The purchase of this property for $2.1 million we believe raises many questions. The questions multiply when we find that council’s intention is to lease this property until community ‘consultation’ is undertaken! Here are some queries for your consideration –

  • What happens if the ‘consultation’ results in the majority of residents opposed to the idea as the recent Fosbery/St Aubins proposal showed? Are we therefore in a situation where we are again facing a Clayton’s ‘consultation’ because the decision has already been made – especially since so much money has been spent?
  • Why was this property purchased in the first place given its proximity to Princes Park? Carnegie has many more ‘high priority’ listings than South Caulfield according to the Open Space strategy!
  • Why has Carnegie and other suburbs been ignored and all open space developments have basically occurred in Camden? Given that the Open Space Strategy itself states that this area will only see a marginal increase in population due to its zoning as largely Neighbourhood Residential Zone, why has council spent millions in this ward alone?
  • If council has spent $2.1 million on a very nice looking house, and we would expect at least another half million or more to be incurred in the creation of a ‘park’, then that brings us close to $3 million. Is this really ‘value for money’ for a site that is just over 600 square metres?
  • What will be the length of the proposed lease – 6 months, one year, 2 years?
  • Since the site is on a corner, are we again facing the prospect of streets being closed off and traffic diverted?
  • Why has the purchase of the Magnolia Street house at $1.49 million not been included in the open space reserve budget, but included under the ‘capital works’ budget?

We repeat what we have previously stated. We are totally in favour of more open space throughout the municipality. However, we also desire sound financial decision making that is transparent and accountable and equitable for all residents. The rate of development in our GRZ and RGZ areas are a major concern as council admits. This is where the greatest number of new residents will live and it is in these areas that open space is most desperately required – not in quiet residential streets that are within a stone’s throw of already existing large areas of open space and which the Open Space Strategy admits to seeing only a ‘negligible’ rise in population.