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City of Swan councillor Ian Johnson said he believes the City should explore the option of reclaiming Tuohy Gardens from the MRA.

Gardens option to be explored

AS the debate over public green space rages in Midland, particularly in relation to Midland Oval, a potential opportunity for more green space lies hidden behind a fence next to the Great Eastern Highway.

The only problem is, the City of Swan can’t touch it.

At the City of Swan’s last council meeting on February 14, Swan councillor Ian Johnson moved a motion that the CEO prepare a report with options and a recommendation to return the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority controlled Tuohy Gardens to use as a public green space in Central Midland.

The officer’s report, while brief, noted that “The City has no jurisdiction over the land holding, including land use.”

“City Staff have previously made enquiries with the MRA regarding the future use of the site and the verbal advice received was that there is no current plans.”

The motion was passed unanimously.

Cr Johnson said the MRA had failed to develop the site, despite promises dating back 20 years.

“I understand back in 2003 there was quite a comprehensive plan to redevelop this site, it was going to be quite a substantial redevelopment,” he said.

“They then closed the site to make way for it and nothing’s happened for 20 years so we’d like our park back please.

“I’ve heard from so many members of our community that Tuohy Gardens used to be a wonderful green open space and we need more green open space in Midland.

“It wouldn’t take much, just pull the fence down, reticulate the grass and tear up some pavement and we’d have this green open space back again.”

While the report is scheduled to come back to council on May 9, it may not be as easy as Cr Johnson believes.

MRA acting CEO Sean Henriques did not state why no development had taken place, but did say there were no current plans for Tuohy Gardens.

“The Midland Master Plan allows for future mixed-used development at the location,” he said.

“The City of Swan will have the opportunity to purchase once released as part of the open market process and is welcomed to submit an offer.”

About Liam Ducey

Liam Ducey is an experienced journalist, having worked in print media in Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Port Hedland, Bunbury and across the metropolitan area, as well as online for several Fairfax Media mastheads. His reporting has seen him awarded the 2013 Clubs WA award for Best Club Media Story in 2013 and the Western Australian Football Commission Umpiring Media Award in 2014, and he's a finalist in three categories of the 2018 WA Media Awards. He's recently had a baby girl, Emilia, with his wife Roselyn and has lost all concept of time and sleep.

One comment

  1. The MRA is obviously not conducive to it being reverted to a green space and I doubt City of Swan would be inclined to divert funds away from the flawed MORM plans.

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