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Thursday, 11 September 2003
Page: 19926

Mrs DRAPER (9:49 AM) —Local residents of Para Hills have good reason to think that some members of the Salisbury City Council are not acting in their best interests. Para Hills are a close-knit community which over the years have bonded together to provide much needed community facilities in a very cooperative and positive manner. They have in the past been supported by their local council representatives. However, two recent decisions by the Salisbury council have been to the detriment of the Para Hills community. The latest decision by council to sell a local park is clear evidence that some people on council are ignoring the wishes of the people they have been elected to serve. The Goodall Road Reserve is a densely populated part of the suburb and local residents have made their views clear: they do not want their park sold. According to the local Messenger:

Scores of Para Hills residents are angry their pleas to save Goodall Rd reserve from being sold-off were ignored.

... ... ...

St Clair Ave man Paul Chadwick last week told the NewsReviewMessenger he felt ignored.

“I wrote a letter. I know a number of people wrote letters. There was no response from council,” he said.

“I didn't even know they'd received my letter and I found that most offensive, that they did not even bother to respond.”

As their local federal member, I have written to all of the elected members of the Salisbury council and the CEO on behalf of the residents requesting that the decision to sell Goodall Road Reserve be immediately rescinded. In addition, I will be meeting with the local residents at the reserve this Saturday to further discuss the issue with them. I seek leave to table the correspondence.

Leave granted.

Mrs DRAPER —The decision to sell this local park in the face of clear opposition from residents is both short-sighted and unnecessary. The park is not large but is all that is left of what was a grass and tree open space area. With a little bit of tender loving care, including the addition of a park bench and a night light for security, the park at Goodall Road Reserve could become a well-used resting spot for the elderly walkers and the local children to play in after school. The mayor, Tony Zappia, has indicated that it may be appropriate for the council to review its land sale guidelines—and for the residents of Para Hills, I certainly hope that occurs. He has also stated that the council has the right to review the decisions it makes.

The other decision by council which has not served the Para Hills residents well was the decision to reject the offer by the federal government of funding for the television black spots program. In an extraordinary decision, which has left many Para Hills residents without good quality television reception, Salisbury City Council refused to cover the small annual maintenance costs associated with the infrastructure required to provide residents with improved reception. Even after I had personally offered to pay the annual maintenance bill, the Salisbury mayor and CEO maintained their refusal to accept my offer or the offer of the federal government. I know that local residents in Para Hills are angry and dismayed at the intransigence of the Salisbury council, which is clearly ignoring them. (Time expired)