Moore Park is YOUR park
There are four reasons why you should be concerned about recent events:
The Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust (CPMPT) will effectively be absorbed into the new Greater Sydney Parklands - a much bigger entity whose Parramatta offices are remote from Moore Park and whose Chief Executive, Suellen Fitzgerald, and new Board are (with one exception) unlikely – at least initially - to have any knowledge of the Park or the various issues that confront it.
The Executive Director of CPMPT, Denise Ora, who played a key role in the development and release of the Moore Park Master Plan and championed it at every turn, has gone. (She’s now Chief Executive of the Botanic Gardens Greater Sydney.) She was also a strong advocate for the removal of car parking from Moore Park.
We believe the football codes and SCG Trust may have extracted agreement from the Government that car parking on Moore Park for events will resume when demand for it warrants.
The Government has released for public comment “A 50-Year Vision for Greater Sydney’s Open Space and Parklands”. With Moore Park being adjacent to residential areas with the greatest population density in Australia and being in such a degraded state, you’d expect that Moore Park would feature prominently. It’s not even mentioned, other than implicitly in a reference to Centennial Parklands.
The northern end of Moore Park East is in disgraceful condition, with half bricks, concrete aggregate and tar poking through and the ground so uneven that anyone running across the Park could seriously injure themselves.
At a time when there’s a dire shortage of sporting fields for use by schools and the community, we have a field which is large enough to accommodate cricket and football but which is denied to them, due to the selfishness of the sporting codes which use the SCG and SFS and the apparent unwillingness of the Government to disagree with them.
Rob Stokes has made any number of statements recently about the importance of green space to the emotional health and welfare of the community. But the Government’s continuing neglect of Moore Park and its omission from the Open Space document makes it clear that this is little more than marketing spiel.
Four years ago the CPMPT developed a superb Master Plan. It was signed off by the Government, but to date not a dollar has been publicly committed to implementing it. Only this week, Minister Stokes has handed out $5.5 million to every Council in NSW for parklands and the like. The Government is injecting $10 million to revitalise Callan Park - but nothing to revitalise Moore Park.
Specific proposals have been developed for the remediation of Moore Park East and the provision of facilities which would be of great benefit to the local community. But the Trust hasn’t had the money and anyway, until event car parking stops permanently, there’s little that can be done.
Moore Park does not belong to the SCG Trust. Nor does it belong to the football codes, despite what they seem to think. Cars have no place on green space.
During nearly five years of our existence Saving Moore Park has lobbied the Government repeatedly to do something about Moore Park. Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. As recently as 6 July 2020 we wrote to both Minister Stokes and Premier Berejiklian. The Premier has ignored our letter while the reply we received on Stokes’ behalf earlier this week, comprises nothing more than meaningless platitudes. The second last paragraph is a real slap in the face for the community, and underlines that the Government’s commitment to the sporting codes far outweighs its commitment to the community.
It’s time for the community to make it clear to the Government that enough is enough and that we want it to
agree to the permanent removal of event car parking from the northern section of Moore Park with immediate effect,
commit to implementing the Moore Park Master Plan, and
implement the CPMPT’s plans for the remediation and revitalisation of Moore Park East.
The Government will only listen if enough of us make a noise. Covid-19 restrictions mean we can only do this online. Moore Park is YOUR park. You can make a difference by doing one or all of the following:
Write to Minister Stokes c/- Bec Mouy, Senior Policy Adviser in Stokes’ office at firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to Suellen Fitzgerald Suellen.Fitzgerald@wspt.nsw.gov.au setting out your concerns about event car parking and how this, and the lack of funding for the Moore Park Master Plan, has contributed to the present dire situation. You might like to emphasise that the return of car parking to Moore Park will deny the community a much needed junior sports field and other facilities such as a playground, BBQ facilities, picnic shelters and cricket nets.
Write to the Premier, pointing out that event car parking on Moore Park is inconsistent with the Government’s own Parks are for People program and must stop – initially on the northern end. (The southern end can come later.)
Complete the Open Spaces survey. Before doing so you will need to look at the Open Spaces document, as the survey relates directly to this. However, you can ignore the first 19 pages of marketing waffle and go straight to the four strategic directions on pages 20-27. You should indicate your own priorities but we’d encourage you to express your concern that Open Spaces ignores Moore Park. You may find helpful comments that we have made, but you should personalise your response by amending these as you feel appropriate.
7 August 2020