Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Today's story

Pic Adam Trafford
Today's front page story, from here.

Rea Lands Park protest
The Advocate
24 May, 2011 02:06 PM

DAYLESFORD residents held a protest on Thursday morning against the sale of one of the last public parks in Daylesford.

More than 40 people attended the peaceful protest at Rea Lands Park, which was gifted to the Daylesford community in the 1980s by long-term resident Betty Rea for specific use as a community park.

Patrick Jones, who organised Thursday's protest, said he believed Hepburn Shire Council was selling the park so the site could be used for a civic centre.

"Rea Lands Park should be left as a park out of respect for Betty. Legally, the council can probably sell in, but morally they shouldn't," Mr Jones said.

"This park is a great picnic place, the local kids play in it and mothers' groups use it as a meeting place."

Mr Jones hopes to hold talks with the Hepburn Shire Council about the possibility of re-establishing the community food garden from its temporary site near the Daylesford Library to Rea Lands Park.

Hepburn Shire Mayor Rod May said while the council was sympathetic to the community food gardeners' concerns about the park, he said their protest on Thursday was premature.

"The council has said it would look at disposing of poorly-utilised assets and the Rea Lands Park comes under that category. But at the council meeting on Tuesday, the council said it would leave the door open to consider the park for the community gardeners," Cr May said.

"There will be ongoing negotiations to see if the council finds the community garden compatible with its own direction for greater sustainability within the shire."

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