Melbourne Cricket Ground and Yarra Park Amendment Bill

Posted on 08. Dec, 2009 in Speeches

I rise to join other members in support of this bill. I would like to start by saying that I am pleased to support this important bill. As members know, the main purpose of the bill is to transfer the management responsibility for Yarra Park from the City of Melbourne to the MCG Trust. One of the benefits of the change of the committee of management is to secure the future of the trees in the park by putting up a significant water investment, therefore ensuring that additional water will be supplied to the park. We have heard from many speakers about the importance of the park and the precinct.

Nothing is more appropriate than this bill to secure and ensure that the upkeep of the precinct is at a maximum standard.
Yarra Park was established as a public parkland by Governor La Trobe for the enjoyment of the whole community. Over the years the park has served a very important range of functions, including the preservation of biodiversity and the provision of places for recreation and quiet enjoyment in the heart of the Melbourne central business district. Apart from that, Yarra Park surrounds our best known sportsground, the MCG. Each year the MCG welcomes almost 3 million visitors. Yarra Park has also been used as a car park for thousands of football fans.

Recently Yarra Park has faced major challenges due to the drought conditions in Victoria. This bill helps to improve park maintenance by providing additional investment in watering the park.

I am especially impressed by the water saving technology, which uses a wastewater treatment plant to protect the amenity of
Yarra Park. Because of this the condition of the park will be improved substantially in the future.

This bill will allow the MCG Trust to become the delegate operational manager of the MCC as well as Yarra Park. It supports this innovation in water recycling and water consumption reduction, which is consistent with our long-term water saving objective.

Parking on Yarra Park is another major issue to be considered. I have heard some complaints about car parking in Yarra Park. Some people think that car parking in this park is somehow incompatible with the long-term protection and development of the park and that it might raise safety problems for visitors to the park. To solve these questions the bill sets out certain criteria that the MCG Trust must consider before allowing people to park their cars in the park.

Some of these assessments include the effect of parking on the condition of the trees, the effect of parking on the condition of the soil and the level of sub-surface water content, the safety of pedestrians and car parking attendants and the protection of public and private property et cetera.
With these criteria it is reasonable to believe the MCG Trust will be able to manage parking in a safe and orderly manner, ensuring its use in the best way to support any major event held at nearby Yarra Park.

In addition to the above the bill also emphasises the importance of MCG Trust management effectiveness over Yarra Park. It also includes some additional regulation and amendments regarding the current regulation. For instance, this bill increases the penalties by up to 20 penalty units under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978. The change of committee of management is reflected the Melbourne (Yarra Park) Land Act 1980.

Furthermore, the bill makes a number of amendments to the Melbourne Cricket Ground Act 2009. The provisions of the Melbourne Cricket Ground Act 2009 ensure that whoever is delegated with the trust approval must apply the trust’s role as committee of management as well as in relation to Yarra Park. To emphasise the Yarra Park management transparency, the amendments included in this bill also require the trust business plan to include key performance measures from the management. The annual report is used to examine whether the performance is satisfied to meet the target.
Finally, this bill also includes the unused area in the north of the park for open space, which will be permanently reserved as Yarra Park. In the future this can be used to build up more facilities for families to access. The bill covers comprehensive regulations to make sure the MCG Trust manages Yarra Park in a more effective way and that it keeps its value as a world-class park for every Victorian to enjoy.
I commend the bill to the house.

Comments are closed.