The Victoria Park Golf Course will be permanently closed to create Brisbane’s biggest public park in almost half a century.
The plan was welcomed by Brisbane’s opposition Labor councillors, who argued they had been calling for a rethink of golf courses for at least a year.
On Sunday, Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner announced the council-owned inner-city golf course would be transformed into a 45-hectare park.
“When you think of some of [the] great parklands across the globe, Central Park in New York City, Lumpini Park in Bangkok and Hyde Park in London come to mind for their hundreds of trees, free attractions and for offering people a green sanctuary within a busy capital city
“About 26 hectares of this council land is currently used as a pay and play public golf course, which over recent years has seen a decline in patronage and a reduction in revenue.”
Labor councillor Kara Cook said the transformation was a good idea but called for the park to be delivered on time and on budget.
“We’ve been calling for a rethink on golf courses across the city for at least the last 12 months,” she said.
” … The LNP have said that the ALP was waging a war on golfers. If that was a war, this [closing Victoria Park Golf Course] has got to be armageddon.”
In June 2018, Cr Cook questioned a $17 million commitment to the Cannon Hill Community Links Golf Course, which she said Labor would instead spend on lifestyle and community services that would benefit “all of Brisbane”.
“Council already owns two golf courses and the cost to ratepayers is enormous compared to the few who benefit from them,” she said last year.
In response, councillor Matthew Bourke accused Cr Cook of “declaring war on golf and golf lovers across this city”.
“The 257,000 people who go to our public golf courses, apparently, is a small number,” he said.
“We see significant usage of our golf courses and … we will continue our investment into those spaces.”
Council has allocated $1 million in 2019-20 for community consultation and design for the new park, with work due to begin in 2021.
“Other successful parklands across Brisbane have pop-up cinemas, different types of markets, community events and include revolutionary play areas for all ages,” Cr Schrinner said.
“These are all options we will explore with the community.”
Cr Schrinner said the council would work with the current tenants on the project to ensure the function centre, wedding venue, putt putt course and driving range were part of the new parkland.
When completed, the new park will be more than double the size of the City Botanic Gardens.
The council also owns the St Lucia Golf Links. The new public golf course at Cannon Hill is due for completion by the end of 2021.
Source: Brisbane times