Resident angered by lack of consultation about lights

Leslie Creighton says residents should have been consulted prior to the installation of floodlights at Riverlinks Park.  Picture: Emma Goodwin          www.communitypix.com.au   d435115
Leslie Creighton says residents should have been consulted prior to the installation of floodlights at Riverlinks Park. Picture: Emma Goodwin        www.communitypix.com.au d435115

Wanneroo City Council decided in September 2013 to upgrade Riverlinks Park after receiving an 85-signature petition that June requesting changerooms, toilets and floodlights.

The lights were installed in mid-March, but nearby resident Leslie Creighton said there should have been public consultation beforehand because he thought it was a �recreational park not a sporting oval�.

�There�s been no forward notice or canvassing of the residents around here,� he said.

�We have a right to know how they are going to be used, to what time they are going to be used.

�I�m not anti-sport but I think we should have been consulted.�

The City�s community development director Fiona Hodges said the park was an active reserve and therefore light installation was consistent with its purpose.

�A part of developing the City�s active reserves is to make provision for their planned use as sporting facilities and this is a very important aspect of meeting the demands of a rapidly growing population,� she said.

�This project has been promoted in the local community newspaper and the December 2014 edition of the City�s What�s Happening newsletter, which is delivered to all homes in the City.

�Information is also available in council meeting minutes on the City�s website wanneroo.wa.gov .au.�

Mr Creighton said it seemed clear there would be night-time use at the park.

�I don�t want streaming UV light coming through my window at 10 o�clock at night,� he said.

�It has a detrimental effect on the residents.

�The amenities around the area just do not suffice the amount of people that it might service.�

Mrs Hodges said that outside school use by Somerly Primary, Quinns Rocks Football Club had used the reserve since 2009, with current bookings from 4pm to 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

�It is expected the lights will be on during those bookings, with potential extra bookings being made by the club,� she said.

�As per the City�s facility hire and use policy, lights shall cease no later than 10pm or as approved by the manager of community programs and services.�

Mrs Hodges said a sports amenities building and carpark on the western side of the park, with access from Connolly Drive, would be finished in 2016-17.

�The car park will also be used by the school during school hours,� she said.

�Rangers and safety patrols will continue to visit the area as part of their routine patrols and they will also respond to any specific incidents.�

Mrs Hodges said any sporting groups could hire the park, including soccer, cricket, football (junior level only), little athletics and teeball.

She said the City had received one complaint about the floodlights, on March 17, and she had since called the resident to address their concerns.

�Feedback received from residents on completion of similar past projects shows that local residents tend to feel safer when walking around floodlit parks,� she said.

�The City will contact residents surrounding the park to discuss current usage of the park and the functioning of the lights shortly.�