For those who don’t know in 1858 a Crown Grant established the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve with 3 separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park (Caveat on Title). Yet over the past 20 years lack of oversight and mismanagement (State Government and Board of Trustees) has allowed racing and racing’s commercial activities to dominate the reserve to the exclusion of the public park purposes.
The scathing September, 2014 Auditor General Report into the management of the reserve graphically identified the current imbalance in usage of the Reserves 54 ha (valued at $2bn), that has resulted from that lack of oversight and mismanagement, as being
- 11 hectares (20%), is leased by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) for a flat rate of approx. $170,000 p.a.
- 37 hectares (69%) is used by MRC without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement. (GERA comment – to put this 37 hectares in perspective, it is roughly the equivalent to the combined size of Glen Eira’s two premier parks – Caulfield Park (24.9ha) and Princes Park (12.4ha.)
- 6 hectares (11%) is open space for potential use by the community on restricted days at restricted times. Use of the racecourse parkland by the public is not actively promoted nor visible from the surrounding streets. It is also difficult to physically access and comprises limited facilities that don’t meet park users’ needs.
It is now almost 2.5 years since the AG’s Report and, although “opening up” the Reserve for public use by the surrounding communities of Glen Eira and Stonnington would be significant*, only scant information is available on progress and little has been achieved at “ground zero”. Therefore, GERA, in conjunction with the Malvern East Group (a.k.a. Stonnington residents group), invites you to a Community Gathering at Caulfield Racecourse between 6.00 & 8.00 pm on Wednesday, 15th February, 2015.
The purpose of this event is twofold
- To increase community usage of the our parkland by
- Increasing community awareness of the 2 public park purposes of this Reserve and
- Providing an opportunity for the community to visit the park and experience it’s magnitude and beauty.
- To provide local residents with an opportunity to join the campaign seeking increased State Government actions, that are geared to
- redressing the imbalance in racing vs. public usage of this public land, and
- ensuring compliance with the Auditor General’s recommendation for open and transparent management this public land.
We hope you will be able to attend.
Public Parkland Access Point Details & Opening Hours
*Significance of “Opening Up” the Reserve
- Glen Eira has the least per capita open space in Metro Melbourne, Stonnington the second least
- Caulfield Racecourse is located
- just south of Dandenong Road which is the boundary between the two municipalities.
- Residents in both Municipalities experience adverse amenity impacts (traffic, parking and noise) from racing and racing commercial events.
- In both Municipalities, the residential areas surrounding this small stretch of Dandendong Road are targeted for, and are currently experiencing, high density growth.