Time to move on
This is my final Newsletter as President of Saving Moore Park. At our Annual General Meeting tomorrow I’ll not be standing for re-election. I’ve been President since our formation in December 2015 and it’s time for regeneration. Vivienne Skinner and Jason Downing will take over as co-Presidents. Vivienne has a Master’s degree in Urban Policy and Strategy, while Jason is a Senior Counsel. They’ve both been Committee members for several years and will do a terrific job.
We’ve achieved much in nearly seven years, a strong and vibrant Committee being key to our success. Our philosophy has always been to try and work with decision makers to achieve positive outcomes. Making a lot of noise may be self-satisfying but rarely achieves good results. We’ve also worked closely with Alex Greenwich and Clover Moore whose commitment to Moore Park as a people’s park is well known. Other Councillors as well as State and Federal politicians have also joined with and supported us at times in our drive to protect, preserve and enhance Moore Park for the benefit of this and future generations.
Also crucial to whatever successes we’ve had has been your support, and for this I sincerely thank you. More than 4,000 people have put up their hands and said “we support you”. With numbers like this, politicians listen. Knowing we can communicate with you at a moment’s notice via email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, politicians listen. And your support has been far from passive. You regularly provide comments and suggestions to us. When we exhibited our vision for Moore Park East and conducted a survey late in 2020, 372 people responded and we received several hundred free form comments and suggestions.
Through focused, fact-based advocacy we’ve been able to contribute to some significant outcomes. We never suggest that these were solely the result of our efforts. That’s not how the system works. But I believe we’ve been a strong, constructive community voice and, as Rob Stokes noted in his letter, our passionate advocacy has been vital to securing major decisions, often in the face of strong opposition. Clover Moore has sent me a nice letter of thanks while Alex Greenwich has thanked me for our non-partisan approach to advocacy. Greater Sydney Parklands has noted that I’ve been a very effective advocate for the community. So I guess we’ve got the balance right!
It’s worth noting that we’ve twice appeared before Parliament, met with Ministers as well as many State and local politicians of all political persuasions, and with many senior officials in several departments. We’ve written Opinion Pieces, been interviewed by print journalists and done radio interviews. We’ve pulled every lever possible.
In nearly seven years there have been a few major and many smaller wins. Our major wins – always in conjunction with others – include preventing the construction of the new stadium on Kippax Lake, securing the progressive removal of on-grass car parking from Moore Park and convincing the Government not to locate a huge electricity sub-station for the light rail next to the Robertson Road fields at the southern end of the park.
To mention just two of the smaller wins – securing a safe area for the birdlife in Kippax Lake after a dog savagely mauled and killed a black swan and, as recently as last weekend, convincing Minister Rob Stokes and Greater Sydney Parklands to close lower Kippax (EP2) temporarily to car parking because of the damage done to the surface on the first weekend of the new stadium in the aftermath of weeks of rain.
So it’s been a busy, challenging and at times exhausting few years. With the opening of the new Stadium, the progressive removal of on-grass car parking now enshrined in legislation and with plans to revitalise Moore Park East under active consideration, this is a good time to hand over the reins. I’ll remain on the Committee at least for the next year, so as to ensure a seamless transition. Thereafter? We’ll have to wait and see.
Thank you once more for your support.
17 September 2022