Selling More of the Silver

Clover Moore MP has called on the Minister for Lands to halt the transfer of freehold title of part of the Sydney Common to Moriah College.

"The Government is quietly selling more of the Sydney Common, at the very time we celebrate the bicentenary of visionary Lachlan Macquarie who gifted the parklands in 1811 to the people of Sydney in perpetuity," Ms Moore said.

"Public land does not have to be sold to enable the current educational uses," Ms Moore said.

The Minister for Lands announced today that the Government would sell this section of Queens Park to Moriah College, transferring title from the Government.

"Funds from the sale of this Crown land will go into general revenue, and this part of our "family silver" will be lost forever. Once sold, it will never be returned and the money will disappear in this year's budget.

"The current 99 year lease allows the school to operate and develop, and there's no need for it to be sold. Educational uses may not be a priority when the lease ends, and this land should then revert to parkland.

"Sale of the title means the community will no longer have a say in how the land is used. It repeats the pattern of public land being transferred for current needs and on-sold later for private development. This part of our heritage will be lost to the community forever.

"There is a miserable history of alienation and commercialisation of the Macquarie Bequest parklands - for development, entertainment and roads. Barely one third of the original 405 hectares remains.

Only a massive community campaign prevented the proposed McDonalds in the parklands in 1999.

"The Government's urban consolidation policy means increasing population densities in the inner city - we should be preserving public land not selling it," Ms Moore concluded.

For further information contact Clover Moore MP on 9360 3053 (Electorate Office)

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