Friday, July 18, 2008

North Melbourne joins tunnel fight to save park

You read it here FIRST! Carna Roos! (And I don't even barrack for them, but I do support them, on this).

NORTH Melbourne Football Club has weighed into the transport debate, standing up for a local park that would be lost if an 18km road tunnel was built under Melbourne.

In its submission in response to transport expert Sir Rod Eddington's report, the Kangaroos raised concerns about a lack of facilities for local junior sports if Kensington's JJ Holland Park was s wallowed up by the tunnel's construction.

Chief executive officer Eugene Arocca told the Herald Sun yesterday the club's future was inherently tied to its links with local sporting groups that use JJ Holland Park.

"We think this club for too long has neglected its heartland and we want to make a fist of it," he said.

"And Holland Park, historically and traditionally, is very critical to this area."

Mr Arocca said the club was lobbying the AFL to hold its annual community camp at the park, just 1km from its home ground, to boost its profile.

"That's how far behind we believe we've been in dealing with our under-resourced area," he said.

"To give an example of how seriously we consider our links to this local community so important to our survival, we've suggested probably for the very first time, an AFL club wanting to do a community camp 1km from its home base, rather than the usual 400km.

"Whether the AFL accepts that is another issue because the whole idea is to grow the brand and get the football club on the road, but we say that this club has not had that contact locally."

He said Melbourne City Council had failed to reassure locals that the Kensington Flemington Junior Sports Club could be relocated if the park was used as a starting point for the tunnel.

Member for Melbourne Bronwyn Pike said in her submission that she would fight for the rights of her constituents if the Government gave the green light to the $9 billion road tunnel.

But the Minister for Education yesterday refused to say whether or not she supported construction of the tunnel, despite fierce opposition in her electorate.

Premier John Brumby refused to comment on Ms Pike's submission, but said he would canvass the views of the caucus in coming weeks. "There'll be a number of individual meetings with caucus members," he said.

He said the transport committee was currently meeting twice weekly to set a clear direction in response to the report and the state's transport woes.

Four federal Labor MPs -- Deputy PM Julia Gillard, Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten, Health Minister Nicola Roxon and Employment Participation Minister Brendan O'Connor, all representing the western suburbs -- have backed the report's recommendations.

But in an embarrassment for Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky, her former senior adviser has called for underpasses or overpasses to be built at all Melbourne's level crossings. Raoul Wainwright, until recently Ms Kosky's chief adviser on level crossing issues, made a submission as secretary of the ALP's Braybrook branch.

It said all three levels of government should develop a program to remove the city's level crossings.

- Geraldine Mitchell, Ashley Gardiner and Nick Higginbottom

Read the original article here -,,24036994-2862,00.html


ChrisS said...

Footy died for me in 1996, although the Shinboners might get this bitter old Royboys fan back into the fold!

Juz said...

I'm a Tigers fan but joined the Roos as a member early this year. Partly out of support coz I didn't want to see them go to the Gold coast, and partly coz I reckon its ace to have an AFL footy team who care about the grassroots located on a few good torpedo punts from my house. Now, with their support on Holland Park, I'm even more happy with the Rooboys :)