Hosken Reserve letter
Fiona Black, 6 Nov 2020
As a local resident of Merlynston and a ratepayer in Moreland council I am concerned about the proposed new synthetic pitch for Hosken Reserve that is currently at tender.
Below are my reasons for concern:
1. This oval already has a grass pitch that is used by the Pascoe Vale soccer club. Why does $900,000 more need to be spent to rip and replace an already very healthy grass oval?
2. This oval has a stormwater harvesting systm (installed in 2016 which cost ratepayers 1.5 million dollars) to water the grass, why rip up this grass to put in plastic at rate payer and tax payer expense? If a synthetic pitch is the only answer for the demands of soccer, there are ovals in Moreland that don’t have state of the art storm watering systems that would be better candidates for this. EG. The soccer pitch at Richards Reserve (next to the velodrome).
3. In 10 years the synthetic surface will need to be recarpeted. This will mean added plastic to landfill and an additional expense to ratepayers to replace. Surely Moreland Council should be reducing waste not contributing to it.
4. Moreland has been identified as a heat island and removing grass to put in plastic will have an affect on this heat increasing. During summer months having green areas help keep our area cool and I do not want to see green areas become synthetic / plastic. What research has been done to understand the impact of this and to local wildlife? I do not want a hot plastic pitch at the end of my street in summer. My family and I spend a lot of spare time at this oval and spending time at a hot plastic pitch in summer is not appealing at all.
5. As a local, the proposed 70 hours of play is going to deeply impact our community as there is limited parking at the reserve so our streets will be constantly filled with traffic and additional parked cars. This is not safe for my young child and will add pollution to our area.
6. The original plans which were done in 2009 (11 years ago), were to put a synthetic pitch on Pascoe Vale Soccer Clubs current soccer pitch on the south of the reserve that is fenced off to the public (now I question why this is fenced off and not shared with the community since it is rate payer funded). Now the plans have changed to rip up the oval used by both the soccer club and local community which will mean the community will have dramatically less time to enjoy this space as it will be filled with soccer matches. Why was no one in the community consulted about this change and the only way we found out about this was when the project was released for tender?
7. I am concerned about the health issues this synthetic pitch can potentially cause me and my family. The tyre crumb used on the surface of the pitch contains known carcinogens. There are currently studies and concerns in the US for young people's health who have played on these surfaces for many years, in particular goal keepers who are subject to breathing in the dust when diving for the ball. As this is a particularly windy area as Moreland does not have much green space so no doubt the tyre crumb dust will be blowing into my house and yard and affecting the health of me and my family. All sorts of chemicals will also be used on the synthetic pitch to keep weeds at bay which will inevitably end up in the air and again breathed in by my family and I. Take a look at this lecture on the issues:
Moreland Council please don't rip up our oval. Please don't heat up our suburb and please don't jeopardise our health. I love living in this area and if our green space is destroyed it will negatively affect our community. Besides, soccer players love playing on natural grass. I know as a soccer player myself I would not play at a club that made me play on synthetic. It is so hard on joints and feet especially in soccer boots.