Tuesday, 29 March 2016

FREE Tai Chi and other activities to Save Pioneer Park

Time is running out so PLEASE ACT NOW if you can. We have added a series of activities and the more you can participate in, to show this council we mean to save our park, the better.

Just a couple of lines by email would be great - it doesn't need to be major.
Details on what you might include and where to send it are here.

Sign it here.
We will be handing the signatures to Sally Townley to add to the submissions TOMORROW WEDNESDAY at 12.30pm on the steps of the council chambers.  Please come along if you can and bring a sign.

FREE TAI CHI in Pioneer Park - this Thursday/
Come and join us for a free Tai Chi lesson. Let's show council how this park can add value!  The wonderful Craig Christie, with 10 years experience in practising and teaching Tai Chi and over 20 years experience in Martial arts, has offered to run a FREE beginners class at 12.30pm THIS THURSDAY 31st March. Taoist Tai Chi is very natural and easy so if suitable for people of all ages. It emphasises health with easy movements and relaxed natural breathing.

Craig will demonstrate some basics and will teach some movements you can use on a daily basis that will give you a good introduction to this form of Tai Chi.

COUNCIL MEETING Thursday 14th April 5pm
Please join our silent protest as the meeting is held.  We'd like as many people as possible to attend with signs so we can make a colourful, but quiet, statement.

Here is an example of a letter that has been sent to Mick Raby and the councillors about this matter.  Phone these people or email them and ask for answers about this development.  There are many dot points you can use in the petition, on the submissions page, and within this email.
Send your questions to specific councillors, Mick Raby, Director of Sustainable Infrastructure, (mick.raby@chcc.nsw.gov.au 6648 4402) and/or Paul Meredith, who I believe is a key road engineer.  Given other emails I would guess his to be paul.meredith@chcc.nsw.gov.au.  Here are all the councillors emails too:

"denise.knight" <denise.knight@chcc.nsw.gov.au
Sally Townley <sally.townley@chcc.nsw.gov.au
"rodney.degens" <rodney.degens@chcc.nsw.gov.au
"john.arkan" <john.arkan@chcc.nsw.gov.au
"mark.sultana" <mark.sultana@chcc.nsw.gov.au
"nan.cowling" <nan.cowling@chcc.nsw.gov.au
"Garry.innes" <Garry.innes@chcc.nsw.gov.au
"bob.palmer" <bob.palmer@chcc.nsw.gov.au
"keith.rhoades" <keith.rhoades@chcc.nsw.gov.au

Good afternoon Mr Raby, I understand you are in charge of overall infrastructure for the council and so I thought I would put together a few questions you may be able to help me with with regard to the Duke Street Extension plans currently on display.

1) The yellow ring road marked as the "inner ring road".  I can find no approved plans for this ring road and parts of it don't exist and some of it appears to be in the creek?  Could you explain this road to me and when it would actually be built?

2) My understanding is that the land that is currently known as Pioneer Park is part road reserve and that at least 1/3rd of it is designated community land.  This does not appear to be shown on your plans and I believe it should be so that people have an accurate idea of the zones and what parts are affected. Could you explain why this wasn't shown?

3) Could you be definite in what parts of the existing vegetation will be retained. in diagrams it looks to be the majority but in some of my reading all will be removed?  Has there been any work done on how such mature trees could be saved with so much work around that that would surely disturb their root systems?

4) I am unclear how the joining of Duke Street and Harbour drive will work.  Presumably people turning east from Duke Street will simply sit and wait for an available space.  If you are hoping people coming from the east will turn north into Duke street, I cannot see a turning lane on Harbour drive?  How will this flow?  What happens if people are trying to turn west from Duke Street?  What happens when traffic turning into Duke Street and traffic going through the new traffic lights all meet on Gordon street - won't that be a traffic bottle neck?

I am the person who set-up an online petition, as a result of people contacting me.  At the time of writing this email it stands at 440 signatures and it contains many more pertinent points in both the wording of it and also in the many comments people have made. (https://www.change.org/p/coffs-harbour-city-council-save-pioneer-park) They would all like to know what process the council will follow next?  Though submissions have been called and I know you will have received many objecting to this planned road - will they be ignored or will this proposal be sent back to council for further discussion?  If this road is pushed ahead and damage occurs to the koala population, businesses due to flooding or perhaps even a fatality on the road nearby who exactly is responsible - you and your department or the councillors?

There are so many reasons to retain this park.  The bigger picture of our koala population (which the world would see as an attraction and to destroy any of their habitat I am sure the international media would condemn), the bigger picture of climate change.  We know we need all our trees and more for our future.  The bigger picture of mental health - science is absolute on the benefits of green spaces.  PLEASE think and do not make a short term decision that has long-term detrimental consequences for us all.  Yesterday we saw a group of Sudanese people picnicing in the park, enjoying themselves and picking up fallen rubbish - far from the dodgy characters our Mayor would have us believe are the only users of this park.

I know this must be a difficult position to be in but please the people are speaking and cannot be ignored.  Pioneer Park has become a focal point for many people for what is wrong in the system.  Take a new turn and show that the people can be listened to and that a short term plan - that probably isn't even a fix, can be set aside for the greater good.

Many thanks for listening.
Cheryl Cooper