Kensington: residents sound fears for Harold Rossiter Reserve hockey plans

Local residents, Kate McNally, Narelle Douglas, Julie Bain, Frank
Local residents, Kate McNally, Narelle Douglas, Julie Bain, Frank "Chipper" Day, Cath Ryan and Helen Raw. A proposal to build a synthetic turf hockey facility is being proposed at Harold Rossiter Reserve. A group of residents have formed the Harold Rossiter Reserve Community Action Group to campaign against the proposal.

A GROUP of residents have come together in the face of a proposal that they believe threatens the open space of Harold Rossiter Reserve.

A business case for a synthetic turf hockey facility was intended to be discussed at the Town of Victoria Park’s council meeting on June 13 but was deferred to next month in the face of a series of questions from the community.

One of the ideas being floated is to build the facility at Harold Rossiter Reserve and move the Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club (VPXHC) from its current home of Fletcher Park, where it cannot build the facility because it shares it with the Perth Cricket Club.

The Harold Rossiter Reserve Community Action Group has been formed following concerns that the public has not been informed about the project.

Group member East Victoria Park resident Narelle Douglas said her major concern was about the nearby Kensington bushland and the significant environmental impacts she believed the development could have as black cockatoos that roosted there.

“The impact would be more traffic, noise, night-time light and litter,” she said.

“I’m concerned about this fragile environmental area listed as an endangered ecological community by the Federal Government.

“In the council’s own documents it lists community outrage as a high risk and it appears they haven’t talked to any residents.

“We would like the council to investigate other areas for the proposal and to consult the public before anything more is done.”

Town of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said there was no proposal at this stage.

“There is simply a business case that examines whether it is practical or not for Harold Rossiter Reserve to accommodate the Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club,” he said.

“The club approached the council on many occasions over the years to look at relocating and upgrading their facilities.

“The club specifically asked to strongly consider relocating them to Harold Rossiter Reserve.”

To be best informed the Town commissioned a business case identifying the pros and cons of this. Cr Vaughan said based on this work, the council’s community development committee had recommended that alternative locations now be explored.

“I believe the community |development committee is discussing it further before the matter is referred to the July council meeting,” he said.

“If and when the council decides on a preferred location for the Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club, wherever that may be, a project plan will be developed which will include community engagement.”

Suit-all solution sought

VICTORIA Park Xavier Hockey Club president Ryan Willis wants to work with the residents to come to solution that suits everyone.

“Harold Rossiter |Reserve is our preferred location. At the moment we are sharing with Perth Cricket Club who have two of the best wickets outside of the WACA” he said.

“This is something we have been looking at for more than 10 years. There have been studies since 2003.

“In the last four or five years we have been working with the council and Harold Rossiter Reserve is the only |viable option in the Town of Victoria Park.”

Mr Willis said it was not about “kicking off” other people from the reserve but working and co-locating with them.

“We understand there are some environmental issues but it’s not something that we have shied away from,” he said.

“I’m not sure if everyone has the full picture yet. Some of the views are based on ill-informed information.

MORE: Uber driver charged with indecently assaulting female passenger

MORE: Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard declares intention to stand for re-election

MORE: Teen left with broken wrist following dangerous brick attack in Mandurah

MORE: Police lay charges after residential fire in East Victoria Park