Welcome to the first newsletter of Saving Moore Park Inc.
The past couple of months have been hectic, and if you’ve been following us on our website, Facebook and Twitter, you’ll know that we haven’t been letting the grass grow under our feet. The good news is that we now have more than 2,300 supporters. So thank you everyone!
The Government’s position
Moore Park is still under threat. Yes, the Premier has said that the new stadium will be built on "existing SCG land". But earlier this month the Sports Minister, Stuart Ayres, who has vigorously led the campaign to build the stadium on Kippax Lake, observed the design brief will determine where is the best location to build the stadium. So if not on Moore Park, where else?
Refurbishing Allianz Stadium seems to have few supporters in Government, despite being a key element of the 2013 SCG Master Plan and being described by Stuart Ayres in the 2015 SCG Annual report as amongst “the most technologically advanced sporting venues in the world”. On 24 March, the Premier said it was “unlikely” Allianz Stadium would be refurbished rather than be replaced. (Daily Telegraph, 24 March 2016)
The SCG’s position
See the 2013 video of the SCG Trust’s Master Plan to take over Moore Park. It is dated - there is no Tibby Cotter walkway, no stadium on Kippax Lake, and Allianz Stadium is only to be refurbished. This, and the way it glosses over the practical issues you’d expect to see in a business case, provides compelling evidence of how hastily the SCG Trust has put its current proposal together. But the scale of the SCG land grab is clear.
Where we go from here
The Government has given NRL clubs until 1 April to commit to playing 65 games across the stadium network: Pirtek (Paramatta), ANZ (Homebush) and Allianz Stadium (Moore Park). If they agree, the NRL has until 31 May to decide how it wants the funding split between Moore Park and ANZ Stadium.
Several clubs are said to be less than enthusiastic about Moore Park. The NRL’s solution is apparently to ask for $200 million more – increasing proposed stadia funding to $1.8 billion, with $400 million going to Pirtek with $700 million each to Homebush and Moore Park. Voters will no doubt be thrilled to see another $200 million being invested in sports stadia rather than hospitals, including the Nepean Hospital in Stuart Ayres’ own electorate, which is in a state of crisis due to lack of funding.
Radio National Background Briefing
Many of you will have heard the disturbing report by Mark Davis on 20 March. The links are below if you missed them:
Saving Moore Park
Please visit our Advocacy page to see letters to and from the Premier and Minister for the Environment and other activities.
Thank you again for all your support. While independent of other activist groups and individuals, we are building a strong community movement with backing from across the political spectrum - particularly from Alex Greenwich, Clover Moore, Jenny Leong and Bruce Notley-Smith. Even with their greatly valued support, we need to keep increasing our supporter numbers, and quickly. The more people who support us, the more likely the Government will listen to us.
So please, please ask your family and friends to register on our website, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
Saving Moore Park
27 March 2016