Yarra Park was set aside by the founders of Melbourne as a place of open parkland for the recreation of the people of Victoria and to be the lungs of the city.
The significance of this land to the Aboriginal Australians of this area is also respectfully acknowledged.
The current practice of parking cars on the Yarra Park lawns around the MCG (on 197 days during the year 2008) is detrimental to the public good because it:
• Causes serious deterioration in the condition of the park’s lawns and trees and as a habitat for native birdlife, thus destroying its amenity as a place for leisure and relaxation.
• Compromises safe access to the park for families and individuals, including safe access to the children’s playground and the area allocated for off-leash dog exercise.
• Causes significant congestion on major roads before and after events, with its resultant pollution.
• Discourages wise and sustainable use of public transport and bicycles.
• Poses a traffic hazard for pedestrians arriving at and departing from events and other users of the park.
• Inconveniences the majority of the area’s visitors and residents by providing a dubious benefit to a small minority.
• Compromises the park’s effectiveness as part of the lungs of the city, undesirable at a time when inner-city population densities are rising and the climate is changing.
• Is disrespectful of the historical significance of this land and its place as part of Victoria’s sporting heritage.
• Does not enhance the MCG, Victoria’s premier sporting facility, or Melbourne’s international reputation as an attractive city.
These improvements, together with the example of the very successful Commonwealth Games held in 2006 without any car-parking in Yarra Park, clearly demonstrate that car-parking in Yarra Park is no longer necessary or desirable.
The maintenance and development of Yarra Park as free and open parkland is vital to twenty-first century Melbourne and must be promoted and guarded for future generations of Victorians.
We therefore respectfully urge the Government of Victoria to acknowledge that parks are for people not cars, and in doing so bring to an end the practice of car-parking on the lawns of Yarra Park.