Call for community support for recreation park

CRITICISM: Lew Muller was an energetic figure at the public meeting. He was asked whether the strategic plan had been shared with civic leaders.
CRITICISM: Lew Muller was an energetic figure at the public meeting. He was asked whether the strategic plan had been shared with civic leaders.

A campaigner for Bowman Park has lamented lack of community support for maintaining the recreational spot.

Lew Muller, of the Bowman Park Management Committee, said only two people had attended a recent working bee at the park near Crystal Brook.

He outlined the situation at a public meeting called by the Crystal Brook Community Association in the Institute.

“I am angry because apathy reigns supreme,” he said.

“It is being treated as nuisance value. There might have been two people at the working bee.

“So much more could be done.”

He said it could take 50 years to achieve the vision for the site.

“It is an opportunity crying out to be exploited,” he said.

He said the committee started with 28 members in 2010, but “volunteer fatigue” had set in and there were now eight members.

Mr Muller said Port Pirie Regional Council’s Mayor, John Rohde, should be congratulated for his involvement with the park.

But he said: “We need to get out of a care-and-maintenance mode. We are treading water. The relationship with council must improve.”

He said the committee had about $21,000 left in its funding resources with $13,000 available for discretionary spending.

He described the park as a native bush garden surrounded by historic buildings.

“After five years of effort, this asset could be valued in the millions of dollars,” he predicted.

Mr Muller outlined the park’s strategic plan for 2010-2020.

He said only Crystal Brook people could join the committee, to which Cr Dino Gadaleta objected.

Cr Gadaleta said there were many “greenies” in Port Pirie who would embrace the opportunity to help and the committee should look outside its constitution.

Chairman of the meeting, Cr Neville Wilson, told The Recorder later that provision existed for people with appropriate skills to become involved regardless of where they lived.

Pastor Bill Clarke raised the possibility of an animal hospital being created at the park.

He suggested the aviaries be revitalised. It was suggested to Mr Muller after the meeting that the strategic plan for Bowman Park needed to be shared with the council.

It was pointed out that the make-up of council can change during the years and a document produced for 2010-2020 might not have been seen by the current civic leaders.

Some issues exist with the website for the group with access not being easily attained.

The park is popular with recreational vehicle travellers who are impressed by the beautiful surroundings.

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