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City reflects on early POS Strategy success

Published on Tuesday 5 September, 2017

Partridge Way Reserve completed

The City of Gosnells has completed the first stage of its innovative Public Open Space (POS) Strategy – a 30-year plan to provide quality, accessible parks and reserves.

Given the long-term focus of the Strategy and the sheer volume of projects, the City has condensed its work into five, six-year phases.

City of Gosnells Mayor Olwen Searle said the end of the first ‘implementation’ phase was a call for celebration.

“Over the past six years, the City has injected $33.9 million into the enhancement of public open space through 13 projects – this is a remarkable investment and highlights the City’s commitment to creating better and more user-friendly parks and open spaces.

“While the redevelopment of Mills Park in Beckenham is the most notable of all our POS Strategy achievements, there were many smaller park enhancements that equally improved the lives of our residents.”

During the 2011 – 2017 implementation phase, the City completed 13 park upgrades, disposed of five parcels of land to fund park enhancement projects and acquired eight lots to increase the size of park developments.

“Interestingly, a key aspect of the Strategy’s success has involved the sale of some land or reserves,” Mayor Searle added.

“These lots had previously been assessed as no longer providing a community function. Understandably, people have concerns when there is mention of selling off parks however the City’s identification of potential land disposals was not accidental.”

The City carefully considered factors such as the quality and number of nearby parks and how a better-designed park would meet the needs of more residents.

“A condition of these land sales is that all proceeds are channelled back into park enhancement projects within the suburb from which the land was sold.  Without this, the City could not generate enough revenue to develop all critical parks and the POS Strategy would not exist.

“It also means the City’s resources aren’t going into maintaining pockets of land that aren’t truly serving the surrounding community,” the Mayor said.

In the first implementation phase, the City raised $8.7 million from the sale of five parcels of land with 100 per cent of these proceeds directed back into enhancing neighbouring POS.

A document with full details of the completed park enhancements, as well as the land disposals and acquisitions and future plans is featured on the City’s website. To view and provide feedback, please visit the City’s website at www.gosnells.wa.gov.au/publicopenspace.

The next phase of work, from 2017 to 2023, includes a plan to revitalise a further 24 parks and open spaces across the City.

Among these projects is the multi-million dollar redevelopment of Robinson Park in Gosnells, where construction will begin in the coming months.

For more details about the POS Strategy, please call the City on 9397 3000 or visit the City’s website at www.gosnells.wa.gov.au/publicopenspace.