The Trust welcomes Council’s interest in Figtree Park now they have to spend the huge Public Spaces Legacy Grant they inexplicably applied for, for just this one small space! We are puzzled as to why muliple smaller Grants were not sought to cover the needs of other parks in the municipality that were eligible under the guidelines. Counci now has $4.75 million to spend on this small park (the rules do not allow the money to be allocated elsewhere) although they have confirmed that unspent funds can be handed back to the State.
Council is requesting our ‘Participation’ in an online survey for Figtree Park. We know from past experience particularly at the time of the Draft Community Infrastructure Plan when one interest group was able to stack responses, that this type of survey is an unreliable indicator of community views.
We have therefore prepared our own Submission for Figtree Park Consultation and urge you to email the General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org and Councillors directly with your own views on what you do and don’t want to see in the Park. Closing date for submissiions is 21 August 2021.
Your email can be very brief, eg supporting a small play area in its previous location, more seating, fencing along Ryde Road, no loss of existing green space, trees etc. Or you may want to question the appropriateness of Council’s wider plans for public art; an elaborate ‘Changing Places’ amenity block; Infrastructure for events and car parking; paved areas; increased lighting and Smart City Integration etc…..
I am puzzled as to why this grant was given here. I think it would be responsible for the local council to let the money go back to the state, given they can’t reallocate it elsewhere. I am a huge believer in the importance of good parks, but this is nuts. I would let the state miss spend it elsewhere, so it is on their hands and not the local council. (Hopefully, some of it gets spent on something that needs it.)
I wonder how often this stuff occurs in NSW, probably another example of pork-barreling gone mad.