No denying that more open space is desperately needed in Glen Eira. That has been the perennial call from residents since time immemorial. Council’s  ‘solution’ is to turn streets into so called ‘parks’.

Currently there is another ‘consultation’ ongoing in regards to closing off the corner of Fosbery and St Aubins Avenue in North Caulfield. Replete with pretty pictures, the consultation provides no information on:

  • The impact on traffic
  • The size of this new ‘park’
  • The cost of creating this ‘park’
  • The ‘value’ of such endeavours? – ie what assessment has been made of the Eskdale Road and Riddell Parade ventures? How well are they used? Does this represent ‘value for money’?

Nor have residents been provided with any justification for the selection of these streets – particularly when the Eskdale Road closure is a stone’s throw from Caulfield Park, and the proposed Fosbery Street one is within 400 metres of Greenmeadows park.  Why were these streets chosen and not ten others?

Confounding the choice even further, we highlight the following tender which was approved in August 2014 –

That Council appoints Fercon Pty Ltd, ACN 116 527 363 as the contractor under Tender number 2014.046 St Aubins Avenue and Fosbery Avenue Reconstruction for an amount of $908,176.00 exclusive of GST in accordance with the schedule of rates submitted

This clearly leads to a series of important questions:

  • Have ratepayers spent a million dollars on ‘reconstruction’ only to have this now ripped up with new ‘reconstruction’ for the ‘park’?
  • If so, where is corporate memory? Does the right hand ever know what the left hand is doing?

Conclusions?  If council is prepared to spend millions on landscape design, consultation, and the short sighted option of closing off streets instead of real investment in new, multi-purpose open space, then they need to be upfront with residents and provide solid reasons based on facts, evidence, rationale, and evaluation as to the efficacy of their decisions. Presenting residents with a series of cute little pictures and calling this ‘consultation’ is insulting. Decision making must always be based on the full facts. This is not happening.