Parks access anger grows

Flooding in Brimbank Park has been an issue. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 251763

Tara Murray

Frustrations continue to grow over flooding and limited access to Brimbank Park.

As Star Weekly previously reported, due to heavy rain some of the fords flood, leaving residents unable to access the other side of the park.

Brimbank councillor Virigina Tachos has been vocal about the matter on social media and was left frustrated following a council briefing with Parks Victoria, which manages the park.

“In a nutshell there is a proposal for a bridge between Brimbank Park and Horseshoe Bend – but no funding for it,” she said on Facebook.

“There is a proposal for 1000 steps for greater activation… However again no funding available for this project.

“Current funding will only be allocated to ongoing maintenance of existing infrastructure.”

Long time Keilor Downs resident Sabina Anderson is among the residents who have been left disheartened at not being able to cross to the other side of the river.

“I have three grandchildren that I encourage to walk with us along with a husband who has a medical condition.

“While he is encouraged to walk as much as possible for his health, he does have to stop to rest.

“By not being able to cross at the fords, which you won’t know are flooded till you actually arrive there, it is discriminating against people such as my husband, every moderately disabled person or child, parents with prams and young children that need to access the toilets and playgrounds and cyclists.”

Parks Victoria has confirmed its looking at a fitness steps project which also includes a pedestrian bridge, but didn’t answer questions about funding.

Parks Victoria district manager Craig Bray said they were aware of local community feedback about access at Brimbank Park, but on average flooding restricted access 20 to 30 days a year.

“The park can be accessed by vehicle on these days,“ he said.

“Given Brimbank Park is located on both sides of the river, there are approximately eight to 10 kilometres of walking tracks accessible to pedestrians when the fords are closed on the Kealba and Keilor sides.”

Melbourne Water’s north west regional services team leader Jesse Barrett said higher than average rainfall totals had resulted in water level rises in low-lying areas, such as the fords within Brimbank Park.

“Melbourne Water will continue to work with Parks Victoria and Brimbank City Council to determine potential improvement options for pedestrian access to Brimbank Park.”