Leading the way

TWELVE diverse community-driven projects have been given the green light by Vincent council.

A spruced-up dog park in Highgate and a mountain bike track in Mount Hawthorn are just some of the fun projects that have been approved for funding.

It’s the third year the city has run an open budget program, letting locals pitch ideas on how to spend council money.

About 1 per cent of the city’s $340,000 rates revenue will go towards the projects this financial year, with others having money pencilled in for future budgets.

A $25,000 upgrade to Jack Marks dog park is one of the projects that has been approved.

Currently there’s just a couple of old bench seats there, so local pooch owner Joshua O’Keefe submitted a petition on behalf of the tight-knit dogwalking community that gathers there every afternoon.

• Joshua O’Keefe (right) with the Jack Marks Dog Park community. Photo by Steve Grant

“[The benches] under-cater for the needs of the park users given that sitting on the grass is quite unhygienic for obvious reasons (dog pee and poo)”, Mr O’Keefe said. They’ve asked for more sociable, semi-circular-seating and new paving to liven it up a little.

He says it’s a simple improvement that will help the area become a community hub.

Mr O’Keefe notes that “in a world which is incredibly ‘plugged in’, it’s hard to find a place in an urban setting where people can be bothered to look up from their phones and talk to one another. Actual strangers, talking. Jack Marks dog park is one of those places”.

“The park has transformed itself from simply a corner park into a social hub of activity attracting not only local residents and their fur children but those from afar who – as a bonus – also get to experience the Vincent offering of nearby Beaufort Street and the Mount Lawley town centre when they visit the city.”

Seven ideas were approved in full and five had parts of their proposal supported.

Council also gave the preliminary thumbs up to a plan to install a mountain bike track on the green space on the west side of Britannia Reserve.  It’ll be a little while in the making – the $150,000 is tentatively scheduled for the 2020/21 budget – and it’ll be subject to it fitting into the long-awaited Britannia Reserve masterplan.

by DAVID BELL

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