McConnell Reserve Marino
Preserve All of McConnell Reserve
for All our futures
Eastern Upgrade Plans Released 20 April
Following on from resident consultation which occurred from 12 November to 11 December 2020.Council has completed the final concept plans for the $217,000 upgrade of McConnell Avenue Reserve East. They have incorporated community feedback received during a recent consultation and over many years into the final designs. Work is scheduled to start in August this year.
The concept design can be viewed in the flyer and includes:
• A single tennis court and separate basketball and netball ring.
• Loop path for scooter and bike riding.
• Irrigated flat lawn area for community picnics, junior kickabout and passive recreational activities.
• Additional native plantings to attract wildlife.
• A drink fountain and bike repair station will be added.
• Additional seating.
• Retention of appropriate native plants and trees and mulching their surroundings.
• New irrigation will be installed and the existing lawn area will be re seeded.
We feel the plans do reflect well the feedback on the western side and will enhance this reserve for all.
We will however still continue to lobby Council on the future of the western portion...see below
Neighbour Day event Sunday 28 March
As part of Neighbour Day 2021 residents come together to embrace McConnell Reserve
Following a successful campaign to save both parts of McConnell Reserve, over 80 residents came together on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at McConnell Reserve to enjoy this special sense of place. Our community enjoyed games and activities including free face painting by the very talented Sun Park from Rainbow Box, who did not stop until the light faded. The crowd was entertained right up until the sun was setting by Forte, a talented local folk/rock musician who played and sang originals and cover songs. Full marks to one enterprising young local selling his toys from an impromptu stall.
Go here for more details
McConnell Reserve - A Stay of Execution!
The significant efforts by the Marino residents and 5049 coastal community have led to a reasonably positive outcome with the proposed decision on the revocation (sale) of the western part of McConnell Reserve being postponed until 2022. This was decided at a Council meeting on 27 January, extract minutes here:
"Retains the western portion of McConnell Avenue Reserve whilst undertaking a revised evaluation of the facilities and upgrades at the reserve as a whole, commencing in the months following the completion of the budgeted upgrade works on the eastern portion of the reserve, which are scheduled to be completed before Christmas 2021."
We are very grateful to the 900 written petitioners, the approximately 1000 online petitioners, and the 34 people who wrote submissions to Marion Council opposing the sale. And especially to the volunteers from The Friends of McConnell Reserve and the 5049 Coastal Community Association, who worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome.
We will continue to consult and collaborate with Marion Council to seek a reclassification of the entirety of McConnell Reserve to a Neighbourhood Level reserve, given its significance to the wider community. Through this process we hope Council will review their approach to this reserve and engage further with the community on the potential for an integrated design for the east and west side. We believe this approach will ensure the long term future of the whole reserve for the wider and growing community.
See messenger article here
This is a COVID safe event so please register its free
McConnell Reserve gets your support
- To all who signed the petitions, we have nearly 1000 online and 900 paper signatures from our whole 5049 area ( see map of Marino only petitioners)
- To all those 70 who went on line or made a submission on both east and west by close of consultation ( some examples are on our website and full details are in the Councils report see below)
- To all those that made time to attend the zoom information sessions.
- To all the volunteers who are working hard on the campaign...not over yet
- To Nicolle Flint and David Speirs for their continued support
The campaign has continue through Christmas and New Year. The matter goes to the Council meeting 27 January 2021 6,30 pm when a report and recommendation will be made to Council see here It would appear that retention is now an option that will be debated on the night. Both the Friends of McConnell - Travis Smith and the Association David Cruikshank-Boyd , will make a deputation at that meeting. Please attend and show your support.
Council Chamber, Council Administration Centre 245 Sturt Road, Sturt Wednesday, 27 January 2021 at 06:30 PM
We are planning a joint community event in February at McConnell...more to follow.
See our submission on West here and East here
Here are some sample submissions shared here with permission:
Friends of McConnell
Here are the results from the petition as at 18 Dec:
Online petition comments
Needless to say the overall feeling is one of disappointment that we are having to campaign to save this community land for the 3rd time!
We are working hard with The Friends of McConnell Reserve and the community to broker a better outcome on this matter and support a more rigorous engagement with the wider community on the future the whole of this important reserve, beyond a local asset
Our Joint position:
- We campaigned successfully in 2017 to save the Western Side with a commitment from the City of Marion to:
- Despite many attempts to engage with Council on the future of the whole Reserve nothing, until now!
- Out of the blue, Council have gone back on their promise and now plan a modest upgrade to the Eastern side whilst preparing to sell off the Western Side straight away!
- This by any measure, is very short sighted, given the lack of accessible level open space in our area, the changing demographics , increased density and population in the next 10 years.....Go check it out!
- As we all know “ when it’s gone it’s gone”
The Friends of McConnell ( FoMcC) have a petition running both paper and online please show your support and sign the petition. Note the donation request is optional and goes to change.org not our campaign.
Provide feedback or offers of help to FoMcC Email firstname.lastname@example.org cc email@example.com
How can you help now:
- # visit McConnell Ave Reserve Marino and see for yourself how special it could be)
- #sign the paper or online petition
- #get people to sign the petition
- #tell your friends
- #Lobby your local Council and elected members see details here
- #attend the key Council meeting 27 January
ABC Radio Interview
Hear 5049 Coastal Community President, David Bagshaw on the ABC radio Friday 11 December. Listen to the interview with David Bevan radio here (interview commences at approx. 35'.23" and concludes at 46'00).
Making a Submission to Council post Consultation
It is of course up to the individual to make their own decision, however the Association and the Friends of McConnell along with many in the community are strongly opposed to the sale. In making your submission in your own words take the following into account and use the following resources below.
- This should be more than a local reserve and have facilities of a destination neighbourhood reserve
- Lack of easily accessible level open level space in Marino in comparison to other suburbs
- Reserve has been neglected by Council over the last 20 years no wonder it looks redundant
- Support the Friends of McConnell reserve proposal for renovation of whole of McConnell reserve ( East & West).
- Importance of open space for environmental sustainability
- Future population growth will lead to the need for more reserves’ not less
- Willingness to participate in the next stage of the design process for the whole reserve
- Share your personal experience and memories of the Reserve and your ideas
Go here to see FoMcC Key issues document
Go here to see messenger article
Go here to see printable flyer/poster
Here is the links to City of Marion -making Marion website for updates by Council
Read on for historic background on this issue :
Over three years ago the Council attempted to sell the Reserve and eventually after the persistent efforts of the local community and Marino Residents Residents Association [now 5049 Coastal Community Association] an agreement was reached by Council in Sept 2017 to ....“Retain the western portion of the reserve subject to developing the Eastern portion and then reviewing the whole”. It was understood that community consultation would be held on the designs for the eastern side and potential integration of the western side as part of that commitment. To date none of this has happened. The Friends of McConnell and the Association have on many occasions tried to engage with Council on the process, maintenance and early activation of the reserve in the interim, to no avail.
- The Council’s record is quite clear on the 2017 resolution “ Sept 2017 to ....“Retain the western portion of the reserve subject to developing the Eastern portion and then reviewing the whole”. We see no evidence in the 2020 resolution to reflect that hence our assertion that the council have reneged.
- At the time Councilor Tim Gard was on record in our newsletter "Following further talks with residents of Marino, I changed my view and I’ve managed to successfully move at Council, at least a temporary retention of the western part of the McConnell Avenue Reserve. My thinking evolved to progressing with improvement of the eastern portion of the Reserve before assessing the future of the western side.”
- !3 October 2020 Marion Council has overturned the commitment made in 2017 and wants to sell off the western side, while promising to update the Eastern side. see link
- So how has that promise been kept as the stepped process referred to above is now not going to happen. Instead the 2 processes will run in parallel one over a 4 week period, unlinked? There is no opportunity to assess the impact of a refurbished eastern side on demand if the western portion is sold off before that can happen?
- The matter of McConnell has been on our agenda in our Liaison meeting for 3 years and we have consistently clung to the above resolution and seeking council to act on that promise. To no avail.
- The Friends of McConnell have repeatedly approached council for support in maintaining and activating the reserve as a whole to no avail. Again a minimum consultation period is given on a matter with a business as usual approach to “inform and listen” without real engagement or participation in the briefing and design process, with a community that has clearly demonstrated a willingness to collaborate and partner with Council on a solution.
- Council has had 3 years to respond to the community who invested significant time and professionalism into their campaign to save McConnell. The community made their position and views quite clear and Council have once again not respected that effort or honoured the commitment they made in 2017 with more that business as usual approach for something so important.
- There was no prior warning of the recent motion not even from Administration
- We were also open to discuss the best strategic placement of the multipurpose court within Marino as it would appear that only 1 is envisaged...however this was dismissed.
- The Consultation is very restricted. Whilst the Covid restrictions are understood the hours given for the drop in ( 4-6pm) preclude many of the impacted residents who are working families.
This Reserve has provided a place for families to get together, to play tennis, netball, practice basketball skills, learn to ride a bike, skates or scooters, kick or throw a ball or just hang out with friends; particularly during Covid 19. Cyclists who ride up to this flat area every morning and those who walk or jog near here would like to be able to use the potential drinking fountain, all weather courts and the toilets which other reserves provide for their visitors,
The Association will support the Friends group to again save the whole reserve as a community asset
Back to the Future - dejavu
Not much has changed........it all sounds familiar and relevant to today.????
A successful campaign by the Friends of McConnell Reserve (FoMcC ) was Led by Travis Smith, deputation to Marion , supported by the the Marino Residents Association (5049 CC ) submission following a public meeting. It is of note that at the time both David Speirs and Nicolle Flint were supportive of this position.
We also appreciate what our Council and local Councilors have championed on our behalf in the suburb of Marino; as we play catch up, under the fairness and equity mantra, in our somewhat neglected, yet deserving suburb. We continue to enjoy the collaboration on matters of mutual interest and appreciate Council’s attention to our causes and are keen to advocate for good decision- making and governance.
On this occasion, however, we choose to differ with the City of Marion. This proposal before the community doesn't align with community’s views. The current consultation process about the proposal to sell off the western side of McConnell Reserve is based on, to quote from the letter regarding the decision… “it serves no useful purpose” and its disposal will “not have any significant effect on the community” . We believe this significant decision will impact on the community and whilst it might not appear to serve a useful purpose now, it is only through a belief by many, that this part of the reserve is private land and because the Council has failed to maintain or invest in the western side of McConnell reserve it has become less and less appealing and underutilised. It is the view of the MRA and the local community, that with appropriate improvements, this land will be significantly more attractive and used much more frequently in the future. Let’s change the focus. Such a significant decision requires a robust
conversation and needs to take onboard an alternative view of this space as more than just a local facility.
On 26th September Council resolved to defer the sale pending development of the eastern side in consultation with the community and test the demand before considering options for the western portion.
Councilor Tim Gard lead the motion to defer having been a keen advocate of the sell off previously, see extract from Tim's entry in the latest 5049 Communicator:
"Following further talks with residents of Marino, I changed my view and I’ve managed
to successfully move at Council, at least a temporary retention of the western part of
the McConnell Avenue Reserve.
My thinking evolved to progressing with improvement of the eastern portion of the
Reserve before assessing the future of the western side. This will enable a
judgement to be made of the ability of the eastern side to meet local demand. My
motion was won very narrowly at Council in September. Congratulations to those
who put forward professional presentations on the subject."