The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust (SCG) has cut down the remaining significant and mature trees on the Gold Members car park to develop the National Rugby League (NRL) headquarters, showing its contempt for public parkland and the community.
I understand the Minister for Sport and Recreation approved the removal along with plans for the NRL building using sweeping development approval powers introduced in 2006, which passed with the help of the Opposition. With the support of fellow independents, I opposed the legislation which also rezoned public recreational land for commercial development. This new development follows offices built on the site a few years ago.
There has been no consultation and neither environmental impact assessment nor arborist's reports are publicly available.
The SCG is on public land that is part of Governor Macquarie's 1811 Sydney Common bequest and the trees provided a link between the site, its history and the rest of the parklands. The trees were essential to the character and amenity of the local area, providing shade and habitat for native fauna.
Last year the SCG called upon the community to trust it with Moore Park East, denying any intention to build over parklands - this latest act proves it has no respect for the parklands.