Residents want park to stay

CONCERNED North Griffith residents have rallied together to save one of their parks.

Jacka Park is one of four parks earmarked by council for possible closure as part of a new draft playground strategy, but locals are hoping they can sway the decision.

Mitchell and Rebecca Chapman live on Roberick Close and witness on a daily basis what an integral part of the neighbourhood the park is.

“We see Jacka Park being used by a variety of residents on a daily basis,” Mrs Chapman said.

“Jacka Park is the only park with a large, open area, unobstructed by a playground and play equipment. 

“We believe that the council is taking the correct action by consulting the community before making any decisions on closing Jacka Park. 

“It’s such a fantastic spot. Just last night I saw a group of teenagers playing a game of soccer there.

 “We were not aware of the 2013 Playground Strategy or of the earlier 2011 Playgrounds and Small Reserves Strategy. I would like to urge all community members to read the 2013 Playground Strategy and see if any of the recommendations affect them. 

“It’s important for all of us to have a voice about what happens to our parks. It is equally important to work with council to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.”

Amanda Robins also lives nearby. She handed a petition of signatures in to council and is hoping for a positive outcome.

“Everyone from the neighbourhood and nearby signed it,” she said.

“I can honestly say that it feels like council is working with us to make Griffith a great place to live. I really feel like they are listening. They were really surprised to learn how many people use Jacka Park.” 

While public submissions officially closed last week, council’s project planner Nathan Farnell said residents were still welcome to voice their concerns or offer ideas.

“We have received a number of submissions in regards to Jacka Park and I’ve been in touch with those people,” he said.

“The concerns are very real and council is happy to hear them. Council really wants to hear and act upon public opinion. This has been a learning process for us.”

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