Long wait for upgrade: Cahill Park improvements may take 15 years

Why the wait?: Cahill Park improvements could take up to 15 years to complete.
Why the wait?: Cahill Park improvements could take up to 15 years to complete.

WOLLI Creek residents rejoiced when the Cahill Park master plan was released; only to be told it could take up to 15 years to come to fruition.

Rockdale Council released a draft master plan last month setting out ideas for the park, including upgraded lighting, a new cafe or restaurant, new playground, picnic and barbecue areas, upgraded sporting facilities, a fenced off-leash dog exercise area and rehabilitation of the foreshore.

Resident Warren Alexander said he loved the plan but couldn't believe it when he was told at an information session last month at the park it could take 10 to 15 years to complete. "I love the plan, I'm all for it," he said. "But why put out a plan if it's going to take 10 to 15 years?

Too slow: The master plan for Cahill Park on display.

Too slow: The master plan for Cahill Park on display.

"I understand that these things take time and you could understand a few years but 10 to 15 years is a long time." Rockdale councillor Nicholas Mickovski agreed.

"For me, it's embarrassing to say it's going to take 10 to 15 years to put in a playground and barbecue facilities," he said.

"There needs to be some kind of urgency.

‘‘I condemn the council for losing touch with Wolli Creek. It’s really concerning; something needs to be done now.’’

Cr Michael Nagi said nothing had progressed at the park since he was elected in 2004.

‘‘We need to start working on community facilities in second ward,’’ he said. 

‘‘We’re moving too slow. We need to act quickly, not in 15 years time.’’

Cahill Park is named after John Joseph Cahill, known as Joe Cahill, who was NSW ALP Premier from 1952-59 and approved construction of the Sydney Opera House. He was also MP for Arncliffe. 

A Rockdale Council spokesman could not confirm how long the project would take to complete but said some aspects could be done more quickly than others. 

‘‘Master plans are in effect a vision of what is possible. Council is taking the first of many steps to engage the community and business to bring about a real and supported outcome,’’ he said. 

‘‘This can take time; time that can be measured in years.

‘‘A master plan by definition is a comprehensive long-term strategy or vision. The master plan is aimed at guiding future use of Cahill Park and includes a number of short-term and long-term proposals.

‘‘In short, some parts of the plan can be delivered in a short time whereas the bigger the picture the longer it may take to become a reality.

The plan and an online survey is available on the council’s website. The survey closes Monday, December 14.

What would you like to see at Cahill Park?