Thursday 19 October 2006


Mr FINCH (Statement) - Mr President, a lot of waffle is spoken about planning. It can be a half-baked affair at all levels of government and the planning process can be distorted by dominant interests. But there is no denying that, without proper planning, the taxpayers' money can be wasted and dead-end projects undertaken. I would like to draw the attention of the House, Mr President, to an example of how planning should be done. We have in my electorate a recreational area known as Windsor Park. It is the base of Australia's third-oldest football club - I am just digressing here - the Launceston Football Club, established in 1879 and, of course, premiers this year in the NTFL. You being the number-one ticket holder, Mr President, I am sure you would like us both to burst into the club theme song.

Mr PRESIDENT - Thank you very much for mentioning it but I cannot accept your kind invitation.

Mr FINCH - That pleases the members here, I am sure.

It is also the home of the Riverside Cricket Club, the Riverside Soccer Club and many groups and individuals as well. Because it is close to a number of schools in the Riverside area it is a focus for school programs. It has great potential for internal cycling and walking tracks, in fact Windsor Park is the sporting and recreational focus for much of the West Tamar. It is not an area to be trifled with by half-baked planning, as the West Tamar Council has recognised. Looking across I can see three members from the council here today and it is the very reason I am making this speech.

The council has developed a comprehensive plan for the future of Windsor Park which is an example to local government around Australia. If you want to restore your faith in the planning process the Windsor Park Strategic Directions Plan can be seen on the council's web site.

In the past, Mr President, Windsor Park, which covers almost 22 hectares, has been the subject of ad hoc planning without development being effectively coordinated between the council and the numerous users of the park. As a result, some facilities are poorly sited, there are access difficulties, traffic and parking problems, and difficulties with water supply and sewerage. There is also some duplication of facilities and the reserve is not attractive to users other than sports people.

Windsor Park, which stretches from the West Tamar Road in Riverside to the Tamar River Coastal Reserve, is in a very fast-growing population area. The council has also identified a growing need for recreational facilities for an ageing population. As some other members will be only too aware, an ageing population does not necessarily want to participate in team sports but, nevertheless, has a need for sports and active recreational pursuits even if to walk the dog.

The council's plan for Windsor Park is a long-term one which goes to 2015. It sets down the following aims, and I quote:

'(1) to provide a framework for the effective and appropriate long-term allocation of council and community resources to Windsor Park;

(2) to guide the development of a diverse and sustainable mix of quality recreation and leisure opportunities at Windsor Park for the community;

(3) to enhance community access to Windsor Park for residents; and

(4) to create greater efficiencies in the delivery of recreation opportunities in the Riverside West Tamar Highway area by linking Windsor Park to other venues and opportunities.'

Any long-term strategic plan will not work without extensive community consultation. Before identifying the list of development needs and opportunities the West Tamar Council and its officers carried out extensive interviews with sports groups, existing Windsor Park users, wider community agencies and even a member of parliament. This has resulted in a detailed and comprehensive long-term development strategy which is in tune with the community. It is a plan to please everyone, Mr President, an example of how planning should be carried out