Bunbury Labor candidate Don Punch is not impressed with National candidate James Hayward’s proposal to sell off Payne Park, viewing it as a short sighted solution to a lack of investment in sporting facilities in Bunbury over many years.

“This is just an attempt to mask the lack of investment in Bunbury over the past eight years of the Liberal National government, and true to form they are proposing to sell off public assets to do it,” Mr Punch said.

Mr Punch said no community asset should be sold without rigorous public consultation, including examination of all options for the future of the Park and the future green space and sporting requirements of the City.

“Bunbury’s population can grow to 300,000 over the next thirty years with higher density housing the preferred option to accommodate all those extra families. Those families will need access to green open space areas as well as sporting facilities”, said Mr Punch.

“We shouldn’t be selling off public open space that is already well used by the community simply to fund a replacement somewhere else.

“Payne Park is a vital and much-loved asset to all of Bunbury but particularly for the East Bunbury residents. The prospect of facilities on the other side of the city way off in the never-never doesn’t make up for taking this public space away forever.”

“We need to keep as much parkland as possible so that families in the future can have places to walk, play, exercise their pets and do all of the things that make up a vibrant community.

“What sort of legacy are we leaving for the future if we sell off our precious public open space to property developers?” said Mr Punch.

Mr Punch also called on the Liberals to clarify whether they supported their Coalition partner’s sell-off proposal.

Mr Punch will not support the sale of community parks without full public consultation and endorsement and an agreed plan for both park and sports facilities that will meet the City’s future needs.

If you want to make sure nothing happens to Payne Park without public consultation then sign our petition at bunbury.walabor.org.au