I’d like your feedback as to whether you support the decision to allocate around $120 000 towards lighting the path through Musgrave Park which would otherwise be spent on footpaths and other park infrastructure throughout various parts of the Gabba Ward.
As many of you know, I have a comparatively small discretionary budget for footpath and park upgrades (around half a million dollars per year), which over the past few years we have allocated via a community voting process.
This financial year, a fair chunk of that budget will go towards the upgrade of the Carl St park in Buranda/Woolloongabba. There’s still a couple hundred thousand left to be allocated from this budget, and I am proposing to put some of this towards improved safety light in Musgrave Park.
Lighting ain't cheap
Park lighting is expensive, and isn’t something we would normally use the discretionary parks and footpaths budget for. Council officers have told me that to light the whole of Musgrave Park to current standards (in terms of lighting that is bright enough, weatherproof etc) would cost approximately $380 000. Just to light the footpath between Edmonstone St and Cordelia St would cost around $120 000.
Every year I write to the Lord Mayor and ask him to fund better lighting for Musgrave Park, and every year he fails to do so. I’m now at the point where I’m considering funding the lighting for the Edmonstone-Cordelia path out of my discretionary budget. This means that money which would otherwise be spent on footpath upgrades and other kinds of park infrastructure will be chewed up on lighting.
A note on Solar
For those who are interested, the council officers say they’ve investigated various solar light products, but they tell me that the battery storage options don’t quite meet their requirements in terms of reliability and maintenance costs. Unfortunately, I don’t have much control over what kinds of lights or contractors are used. All I can do is ask the council officers how much the project would cost, then decide whether or not to allocate the funding. I will, of course, continue to push for solar lighting if a feasible option is available.