I was very relieved when the NSW Government this week ruled out an unsolicited proposal for private development on public land at Wentworth Park.
The City of Sydney was not part of any discussions between those proposing development at Wentworth Park and the NSW Government.
Currently the City has care and control over the public open space at Wentworth Park, but not the dog racing track or stands. The location and size of the park make it an ideal space to provide much-needed passive and active recreation for our growing city community. This precious green space is dominated by greyhound racing at the expense of the broader public who are not well served by these facilities.
In January I wrote to the Minister for Tourism, Events and Racing, George Souris, to express concern over plans to extend the lease Greyhound Racing NSW hold for the race track and stands.
Wentworth Park is an outstanding item of environmental heritage value with potential to become a major public asset for the people of Sydney. It is vital that the park be returned to its original use as a major open space and recreational facility.
It is deeply concerning that the unsolicited proposals process developed by the former Government was used by developers to attempt to rezone public lands.
Governments are only the temporary custodians of public land. The public are the owners and any decision about the future of public land needs to be made with community involvement from the beginning. No decision should be made behind closed doors without consultation.