POSTERS have gone up around Ardross warning voters about Melville council’s vision to sell the Bedford Road park where the Mount Pleasant Bowling Club sits.
Soon after the Herald reported on September 25 that mayoral candidate Katy Mair wanted to keep the land as public open space, the anonymous posters went up, warning voters they could end up in a similar situation as Kitchener Road locals “where a suburban street of single-storey dwellings is about to be dwarfed by a 12-storey apartment block”.
“If you don’t like the sound of this and want to keep your local park as it is, please call your local councillors and tell them,” the sheet said, giving details for councillors Nick Pazolli and Cameron Schuster.
Cr Schuster had initially mooted selling the land for housing after the council moved the bowling club to Shirley Strickland reserve. He said the land could be “sold for a purpose consistent with its surrounds” — residential — and money from the sale could pay for the club’s new digs at Shirley Strickland.
That motion back in April was unanimously supported by colleagues.
In response to the posters, Cr Schuster lodged an eleventh hour notice of motion this week to clear the air and make clear the council doesn’t want a high-density apartment style development there.
He said the posters could put a “dark cloud … over this important consultation process”.
“The issue of the uses of the Shirley Strickland Reserve will be resolved during consultation and eventually by a council decision of one kind or another, but the commentary about ’12 storey apartment blocks’ potentially on the Bedford Road land is in my view just cynical populism from people not prepared to put their name to public information.”
He also notes the elected council opposed the Kitchener Road development, but was overruled by the local DAP.
Cr Pazolli tried to get up an amendment that the area “would remain as a public facility or public open space for the benefit of Melville residents”.
But following questions about how the council would then fund the new club facilities that motion didn’t get the numbers and was opposed by mayor Russell Aubrey and councillors Schuster, Mark Reynolds, Nicole Foxton, Duncan Macphail and Trish Phelan.
by DAVID BELL