HAVE YOUR SAY

YOUR SAY: Huge opposition to Gardiner Park proposal

In response to an article by Jim Gainsford from 14 July about the Gardiner Park turfing. There is significant opposition to this proposal and Council has ignored community requests for open and targetted consultation on this proposal. Council will be taking away a large open public green space for the community to favour one local sporting group. The cricketers will no longer be able to play there in summer. The local families will be pushed to the periphery of the park.

I and others have written to Council and the Councillors asking for fair consultation and to rescind the work via an extra-ordinary council vote. Still, they have dismissed all community concerns and are ploughing ahead with destroying the park.

Council has refused to answer my direct questions about why they are breaching their Bayside Council Conservation Management Policy for Gardiner Park.

The CMP Policy 52 states that Gardiner Park: 'should be managed in such a way that avoids the perception that it exclusively used by anyone sporting code or community organisation.'

It also states: 'In managing, Gardiner Park ensures that it remains inclusive of the whole community'.

I was hoping some media inquiries/attention may encourage them to be more open and fair with their community about what to do with public land.

Jessica Farrell, Banksia

GRC re-writes the facts on Regional Aquatic Facility

On 26th June Georges River Council published a media release titled 'Correcting the Myths about a Regional Aquatic Facility'. Following this, The Mayor sent a letter with the same info to many residents to 'clear up some misconceptions about the Regional Aquatic Facility'.

Georges River Council budgeted $1m for Otium Planning Group to complete the Regional Aquatic Site Suitability and Feasibility Study. This is the study that ignored all community consultation and feedback and recommended Todd Park (with no Geotech or suitability study) as the best location for a regional aquatic study. Eight Georges River Councillors followed suit and ignored the community and voted to immediately demolish Carss Park Pool and spend a further $200K investigating whether to destroy Todd Park by building a mega-aquatic centre on this much-loved highly utilised playing field and bike tracks.

GRC's Press Release states 'Some feedback has been received from the community, concerned that a new aquatic facility could potentially occupy all of Todd Park. Todd Park is more than 4 hectares in size and industry advice suggests that a regional facility would ordinarily occupy less than one hectare.'

Why then does Page 74 of Otiums's report state that 2.5ha is required for an Aquatic Leisure Centre? If less than one hectare is required, then why not just build it at the current site, which page 75 of the Otium report states is 1.23ha.

And to clarify the facts, Todd Park is not 4 hectares in size. When the approx 9,000m2 of land occupied by the current car park to the east of Bunyala St is excluded, the actual playing field space at Todd Park is closer to 3 hectares, leaving only half-hectare free once a 2.5-hectare aquatic centre is built. Is GRC attempting to re-write the $1m expert Otium report, rather than correcting any so-called myths?

Elise Borg, Save Carss Park Pool Action Group

Hidden Agenda perhaps?

I read with interest your article, the Leader, 23 July. As the Leader correctly notes, there were options available to the GRC that could have prevented the Kogarah Memorial Olympic Swimming Pool's closure. Yet, instead, Council steamed ahead with its closure.

Here is a council, supposedly broke, indeed willing to go into a multi-million dollar budget deficit to demolish this pool. Why the haste? Perhaps they do this knowing that tucked away in their Strategies For Land Category - General Community Use Document, Page 39, there exists several key statements.

Strategy: Council to create a land title in respect of the land that comprises Part of the Kogarah War Memorial Olympic Swimming Pool. The land in question being in Lot 511, DP 752056 that was previously land vested in Council pursuant to Section 37AAA, 1913, by notification in Government Gazette 19 May 1978.

Objective: To address outstanding matters so at (as) to finalise the creation of a land title to Council's Benefit.

Performance Measures: The creation of a land title in Council's name.

Does, "Creating a Land Title to Council's Benefit", mean zoning for future high rise residential to sell the lands? For surely it is fair to be drawn to this view since Council is already proposing to sell off Carpark B16 - Shops Carwar Avenue, as noted in the George's River Council's - Environmental and Planning Committee Document, Tuesday 14, April 2020.

Again, whilst Council notes that this divestment is a recommendation of the Council's Commercial Property Strategy, which notes that any future development must allow for 24 public car spaces, how big is this future development likely to be to accommodate that amount of parking plus likely residential parking?

Whether it be the pool, or Todd Park or indeed carparks, Mayor Greene and his cohorts seem to have set an agenda to sell everything it can of facilities that currently benefit the GRC ratepayer.

AR Johnson, Carss Park

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Write to the editor at craig.thomson@austcommunitymedia.com.au