Oatley residents send a heartfelt message to Georges River Council

Have a heart: Residents gathered on the site of the Oatley Bowling Club on Sunday to send a message to Georges River Council.
Have a heart: Residents gathered on the site of the Oatley Bowling Club on Sunday to send a message to Georges River Council.

Have a heart and save our park!

Hearts in the darkness: Some of the residents on the Oatley Bowling Club site at dusk on Sunday.

Hearts in the darkness: Some of the residents on the Oatley Bowling Club site at dusk on Sunday.

This was the message sent to Georges River Council when residents rallied at the former Oatley bowling club site on Sunday afternoon.

They were protesting against a decision by Georges River Council to proceed with a proposal to reclassify the site from community land to operational and to rezone part of the site to SP2 Infrastructure for use of seniors housing and community facilities.

Counting on the council: The residents counted hundreds of flying foxes leaving the camp at Myles Dunphy Reserve.

Counting on the council: The residents counted hundreds of flying foxes leaving the camp at Myles Dunphy Reserve.

Georges River Council administrator John Rayner has said the Oatley Bowling Club site is “adjacent” to Myles Dunphy Reserve and had been identified under the former Hurstville Council for aged care.

Residents say the site is not adjacent to Myles Dunphy Reserve but is part of it, quoting Hurstville Council’s lawyers confirming in 2010 that ‘‘the reserve comprises an area of bushland, a scout hall and the site of the former Oatley Bowling Club’’.  

Residents’ spokeswoman Melissa Derwent said the site has special significance for many Oatley residents as Myles Dunphy (OBE) known as the father of conservation in NSW, convinced Hurstville Council to have an area of land set aside as a reserve.

Residents want to retain the entire former Oatley Bowling Club site as an ideal place for the creation of a community backyard, a community garden, bike track and nature playground.

“I’m appalled at the Council’s plans to develop our parkland,” Ms Derwent said.

“The community has lost too many community spaces in recent years. Our kids can’t afford to lose anymore.”

At sunset residents gathered on the top green watching over 500 grey-headed flying foxes leaving their camp in the reserve.

Residents said a proposed five to six storey building on the site would be right in the traditional flight path of the flying foxes.

The residents have organised a petition at:

www.change.org/p/mr-john-rayner-stop-the-rezoning-and-development-of-public-parkland-in-oatley

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