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Dear Supporter,

Landscape Plan for Moore Park East
 
As I indicated in my last newsletter, the draft plan developed by Greater Sydney Parklands (GSP) as a basis for community consultation is a big step towards the revitalisation of Moore Park. We compliment GSP on its willingness to extend the consultation period and have an extra pop-up event.
 
GSP has advised that there were 250 survey responses, more than 40 submissions and 70 attendees at the two pop-up events held at Moore Park East. In late 2020 we received 372 responses to a survey based on our vision for Moore Park East. So GSP now has ample information on the community’s views about how the Park should be revitalised following the cessation of on-grass car parking. It will now review all the feedback with a view to publishing a Consultation Outcomes Report in October.
 
Funding for the Landscape Plan
 
It’s one thing to have a plan and another to fund it. $2 million has been allocated this financial year to implementing the Plan, starting with Upper Kippax where on-grass car parking has now ceased permanently. In April and again in July, I wrote to Minister Rob Stokes requesting that $12 million be allocated over three years – the minimum we believe is necessary to revitalise Moore Park after years of damage and neglect.
 
$12 million is little more than 1% of the Government’s expenditure on the new stadium and car park. In stark contrast, it has committed $113 million over four years to deliver three new Rugby League Centres of Excellence. $12 million over three years will have far greater community benefit than the $113 million. A copy of my July letter can be seen here.
 
Minister Stokes has recently responded saying that “While I can’t make additional funding commitments outside of the budget process, Greater Sydney Parklands and I will be working hard to secure further funding over the next three years to see the community endorsed plan become a reality.” A copy of his letter can be seen here.
 
While providing no guarantee of increased funding, Rob Stokes delivered on the removal of on-grass car parking and we trust that as long as he is Minister he will indeed endeavour to secure increased funding for Moore Park. But with an election in less than six months we’ll be seeking to firm up a commitment from both the Government and the Opposition.
 
Opening of new stadium and on-grass car parking
 
The photos above and below show the damage done by cars to Lower Kippax (or EP2) on the first three days of the stadium opening, following the prolonged wet weather. We approached both Greater Sydney Parklands (GSP) and Rob Stokes’ office and asked that car parking be suspended for the Rugby League semi-final last weekend, as the ground remained wet and susceptible to greater damage. This was agreed and there was no car parking there in connection with this game. Since then the most severely damaged areas have been temporarily but satisfactorily repaired.
 
However, one area of EP2 hasn’t been repaired. The photo at bottom right shows this area late on Friday, waterlogged by rain late on Thursday. We immediately drew it to the attention of GSP and asked that the area be roped off so that there’s no further damage.
 
Much as we would like car parking on EP2 and on the southern area of Moore Park (EP3) to cease permanently now, we expect that it will continue until the dates prescribed in the GSP Trust Act (end 2023 and end 2025 respectively). We will therefore only object to car parking in these areas when wet weather means the ground is likely to sustain serious damage.
 
One positive thing I can say about the new stadium is the commitment the sporting codes and Venues NSW are giving to the use of integrated ticketing. Along with Alex Greenwich and Clover Moore we have long argued for this as a way of encouraging the use of public transport, so reducing demand for car parking. Those attending games, including members, only have to show their tickets to the SFS or SCG to obtain free transport. This will be important this weekend when there’s a double header at the SCG and then the SFS.
 
New Chief Executive of Greater Sydney Parklands
 
You will be aware that Suellen Fitzgerald retired at the end of June. Since then the Director of Strategy, Design and Delivery, Joshua French, has been acting CEO. We’ve just been advised that Joshua has been appointed the new Chief Executive. We wish him well in what will be an enormously challenging position.
 
My role as President of Saving Moore Park
 
You will note that in his letter here, Minister Rob Stokes refers to my time as President coming to an end. Our Annual General meeting is being held this weekend and after seven years as President I’ll not be re-nominating. I reflect on the last seven years in my final Newsletter as President, which follows (No. 30).
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Michael Waterhouse
President
17 September 2022