Christmas roundup Newsletter
(1) Moore Park Parking and Funding
In June, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, James Griffin, committed the Government when he stated in Parliament that When the light rail opens, our Government will remove on-grass parking for sporting events from Moore Park East. The Government also supported Alex Greenwich’s motion that opposed any damage to, or encroachment on, Moore Park as a result of the SFS redevelopment.
The Government has just released its Consent conditions for the SFS redevelopment. Condition D50 requires INSW to develop an Event Car Parking Management Plan. Its objective is to ensure that a car parking plan is prepared to cater for the event days at the stadium on the basis of the progressive phasing out of the on-grass parking on Moore Park East, consistent with the Moore Park Masterplan 2040. The Plan must “consider” alternative strategies and the feasibility of implementing them. The Plan doesn’t have to be completed until three months before the new Stadium begins operation – so mid-2022 at the earliest.
We’re very disappointed with this outcome as we’ve been looking for an unqualified commitment from the Government that
a) car parking be progressively removed from EP2 (close to Moore Park Road) by mid-2020 and completed by mid-2021; and
b) car parking be progressively removed from EP3 (opposite the Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries) by mid-2021 and completed by mid-2022.
Condition D50 is clearly inconsistent with both the commitment by the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Alex Greenwich’s motion. The frequency of encroachment will increase once the SFS is operational as will be no cap on the number of events, particularly while ANZ Stadium is being rebuilt. There is ample evidence of the immense damage car parking causes the Park and this will be even greater in future. Given INSW’s continuing resistance to the community’s demands that it address the car parking issue, and the fact that its client - the SCG Trust - is opposed to any relocation of parking, we have no faith that it will make a meaningful effort to deliver an outcome beneficial to the community.
In the past six months we’ve met with Rob Stokes’ Chief of Staff and a Senior Policy Adviser in his office. As well, a DPIE Deputy Secretary and two of her senior staff have walked around the Park with us seeing the degradation for themselves. We’re continuing to pressure the Government to commit $40 million towards implementing the Moore Park Master Plan. The pollution in Kippax Lake (image above) will cost serious money to fix!
We expect to have more to report on each of these issues by end-January 2020.
(2) Kippax Amenities Block
The old toilet block has gone and will be replaced by March 2020 by one with a streamlined skillion style design. (Image below) The public toilet facilities will include a bathroom with a shower, bubblers and a wash trough, and will be publicly accessible during daylight hours. The Trust hopes the new block will kick start the revitalisation of Moore Park East which was proposed in the Moore Park Master Plan. We hope so too.
A separate stockpile site adjacent Driver Avenue is for Transport for NSW to complete Light Rail road works. This temporary compound will be in place until February 2020.
(3) Alexandria to Moore Park Connectivity Upgrade
Over the past two years, we’ve had meetings with RMS concerning proposed changes to the South Dowling St/Dacey Ave /Lachlan St and the Dacey Ave/Anzac Parade/Alison Rd intersections which would have involved substantial encroachment on Trust land and significant tree loss. It was announced recently that these plans have been scaled back:
The creation of an extra right turn lane from South Dowling St into Lachlan Street will be achieved by some very minor road widening and kerb realignment at the slip lane from South Dowling St into Dacey Avenue. This will not encroach on Trust land and will not impact any trees.
The initial concept of a cross flow intersection which would have involved tree loss is apparently now ‘off the table’. Other elements of the initial concept design such as the proposed separated pedestrian and cycle paths on both sides of Dacey Avenue are still being considered although there are no plans to pursue these at this stage.
We see this as a real win for the community!
(4) EQ unsolicited proposal
We met with Guy Pahor, EQ CEO on 29 November to receive a presentation of the Carsingha Investments proposal. A note on the main elements of the presentation can be seen here.
EQ needs to be revitalised and we think the proposal has some attractive features that will contribute to this. For EQ to be viable for cafes, restaurants and other small retail activities, we accept that provision will have to be made for more people to work in the precinct. That said, while a boutique hotel may be reasonable, we don’t support the idea of a 20 story office block. We also have reservations about a 99 year lease.
It’s early days, and we’re content to await more detail before taking a firm position. We’ve been assured by Guy Pahor that there will be a further full process of communication with the community – presumably as their ideas develop. It’s our hope that a compromise solution will emerge which, even if it doesn’t satisfy everyone, will lead to a more vibrant precinct, and particularly one that’s attractive to families
(5) SCG members’ facilities
The SCG Trust has stated that new members’ facilities will be in a similar location to the old ones and will be designed, developed and funded by the SCG.
Under its Act of Parliament, the SCG can proceed with these without any formal DA process. If it were to do so, this would result in the bizarre situation where the new SFS was subject to a strict Development Application process involving two Environmental Impact Statements but the SCG Members’ facilities on the same footprint are exempt. Whatever the merits of the proposed new facilities, for the SCG Trust to ignore the formal disciplines associated with a DA process and thumb its nose at the community would be completely inappropriate.
(6) Other issues
There are several other current issues:
Toll House– The CP&MP Trust hoping to trial a wellness centre starting in March
Royal Hall of Industries– SSDA by the Sydney Swans on adaptive reuse
Hordern Pavilion Refurbishment– DA by Playbill Venues
Playing Fields near Sydney Boys Highwill reopen in January, date dependent on water.
Tree Plantings– CP&MP Trust advise that with funding support from Transport for NSW, more than 600 new trees will have been planted across Centennial Parklands by the end of 2020. Of 400+ planted to date about 200 are in Moore Park. Depending on water restrictions, a further 200+ will be planted in the Parklands over the next twelve months.
Thank you for your continuing support throughout 2019. On behalf of the Saving Moore Park Committee I wish you all the best for the festive season.
19 December 2019