Friends of Caulfield Park Budget Submission 2010
Each year, Glen Eira Council asks residents to contribute to the budget process by preparing and submitting suitable proposals. For each of the last 3 years FoCP has made specific funding requests for various projects to benefit users of Caulfield Park. This year, we have made a detailed submission concerning the future of the park. A summary is provided below. In the past, changes have seemed to be on an ad-hoc basis with little consultation. It is not suggested that such changes are negative, but we believe that they should conform to a known plan that is shared with the community. The recent improvements to the exercise equipment are a case in point. At a Planning Scheme meeting held at the pavilion on May 3rd we learned that while the council has policies on many things, it does not have a policy on the parks of the municipality. We believe that such a policy is very necessary in view of the importance of parks and their facilities to ratepayers and residents.
New Master Plan
The existing park plan is now a decade old and has not been followed by council. Provision for funding the development of a new Caulfield Park Master Plan should be made immediately.
We believe a more appropriate location should be found for the depot. Parkland in the City of Glen Eira is at a premium. The storage of heavy maintenance vehicles and other equipment on parkland is inappropriate. Caulfield Park is very heavily used – the land now occupied by the depot could be put to a more park friendly, recreational use.
The conservatory has been allowed to run down. It should be restored and rehabilitated as a conservatory for the enjoyment of the public and park users
The water tanks
The water tanks recently erected in Caulfield Park (at the north-eastern corner and in the depot) should be placed under-ground. Those in the northeast corner detract significantly from the visual appearance of the park.
The heritage western end
The condition of the western end has eroded over the years and this should be redressed as a matter of urgency. The western end is heritage listed, contains several valuable and rare trees and has considerable value for the local community.
Improvements required include: new tree planting at the southwest corner and other spots where several trees have been removed over the years; decent garden beds at the south west corner. Tree planting should reflect the diversity of the current plantings and should be in accordance with a plan developed in consultation with the community and a professional and independent arborist.
The south west corner
The south west corner which is the main and most prominent entrance to the park has lost several trees in recent years. It is currently quite degraded and new tree planting and landscaping is urgently required in this area. The garden bed at this point is totally run down and needs a comprehensive reworking.
The elm avenue
This is an important feature of the Park. Many of the trees are in poor shape. It is not clear what steps are being taken to maintain the trees and whether new trees are being established off-site so that, when required, aging trees can be replaced
The lake seems to get little maintenance and the bridges are in very poor repair. The eastern loop of the lake attracts a great deal of litter and is seldom cleaned. Notices about the bird and animal life would be very educational.
The surface of the western end of the park has deteriorated massively over the last two drought years. The flood-type water policy is welcome from the tree point of view but does little to improve a grass deficient surface.
The concrete amphitheatre is totally out of place and serves no purpose. Its removal is recommended in the original master plan.
Submission on the 2008-2009 Draft Annual Budget.
Endorsement of Budget Items
We applaud the allocation of $100,000 for drip irrigation for the heritage area of Caulfield Park.
We congratulate Council in responding to our suggestion by budgeting $375k to remove the Aviary in Caulfield Park and reinstate the area to public space in line with the Master Plan adopted by Council in 2001.
We are pleased to learn that there will be a major planting of trees throughout Caulfield Park.
Further Proposals for the 2008-2009 Annual Budget
$6,000 is set aside for flowerbeds in Caulfield Park. Is this amount adequate? We note that the beds abutting the entry to the park at Caulfield Junction are in a poor state. Are they a part of this flowerbed program?
Several trees have died recently in the heritage area. The range of species in this area is second only to the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. We suggest that there be an annual provision in each year’s budget to replace the specimens that have died or which may die in the future.
We suggest a provision be included to improve the Conservatory. It clearly needs a major renovation having been allowed to degenerate for some years.
The walking track around Caulfield Park is in a poor state with major puddling when it rains. We suggest that money be included in the budget to upgrade the path with new crushed rock.
We ask Council to consider including a budget to remove the unused, unwanted concrete ‘amphitheatre from the heritage area in line with the above mentioned Master Plan.
There is a plan to plant 600 street trees. This replicates the plan from the current year. Earlier this year, the Glen Eira Leader stated that street tree planting would be halved in 2007-2008 due to dry conditions, and that the extra trees would be planted in 2008-2009. We urge Council to plan to plant this year’s shortfall as stated, i.e. plant 900 trees this year.
Submitted on behalf of Friends of Caulfield Park.