An article in yesterday's Herald Sun newspaper pointed to a sleight of hand by the North East Link Project in its recent appearance before the North East Link Inquiry and Advisory Committee.
Moreland Council rezones residential land as parkland for residents, but they have to pay dearly to get the land back off the development-mad state government. Still this is something that local councils should all be doing and they should collectively be placing pressure on the State Government to sell the land at non-market prices, or gift it.
Last year I did research into, and gave speeches about, the public health benefits of public open space. [See also, "Kelvin Thomson: Too few trees make high-density Coburg and Glenroy risky during heat waves"] My view about the importance of this is reinforced by recent statements in the Moreland Leader by University of Sydney Associate Professor Tonia Gray that research shows that neighbourhoods with more green spaces are much healthier and socially cohesive. She says, "Nature has a calming effect, it recalibrates your body. Australian kids spend an average of 52 hours a week in front of a screen but an average of 40 minutes outside". (Originally published at http://kelvinthomson.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/melbourne-heat-island-effect.html)