Churton Park Community Consultation Clarified

13 April 2010

The Churton Park community can be assured that consultation about future facilities for the community will be open and fair.

Ngaire Best, Council's Social Portfolio leader, says she wants to make the Council's proposals for Churton Park clear.

"Last year we sold some reserve land for the new school in Churton Park and received $812,500 from that sale, and there is a proposal in the 2010/11 draft Annual Plan to use those funds for indoor or outdoor recreation and/or community facilities," she says.

"Over the past 12 months we have been developing a city-wide Community Facilities Policy, which is currently in draft form and out for consultation, within it we have an additional sum of $845,000 to develop community space in Churton Park in 2012/13.

"So to clarify, we are consulting on spending $845,000 in Churton Park for community facilities and an additional $812,500 for community and/or recreation facilities for Churton Park which may be used for additional facilities at the new school, additional community space or further develop the existing parks and reserves.

"Council does not have set ideas about the form any new Churton Park community space might take and wants to hear what the community would like."

The consultation process that has been set up to engage the community is three-pronged. First, there will be a general consultation document and public meetings, including one to be held at the Johnsonville Library on 21 April at 7.00pm and community members can have their say by making a submission on the draft Community Facilities Policy and Implementation Plan or through the draft Annual Plan.

Secondly, the Council has run five focus groups to explore groups' views in depth. Those groups comprised young people, at-home mums, local commuters and three Asian language groups - the group format has been chosen to reflect the suburb's population make up.

Thirdly, the Council has commissioned a telephone survey of local people to further explore their views.  The survey is being run by an independent survey company and 300 residents have been randomly selected to get a fair result and representative view of all local residents.

"We will not rush into any decision," said Councillor Best. "Churton Park is an important, rapidly growing suburb and the Council believes it is best to proceed cautiously and make the best possible decision for the future."

 She suggests that when people in Churton Park are thinking about future facilities and services for their suburb they should keep in mind that there is a new neighbourhood commercial centre planned for Churton Park, planning for a new primary school is well underway, along with plans to expand the Keith Spry Pool. As well, the Council is considering relocating and expanding the Johnsonville Library to meet the needs of the wider community.

"I encourage you all to participate in the consultation, get involved come along to the public meeting and submit to the draft Community Facilities Policy and Implementation Plan, tell us what you want for your suburb," she says.