RIGHT TIME AND PLACE
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