Four years of broken promises in Kingston’s Green Wedge

Published on 30 September 2022

A number of large native trees growing in a reserve

The Victorian Government has failed to deliver the Sandbelt Open Space - Chain of Parks despite promising $25 million at the election four years ago.

Kingston Council calls on Environment Minister Lily D’Ambosio to take urgent action to live up to that promise before the 2022 November election now less than two months away.

Kingston Mayor Steve Staikos said Council and the community were delighted when the Andrews Government promised $25 million to purchase the remaining land for the long-awaited Chain of Parks on 5 November 2018.

“A re-elected Labor Government will deliver a 355-hectare chain of parks from Warrigal Road in Moorabbin to Braeside Park in Dingley Village, with walking and bike trails and adventure play areas for local kids.”

“Sadly, four years have passed, and we are yet to see what was promised to our community,” Cr Staikos said.

“Council has done its part to make the plan a reality by investing millions at Council-owned parks such as Spring Road Reserve in Dingley Village, Heatherton Park in Clayton South, Elder Street South Reserve in Clarinda and the soon to be opened Victory Road Reserve in Clayton South – now we need the State Government to do their bit.”

Karkarook Ward Councillor Hadi Saab said that instead of celebrating the Chain of Parks, the community has instead endured years of disappointments and setbacks.

“Instead of creating promised new parklands and protecting the Green Wedge for the community to enjoy, this government has instead extended a concrete crushing facility to remain operating in Kingston’s fragile Green Wedge for an extra decade to 2033,” Cr Saab said.

Council has also been eagerly awaiting the release of the Victorian Government’s “Planning for Melbourne's green wedges and agricultural land” policy to permanently protect the green wedges against overdevelopment. These planning system reforms are vital to strengthen controls to enhance and protect the Green Wedges as promised by the Andrews Government on 4 November 2018.

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will permanently tighten controls to better protect Melbourne’s green wedges against over development, with the protections enshrined in legislation.”

Chicquita Ward Councillor Tracey Davies also highlighted Council’s deep concerns about the future of the Delta Site, that was identified in the Victorian Planning Scheme as core Chain of Parks parkland in 1994, was reinforced in the Kingston Green Wedge plan in 2012 and included in the Chain of Parks Masterplan in 2020.

“On top of the other disappointments, the Government is also planning to take a key site identified for decades as part of the Chain of Parks and earmarked for a key regional sporting facility to use as a train stabling yard for the Suburban Rail Loop project,” Cr Davies said.

“It’s time for the Environment Minister to make good on the Chain of Parks promise and purchase the remaining sites to create the Chain of Parks once and for all. We’ve been talking and planning for decades but enough is enough, it’s time for action now,” she said.

 

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