Midland residents ramping up efforts to save Midland Oval with request for special electors’ meeting


City of Swan residents Kaye Slater and Steve Howlett are two of many residents pushing to keep Midland Oval at the heart of the city’s planned redevelopment of the site. Picture: Supplied
City of Swan residents Kaye Slater and Steve Howlett are two of many residents pushing to keep Midland Oval at the heart of the city’s planned redevelopment of the site. Picture: Supplied

RESIDENTS are ramping up efforts to save Midland Oval from being redeveloped by lodging a request for a special electors’ meeting with the City of Swan.

Community Group (MDCG) spokesman Patrick Irwin said 144 signatures were lodged on February 6 by residents asking for more public consultation before the Midland Oval Masterplan (MORM) is finalised and works start.

The call follows a motion passed by council last month that acknowledged community consultation on the masterplan had not satisfied the community as they did not consider their views were listened to.

“The community was gagged,” Mr Irwin said.

“Our rates are being used to fund an expensive propaganda campaign against our own asset; against our Midland Oval.“The ‘one-way only’ so-called ‘consultation’ at our cost is used as an excuse to ignore the community, despite the hundreds of ratepayers voices raised at public meetings and thousands of signatures on petitions over more than 25 years, all saying consistently Save Midland Oval.”

Mr Irwin said the community continued to urge councillors to reconsider the oval’s redevelopment design in light of consistent community and business feedback asking to keep the green open space at the Midland Oval as a central park.

“The MORM block is about 11ha and our vision is to include a Midland Central Park comprising at least 2.7ha of green open parkland space with no road through it,” he said.

“The community will not be silenced, we’re not going away and this will become an election issue if council continues to ignore the opportunity to work with us on a design the community really wants.”

Resident Kaye Slater said her dad Keith Slater, a former Australian cricketer, was one of many sporting greats who had played on the oval.

“Keeping Midland Oval will give the town a sense of its place in history,” she said.

“I think if they could preserve the oval by turning it into a sculpture park, to celebrate its varied sporting history, that would be of great cultural benefit to the town of Midland.”

Midland MLA Michelle Roberts said a survey of homes in Midland, Woodbridge, Midvale and Viveash found the overwhelming majority of residents wanted to keep the oval.

“Nearly 90 per cent of respondents did not want roads put through the oval,” she said.“Even though development is clearly proceeding on Lot 4, the Avenue, which sits within the Midland Oval precinct, it doesn’t actually impact on the oval or the cycle track.“That development can proceed and the community can still get a new design that keeps the oval.“There’s still time for the council to do the right thing by the community.”

However, a City of Swan spokeswoman said extensive consultation was carried out by the City and the majority of community feedback had been in support of the MORM.

“Submissions received through consultation in 2015 indicated the majority of community members (about two thirds of the 59 submissions received) supported the then draft master plan,” she said.

“In adopting the initial master plan in 2015, council resolved to carry out further consultation on the design of these open spaces.

“Significant consultation was carried out in 2016 and feedback gained was heavily based around a desire for more green space and larger areas to ‘kick a ball’.

“Public open space now makes up 17.2 per cent of the amended Midland Oval Redevelopment Masterplan.”

The City said it was assessing the petition and if it meets all requirements as set out in the Local Government Act and would work to find an appropriate date for the meeting to be held.

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