Councils clash over park strife

An historic park in Melbourne's inner north was trashed on New Year's Eve when about 15,000 people showed up to an illegal dance party there.

An invitation to the party at Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy, was circulated widely on Facebook, even though the organisers did not apply for a permit.

It featured all night DJs and amplified music in the park's rotunda.

However, Yarra City Council is blaming fellow authority the City of Melbourne for the "unprecedented" number of revellers who left behind an expensive clean up bill.

Yarra Mayor Jackie Fristacky said the City of Melbourne had for the first time promoted Edinburgh Gardens on its website as a good vantage point for the CBD fireworks display, without consulting its neighbour.

She said Yarra had drafted a complaint letter to Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle about the lack of pre-event planning advice. It is believed only one portaloo was hired.

"Its a flat area so it's not a suitable vantage point for 15,000 people trying to see a fireworks display," Cr Fristacky said.

She said a crew of eight contractors and several residents started cleaning up at 5am on New Years Day and it took two days to do the job.

North Fitzroy resident Ben Hillier walked throughb the park with his baby son in a pram on New Years morning and was shocked by the rubbish. He took several videos and put them on Facebook.

"It was unbelievable. It was knee deep in rubbish and smelt like a tip," he said. "It stunk so bad like alcohol."

"People who walked past were just gobsmacked, they'd never seen anything like it.

"There were smashed bottles everywhere, glass stuck to my thongs and you know, kids run around there."

However, another Yarra councillor Steve Jolly said it was "awesome" that thousands of young people could celebrate for free in the park.

"There was not a single arrest for violence or antisocial behaviour," he said. "It's a really good community atmosphere.

"I just think it's great. It wasn't left in pristine condition but if that's the price we have to pay for young people to have a fantastic time for free, it's worth it."

Edinburgh Gardens was created in 1862 and is the former home of Fitzroy Football Club.

This story Councils clash over park strife first appeared on The Age.