Member's Statement - Central Gardens Hawthorn - Rocket Park

February 19, 2021

I rise to plead with the Boroondara City Council to save ‘Rocket Park’ in Hawthorn—Central Gardens in Hawthorn—which is very close to my electorate of Kew. There have been generations of Kew and Hawthorn families that have allowed their children to play at ‘Rocket Park’ on the decades-old rocket that is in the middle of the playground there, and for whatever reason the council have suggested that it be removed. This has caused great consternation and concern amongst the locals—5000 of them have signed a petition to save the rocket, and I want to add my voice today to save the rocket. It is a cultural and community institution in Hawthorn, and Central Gardens I think should be renamed ‘Rocket Park’. I note that the member for Hawthorn has just entered the chamber, and I hope that we will be on a unity ticket, the member for Hawthorn and I, on this one—to save the rocket. It does surprise every now and again to see a community so outraged about a rocket in a park, but it does show you that these community assets have a lot of cultural and indeed emotional significance to a lot of families. Kids have played on that rocket for decades—grandparents, families, parents, kids. That park is a very, very important aspect of growing up in our local area, and I really, really hope that that rocket stays for the foreseeable future.