As mentioned in the previous update, Yarra Council met last Tuesday (2nd August) to decide upon the proposed path.
It was an incredibly long evening with a packed Richmond Town Hall council meeting that also heard two other big local issues (South Vietnamese flag & ongoing CUB dispute)
Many of us stayed right to the end for the vote, which finally came at a eye-watering 12.30am on Wednesday morning. Please scroll down this page for additional details and motion passed with amendments.
A heartfelt thank you must go to Zoe Metherell, Maude Farrugia and many local residents for the wonderfully positive Share Rushall Reserve - Build the Path campaign, and please stay in touch on the facebook group. Thank you so much for your continued strong support to improve accessibility to the Rushall Reserve area and Merri Creek Trail!
From City of Yarra: Council approves Rushall Reserve Shared Path (8 August 2016)
Yarra City Council will proceed with plans to build a shared path in Rushall Reserve in North Fitzroy, following extensive community engagement on the proposal.
The path will link the existing Merri Creek Trail between Rushall Station and Koonda Lat Bridge, providing enhanced access to the Reserve.
In particular the path will make the Reserve accessible to people with mobility issues, people with children in prams, and people using Yarra’s off-road bicycle network. It will also provide a safer connection to bypass the pedestrian underpass at Rushall Station.
Council made the decision at its Meeting on 2 August, which was attended by about 100 community members. At the meeting, Council heard and considered submissions from 28 people expressing a range of views on the project.
Council’s decision follows multiple phases of community engagement on the project, beginning in 2015. Consultation on a draft design for the shared path earlier this year saw contributions from hundreds of community members.
The construction of the path is subject to approval from VicTrack and necessary planning permit approvals.
Council thanks all those who participated in the community consultation on this project for their valuable feedback and ideas.
Read Council’s full resolution below:
That Council notes:
(a) the proposals for “a safer, more environmentally sympathetic and user friendly trail” at Rushall Reserve as proposed in the 2008 Merri Creek Trail Review;
(b) the extensive consultation process on path design and Reserve amenity during April – May 2016, as determined by Council resolution at its meeting on 21 July 2015, following an earlier consultation process March – May 2015;
(c) quantitative data identified that:
(i) 127 of 205 local Yarra respondents generally supported the draft design, while 76 Yarra respondents did not support the path or had concern with the draft design;
(ii) 62 of 97 local non-Yarra respondents supported the draft design with or without modification, while 34 did not support the path or had concern with the draft design;
(d) a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) found that no Aboriginal cultural heritage material was located and was unlikely to be located within the activity area given the high levels of disturbance across the high activity area;
(e) feedback from the Disability Advisory Committee seeking an asphalt surface rather than concrete;
(a) resolves to proceed with the construction of a 2.0 metre asphalt path on the edge of Rushall Reserve linking the existing Merri Creek Trail between Rushall Station and Koonda Lat Bridge generally consistent with the design consulted on with the community during April-May 2016, with adjustments as per (d) below;
(b) authorises officers to prepare the necessary information to submit a planning permit application as required under the Yarra Planning Scheme;
(c) endorses a re-design of the path, with the objective of retaining the significant tree shown as Number 5 on Attachment 1 on the basis that the final design is assessed against the AustRoads Guidelines, in the event that the above is not able to be achieved, authorises officers to commence the planning permit application for the removal of the significant tree as required under the Yarra Planning Scheme;
(d) endorses the final design to include the following items:
(i) except where decking is required, that the path be constructed in asphalt;
(ii) offset the path (in a particular location) to provide the required separation from the City West Water pipe;
(iii) measures to slow the speed of bicycles and other mobility aids using the path;
(iv) planting of intermittent low vegetation along the edge of the path with appropriate segments of fencing with gates for pedestrian access;
(v) 1.4 metre high fencing along the embankment as a safety measure;
(vi) additional seating in the reserve, the installation of a drinking fountain with a dog bowl, and improved signage;
(vii) tree planting in the reserve and ground covers, to offset any tree and vegetation removal;
(viii) utilise decking (where necessary) over tree protection zones within the Reserve to minimise disturbance to mature trees; and
(ix) have regard to VicTrack risk assessment requirements; and
(e) endorses removal of the existing no-through asphalt path in the Reserve given strong support for its replacement with turf to increase green open space in the Reserve;
That Council continues advocacy to transport agencies including Transport for Victoria to upgrade the sub-standard rail underpass and toilet facilities at Rushall Station, to accommodate secure bicycle parking at the station, and to seek commitment to such with a timeframe for implementation as part of State transport planning.
That Council authorises officers to communicate this resolution to people who made submissions as part of the consultation process and thank them for their input.