Bayside council's overt soccer focus

Bayside council's overt soccer focus

I am opposed to the construction of another artificial grass pitch for soccer in the Bayside Council LGA. There is no usage, financial, social, scientific, physical or engineering reason/benefit why artificial grass should be built on community open space.

I am very concerned that Bayside Councillors' support for the artificial grass at Gardiner Park and other parks reveals a pattern of "'pork barrelling" for soccer votes.

Does Bayside Council have a vested interest in soccer and no concept of "sharing" community open space, by best practice design? My perception is it does.

The best design for all community open space for outdoor recreation is "natural grass" if inclusiveness is not just to be given lip service by Bayside Council.

It may not be illegal to pork-barrel, but the financial costs to ratepayer's and Council associated with the construction and maintenance of artificial grass fields over natural grass may disclose mismanagement of funds by Council if published reports on artificial turf are correct.

I wrote a public comment on the internet against the Gardiner Park project a few months ago concerning the "creeping appropriation" of community open space used for recreation by the "business sport of Soccer."

There is published research by state government organisations, proving that artificial grass turf is not better financially, socially or physically for the wider community.

Now that soccer coaches and teams from anywhere in Sydney can coach, train or play for free on the Arncliffe Oval artificial grass pitch, it seems appropriate that Bayside Council reconsider what it is doing concerning Gardiner Park and how it is managing all active recreation fields/ovals/parks in the Bayside LGA. The cost recovery program of Bayside Council would seem to many on paper to be unfair and a program of favouring "ball sports " such as soccer and cricket over all other modes of exercise.

Further, Georges River Council's push to take green open spaces, such as Scarborough Park North from Bayside Council, makes it more critical that Bayside Council develops what little open space we have so that all exercisers can have a go.

Joanne Jones

Kingsgrove Shopping Centre pub

I wonder how many people are aware that an application has been made for a liquor license at 264 Kingsgrove Road, currently housing Home Essentials.

The intention is to replace this handy variety store with licensed premises within metres of the Kingsgrove Hotel and the Kingsgrove RSL. There are at present 14 vacant retail spaces in the shopping centre. We need to attract more retail business, not reduce it.

The timing of the notice calling for objections is fascinating: 30 days from December 14, a time when attention is focused on Christmas and holidays.

Objections can be addressed to bt@hatziscusack.com.au or Hatzis Cusack Lawyers GPO Box 3743 Sydney 2001(attn Brett Tobin).

J Hoban,


Rate harmonisation may hurt people

Tony Martin, writing December 02 (page 18), about rate harmonisation makes valid points about QLD experiences and the costs for his property. Wendy from Riverwood, writing December 09 ( page 19), similarly cannot understand how the Council needs so much money, she cannot afford these increases, especially after losing the Voluntary Pensioner Rebate. The story coming from Central Coast Council, four years administration after amalgamation does not lead to the promised cost-savings and efficiencies. There is a huge debt/loss of $565 million over three years.

My question, what cost-savings has the Georges River Council introduced?

We have an administration heavy with directors, spending plenty of money on out-sourced consultancy services, promoting a cultural programme. Still, the effort to promote a balance between high-rise developments and open spaces for residents is lacking.

In my household, dependent on my superannuation income, I watch my spending, especially when income is limited. I don't have largesse to pay more for council rates. I'm looking at all my expenditure, which the Council needs to show it is doing.

T Kot, Kogarah