HYDE PARK’S surrounding residents have come to the defence of the park’s grass, saying it’s disappearing under an onslaught of gravel and ivy.
At Vincent council’s February 9 AGM of electors, resident Ron Alexander estimated there was “700 per cent more gravel in Hyde Park” compared to five years ago.
Paul Kotsoglo says the council’s parks team kept the gravel paths clean with leafblowers, but the swirling leaves and dust ended up in their homes.
Mr Kotsoglo said runoff from the gravel wasn’t good for water quality in Hyde’s lakes, while the remaining “diminishing areas of grass” were struggling to cope with overuse.
The ivy ground cover is also unpopular, acting as a habitat for rats and hiding place for dog poo.
Resident Brian Easton agreed with a motion to create a new Hyde Park masterplan and working group, “to stop the changing complexion of what we are starting to call ‘Gravel Park’”.
Former mayor Nick Catania backed their calls. In his time as mayor he said the council secured millions in government funding “to ensure that Hyde Park remained the jewel in the crown of Vincent” via extensive restoration works.
“To see it fall to rack and ruin … is a shame, because a lot of money has been spent,” he said, including private money with the North Perth Community Bank (which he chaired) putting in $50,000 to help secure the government funding.
Mr Alexander said “not for a moment do I presume this council isn’t keen on Hyde Park and hasn’t been doing its best,” but current works needed more oversight.
“I think there’s been too much delegation,” Mr Easton said, and Mr Kotsoglo queried “when were the changes that are currently being undertaken ever approved by council?”
The unanimously-supported motion to cease the gravel and ivy spread and bring in experts for a new Hyde Park masterplan will go to councillors for consideration in March.
by DAVID BELL