CoRBA-Melbourne members care passionately about their public parks, gardens and open spaces and defend the rights of citizens to enjoy such amenity.
Whether formal gardens, parks or other public spaces as part of our heritage, as well as part of our entitlement as citizens of Melbourne, CoRBA members argue that the citizens of Melbourne are entitled to well maintained, drought-proofed, people centered public open space.
Several precincts in Melbourne suffer severe disadvantage in that they do not enjoy access to even the recommended minimum open space per person in Victoria. Further, within specific precincts in Melbourne, Council or State government have annexed or reduced portions of the open space available to citizens. Instead this scarce public environment has been incorporated into new private development on public housing estate land, into tunnel exhaust stacks, re-built public hospitals. Or it is annexed periodically for commercial exhibitions or sports events.
All of which reduces community amenity.
Examples of this community entitlement to open space may be found in Southbank, Carlton, East Melbourne etc. See the websites of member associations for details.
CoRBA recognizes that the community must be vigilant. Parks and open spaces are most vulnerable. Inner city land even if public land, has a commercial value and is consequently threatened. CoRBA notes with concern that Council recently re-vamped its approach to the management of our Parks and Gardens – without community consultation. Long-standing committees on which committed residents sat were disbanded at the instigation of the Council Administration.
An example of this is the disbanding of the Events Advisory Group (EAG). At the Future Melbourne Committee Meeting 10th June 2014, the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, spoke harshly of the EAG describing it as an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy which was doubly useless as it served as a forum for a whole lot of ne’er-do-wells. (that must be us, residents!)
As for the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) – another glaring example of Public Space for commercial use – staff at Town Hall and most Councillors refuse to discuss this event with the residents, hence the abandonment of the EAG planning meeting for this event. (see CoRBA & CRA’s submissions re. MIFGS)
The City of Melbourne Parks and Gardens Advisory Committee was established in 2009 and meets on a quarterly basis. The second Advisory committee was established in 2013 and the next will be in 2017.CoRBA members successfully lobbied to get community representation on this committee. Stuart Hamilton of the East Melbourne Group was our first representative. Corba has requested to be advised of the Expressions of Interest process in 2017 so it can circulate this to its members.
– 5 Technical Representatives (appointed by CoM senior management) being senior staff from the Royal Botanic Gardens, YMCA, Melbourne Water, Melbourne University (Landscape Architecture) and Parks Victoria .
– up to 8 community members appointed through an Expressions of Interest Process. The meetings are chaired by 2 Councillors. (See Terms of Reference P&G Advisory Committee)