West End Riverside Lands Park (known to most people as ‘Riverside Drive’) is one of the heaviest used parks in the inner-city, both as a transport corridor and as a space for active recreation and leisurely walks.
The pace of change in this part of West End has been rapid, but existing planning documents do not clearly identify how each part of this park should be used and developed.
As local councillor, I would like to see the rest of Riverside Drive closed off to vehicles, with some sections replanted densely to provide vegetated native habitat, and other areas upgraded with active recreation facilities, picnic nodes and better pathways.
Several years ago, the council drafted a masterplan for Riverside Drive, but this was never formalised, and the outdated draft no longer reflects the needs and priorities of the rapidly growing local community.
The absence of a masterplan causes conflict and confusion as different park users make competing improvement requests for various sections of the park.
A couple of the rowing clubs who lease sections of the park have proposed redevelopments which would significantly expand their footprint. The council is also making major changes as part of a project to remediate contaminated land. I would like to see the stretch of road between Jane St and Hockings St closed to vehicles, and vehicle access created from Hockings St directly to the boat ramp. But without a masterplan, haphazard and ad hoc changes may diminish the overall value of the park, exacerbating conflicts between different uses.
Before any major changes are made to the park, council should create a detailed masterplan. The masterplanning process should be genuinely consultative and democratic, offering a voice to the many different demographics who use the park, meeting the needs of both nearby neighbours and visitors from further away.
Everyone should get a say in how this park changes and evolves. If you agree, please sign this petition, and encourage your friends to do the same.