MORE than 60 people attended a community picnic at Midland Oval at the weekend ) calling on the City of Swan to turf its plans to develop the ground into residential, commercial and retail space.
Greens MLC Tim Clifford, who organised the event, said the oval was bequeathed as a recreational reserve to the people of Midland more than 100 years ago and has since been used as a sporting facility, community open space and velodrome.
“Constituents have consistently come into his office to express their concern over development plans for the oval which will build over the top of Midland’s last remaining green space,” he said.
“The community has been campaigning against inappropriate development on the oval for over 25 years.
“The turn-out on Sunday shows that they haven’t given up.
“It’s time that the City put a stop to this development.
“Residents are angry that their rates are being spent on a development that doesn’t deliver, doesn’t make good business sense and doesn’t provide a healthy environment for the community.”
Midland resident Sue D’Alton said the oval held special memories for locals.
“I remember coming here as a child to watch bike races and visit my grandma who lived on The Crescent,” she said.
“This place is special to me and I don’t want to see it built up with more office and retail space that we don’t need.
“The council can keep its piazza and let us keep our public green spaces.”
In a stunt mirroring the oval’s official opening in 1901, Mr Clifford and Midland MLA Michelle Roberts planted a tree to mark the community’s desire to see the oval retained as public green space.
Mrs Roberts said the current plans need to be turfed.
“We need to have a heart of green in Midland, it’s what people want and they are very disappointed in the council’s plans,” she said.
The City of Swan has been contacted for comment.