Parks and Public Green Open Spaces
One of the most neglected and overlooked aspects of planning is the provision of public open spaces of various kinds.
Think about this ! There is a whole range of different types. the public want them for conserving the environment, for active and passive recreation, and for breathing space. But how do they get created ? Applications do not come to the DCA to be assessed. How does the public achieve new parks ?
In the case of the Mitchell Creek Catchment, the NTG. is so far is failing to act in accord with community expectation through the Palmerston East Area Plans which are an essential park of the NTPS. The NTG favoured private ownership over the regularising the shape of the Casuarina Coastal Reserve at Lee Point. In the CBD there has been massive apartment multi-storey development for the past ten years without one new public park being created. Such lack was pointed out in the CBD Forum. Darwin City Council says it has no money for new parks, or the development of places like the old Stella Maris as a local public facility. Even a tiny park at O'Ferrals Rock in Bayview has not been accepted by the Darwin City Council after the DCA approved it, perhaps ten years ago.
Big park initiatives have been the Old Hospital Site and Myilly Point which attracted consultants fees when the community could easily have done appropriate layouts. Both are still 'promises' on hold as too costly for present budgets which gives no priority to public parks. Both parks are too far away from the CBD for young women walking there with prams, to enjoy. Even Flagstaff Park, a separate historical location at the end of Myilly Point, sincerely promised, and delivered to Darwin families by former Chief Minister Clare Martin in 2001, and appropriately rezoned by Kon Vatskalis, stands abandoned, except for grass cutting. Even it is threatened by a proposed restaurant. Yes, we have Waterparks, but they usually need to be driven to. We need simple pocket parks within walking distance of home. They can be linked by walkways and bicycle parks.
In the suburbs, the Commonwealth Government era planned in natural green open spaces; and schools, and other community spaces with public ovals. Many of these are now fenced off from the public, without consultation, and others are seen a targets for the new densification. So 'WATCH THIS SPACE', and speak up locally, or you, and all of us, may lose it. Little Mindil is a big example of a public recreation area actually being lost.
So we must keep in mind to remember that green open spaces are a collective community asset. We must cherish and protect them actively. They are our ancient public right to own perpetually, and 'ARE NOT FOR SALE, OR TRADING.