Deanside residents fight back against new park

By Olivia Condous

Deanside residents are fighting back after the proposed Kororoit Creek Regional Park threatens their land and their future.

Earlier this year, the Victorian government announced to the public that Deanside would gain a new park around Kororoit Creek, as part of the Suburban Parks program to develop more green space for residents of the western suburbs.

But for Deanside residents who lived near the creek, the proposed park had been hanging over their heads for twenty years.

Resident Margaret Fioritti said her family had lived in their Deanside home for more than three decades and had faced uncertainty about the future for most of that time.

“We have postponed the changes in our house and now we find ourselves in a situation where we will not be able to retire comfortably,” said Ms. Fioritti.

The indicative location of the park was first made public to residents in 2002, and in 2012 residents were informed of the proposed boundary of the park that would see compulsory government acquisition of much of their land and the value of his property would begin to plummet.

Thirteen properties in Deanside are affected by the proposed park boundary and residents have formed an official campaign, ‘Fair Go Deanside’, to fight the government proposal.

In a campaign press release, the group argued that the government was not providing fair compensation for land acquired by residents and that their comments had not been considered throughout the consultation process so far.

According to Fair Go Deanside, the government would only pay $47,000 per hectare of land under the current proposal, while developers pay around $3.7 million per hectare for nearby land.

Deanside resident Frank Lagana said he had tried to sell his family’s home since the government told him they planned to acquire 40 acres of his property for the park, but real estate agencies turned him down because the land was severely undervalued. .

“Saying that if you own this asset, this is your house, and then saying ‘That’s it. We have a public acquisition’, and your house is devalued and you can’t do anything,

“I’m frustrated, I’m tired,” Lagana said.

A Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) spokesperson said the land purchase was necessary to create Kororoit Creek Regional Park and the proposed boundaries were established in consultation with stakeholders and the community.

“The purchase of land by the government is a highly regulated process. Land values ​​are determined by the independent Victorian State Assessor General and the land acquisition process is overseen and approved by the Victorian Government Land Monitor.”

“DELWP has been in contact with the landowners and is working to reach a mutually agreeable position.”

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