WITH exciting plans underway to invest into Casino’s premier parks and playgrounds, and the need to secure funding for those plans, Richmond Valley Council is seeking community input on the reclassification of five small parcels of land identified as under-utilised by the community.
The parks listed for potential reclassification and sale are RSM Park, Dan Phelan Park, Sunnyside Park, Melaleuca Park, and Russell Park.
Richmond Valley Council General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said Council had undertaken substantial investment into the Valley’s parks and public spaces in recent years.
“With the support of a number of successful grant applications, Council has carried out significant upgrades and renewals of Colley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and the Casino Drill Hall precinct in Casino, as well as Coraki Memorial Park, Stan Payne Oval, Woodburn Riverside Park, and Broadwater Memorial Park in the Mid Richmond,” Mr Macdonald said.
“Alongside this, Council has been successful with grant funding from the NSW Government which has enabled investment in a shared pathway network in Casino which allows residents to ride and walk across town, for better access to our major parks and reserves.
“With a view to securing funds for further upgrades of feature parks in Casino, which are highly utilised by residents for sports and recreation, play and picnicking, Council is now undertaking public consultation on the possibility of reclassifying these five smaller parks for potential sale.”
Mr Macdonald said the five parks were originally identified as surplus to requirements in a review of facility needs, which looked at the level of community usage of parks and other community facilities across the Richmond Valley.
He said with exciting plans to modernise and upgrade local parks and facilities used more intensively by the community, it was responsible for Council to prioritise its finite resources and, where possible, reduce expenditure on under-utilised parks.
“Council currently manages approximately 351 hectares of green space across the Valley, which includes sporting fields, parks, playgrounds, streetscapes and environmental reserves,” Mr Macdonald said.
“If the reclassification and disposal of these five sites proceeds, Council has estimated a reduction in annual maintenance costs of around $11,000.
“The proceeds from any land sales and maintenance cost savings would be invested into upgrades and embellishment of better utilised community parks within Casino, such as Crawford Square in South Casino, which is being upgraded in line with the approved master plan.”
Mr Macdonald said there was also a high demand for new residential land in Casino, and these areas could be part of the solution, along with potential new land releases which were working their way through the planning process.
“Some may be surprised to know that future availability of residential land in Casino is limited, due to the low-lying areas surrounding much of the current urban space of Casino,” he said.
“Where possible, Council would like to provide opportunities for new housing within the urban area; this allows for efficient use of existing Council services, such as roads, water and sewer services.
“It is also an important to recognise that part of growing the Richmond Valley economy means creating more opportunities for people to call Casino their home.
“New land releases rely on the owners of the land identified in Council’s residential land release strategies to get on with the job and invest in our future; if they don’t we have a responsibility to look at other options.”
Mr Macdonald said Council was committed to undertaking proper community consultation before any decision was made.
“There are multiple steps along the way to ensure the community has its voice heard, including two phases of community consultation for 28 days and a public hearing to be chaired by an independent person,” he said.
Council encourages anyone to make a public submission via one of the following methods:
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fill out a Make a Submission form on this website here.
- By post—Locked Bag 10 CASINO NSW 2470
- By delivery to a Council Administration Centre—Casino or Evans Head.