Open spaces and footpaths a priority for Elsternwick, says Councillor Mary Delahunty

Mary Delahunty

Glen Eira City Council is working to make Elsternwick more pedestrian-friendly and create more open spaces in the area, said Councillor Mary Delahunty.

Cr Delahunty, who lives in Elsternwick with her family, said the council is looking at ways to keep the village-feel alive, as the local population grows.

“We’re looking at how to get more and better pedestrianisation and make people feel safer when they are walking, and making the best use of the good public transport that we have,” she said.

“We’re also conscious of the lack of open space in Elsternwick. A few years ago, we focused on Elsternwick Plaza, where Bang Bang (restaurant) is, and it’s a terrific public space now. So, how do we get more public spaces, even if it’s in an urban context?”

The council took a big step towards these goals when it approved the 2018 Elsternwick Structure Plan last year, outlining the long-term vision for the central Elsternwick area.

The Camden Ward councillor said the plan was an important piece of work because it set out the planning outcomes for the area, informing developers looking at building projects for years to come.

Cr Delahunty said families in the area, including her own, depended on footpaths, public transport and other local infrastructure to get to school and work every day.

However, the mother of three added that she did have to drive on weekends to meet all of her children’s sporting commitments.

As a local, the councillor said she spent much of her free time around Glen Huntly Rd, having breakfast at Loco, an Aperol spritz with friends at Bang Bang, or watching the footy at the Caulfield RSL.

Cr Delahunty said residents cared a lot about preserving the community feel of the area, including the traders that operated in the Elsternwick Village shopping precinct.

“The great thing about shopping in Elsternwick is generally people know who you are and what you have come in for because you’ve been there every week. That sort of feeling, so close to the city, is rare and should be protected,” she said.

“That’s why it’s crucial to have small, local traders here. It’s where we want to shop, and it keeps the village feel. It’s also crucial that we keep the mix of traders, so the look and feel of it is somewhere where people want to be.”

Cr Delahunty was elected to Glen Eira City Council in 2012 and served as Mayor in 2017.

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