Kogarah Golf Club wants 'trade-off' for WestConnex disruption

Shrinking green: Kogarah golf course will be reduced to nine holes during WestConnex work. Picture: Jane Dyson
Shrinking green: Kogarah golf course will be reduced to nine holes during WestConnex work. Picture: Jane Dyson

KOGARAH Golf Club is pushing for state government approval of the stalled Cooks Cove project as a "trade-off" for the disruption and losses the club will suffer from the WestConnex motorway construction.

The club said state cabinet would consider next month making the Arncliffe site a priority precinct, which would allow apartment blocks, offices, restaurants and cafes instead of a high-tech business park. This move was being promoted by the Department of Planning and Environment, the club said.

Under the 2002 Cooks Cove plan, the privately-owned golf club would relocate south to Barton Park to make way for a trade and technology park.

The golf course is now on land leased from Rockdale Council.

The state government recently announced part of the course was required as a construction site for new M5 twin tunnels and possibly a ventilation stack. The course would be reduced from 18 holes to nine holes during the construction period.

In a letter to members, golf club general manager Tony Rodgers said the club, with the assistance of developer John Boyd "continues to pursue the necessary approvals to facilitate the relocation of the club to the Barton Park site . . ."

Regrettable: The state government made the announcement about the golf course before club members could be notified.  Picture: Jane Dyson

Regrettable: The state government made the announcement about the golf course before club members could be notified. Picture: Jane Dyson

Mr Rodgers said the relocation was proposed to the government "as the only way to approximately make up for the disruption and losses to the club arising from WestConnex".

He said Rockdale Council had presented the Cooks Cove project as a priority precinct, a government policy to create more homes in places with access to infrastructure, transport services and jobs.

‘‘The Department of Planning is promoting the Cooks Cove application to cabinet in August 2015,’’ he said.

Mr Rodgers said the aim was to have permitted uses on the site changed from trade and technology to mixed use, including residential.

‘‘John Boyd Properties are preparing the basis of a new development agreement as well as advancing course and clubhouse designs for development application purposes,’’ he said.

Mr Rodgers said it was regrettable the government made the announcement about the golf course before club members could be notified.

He said the club’s concern was to have the land remediated after construction finished.

‘‘It is important to note that the council owns or controls the majority of the affected land but it is a requirement that after remediation the land will be returned as part of the golf course unless the club has relocated in the interim,’’ he said.

A WestConnex Delivery Authority spokeswoman said it had been engaged in discussions with the club since December last year. ‘‘In accordance with the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, after construction the land will be remediated to its current state as a golf course and handed back to the owner, Rockdale City Council,’’ she said.

‘‘We have been working with Kogarah Golf Club to ensure members can continue to have access to a nine-hole golf course during construction.

‘‘We will continue to work with the club to limit impacts wherever possible.’’

Not impressed: Laurie Kirby plans to play elsewhere. Picture: Chris Lane

Not impressed: Laurie Kirby plans to play elsewhere. Picture: Chris Lane

LAURIE Kirby is among regular players at Kogarah Golf Course who will look elsewhere for a game when it is reduced to nine holes.

‘‘Nine holes doesn’t feel like a real golf course,’’ said Mr Kirby, of Brighton-Le-Sands.

‘‘It’s more like a kids’ course.’’

Adam Daniels said he would give up his membership and play at another club when the course was reduced.

‘‘It needs to be 18 holes,’’ he said.

Terry Hardy, a member for 40 years, was philosophical.

‘‘I will continue to be a member; I will just get to play less,’’ he said with a laugh.

Another long-term member, who declined to give her name, said there was no choice.

‘‘It’s got to be done, doesn’t it?’’ she said. 

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