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Saving Moore Park Inc. Letter to Minister for the Environment - 21 March 2016

 

 

21 March 2016

 

The Hon. Mark Speakman SC, MP

Minister for the Environment

52 Martin Place

Sydney  NSW  2000

 

 

Dear Minister

 

Saving Moore Park

 

I write on behalf of the 1,800 people who have now indicated their support through our website and Facebook page for our efforts to ensure Moore Park exists for the benefit of future generations.

 

Our Association was greatly disturbed to hear much of the Background Briefing on Radio National yesterday. So much has happened, and continues to happen, which adversely affects Moore Park, but within the Government no-one is speaking out publicly against these issues. No-one seems interested in protecting Moore Park. This was true of the Tibby Cotter Walkway, and is true of the large scale tree removals associated with the Light Rail and with the SCG Trust’s proposed land grab for a new stadium.

 

The video prepared for the Government a couple of years ago dramatically shows the SCG’s plans to take over and develop the whole of Moore Park. It’s evident now that the Tibby Cotter Walkway was always part of the SCG Trust’s grand scheme.  The head of the Community Consultative Committee, SallyAnn Hunting astutely observed that what we thought was a white elephant is in fact a Trojan horse.

 

The silence of those responsible for Moore Park is in stark contrast with the activist role played by the Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, in promoting the ambitions of the SCG Trust, and indeed the Trust’s own activities. Despite a Cabinet Decision that any stadium will be built on the SCG’s own land, the Minister and the SCG Trust continue to push for a stadium on Kippax Lake.

 

Moore Park is being progressively reduced in size, something Malcolm Turnbull spoke out against at a rally in 2010. Some alienation is temporary but much of it is permanent. The effect of both is to reduce green space available for the community. The CPMP Trust is currently producing its Moore Park Master Plan. But what use is this if different arms of Government continue to appropriate sections of the Park for other uses?

 

We need you, as the Minister responsible, and Tony Ryan as Chairman of the CPMPT, to be vigilant and vocal in protecting Moore Park.

 

The objects of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust (s.8 of its Act) are unequivocal. If the Trust is to maintain and improve Trust lands (s.8(a)) and maintain the right of the public to use them (s.8(c)) and ensure the protection of the environment within the Trust lands(s.8(d)), then surely it, through the trustees, has an obligation to speak out publicly against any proposals which will conflict with those objects. How else, otherwise, does it discharge its responsibilities?

 

Section 5(2)(c) of the Act places a lot of power, but also a lot of responsibility in your hands. You can control and direct the Trust in the exercise of its functions. You may or may not wish to take a strong public stand yourself but if you don’t, then it is all the more critical that the CPMP Trust actively speaks out against every attempt to chip away at Moore Park.

 

If they don’t, who is going to protect Moore Park for future generations?

 

I look forward to meeting with your policy adviser, Lydia Robertson, on 7 April, and at that meeting I hope to provide a list demonstrating how public access to and enjoyment of Moore Park has been, and is being, impaired by the decisions of Government, in direct contravention of the Objects of the Trust.

 

The community feels it is losing Moore Park, slowly but gradually. We need your support, Minister, to ensure that the Park is around for another 200 years.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Michael Waterhouse

 

Michael Waterhouse

Convenor

Saving Moore Park Inc.

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