Protectors of Public Lands say that notice has been received that the “Greens” Mayor Samantha Ratnam will, tomorrow at 4:30 pm, preside over a “Sod-Turning Ceremony” to mark the start of construction of a monster Moreland Council-funded community/medical centre on Rogers Memorial Reserve in Pascoe Vale. If you can come to the "sod turning ceremony" we will be having a silent vigil of protest. Bring a sign. Come to the Rogers Memorial Reserve on Prospect Street (off Cumberland Road) in the parking area near the Pascoe Vale Swimming Pool. Melways Page 17 A8.
In the eyes of residents and community groups this represents gross vandalism of public parkland and destruction of a heritage War Memorial and commemorative trees, including a “Lone Pine” of Gallipoli fame.
Moreland Greens’ Councillors apparently see Rogers Memorial Reserve as terra nullius, yet they were told by an independent consultant, engaged by Council, that the Reserve was of local heritage value in its entirety. (There was a viable alternative building site nearby.)
It was just ten days ago on 1 May 2016 that the Mayor of Moreland laid a wreath on the War Memorial at the RSL Commemoration Service in remembrance of the ANZACS and the fallen in World War I. PPL VIC regards this as hypocrisy on her part and insulting to those who served Australia in world wars and overseas missions.
Julianne Bell Secretary of PPL VIC comments that:
“This rubs salt into our wounds and those of local residents who have long fought to preserve the Rogers Memorial Reserve parkland and the War Memorial; it is extraordinarily insensitive of the Mayor. We consider that it represents a conflict of interest for the Greens Mayor, who is now campaigning as the preselected Greens’ Party candidate for the seat of Wills. PPL VIC understands that there has been no tender yet accepted for the construction of this planned community/medical centre on the Rogers Memorial Reserve, so any “turning of the sod” is premature. Our organisation suggests that the Mayor resign immediately in view of the fact the PM has now declared an election will be held on 2 July 2016” Over the past 2 years PPL VIC has called on a succession of Ministers under the past Liberal/Coalition Government and now the State Labor Government plus RSL Headquarters and Heritage Victoria to review War Memorials and their Memorial Parks to guarantee future protection and proper maintenance.
A deafening silence has resulted. Lip service only appears to be given to the memories of ANZACS and so we cannot expect any real action from government.
Sod-Turning Ceremony for the Pascoe Vale Community Centre
WHEN Tuesday 10 May 2016
TIME 4.30 – 5.30 pm
WHERE Pascoe Vale Neighbourhood Facility
7 Prospect Street, Pascoe Vale"