Redevelopment of Robinson Reserve may be end of Osborne Park Show

Redevelopment of Robinson Reserve may be end of Osborne Park Show

THE redevelopment of Robinson Reserve may mean the end of the Osborne Park Show, according to Osborne Park Agricultural Society president Warren Bettridge.

The City of Stirling released the master plan for the Tuart Hill park last month for public comment, which features upgrades including additional shelters, barbecues and seating, a new path network and playground, replacement of fencing, additional car parking and facilities catering for skate and scooters, netball and basketball.

It also includes the demolition of “aged buildings” and Mr Bettridge said this would result in the society having nowhere to store items or hold exhibitions during the show.

He believed the current plan would make the show “impossible” to run beyond 2018 and instead wanted the City to refurbish the buildings.

“There’s nothing wrong with things being old,” he said.

“From our perspective it’s totally inadequate for our needs; we couldn’t go ahead.”

The society has been engaged in the consultation process regarding development of the site since 2008 but Mr Bettridge contends the proposed plan “was a complete and utter shock”.

The Finch Society of WA has been leasing one of the buildings from the society for 35 years for storage, running its quarterly auctions, open days and other events.

President Matt Creemers was concerned the group would no longer be able to use the facility and would have to find somewhere else central to accommodate its 200 members.

“Those facilities are pretty hard to find,” he said.

Community organisation Main Street Co-Op is generally supportive of the design but believed the 1.8m palisade fencing, a proposal introduced by Councillor Giovanni Italiano and backed by the council, was unnecessary.

“Overall the Robinson Reserve plan will achieve wonderful outcomes for the local community,” chairwoman Lisa Thornton said.

“We believe it would be beneficial to have better integration between the Robinson Reserve and the Osborne Park library/community centre by removing the fencing.

“This area creates opportunity for a nature playground and a small, informal piazza linking the key community uses of the Main Street district centre.

“(We) believe the 1.8m palisade fencing presents a visual barrier and that the City should explore an option that meets the needs of all stakeholders whilst not detracting from the visual environment of the area.”

Mr Bettridge believed the higher fencing was integral to running the show.

Acting community development director Chris Brereton said the City had met the agricultural society during development of the master plan, the consultation process and before its submission to the council.

“Once community consultation has closed, the City will review all submissions, including those regarding the provision of fencing, and will continue to consult with (the society) throughout this process,” he said.

“The City will make every effort to accommodate the society and Osborne Park Show as we would like to see this great community event continue.

Public comment closed yesterday.

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