UPDATE: Protest meeting over loss of Barton Park in Cooks Cove project

Protesters outside Rockdale Town Hall. Picture: supplied

Protesters outside Rockdale Town Hall. Picture: supplied

About 30 people attended a protest on Saturday over the Cooks Cove development proposal.

The Save Barton Park committee said the gathering, outside Rockdale Town Hall, was to protest against the Bayside Council administrator Greg Wright refusing to meet with them.

Protesters outside Rockdale Town Hall. Picture: supplied

Protesters outside Rockdale Town Hall. Picture: supplied

Mr Wright denied refusing a meeting (see earlier story below).

A spokeswoman for the group, Greta Werner, said the last time she contacted Mr Wright’s office, she was told he would not meet until a decision had been made.

Rasmus Torkel, a member of Save Barton Park, said 15 playing fields would be lost if the proposal went ahead.

“With increases in the local population density, we need more playing fields, not less,” he said.

Greens MLC David Shoebridge said part of the job of the administrator was to meet residents and deal with their concerns.

Wendi Aylward from Save Barton Park said, “We know that land like this can be remediated – look at Sydney Park.

“The land can then be used by all of the community, not just a select few.” 

FRIDAY STORY

A community group opposed to Cooks Cove development plans to protest outside Bayside Council at Rockdale on Saturday, February 18.

Barton Park will be swallowed up by a privately owned golf course under the proposal. Picture: John Veage

Barton Park will be swallowed up by a privately owned golf course under the proposal. Picture: John Veage

Save Barton Park committee spokeswoman Greta Werner said the protest was over council administrator Greg Wright refusing to meet with the group.

But Mr Wright told the Leader he had not refused to meet the group.

“The message I gave was that I would meet with them once I was briefed by [council] staff on the development application,” he said.

“Since I have been here only since September, I don’t know the background.”

Mr Wright said he expected to be briefed next week.”

Mr Wright said he thought the proposed discussion was “premature”.

“The fact that an application has been lodged doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near being assessed or determined,” he said.

“I am sure it’s of a monetary value that will see it dealt with by the regional planning panel.”

Ms Werner said the protest would go ahead.

“It doesn't change our position, because we have been trying to meet with him for weeks, and the first we hear about a meeting is through journalists telling us that he will,” she said.

“That's not good enough, he hasn't contacted us yet.

“I do think it's surprising for him not to have been briefed already, considering this is the biggest development issue in the Bayside area.”

The protest will take place at 3pm on Saturday outside the Rockdale council building.

Ms Werner said all residents were invited to attend, or to simply find out more information on the Save Barton Park Facebook page.

“The controversial development proposes to move Kogarah Golf Club course onto Crown land at Barton Park in return for providing the land owned freehold by the golf club to a developer for 5000 apartments,” she said.

“As well as bulldozing wetlands and being environmentally damaging, the proposed move of the golf course would remove all the public open space south of the M5.

“The administrator is supposed to represent residents in the same way that elected councillors do until there is a fresh election for the new council.”

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