, so if Perth wants a surf park it needs to be lo­cated in an in­ner ur­ban lo­ca­tion with great trans­port con­nec­tiv­ity as part of a ma­jor sport­ing hub.

At 22ha, Tomp­kins Park hap­pens to be the largest sport­ing hub in the City of Melville and it is just a mere co­in­ci­dence that it is ad­ja­cent to the Swan River.

As has been stated, and as the vast ma­jor­ity of the com­mu­nity be­lieves, this project has over­whelm­ing com­mu­nity ben­e­fits and is there­fore the right project in the right lo­ca­tion at the right time. NATHAN MARR Attadale

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