Willetton residents on mission to save parkland from development

Resident trying to save Willetton’s Hilltop Park from development Rosita Valladares and Trevor Dreyer (front), Cr Lindsay Holland (right) with Russell Marks and Cr David Brown (rear) with Phoebe Dreyer and other locals residents.
Resident trying to save Willetton’s Hilltop Park from development Rosita Valladares and Trevor Dreyer (front), Cr Lindsay Holland (right) with Russell Marks and Cr David Brown (rear) with Phoebe Dreyer and other locals residents.

WILLETTON residents are on a mission to save precious parkland used by decades of young children growing up near Hilltop Park.

In April, City of Canning council voted to support development of a large portion of the park into three housing lots subject to community consultation.

Councillors were split on the issue and Mayor Paul Ng used his casting vote to carry the motion.

Since then residents have rallied to save the park and have petitioned council to reverse its decision.

Spokesperson for the residents Rosita Valladares has lived adjacent to the park for 40 years and remembers when the first set of children’s play equipment was installed at the site.

“On behalf of residents we are aghast about the proposal because we all bought our blocks because of this beautiful spot,” she said.

“The back of the park is bush; it is lovely and so rare in developed areas. The kids go in and explore. I hear kids laughter from my home.”

Miss Valladares said the park was also used by red-tailed black cockatoos and other native birds.

She said 33 people signed a petition against the park development proposal.

“We petitioned residents on Delwood Place and Hilltop Rise and 90 per cent don’t want the proposal to go ahead,” Miss Valladares said.

Earlier this month, 25 local residents met with Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland and councillor David Brown, who voted against the City recommendation.

Cr Brown said if the proposal went ahead the playground would remain but a 5m-wide driveway would be built next to where children accessed the park.

“It will effect the native vegetation and any animals and bird that frequent the area as well as all the people who enjoy using the park,” he said.

Cr Holland said the park should be upgraded and left for locals to enjoy.

“I am dead against selling public open space especially to fund maintenance that should be provided for in the normal budgetary process of the council,” he said.

“The urban heat effect in Canning is one of the worst in the state and we are trying to rectify that. The whole council was unanimous with the tree canopy policy and now they are trying to get rid of this.

“It is a well-used and well-loved park and once you get rid of it can’t come back. We are gong to fight to keep it.”

MORE: Mirrabooka dog killer pleads guilty, avoids jail time