I support improvements to pedestrian and cycling connections across Anzac Parade, however, I do not support the current proposed pedestrian bridge because it would have an unacceptable impact on our parklands.
My hope was that the project could provide a safe pedestrian link between the Moore Park sports stadia and Surry Hills, with a cycle link from the bike path on Anzac Parade to the Bourke Street cycleway - without compromising the environmental and heritage value of Moore Park.
However, the design of the bridge is highly intrusive with an excessive impact on Moore Park; its assessment does not address cumulate impacts and alternative access options in conjunction with planned light rail; and there are significant concerns that the bridge will not provide an effective pedestrian and cycle link.
At a reported cost of $25 million, this shared path bridge risks being an expensive white elephant.
In 1811, Governor Lachlan Macquarie made a bequest of 405 hectares (1000 acres) of land, known as the Sydney Common, for "the benefit of the present and all succeeding inhabitants of Sydney".
Moore Park was established in 1866 when 153 hectares of the north-west section of the Sydney Common was dedicated as recreational ground.
It is now 115 hectares, with the most recent substantial loss being the removal 2.2 hectares along the western edge for the Eastern Distributor's construction.
The heritage-listed Centennial and Moore Parklands are increasingly vital as open and recreational space as Sydney's population grows and fewer people have their own backyard. In the City of Sydney three out of four people already live in apartments. By 2036, the adjacent urban renewal area of Green Square will be home to 40,000 new residents living in apartments.
The need to preserve Moore Park means that proposals impacting on the amount and quality of open space must undergo integrated and coordinated assessment to address potential cumulative impacts.
The proposed shared path bridge must be assessed in conjunction with the planned CBD and South East Light Rail project because:
- The shared bridge and ramps; second light rail pedestrian bridge; and light rail tunnel, portal and mounding will have significant cumulative impacts.
- The two pedestrian bridges on Anzac Parade have been developed separately without consideration of need, connections and coordinated design.
- Light rail will provide high frequency services connecting the sporting stadia with Central Station, providing patrons with a faster transport option.
- The proposed light rail tunnel under Moore Park provides an option for a pedestrian tunnel.
In the interests of adequate cost-benefit analysis, limited environmental impact and effective transport planning, the proposed shared bridge and light rail work in Moore Park must be considered together.
Government representatives argue the proposed bridge design has the least impact on the parklands. If that's the case, the design shows that a pedestrian bridge is not viable and an alternative needs to be pursued.