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BEAUMARIS SKATE BOARD CONCRETE RAMP

RESPONSE TO SKATEBOARD REPORT TO BAYSIDE COUNCIL MEETING 15 AUGUST 2005

CONCOURSE GREEN REPRIEVE: 
Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. is pleased that the Staff Report (Item 171 on the Agenda, Page 6) sensibly concedes the concrete ramp should not be at the Concourse Green passive recreation space given:
  • the petition of 1,140 signatures against it, and
  • its miserable 12% support in the survey.
SURVEY OF RESIDENTS:
The clear message that the Concourse Green was inappropriate was the only clear finding of the survey.
 
Neither of the more strongly backed sites had majority support. Of the residents surveyed an absolute majority of 53% preferred a site other than Balcombe Park. The survey should have used preferential voting, used for the last 85 years throughout Australia for making our public decisions, and not just crude first-past-the-post voting. In two Bayside wards the present councillors were elected despite each gaining neither a majority of the first preference votes nor even the highest number of first preference votes.
 
The two strongest contenders would have had equal support if just 2.9 per cent of residents had switched their vote from Balcombe Park to Beaumaris Reserve, yet the Report gives the margin of error in the survey as 3 per cent. The weaknesses in the survey, and the closeness of support for the two most popular sites should prompt Council to make the merits of those two sites the main factor in its choice.
 


Balcombe Park Site that Bayside Council report seeks for a Concrete Skateboard Ramp

IMPORTANCE OF AVOIDING A BALCOMBE PARK SITE:
Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. draws Council’s attention to its own published Management Plan for Balcombe Park. The existence of this significant document was not mentioned in the Survey material sent to residents. The Plan concentrates on the bushland areas of the Park – the very area where the skateboard report would remove 850 square metres of bushland (1 typical house lot) to place 240 square metres of concrete ramp there. The large numbers driving by at 60 kilometres per hour would notice that concrete scar, but the busy traffic would discourage them noticing much else, or reporting trouble if they noticed it. The less pressured Victor Street drivers, driving at only 50 kilometres per hour and with more local interest in the area, would be far more likely to notice trouble and to report it. The ramp report should not be acted upon until Council has received a Conservation Report on the site.
 
The opening Vision and Abstract of the Management Plan is prominently headed by the telling statement, Balcombe Park is a stable indigenous ecosystem characterized by a unique range of diverse species.”
 
Beaumaris Reserve is not primarily a bushland area like Balcombe Park. It is primarily a recreational and cultural area that includes the Library and the Memorial Hall, Art Group building, football ground and its pavilion, tennis courts and its clubhouse, and some 85 car spaces. The small area of Coastal Tea Trees at the Beaumaris Reserve site left by default, and bounded by the football ground, the tennis courts, the Art Group building and Victor Street, is in no way as large or significant as, or as viable as, the valuable cohesive bushland at Balcombe Park.

This response has been placed on the Web site of Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc.