Anzac bridge a white elephant to nowhere

I share the community's outrage over the bridge the NSW Government is building at Moore Park. This project will have an unacceptable impact on our parkland and does not provide a solution for walkers or bike riders who want to access the stadia.

Significant concerns raised by our community have clearly not been given proper consideration. The Paddington Society, BIKESydney, Bicycles NSW, Action for Public Transport, the Centennial Park Residents Association, local MP Alex Greenwich and others have voiced their concern about the impact this project will have.

I was told that the project is being accelerated to meet a deadline for the Cricket World Cup in February 2015, when five games will be held at the SCG. However, at a reported cost of $25 million, the NSW Government risks rushing into building a bridge that becomes an expensive white elephant - a bridge that isn't functional for pedestrians and cyclists outside events, and is less attractive for patrons than the light rail.

I was shocked to find Roads and Maritime Services approved the proposed bridge on 14 May with only two minor design changes. Just days later early work has begun, blocking off a large section of parkland.

Through strong community campaigns over many years we have successfully fought off the alienation of further public open space in Moore Park. Hearing the SCG Trust talk about this footbridge as helping to facilitate parking in Moore Park west is an outrage.

Moore Park is precious public open space. As more people move into the area, particularly in Green Square where we are planning for 40,000 new residents, public open space will become even more important. Annexing part of it to build poorly planned an designed infrastructure is not in the community's best interest.

I have written to the Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Roads, and Minister for the Environment and Heritage to request the NSW Government call a halt to work on this poorly-designed bridge over Anzac Parade at Moore Park.

There has been a long-standing need to improve walking, cycling and public transport links across Anzac Parade at Moore Park to cater for day-to-day access and special events. Unfortunately, the proposed bridge doesn't provide a solution to this problem.

I have asked for a joint State-City working group to be established to come up with alternatives that would provide an effective connection for pedestrians and bike riders, without damaging the heritage-listed Centennial and Moore Park parklands. A temporary solution to meet the short term needs of the Cricket World Cup, such as an improved at-grade crossing, should be given priority.

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