Road to 10,000 Signatures to Save Raymond Park in Kangaroo Point

Raymond Park
Photo Credit: Google Maps

A group of concerned locals has been aiming to gather 10,000 signatures to save Raymond Park in Kangaroo Point from becoming an Olympic training ground. 

The petition, created by Melissa Occhipinti of the Friends of Raymond Park, has secured over 2,700 signatures so far. It cites the potential disruption and reduced usability of the green space if Raymond Park is converted into a temporary training ground for the 2023 Brisbane Olympics. 

The Kangaroo Point green space was chosen as the temporary warm-up ground for the athletes due to its proximity to The Gabba, one of the central Olympic venues. As it stands, there are not enough green spaces for residents in inner city locations. 

If the park becomes an Olympic training ground, the residents said they will lose their off-leash dog park, fitness spaces, basketball and cricket grounds, as well as outdoor recreation sites including children’s parties. 

Photo Credit: Friends of Raymond Park/Facebook

“Raymond (Pineapple) Park is a crucial green space and vital to the mental health and wellbeing of the local Kangaroo Point and Woolloongabba community.  It is effectively our backyard,” the petition stated. 

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In a separate interview, Ms Occhipinti said that installing Olympic-ready training tracks will likely remove the dog park, and impact the century-old fig and palm trees, as well as the picnic grounds and community gardens. The residents also believe that there could be a resumption of houses. 

Instead, the petition recommends constructing the Olympic training ground at the Coorparoo Giffin Park precinct, located 2.1kms away from The Gabba.

Per Ms Occhipinti, this will create more positive outcomes compared to the Kangaroo Point site since Giffin Park is also the site for many sporting activities from local clubs and schools.

Friends of Raymond Park are also urging locals to email MP Terri Butler to present the concerns of Kangaroo Point residents and oppose the planned training ground in Parliament. 

In mid-2021, Lord Mayor Adrian announced a $50-million plan to upgrade parks before the Olympics. Raymond Park will get $287,000 while Giffin Park will receive $750,000. Also receiving upgrades are Emerson Park in Grange ($459,000), and the Chelmer Sports Grounds ($1.2 million). 

New sports parks will also be built across the city for a budget of $19 million, whilst the rest of the funding will be used “for maintenance and improvement works at existing sporting clubs.”