Show­down over plans


Stirling Times - - Front Page - Laura Pond

THE re­de­vel­op­ment of Robin­son Re­serve may mean the end of the Os­borne Park Show, ac­cord­ing to Os­borne Park Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety pres­i­dent War­ren Bet­tridge.

The City of Stir­ling re­leased a mas­ter plan for the Tuart Hill park last month for pub­lic com­ment, which fea­tures up­grades in­clud­ing more shel­ters, bar­be­cues and seat­ing, a new path network and play­ground, re­place­ment of fenc­ing, more carpark­ing and var­i­ous sport fa­cil­i­ties.

It also in­cludes the de­mo­li­tion of “aged build­ings”, which Mr Bet­tridge said would re­sult in the so­ci­ety hav­ing nowhere to store items or hold ex­hi­bi­tions dur­ing the show.

He be­lieved the cur­rent plan would make the show “im­pos­si­ble” to run be­yond 2018 and in­stead wanted the City to re­fur­bish the build­ings.

“From our per­spec­tive it’s to­tally in­ad­e­quate for our needs; we couldn’t go ahead,” Mr Bet­tridge said.

The so­ci­ety has been en­gaged in the con­sul­ta­tion process re­gard­ing de­vel­op­ment of the site since 2008 but Mr Bet­tridge said the pro­posed plan “was a com­plete and ut­ter shock”.

The Finch So­ci­ety of WA pres­i­dent Matt Creemers was con­cerned the group would no longer be able to use the fa­cil­ity.

Com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion Main Street Co-Op is gen­er­ally sup­port­ive of the de­sign but be­lieved the 1.8m pal­isade fenc­ing, a pro­posal in­tro­duced by Coun­cil­lor Gio­vanni Ital­iano and backed by the coun­cil, was un­nec­es­sary.

“Over­all the Robin­son Re­serve plan will achieve won­der­ful out­comes for the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” chair­woman Lisa Thorn­ton said.

“We be­lieve it would be ben­e­fi­cial to have bet­ter in­te­gra­tion be­tween the Robin­son Re­serve and the Os­borne Park library/com­mu­nity cen­tre by re­mov­ing the fenc­ing.

“This area cre­ates op­por­tu­nity for a na­ture play­ground and a small, in­for­mal pi­azza link­ing the key com­mu­nity uses of the Main Street district cen­tre.

“(We) be­lieve the 1.8m pal­isade fenc­ing presents a vis­ual bar­rier and that the City should ex­plore an op­tion that meets the needs of all stake­hold­ers whilst not de­tract­ing from the vis­ual en­vi­ron­ment of the area.”

Mr Bet­tridge be­lieved the higher fenc­ing was in­te­gral to run­ning the show.

Act­ing com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Chris Br­ere­ton said the City had met the agri­cul­tural so­ci­ety dur­ing de­vel­op­ment of the mas­ter plan, the con­sul­ta­tion process and be­fore its sub­mis­sion to the coun­cil.

“Once com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion has closed, the City will re­view all sub­mis­sions, in­clud­ing those re­gard­ing the pro­vi­sion of fenc­ing, and will con­tinue to con­sult with (the so­ci­ety) through­out this process,” he said.

“The City will make ev­ery ef­fort to ac­com­mo­date the so­ci­ety and Os­borne Park Show as we would like to see this great com­mu­nity event con­tinue.

Pub­lic com­ment closed yes­ter­day.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d481036

WA Finch So­ci­ety mem­ber Frank Zam­mit with pres­i­dent Matt Creemers.

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