Dear Obs residents
The OCA held a successful Town Hall meeting on Wed 17th March which was attended by about 70 people in a combined virtual and in-person format using a venue at the Obs Methodist Church organised consistent with COVID-19 protocols (thank you to Eric Judd for making the venue available and to OCA Man Comm members for organising the venue safety measures). The meeting was called to discuss our engagement over the Hartleyvale and Malta Park precinct and the situation of the residents at 2 Willow Rd, now constituted as the Willow Arts Collective (WAC). The residents are fighting an eviction by the City who have not engaged the residents over their proposals to develop the site as a combined food garden, artistic, sports and recreation centre. The OCA previously adopted a resolution at a Special General Meeting in January 2021 empowering the OCA to intervene as an Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) on the basis that the eviction pre-empts and interferes with our demands for a participatory planning process for the entire precinct.
The meeting heard many comments about the irrationality and unfairness of the eviction and about the efforts of the WAC residents to turn the property into a valuable community resource. The links with the wider Two Rivers Urban Park developments were also made clear when we reaffirmed our commitment to pressing for a participatory co-design planning process for the precinct. Various suggestions were made about how we can break down misconceptions about the WAC project in the wider community and initiate a co-design process that involves Observatory residents broadly.
Following the Town Hall Meeting, the OCA is now calling a Special General Meeting for Thursday 25th at 6pm following a request from more than 10% of our members. The SGM will discuss two resolutions which had already been proposed to the Man Comm. One resolution will propose that the OCA take a position to reject the evictions and support the WAC in their opposition to eviction. Another resolution will be put forward to broaden the mandate of our previous SGM, to allow the OCA to either intervene in the eviction as an Amicus Curiae or as a direct litigant. Both resolutions will be posted on the OCA website within the next 48 hours.
Leslie London – OCA Chair