Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spendour in the Park-Public Meeting 29th August 2012

A public meeting was held to raise the profile of King Edward Park and its environs, the Obelisk, Arcadia Park and the Headland Reserve. The public meeting will inform the community on the vulnerability of these parks and confirm their immense public value. The recent State Heritage nomination was prompted because of concerns that the cultural heritage values of the park were not properly considered when a function centre was proposed at King Edward Headland Reserve.

Distinguished speakers will include architects, Richard Le Plastrier and Peter Stutchbury; Heritage advocates, Gionni di Gravio and Ann Hardy, while John Lewer from the Friends of King Edward Park Inc. will outline public action so far. Together, they will present an overview of the community’s vitally important public open spaces, the heritage, the history, and the essential need for public participation.

The National Trust of Australia (NSW) supports the recent nomination to have King Edward Park included on the State Heritage Register.

“We welcome the public meeting to encourage the local community to be involved in a discussion about saving the cultural heritage of parklands. The public have enjoyed King Edward Park for well over a century, it is a special place for the people of New South Wales”, said Ann Hardy, Board Member, National Trust of Australia (NSW).
King Edward Park is associated with the Aboriginal dreamtime story of Yi-ran-na-li and the sheep pastures of the early colonial settlement. Today, this unique coastal area has features of Victorian era parkland and has retained much of its nineteenth century qualities.

“The park's significance is its largely underdeveloped coastal landscape, allowing for open public recreation”, said Ann Hardy.

An independent chairperson will conduct the meeting and will open it to general discussion and questions from the floor.

The public meeting is an opportunity to shape Government policy on the use of Public Reserves. It is intended that a strong public resolution will be passed to political decision makers, influencing their attitudes to future development of these invaluable and irreplaceable public open spaces.

Introduction- Dr John Lewer

Mr Gionni di Gravio- The Origins of King Edward Park Recreation Reserve Newcastle

Public Discussion- Spendour in the Park