MP Kat Theophanous' compromised proposal offers a lifeline

MP Kat Theophanous’ compromised proposal offers a lifeline

But Ruth Liston, a representative of the group that created the original petition calling for the golf course to be turned into parkland, disagreed.


“It’s disappointing. It’s a huge amount of money that is being put forward to try to subvert the democratic process,” Liston said.

With Darebin’s population expected to steadily increase, Liston said there was not enough parkland for families and other residents to enjoy. She said there was only one other large park near her home.

“Suggesting that they’re coming in to make a compromise is not correct,” she said. “It sounds like [the] state government is coming in to try to cut off the various options that local people want and firmly put down that it’s to remain as a nine-hole golf course, which is what a small group of people want, but not what the wider community wants .”

The council’s initial effort to resolve the debate was undermined when, after accepting 11,000 submissions from the public, it failed to release its report of recommendations and was unable to say when it would be released.


An urgent motion was put forward to release all the submissions, but was voted down by councilors, raising questions over the council’s transparency on the consultation process.

Theophanous said the council debate had been “divisive”.

“It is imperative that decisions around the future use of the site are well considered and genuinely informed by community input,” she said in a statement. “There is a genuine opportunity here to achieve a really positive outcome for our community – one that doesn’t involve shutting down our sports clubs or facilities.”

Darebin is one of four Victorian councils under the watch of a municipal monitor after the state government grew concerned about its “standards of governance and transparency”.

“It’s been disappointing to see the divisive way in which the future of the Northcote Public Golf Course has played out at the local government level. This need not be a zero-sum game that takes something away from our community,” Theophanous said.

Northcote is one of two public courses in the Darebin municipality, with Bundoora Park Public Golf course about 10 kilometers to its north-east.

Darebin Council was contacted for comment, but did not respond in time for publication.

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