Planning band-aid

ULLI KECK is a Hamilton Hill resident, DJ, and puppeteer who’ll be well remembered by Freo’s older crowd for his awesome floats in the Fremantle Festival parades. He’s recently become more involved with the Hamilton Hill Community Group, and with neighbour Christine Duckham and wife Susann he put together some thoughts about why they don’t think their area should be saddled with sports grounds because not enough have been allocated along the Cockburn Coast.

I READ with interest the recent Herald front-page story “Play Fair” (February 24, 2018), outlining concerns expressed by the South Beach Community Group that while North Coogee will become one of the city’s most high-density developments, under the Cockburn Coast redevelopment, the draft Sport and Recreation plan promises even less play space than what’s being allocated in deep suburbia.

The lack of planning for sports grounds in Coogee will have impacts on western suburbs of Cockburn where the council is investigating locations for sporting grounds that presumably will service Coogee residents.

This does not seem to be a sensible solution.

As a resident of Hamilton Hill for 33 years, I am unhappy that the lack of good planning for the Cockburn Coast is likely to negatively impact my local park, Dixon Reserve.

The northwest corner of Hamilton Hill, adjacent to Dixon Park, is an embryonic hub with a community garden that provides opportunities for culturally diverse locals to mix, meet and work together on community projects and in recent years welcomed a group of Burundi who have planted their annual crops on site.

The exciting new natureplay playground has resulted from community input and further contributes to the creation of this community hub.

• Hamilton Hill locals and horse riders at Dixon Park. File photo

Soon this will be complemented by a community centre adjacent to the Wally Hagan Stadium building more possibilities for community projects.

Re-establishing the small wetland filled in in the 1960s, along with restoration of the original vegetation (mainly Tuarts and Paperbarks) would make this area even more inviting to local residents.

During most winters the wetland is obvious when Dixon Park is flooded with water at various times, attracting many splashing children, dogs and water birds.

This would also assist in connecting the green corridor between Clontarf Hill and Manning Ridge, which is so important for migratory wildlife including the endangered black cockatoos.

I’ve heard that the site also has significant Aboriginal Heritage value and that the wetland (along with Davilak Lake) was an important ceremonial site.

The heritage listed Randwick Stables are also well used by the community and is one of the few remaining traditional places where children can try out a bit of horseriding and also learn about our local history.

The City of Cockburn has listed the area as a heritage site in its local register of significant places.

Sports grounds create a lot of noise, traffic and harsh night time lighting that is not in harmony with an area that is valued for its tranquility.

The loss of this social embryonic hub would deeply affect our community.

There needs to be a different type of plan that builds on the site’s attributes, not a plan that provides a bandaid to poor planning of Coogee.

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