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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12584

Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (09:49): I rise to speak today on the parks in Wattle Grove. Wattle Grove is a major growth area within my electorate and sits within the jurisdiction of the Shire of Kalamunda. As with any area, the residents want better access to parks, sporting grounds and play equipment for their children. This is important as without these facilities parents are forced to drive outside of their suburb for these amenities, and this can have a long-term damaging effect on the cohesion of a community. This is a topic that is regularly raised with me via phone calls, letters, emails and even doorknocking in Wattle Grove. When I am doorknocking, I encounter a number of people who are lonely. Parks and public open spaces often act as a community hub and provide an area for people to congregate and share experiences, which ultimately helps to combat loneliness. Having more parks and open spaces that appeal to people encourages people to take ownership and pride in their local community. This is often associated with lower rates of crime.

Five thousand additional people are predicted to move into the Wattle Grove area in the next five years. This demonstrates that the area is in urgent need of an upgrade of its open spaces. Areas in particular need include the Promenade and the Kalari Drive open spaces. The Shire of Kalamunda faces challenges when planning where to develop existing or build new recreation spaces. The arterial roads of Tonkin Highway, Berkshire Road and Welshpool Road East all need to be taken into consideration when looking at access to open and public spaces. Cell 9, as it is known, is bounded by Welshpool Road and the Tonkin and Roe highways, and will reach a critical mass of 6,000 people in the future. These citizens will need access to adequate parks and open spaces.

I am committed to working towards the upgrade and development of more public open spaces and local parks in the community of Wattle Grove so that the residents have access to parks that are on a par with the areas that surround them. Suburbs that have open spaces, parklands and recreational areas which communities can enjoy provide a richness of opportunity for people to engage and interact. I also believe that communities are well served if they have those types of facilities. They provide a cohesiveness that is important to the way in which any community operates within a given area. The challenge always for local governments, state governments and the Commonwealth government is their commitment to the resources required to provide that along with any further development.