Parks saved by people power

PEOPLE power has put paid to four proposed park closures considered in Griffith council's new playground strategy. 

Council has voted to let six local parks go to seed in a bid to cut back on maintenance costs but those deemed valuable by members of the public have escaped the chopping block.

The six destitute parks will be reclassified as reserves, meaning local government will stop irrigating and let the grass grow out.

Jacka, Peisly, McIvor and Commemorative parks would have suffered the same fate if not for the initiative of concerned citizens.

When Amanda Robins heard the park where her teenage sons kick the football was under threat, she helped create and circulate a petition to save it.

The mother-of-three praised council for its willingness to work with the community and said people were often unfairly quick to criticise.

"I've got boys who use the park all the time and the roads are safe for my youngest child, there's room to kick a ball and stuff like that and there are other local families who play badminton, soccer and run around there," she said.

"Council was surprised that people used the park because we go there at 7pm or 8pm at night during the summer when it's cooler, which is probably why council hadn't ever seen anyone use it.

"When we raised our concern council worked closely with us which proves we can work together to achieve something good. 

"The community put in the work to save the park and we were rewarded for that."

Councillor Simon Croce said people's perception that council doesn't regularly consult with the community was wrong.

"Sometimes we leave a little to be desired but at other times that community can be a bit apathetic to council issues," Cr Croce said.

"This is an example of where people said 'hang on, let's voice our opinion', and council has been able to do something about it.

"I don't play in every park in Griffith so people have to let us know what's going on and it turned out some of our assumptions were wrong, but people let us know which was good."

Three local playgrounds will also be removed, never to be replaced once they age to a point where they are considered unsafe.

Parks to become reserves

Dunbar Park

Moretto Park

Sergi Park

Vaughan Park

Ortella Park

Haines Park

Playgrounds that won’t be replaced

Norah Gibbons Park

Coates Park

Woman’s Land Army Park (Hanwood)

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