Mosman Park: council to use zoo survey for first time to improve parks

Mosman Park parks and streetscapes manager Jackie Parker. Photo: Jon Bassett
Mosman Park parks and streetscapes manager Jackie Parker. Photo: Jon Bassett

MOSMAN Park Council will use a new method of surveying residents about parks and reserves, in what is an Australian first.

It is claimed the new method will save money, curtail political influence and help the community’s wishes be better understood.

“There is so much money wasted, and decisions can be made on a whim or what we perceive residents want,” parks and streetscapes manager Jackie Parker said.

Ms Parker uncovered Importance Performance Analysis, which uses statistics, while studying a Masters degree at Murdoch University.

She said it was most recently used to study the satisfaction of going to zoos and botanical gardens in Malaysia, and had previously been used in marketing.

In Mosman Park, the survey would ask people to rate from one to 10 how much they needed parks and their facilities, as well as how available and how well maintained they were.

“If you are a dog walker, the survey you fill out would say how important the park is for you, and how well it is working for you,” Ms Parker said.

Infrastructure people are asked about could include cricket nets, the condition of the turf, number of water taps, need for barbecues, or how frequently playgrounds and exercise equipment were used.

Ms Parker said when the answers to the three questions intersected the council would know there was something to address.

The method will not be used for the council’s proposed revamp of Mann and Davies ovals, and Nash Field, because planning was already underway.

Ms Parker said it could be used by other councils and other groups using local parks, to help manage the open-air assets, engineering costs and leases of council-owned properties.

The survey method may start being used after budget talks later this year.