Tag Archives: Glen Eira Residents

CAULFIELD RACECOURSE REQUIEM

The Victorian Parliament is currently debating the “Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Bill”  that arises from the scathing 2014 Auditor General’s Report into the “Management and Oversight of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve”.    It’s taken 3 years to get to this point and it’s our assessment that the Bill misses the point.

Since the Auditor General’s Report much has be promised, yet it is hard to relate those promises with the content of this Bill.  Rather than addressing the inequity between the Reserve’s three separate yet equal purposes of “racecourse public recreation ground and public park” by aligning Racecourse and Community usages with those purposes, we argue that the Bills provisions favour racing rather than public interests and fall short of  addressing the issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report.   For example,

  • the purposes have been redefined to align more closely with existing inequitable uses and the Minister is given the authority to assign/vary the weightings assigned to the purposes.
  • Ministerial appointment of Trustees, without adequately defining selection criteria.  Appointment is for a period of 3 years with re-appointment for an indefinite number of terms is permitted.
  • Ministerial determination of lease periods of up to 65 years.  This is contrary to past practices and inconsistent with commercial practices and the Reserve’s defined purposes
  • Inadequate management and financial reporting requirements (both Parliamentary and Public) which are not in line with contemporary practices.  Likewise with Conflict of Interest provisions.
  • Provides for a 20 year Strategic Land Management Plan that lacks performance reporting requirements and can be amended without public scrutiny.
  • Ministerial determination of allowed activities – “detrimental” is a key determinant, however, detrimental is not defined.

The inadequacies of the Bill, combined with the Government’s  planned dramatic increases in commercial, residential and educational activities in an area widely known to be lacking in parkland and sporting facilities, has prompted both the Stonnington and Glen Eira residents groups to jointly conduct this event.

As per the Auditor General’s report, the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve, has three separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park.  As a result of poor performance by the Trust (in managing the reserve) and successive State Governments (in overseeing Reserve Management) Racing has been permitted to dominate the Reserve to the extent that current usage of the reserve’s 54ha (valued at $2bn+) is allocated as

  • 11 hectares (20%) is under lease for racing purposes.  The Annual rental of $170K is generally returned to the MRC for racing related projects.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used for racing purposes without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement, and
  • only 6 hectares (11%) is available as open space for the potential use of the community.   That 6 ha comprises facilities that do not meet the needs of community, are not easy to physically access and are subject to restricted usage times.  No accessibility issues and time restrictions are applicable to racing usage.

JOIN US IN REMINDING OUR POLITICIANS OF THE FORESIGHT OF OUR FOREFATHERS.  

In 1884, 8 years after the management of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve was vested in a Board of Trustees, the Victorian Amateur Turf Club (VATC) sought sole management of the Reserve.  The response from the then Minister for Lands was:

“…. he thought the public ought not to have to ask for permission to go on a public reserve” … and …”The vicinity of the Caulfield racecourse would no doubt soon be thickly populated, and the value of the reserve to the public would then be widely enhanced”.  

THAT TIME HAS ARRIVED.  

 

 

 

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HELP SAVE LIND HOUSE

We’ve been contacted by a resident who is concerned that Glen Eira is again likely to lose forever a property of historic and architectural significance.   As per the below Domain article Council has applied to the Minister for Planning for an Interim Heritage Protection Order for the property – GERA applauds Council’s action and hopes that Council has also sought Heritage Victoria’s involvement.

The ‘Lind House’, at 450 Dandenong Road, Caulfield North is described as one of the best and most intact examples of Melbourne’s “mid-century design movement”.  Designed by Anatol Kagan, one of the best architects from the Melbourne mid-century movement, it is an architectural treasure.

Documentation and pictures supporting the significance of the “Lind House” and Designer Anatol Kagan are presented in article published on the Australian Modern website.

We encourage residents to show support for the preservation of the “Lind House” by emailing the Mayor (MDelahunty@gleneira.vic.gov.au) re Planning Permit GE/PP-30607/2017.

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Modernist Caulfield North house faces wrecking ball as council calls for urgent interim protection

An iconic modernist Caulfield North house is under threat of demolition, prompting the local council to seek an urgent interim protection from the planning minister.

Designers and modernist architecture enthusiasts have taken to social media to express their dismay at the fate of the Lind House, bought last year by a developer for just over $2.1 million.

The five-bedroom house at 450 Dandenong Road was designed by Russian-born architect Anatol Kagan, and is a classic example of mid-century modern architecture.

But locals and design experts fear the property could soon be demolished by its new owner, who applied for planning permit to build eight dwellings in its place.

There are no heritage controls on the property, and the two week public notice for objections ended on Tuesday.

Glen Eira mayor Mary Delahunty moved an urgent motion at a meeting on Tuesday night to write to the planning minister Richard Wynne for interim protection.

“Although a permit would have to be requested for it to be demolished, we really wouldn’t have any grounds to refuse that,” she said.

“I’m just trying to make sure that time is given for a proper assessment to be done of its historical significance so that we don’t get faced with this really unfortunate situation where it might be knocked down at any minute.”

​​Cr Delahunty said a major heritage review was underway and encouraged people to alert the council to other significant properties in the area they might not be aware of.

She said heritage experts would examine the Caulfield North house, and they would take into consideration the advice of other experts of modernist-era architecture.

As pressure mounts to increase density across the city, experts say more post-war homes should also be considered for heritage protection.

When Robin Boyd’s Blott house in Chirnside Park hit the market earlier this year, it also triggered fears the property, without heritage protection, might face the wrecking ball if it sold to a developer.

National Trust of Australia, Victoria, advocacy manager Felicity Watson believed Lind House and Blott House highlighted a major gap in the state’s heritage protection.

“When people think about heritage in Melbourne, they often think about Marvellous Melbourne and the gold rush, and the amazing Victorian architecture that we have,” she said. “But what people sometimes forget is that the post-war period in Melbourne was a period of enormous cultural and physical transformation, really of a scale not seen since the gold rush.”

Ms Watson said the heritage system had not caught up with the understanding of the importance of post-war architecture.

“It’s really time to … protect these vulnerable places and do some strategic work to look at that before we lose them,” she said.

“With development pressure increasing and density increasing, all of these places are becoming vulnerable, so we really need to identify which are the best examples that we need to protect.”

Tim Ross, comedian and presenter of TV show Streets of Your Town, said post-war buildings should be given the same respect the terrace houses and California bungalows received.

“Our suburbs should reflect all periods of our history because that’s what gives them their character,” he said.

“Kagan’s work is finally starting to get the recognition that it deserves. We don’t save buildings for today or tomorrow. We save them for 20, 30 years time and beyond.”

Craig Guthrie, a landscape architect and urban designer at Hassell, is also among the experts trying to raise awareness about the potential demolition.

“Melbourne’s growing a lot and we do need to increase density in the inner suburbs, where we have good infrastructure, schools and transport,” he said.

“But we need to protect some of the special places that we have. When 80 per cent of housing is probably mediocre to sometimes poor, we got to keep the good ones.”

A spokesman for Planning Minister Richard Wynne said he had not yet received a request from the Glen Eira Council, and would consider it on its merits if he did.

Caulfield Racecourse Reserve – Community Gathering 15/02/2017

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For those who don’t know in 1858 a Crown Grant established the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve with 3 separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park (Caveat on Title).  Yet over the past 20  years lack of oversight and mismanagement (State Government and Board of Trustees) has allowed racing and racing’s commercial activities to dominate the reserve to the exclusion of the public park purposes.

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The scathing September, 2014 Auditor General Report into the management of the reserve graphically identified the current  imbalance in usage of the Reserves 54 ha (valued at $2bn), that has resulted from that lack of oversight and mismanagement, as being

  • 11 hectares (20%), is leased by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) for a flat rate of approx. $170,000 p.a.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used by MRC without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement.  (GERA comment – to put this 37 hectares in perspective, it is roughly the equivalent to the combined size of Glen Eira’s two premier parks – Caulfield Park (24.9ha) and Princes Park (12.4ha.)
  • 6 hectares (11%) is open space for potential use by the community on restricted days at restricted times. Use of the racecourse parkland by the public is not actively promoted nor visible from the surrounding streets.  It is also difficult to physically access and comprises limited facilities that don’t meet park users’ needs.

It is now almost 2.5 years  since the AG’s Report and, although “opening up” the Reserve for public use by the surrounding communities of Glen Eira and Stonnington would be significant*, only scant information is available on progress and little has been achieved at “ground zero”.  Therefore, GERA, in conjunction with the Malvern East Group (a.k.a. Stonnington residents group), invites you to a Community Gathering at Caulfield Racecourse between 6.00 & 8.00 pm on Wednesday, 15th February, 2015.

The purpose of this event is twofold

  • To increase community usage of the our parkland by
    • Increasing community awareness of the 2 public park purposes of this Reserve and
    • Providing an opportunity for the community to visit the park and experience it’s magnitude and beauty.
  • To provide local residents with an opportunity to join the campaign seeking increased State Government actions, that are geared to
    • redressing the imbalance in racing vs. public usage of this public land, and
    • ensuring compliance with the Auditor General’s recommendation for open and transparent management this public land.

We hope you will be able to attend.

Public Parkland Access Point Details & Opening Hours

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*Significance of “Opening Up” the Reserve

  • Glen Eira has the least per capita open space in Metro Melbourne, Stonnington the second least
  • Caulfield Racecourse is located
    • just south of Dandenong Road which is the boundary between the two municipalities.
    • Residents in both Municipalities experience adverse amenity impacts (traffic, parking and noise) from racing and racing commercial events.
    • In both Municipalities, the residential areas surrounding this small stretch of Dandendong Road are targeted for, and are currently experiencing, high density growth.

COMMUNITY FORUMS UPDATE

26/10/2016 PREDICTED OUTCOME – 2016 Council Elections

Lots of speculation on the election results – definite results will not be known until Saturday, 29/10/2016, when the actual count occurs.

Despite the huge mathematical exercise involved in the distribution of preferences, any who has watched the tally results in State and Federal Elections will be aware that there are politically astute, mathematical geniuses out there who are often able to accurately predict election outcomes based on minimal information.

As far the 2016 Council Election goes, the same thing is happening.   The most credible predictions GERA has received are

Camden – Mary Delahunty re-elected, with Karen Hermann and Joel Silver likely to occupy the remaining two positions.

Rosstown – Margaret Esakoff re-elected, with Anthony Athanasopolous, Jane Karslake and Neil Pilling vying for the remaining two positions.

Tucker – Jamie Hyams re-elected, with Rodney Andonoplous, Neil Brewster and Nina Taylor vying for the remaining two positions.

How accurate these predictions are will not be known until after Saturday, 29/10/2016. If accurate it means 5-6 current incumbents will not be returning.

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Following on from our 3 well attended community forums and with the election deadline rapidly approaching (make sure you post your vote in time for it to be postmarked before 6.00 p.m. tomorrow – Friday, 21/10/2016) many “panicking” residents are seeking input on the candidates.

While GERA does not endorse any candidates, we urge residents to review their ballot packs and pass on the feedback we received from residents who attended the forums.

Rosstown Forum – 5/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Rosstown Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Anthony Athanasopoulos (Independent)
  • David Box (Labor)
  • Cr. Kelvin Ho (Liberal)*
  • Don Dunstan (Liberal)
  • Shan Jayaweera (Independent)
  • Jane Karslake (Labor)
  • Con Zois (Independent)

*Cr. Kelvin Ho, appointed after resignation of Cr. Karina Okotel, 5 months in office

Did not attend

  •  Asher Cooper
  •  Clare Davey (Greens)
  •  Cr. Margaret Esakoff (Independent)*
  •  Cr. Neil Pilling (Independent)* Late Apology
  •  Sunny Malichetti

*Cr. Margaret Esakoff, 13 consecutive years in office and Cr. Neil Pilling, 8 consecutive years in office and current Mayor.  Given that both are seeking re-election for a further 4 years, their “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Athony Athanasopoulos, David Box, Shan Jayawera and Jane Karslake identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Tucker Forum – 9/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Tucker Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Neil Brewster (Independent)
  •  Phil De’Ath (Liberal)
  •  Cr. Oscar Lobo* (Labor)
  •  Jeff Mackie (Independent)
  •  Cr. Jim Magee (Independent)
  •  Michael Searle (Independent)
  •  Nina Taylor (Labor)

*Cr. Oscar Lobo, appointed after resignation of Cr. Nick Staikos, 7 consecutive years in office  and Cr. Jim Magee, 8 consecutive years in office

Did not attend

  • Rodney Andonopoulos (Labor) – Apology
  • Joshua Bonney – Apology
  • Anne Marie Cade
  • Donna Elliott
  • Cr. Jamie Hyams*
  • Michael Karlik
  •  Karina Okotel

*Cr. Jamie Hyams, 10 non consecutive years in office (2003-5, 2008-2016).  Given that he is seeking re-election for a further 4 years, his “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Neil Brewster, Jeff Mackie, Michael Searle and Nina Taylor identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

 Camden – 13/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Camden Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  • Cr. Mary Delahunty (Labor)
  • Ian Fayman
  • Karen Hermann (Independent)
  • Rebecca Pinskier (Labour)
  • Joel Silver (Liberal)
  • Cr. Thomas Sounness (Green)*
  • Dan Sztrajt (Independent)

*Both Crs. Mary Delahunty and Tomas Sounness have served 4 years in office.

Residents Feedback

Mary Delahunty, Karen Hermann, Thomas Sounness and Dan Sztrajt identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Election Results

To allow for mail delivery times, counting of votes will occur on 29th October, 2016.

  

 

Authorised by:  B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda, Vic. 3181

UPDATE – COMMUNITY FORUMS for the 2106 GLEN EIRA COUNCIL ELECTIONS

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Attached are the, by Ward,  2016 Glen Eira Council Election Candidates’ Statements which have been submitted by the Candidates for inclusion in the Council Election Ballot Pack that will be mailed to residents, listed on the Council electoral roll, from 4–6 October.

Your completed ballot papers must be in the mail or hand-delivered to the election office by 6.00 pm on Friday 21 October.

  • Camden – comprising Elsternwick, Caulfield, Caulfield East, North & South and St. Kilda East
  • Rosstown – comprising Carnegie, Glen Huntly, Murrumbeena and Ormond
  • Tucker – comprising McKinnon, Bentleigh and Bentleigh East

Since scant media attention is paid to Council elections,

  • candidates are limited in getting their message across (flyers and posters are not cheap).   In addition, there’s only so much information that can be included in Ballot Pack Statements or election flyers/posters, and only so much door knocking that can be achieved when there’s approximately 30,000 residences in each ward.
  • it is difficult for residents to obtain information when they are dependent on limited one-on-one contact (if any) with candidates, periodic letter boxed flyers and “all at once” ballot pack statements which tend to merge into one another.

Another aspect to consider is that it’s generally believed that postal elections vs. attendance elections, tends to favour the re-election of incumbents rather than the election of new candidates.   Scant media attention, difficulty in presenting and receiving information, combined with a need to make a choice within a short time frame creates an environment which leads voters to select “known names” rather than “unknowns”.  In this regard, obviously current Councillors have an advantage.  During their time in office, they have received mentions and/or been photographed in the local media and the “Glen Eira News”.  On the other hand new candidates are basically starting from scratch.  Time consuming though it is, we urge resident to carefully review all candidates (credentials and platforms) before deciding their vote.

As per GERA’s previous posting we remind readers that to assist residents to make an informed vote in this month’s Council Election, GERA is holding a Community Forum in each of Glen Eira’s three wards.  The issues facing Glen Eira are significant, perennial and increasingly adversely impact all residents and all zones.

Forum details, the first to be held this coming Wednesday ( 5/10),  are as follows

Rosstown Ward Forum

  • Wednesday, 5th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • Koornang Uniting Church, 117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena

Tucker Ward Forum

  • Sunday, 9th October, 2016
  • 1.30 p.m. for 2.00 start
  • Bentleigh Club, 33 Yawla Street, Bentleigh

Camden Ward Forum

  • Thursday, 13th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • John’s Uniting Church, 567 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

 GERA urges all residents to attend to ensure that they cast an informed vote.

 FORUM  FAQ’s

 While distributing our “Meet the Candidates” Community Forum flyers a number of residents have sought additional information.  To ensure the information is provided to all, these Questions and Answers are summarised below

What is a “stooge” and how can they be identified?

 A “stooge” or “dummy” is a registered candidate who is not a genuine candidate but rather a candidate whose purpose is to distract or “trick” unwary voters into voting for them so that their preferences can be re-directed to some other candidate.    The distraction or “trick” being provided by various means, eg identification with ethnicity/cultural groups or associations with sporting clubs or other interest groups

They can usually be identified by how prominently they (the stooge) make themselves known to the broader community during their campaign and their distribution of preferences (usually distributed to a much higher profiled candidate).

Why are the Forums being held much earlier (5/10, 9/10 & 13/10) than the election date (22/10)?

 The 2016 Council Elections will be undertaken by postal voting (as opposed to attendance voting).   A common feature of postal voting is that voters complete and return their vote within a week or two of receiving the ballot pack (it’s like ensuring you qualify to the pay on time discount except, in this case, it’s vote early to avoid a possible fine).

Council Election Ballot Packs will be mailed out this week and hence the Forums have been timed to coincide with the receipt of ballot packs and allow for the postal voting pattern.

As an FYI – although most completed ballots are expected to be received, by the Returning Office, in the week of 17-22nd October,  the votes will not be “extracted” and counted until the 22nd.   Additionally, to allow for the receipt and inclusion of votes (postmarked earlier than 6.00 p.m. on 21st October) in the “count”, final election results may not be known for a few days.

What’s the Forum format?

The Forum format will be “Town Hall” style:

  • A brief welcome and an introduction to GERA, the Forum Moderator and Council Candidates.
  • Council Candidates will have an 2-3 minute opportunity to present their election campaign views and strategies
  • Residents will have a 2 minute opportunity to ask questions of candidates (specific candidates or all candidates). Candidate responses will also be time restricted (2-3 mins.) to ensure that all attendees’ questions are asked and responded to.
  • After the close of the Forum, light refreshments and an opportunity for informal discussion between Candidates and Residents will be provided.

Authorised by:  B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda, Vic. 3181

How will you decide your vote in October’s Council Elections?

ballot-boxjpgMEET THE CANDIDATES

COMMUNITY FORUMS

 Discuss the issues with the Candidates

 The forums, presented by the Glen Eira Residents’ Association, are a unique opportunity for

  • candidates (current incumbents and new candidates) to
    • present their policies to a broad cross section of the Glen Eira community, and
    • respond to questions from multiple residents in a Q&A session and “post forum” one on one sessions
  • residents to
    • listen to and question multiple candidates at one time, and
    • gain an understanding of other residents “take” on the issues

The issues confronting Glen Eira are substantial

  • Also as per the results of the recent Planning Scheme Review, directed by the Minister for Planning, Glen Eira has
    • Significant town planning issues exist across the Municipality. For example,
      • Camden – delayed structure planning and no height controls proposed
      • Rosstown – structure planning and proposed height controls limited to Carnegie Activity Centre only.
      • Tucker – the major East Village development (20.2 ha) formerly known as the smaller (12.3 ha) Virginia Park development
    • The least per capita open space in Metro Melbourne
    • No significant Tree Register or Tree Protection Policy
    • Out dated Heritage Protection
    • Inadequate Neighbourhood Character Protection

 HOW WILL YOU DECIDE YOUR VOTE?

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If you want the best leadership?

  Then

  Attend your Ward’s Forum

    Listen, Discuss, Compare

Cast an informed vote on 22nd October, 2016

 

Forum Details are:

Moderator:     Newton Gatoff

 Rosstown Ward Forum

  • Wednesday, 5th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • Koornang Uniting Church, 117 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena

Tucker Ward Forum

  • Sunday, 9th October, 2016
  • 1.30 p.m. for 2.00 start
  • Bentleigh Club, 33 Yawla Street, Bentleigh

Camden Ward Forum

  • Thursday, 13th October, 2016
  • 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 start
  • St. John’s Uniting Church, 567 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

Forum Admission:   Gold Coin Donation

 

Not sure of your Ward?

 ward-map

 

Authorised by:   B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda 3181

Caulfield Racecourse trustees face sack in community push for more open space

Just published in The Age  – after 140 years, and almost two years after the scathing Auditor General’s Report (17/9/2014) on the Management Performance of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust, it looks like the State Government is taking the first step in ensuring this Crown Land (valued at $2bn) is governed in accordance with it’s 3 specific purposes of racecourse, public park and public recreation ground.

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The AGE article –  Farrah Tomazin – August 20 2016 – 4:18PM

A powerful board that manages the Caulfield Racecourse faces being sacked after years of “unworkable” governance, paving the way for one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets to be opened up for greater public use.

In a move likely to be welcomed by residents, the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve – the equivalent of about 15 MCGs worth of open space – could soon be utilised for more recreation, local sport and much-needed parkland in the heart of inner-city suburbia.

Racecourse Centre

An aerial view of Caulfield Racetrack. Photo: Google Earth

The reserve is home to premier racing events such as the Caulfield Cup and the Blue Diamond Stakes, but the land was put aside a century ago for broader community use, not just the city’s sporting elite.

However, most Melburnians would not know they can simply walk in and use the space, largely because the governing board – made up by a secretive group of trustees heavily influenced by the powerful Melbourne Racing Club – has made the site look unwelcoming and managed the area for years to serve its own interests: predominantly training and racing.

A bipartisan panel set up by the Andrews government earlier this year has now branded the trustee structure “unworkable” and “anachronistic”, and called for a new independent body to manage the reserve.

The panel’s report, seen by The Sunday Age, suggests the government could first request the resignations of the trustees, whose 15 members comprise six MRC nominees (including chair Mike Symons and vice-chair Peter Le Grand); six government nominees (including former ALP national president Greg Sword and federal court judge Shane Marshall) and three from the Glen Eira Council.

If the trustees don’t stand down legislation would be introduced giving the minister the power to dissolve the group and set up a new, clearer governance structure based on bodies such the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust or the MCG Trust. In the meantime, the department of environment would be appointed the interim land manager.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said she was considering her options and would respond shortly.

“This historic issue has been languishing for far too long and requires decisive action,” she said. “We must ensure there is a balance between the needs of the racing community and local residents.”

A key problem with the governance of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve is the trust is the landlord and the Melbourne Racing Club its tenant – yet six of the 15 trustees also happen to be MRC appointments.

The composition of the group has therefore resulted in perceived and real conflicts of interest, a lack of accountability, and unresolved disputes between trustees on everything from the lease arrangements to how the area should best be used.

The City of Glen Eira has the least public space of any municipality, and councillors have previously pointed out there were about 400 children unable to play sport in the area last winter because they simply didn’t have the room.

Liberal Caulfield MP David Southwick – part of the working group, along with Labor Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopoulos and independent chair Ken Ryan – told Fairfax Media: “The Andrews government must act immediately and implement the working group’s report and sack the Caulfield Racecourse Trust to restore appropriate governance and to unlock this prime open space for the community.”

Mr Dimopoulos said it was crucial the MRC deliver on a plan to remove training from the site within five years, to allow sports grounds to be established around the reserve.

The skewed way in which the reserve has been managed was highlighted in a 2014 Auditor-General’s report, which found 37 out of the reserve’s 54 hectares were being used by the MRC for racing and training “without clear legal entitlement or transparent arrangements in place that recognise the financial benefit to the club”.

A further 11 hectares were leased to the MRC. But only six hectares were identified as space the public could use – if they managed to navigate their way past the poor signage and unwelcoming access points.