Submission to Inquiry into Environmental Infrastructure for Growing Populations

The submission has been split into two key areas: 1. Active and passive recreation (structured and unstructured) and 2. Urban green infrastructure. It is clear that there is considerable pressure on open space, with demand for structured and unstructured recreation as well as passive uses all increasing and all able to demonstrate significant community benefits. It is also clear that many local government areas do not have the capacity to meet this demand. Liveability is about creating and beautifying urban centres that are attractive for people, support economic factors, and improve the health and wellbeing of our community. ^aEURc Canopy cover targets mandated ^aEURc Protection and enhancement of significant vegetation ^aEURc Implement Urban Green Infrastructure manual to inform infrastructure projects (Local, State and Federal Government Projects), and also planning guidelines for the same to incorporated into private developments ^aEURc Enhanced integrated ‘blue/green’ infrastructure projects to mitigate the risk of flooding, re-use and treat stormwater run-off and enhance our waterways, rivers and coasts that support the tourism economy. ^aEURc Create connected green corridors that support our rich biodiversity, but also caters for active transport which removes the reliance away from motor vehicles. Ensure as much open space as possible is made available to the public, while giving careful consideration to development planning. This includes funding acquisition of land to meet increasing population numbers or ‘opening up’ current land and facilities
to use them more intensively (particularly in the case of established municipalities). It is important that local governments aim to provide a range of activity types, challenges, opportunities and diversity across the public open spaces. Parks and public open spaces generally have their own unique character and charm. With good design and commitment to ensuring that the local character and environment is protected and enhanced (e.g. trees, vegetation types, view lines, etc) our public open spaces will continue to be valued and respected by the public. With backyards becoming smaller and some not wanting the ongoing maintenance of their own backyard, public parks are being seen as the new ‘backyard space. While a sense of ownership and pride of public spaces can be of value, the need for sharing spaces with all members of the public may prove to be a challenge for some residents. Strategic planning and design for parkland upgrades and improvements needs to be viewed from a holistic perspective where the broader context of ‘the community’ can gain improved value from use of the public open space. It is also worth noting that on occasion not developing a space can be of greater value, e.g. leaving it open with a sense of freedom, respite and relaxation can also assist the mental well-being aspect of enjoying public open spaces.



Geographic Coverage



Parks and Leisure Australia, Victoria Tasmania Region