Peter Khalil: Last week, I received the excellent news that the Victorian state government had agreed to the sale of a parcel of land in McBryde Street in Fawkner, alongside Merri Creek, in my electorate of Wills. It agreed to sell it to the Moreland City Council so it can remain as open space in perpetuity. Protecting our open spaces from overdevelopment, particularly as the price of land in the northern suburbs of Melbourne climbs, is critical. We cannot let go of the need for and value of open-green spaces for all of us to enjoy.
Last year, I led a walk with local residents in Fawkner, organised by the Fawkner Residents Association, to view firsthand the open public-park space along Merri Creek. It was very clear from the numbers that turned up that residents didn’t want this land to be developed. They wanted to keep it as public parkland so that future generations could enjoy the open space, the flora and the fauna. This has now been achieved. I would particularly like to thank and acknowledge Luke Donnellan, the Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety for his cooperation and vision throughout this process and for taking the decision to make the land available at a price the Moreland City Council could afford. I’d like to thank also the Mayor of Moreland City Council, John Kavanagh, and the Moreland City Council for their efforts during the negotiations and their commitment to open space. A big thanks also go to Joe Perri, the head of the Fawkner Residents Association, and the association for all their hard work leading to this community campaign It is a campaign I was so pleased to be part of, because this is a major win for our community.