Saving Moore Park - Newsletter #35
1 February 2024
Mulch - is it safe at Moore Park?
Given the disaster at the new Rozelle parklands where tonnes of mulch are being replaced because of asbestos contamination, Saving Moore Park has checked with Greater Sydney Parklands about mulch used around the park. We have been advised that GSP has not purchased mulch from the recycled mulch provider in question and generally reuses its tree prunings as garden and tree mulch in the parklands – a really sustainable circular process. When purchasing mulch, GSP has told us that they only do so from suppliers that provide high quality certified mulch that meets the Australian Standard as accredited under SAI Global standards. This means mulch must not contain weed, pathogen and contaminates.
What has Saving Moore Park been doing?
Since our last newsletter, we have held meetings with:
a senior adviser in the office of the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon Paul Scully MP
the Co-CEO of the Entertainment Quarter
the leadership team at Greater Sydney Parklands.
It was the first time we’ve had an opportunity to meet with the Minister’s Office since the election of the new Labor Government last March. We were able to outline our mission, raise areas of concern and explain our vision for the transformation of the parklands.
We reiterated our call for the NSW Government to take seriously the need to properly fund Moore Park, which has been severely degraded by car wheels for decades. Specifically, we called for at least $12 million over three years to bring the tired surface up to scratch, restore Kippax Lake and implement the Moore Park East Masterplan. Supporters with long memories will recall the masterplan was launched in 2016 after a massive public consultation process.
We were delighted to hear the Minister remains committed to the complete removal of cars from Moore Park, and has no intention of extending the deadline beyond the completion date of the new SCG underground carpark, mid 2026 (for the area adjoining Kippax Lake) and mid 2028 (for the area opposite the Hordern Pavilion).
We showed the Minister’s representative our own SMP Vision for Moore Park East which includes a First Nations landscape interpretation, BBQs and picnic areas by Lake Kippax, and a Village Green with active and passive recreational spaces.
How about a new Playground for older kids?
We urged the Minister to consider funding a big new playground for older children, possibly on the western side of Moore Park Road. It could be akin to the one at Sydney Park, or else this remarkable one in Berry – see here. With the Green Square/Zetland area now one of the densest urban areas in Australia, Moore Park is effectively the backyard for those individuals and families that live in apartment towers.
Co-CEOs The Entertainment Quarter
We met with Sam Romaniuk and Michael Hodgson, Co-CEOs of the Entertainment Quarter, and discussed issues including media reports of plans to create a covered entertainment venue on the site. Saving Moore Park would not object to such a plan based on the limited information so far available. It may help ameliorate the noise reported by some residents in the Cooks Road area. We also discussed how the current multi-level carpark could be augmented to support the eventual removal of surface carparking on the Showground Field in 2028.
Greater Sydney Parklands
Saving Moore Park meets quarterly with the leadership team of GSP. We raise concerns and our views are often sought on plans and ideas under consideration.
We met on site with GSP’s Moore Park garden design team over its recent planting of extensive garden beds close to the ANZAC Obelisk. While attractive, the layout has had little regard for the increasingly large numbers of people attending our annual Dawn Service. Attendees risk stumbling in the dark around the plants and woodchip.
That said, we are delighted to see the planting of substantial trees and understorey ground cover.
The current works to the north and west of Kippax Lake, including the refurbished Roosters training field, are nearing completion. Unfortunately, the scope of work has been affected by the decision to retain surface car parking on the remaining portion of Lower Kippax. We understand that resources have been reallocated to improve the surrounds of the lake.
We raised with GSP the issue of broken and ineffectual signage around Kippax Lake. Some dog owners continue to let their dogs within 10 metres of the lake, threatening the well-being of the ducks and water fowl. The lack of effective signage does nothing to discourage them.
We will continue to monitor the implementation of the Moore Park East Landscape Plan ensuring it is well funded and delivers the community expectations that we have advocated for over the last five years.
More information is available here.
How about a new name?
Saving Moore Park is investigating the possibility of having the portion of the park that includes the newly upgraded sporting field and historic 1917 ANZAC Obelisk, renamed the ANZAC Field. It currently bears the exciting name Upper Kippax. We would be interested in hearing your thoughts here.
Moore Park Golf Course
We cautiously support the announcement made last October that the NSW Government intends to repurpose up to 20 hectares of the golf course for a new central park for grassroots sports and recreation. Little detail is available so far. We will continue to monitor developments and keep you up to date. However, we did raise the following concerns with the Minister’s Office:
Parking: this decision must not lead to further changes to the current time table for removal of surface carparking in Moore Park East
Funding: it is not clear how this significant change will affect Centennial Parklands’ financial sustainability given the inevitable loss of a valuable revenue stream. We do not want to see the quality of the parklands and especially Moore Park suffer as a result of changes to the golf course
Consultation: while proposals to change the golf course have been around for years, there was no consultation with the community in the lead up to this announcement. We understand a consultation framework is being developed for the design and implementation of the changes. We look forward to contributing to this process and hope it is undertaken with a genuine desire to seek community ideas and listen to concerns.
Removal of Parking on Moore Park East
Like many of you, we are disappointed with the NSW Government’s announcement on 10 October to extend the timetable for the removal of on-grass parking at Moore Park. The reason provided was to supplement parking while Venues NSW constructs its own underground carpark within the SCG precinct.
While the existing closure of parking on the grass at Upper Kippax remains in place, the Government changes extend on-grass parking on Lower Kippax until the proposed Venues NSW carpark is completed, flagged for mid-2026, and until a solution is found to offset the loss of parking opposite the Hordern Pavilion.
Saving Moore Park continues to remind Venues NSW and the NSW Government that a big carpark is available at the Royal Randwick Racecourse (800+ spots), one light-rail stop away and that both Sydney Boys’ and Sydney Girls’ high schools gain much-needed revenue by offering parking on game days. In addition, the Entertainment Quarter has capacity for 1800 vehicles.
We also pressed the Minister’s Office to investigate progress with the Green Travel Plan, which was a legislated Condition of Consent for construction of the now fully-functioning Sydney Football Stadium.
We were advised that Transport for NSW has been directed to develop a transport plan for the Moore Park precinct. We hope this will consider the precinct holistically and include proper implementation of the Green Travel Plan. It is our understanding that the NSW Government remains committed to removing on-grass parking at Moore Park over time and continuing to transform the space into 22 hectares of high-quality, multi-purpose parkland for the community including community sport. We have also received assurances from the minister’s office that the government recognises the importance of parkland and will not seek to overturn the existing legislation or extend the revised timetable further.
Dogs on leash areas in Moore Park East
Many of you signed a petition and expressed concern to us about the proposal by Greater Sydney Parklands to require dogs to remain on a leash on Moore Park East. We are pleased to advise that there will be no change to the existing rules and the plan has been shelved.
We have also raised with GSP the issue of broken and ineffectual signage around Kippax Lake. Some owners have been allowing their dogs to enter the lake, threatening the well-being of the ducks, swans and other water fowl.
ANZAC Day 2024
Please be reminded that each year Saving Moore Park hosts a Dawn ANZAC Service at the historic 1917 obelisk. Bring your kids, your dogs, your friends. Last year close to 500 people attended the service. We look forward to seeing you there.
We Want to Hear from You
Please be in touch if you have any thoughts about the future of Moore Park or would like us to advocate on a particular issue. We are always keen to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivienne Skinner and Alex Kibble