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Grog Sales by Cricket Club Threaten Amenity of Hays Paddock

Hays Paddock, created in 1980, is an open woodland park with wetlands forming part of the Yarra River wildlife corridor. An iconic feature is the children’s discovery playground catering for disabled kids, attracting visitors from all over the metropolitan area. Sports players form only a small percentage of users. The community is alarmed that alcohol will be sold and drinking allowed until late at night on the pavilion verandas. The excuse is to fund the Cricket Club activities, but Hays Paddock is not a business precinct and recent photographs of nude and partially clothed male cricketers there suggest that the Club is not fit to have a liquor licence anywayHearing is scheduled for 9:30 am tomorrow Monday 12 November 2012 at the VCGLR Office, 49 Elizabeth Street Richmond. Melways Map Reference 2 G H2

Community groups want alcohol free playgrounds and park

Community groups, including PPL VIC, and local residents have asked the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGRL) for an internal review of its decision to grant the Deepdene Uniting Cricket Club (DUCC) a liquor licence for the new Pavilion in Hays Paddock, East Kew. Tomorrow, Monday 12 November, our representative will argue the case at the Commission to keep this family friendly, popular park in Boroondara free of alcohol sales.

About Hays Paddock

Hays Paddock, created in 1980, is an open woodland park with wetlands forming part of the Yarra River wildlife corridor. An iconic feature is the children’s discovery playground catering for disabled kids. This attracts visitors from all over the metropolitan area. By the Council’s own admission, in its Open Space Strategy Survey, sports players represent only a small percentage of the users of Hays Paddock, whereas the majority are passive recreation users – dog walkers, runners, walkers, cyclists, bird-watchers, visitors to the playground and family picnic groups. The community is alarmed that alcohol will be sold and that drinking will be allowed, not only in the Pavilion itself, but on the surrounding verandas 2 nights a week and Saturdays 3 pm to 11 pm. Kiosks will be serving alcohol to persons outside the building only a few metres away from the children’s playground and the grassland areas where families picnic and children play.

Protectors of Public Land

Julianne Bell Secretary of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. comments:

“We do not accept the Club’s argument that it needs to sell alcohol to remain viable. Hays Paddock is a park and it is not a business precinct. It has not had a liquor licence in the past. The Club has the benefit of using Council facilities to support its activities. Additionally, we were scandalised to find, back in mid August, on the DUCC website a power point series of still photographs of naked and partly clothed male cricketers posed suggestively in and around the Pavilion and even in the children’s playground. Apparently these were authorised by the Club President as a fund raiser and were subsequently presented at functions in 2010 and 11 and placed on the website. These disclosures have led us to form the opinion that this Club is not fit to have a liquor licence in the new Pavilion in Hays Paddock.”

Unsporting behaviour

“Andrew C” made an on-line comment in the Progress Leader of 23 October 2012. He sums up community sentiment. He says:

“Hays Paddock is first and foremost an (sic) informal parkland for use by everyone, including our children. Children's safety and their need for access to open space for their own wellbeing must be foremost. Alcohol sales in the middle of a community park in a quiet residential location put children at jeopardy. I cannot believe these sports clubs have asked council to give them tenancy at this beautiful location only for them to then turn around and apply to sell alcohol around the new community pavilion! Why did they want to come to a (sic) parkland if they want to turn it into yet another sports reserve or function centre.”

(See http://progress-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/comments/kew-east-pavilion-plans-defended/

PPL VIC, a coalition of 80 community, environmental and heritage groups is supported in its views by Planning Backlash, a coalition of 250 resident groups, also by local residents.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 am tomorrow Monday 12 November 2012 at the VCGLR Office, 49 Elizabeth Street Richmond. Melways Map Reference 2 G H2

Source: Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. (PPL VIC), Media Release 11 November 2012

Media Contact: Julianne Bell Mobile 0408022408

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