THE City of Melville will release its long-awaited Attadale-Alfred Cove Foreshore draft master plan this weekend, hoping to avoid a repeat of the backlash that followed the first iteration earlier this year.
The council is so sensitive about the issue, ratepayers will initially only get to see the plan during orchestrated drop-in sessions with a brigade of council staff and consultants in attendance. Only after then will it be made available online.
When asked by the Herald why residents couldn’t view the plans beforehand to develop informed questions, council CEO Marten Tieleman said they would be able to come back to a second drop-in session on November 3.
The document would be made available online during the formal comment period from Friday October 29 to Sunday December 5.
“The community’s feedback and input has been crucial in the development of the draft master plan and it will continue to be important as the future of this important natural area continues to be shaped,“ Mr Tieleman said.
Attadale resident and dog walker Lyn, who wrote to the Herald in August raising concerns about the council’s initial plan to create two sports ovals and reduce the dog exercise area, said she wasn’t surprised the council was a bit gun shy.
Lyn said she spoke to a councillor who complained about being “inundated” with complaints about the ovals and receiving a 900-signature petition.
“He implied it was ridiculous the fuss it had caused,” Lyn said.
“Therefore, I am not at all surprised that the council would go straight to releasing the plans for public comment together with asking for submissions.
I am sure neither the City of Melville, nor individual councillors would like that situation to repeat itself.”
Lyn complained that the consultants preparing the plan had given too much emphasis to the views of sporting clubs and special interest groups, while those who use the space for personal leisure were on the outer.
The dual oval proposal, at the eastern end of Attadale Reserve, was scrapped by the council in September, following a motion put forward by seasoned councillor June Barton who argued two ovals would reduce the recreation area of the reserve by half.
Cr Barton noted the two ovals were not discussed in the first round of workshops with residents, and many only became aware of their impact later.
The City of Melville anticipates the final master plan, including a report on public submissions received, will be ready by March 2022.
The first public drop in session is being held this Saturday October 23, in the conference room of the Tompkins Park clubhouse.
by GRACE O’MEEHAN