Protect Moore Park
Moore Park is the people’s park and we will fight to protect it
On 23 November 2017, the Berejiklian Government approved more than $2 billion to be spent on stadium upgrades across NSW – including the knockdown rebuild of Allianz Stadium at the end of 2018. It is time for the NSW Government to listen to the community – not the powerful SCG Trust and their commercial interests.
While the NSW Government have wound back on their plans to knockdown and rebuild two stadia, the City community is still fighting against the wasteful proposal to knockdown and rebuild the award-winning Philip Cox-designed Sydney Football Stadium.
Here is a summary of the issues raised in the City's submission against Stage 1 of the proposed knockdown-rebuild:
- The proposal is not in the public interest. The business case demonstrates the project will have ‘negative returns’. More than 200,000 people have supported a petition against the demolition.
- Impacts have not been accurately described. Despite a small increase in seating, the proposal is a mega-entertainment venue with enlarged size, expanded capacity, increased use and more spill-over impacts on surrounding areas.
- Cumulative impacts have not been considered. The stadium must be assessed in the context of plans for Hordern Pavilion and the Royal Hall of Industries; Entertainment Quarter, and the ‘Alexandria to Moore Park’ motorway connecting to WestConnex.
- Demolition must not be approved before impacts of the detailed design are understood. Immediate demolition is not good planning and will force a stadium rebuild by any future NSW Government.
- The traffic study is grossly inadequate. In addition to existing traffic congestion, the traffic study seriously underestimates the traffic generated by the size and number of expected events.
- There is insufficient public transport. A ‘Tier 1’ stadium needs dedicated public transport like at Homebush, a metropolitan-wide strategy and a credible action plan to increase public transport use.
- On-grass car parking at Moore Park must end. Every event car parking space generates extra traffic and on-grass car parking reduces useable public open space.
- All significant trees on the site must be protected, particularly ‘Tree 124’ (actually a significant group of eight Hills Weeping Figs) on Moore Park Road. Moore Park has lost too many trees.
- Construction impacts are unacceptable. Concrete crushers, excavators and rock breakers will be used during demolition, with exceedances of noise limits predicted.
These plans are a scandalous waste of nearly $700 million of public money – and the community has not been adequately consulted or the impacts on local neighbourhoods considered.
For too long governments have treated Moore Park as a cash cow, a car park, or vacant land for development – it’s time they honour its original purpose as a park set aside for the use and benefit of Sydneysiders now and into the future.
Just look at the litany of failed and successful attempts to erode this great park:
- Plans for a new football stadium on Kippax Lake were promoted by the SCG Trust and NRL, only to be rejected by the NSW Government after a public outcry.
- Before that was the $38 million Tibby Cotter bridge which takes up valuable parkland and is virtually un-used by pedestrians or cyclists.
- The year before, the Centennial and Moore Park Trust put forward a function centre on Mount Steele and thousands more car parking spaces under Moore Park west.
- And the NSW Government rushed a bill through parliament to allow construction of a 5-6 storey Australian Rugby Union Development Centre.
- The Trust replaced public sports facilities south of Lang Road with a new synthetic field that is fenced off from all but paying users, and a ‘viewing platform’ and amenities on Mount Steele.
These changes reduce essential public open space in the park.
There are also plans to redevelop the Entertainment Quarter, expand car parks and build a direct highway from WestConnex to Moore Park, including the largest non-motorway intersection in NSW. And the leases on the Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries are now up for tender.
All of these plans would be unthinkable for New York’s Central Park or London’s Hyde Park.
20 million people visit the Centennial and Moore Parklands annually, while just two million attend Allianz stadium and the SCG. The needs of the majority must be prioritised in the use and planning of Moore Park.
We should be improving and expanding open space not further eroding it – after all three out of every four people living in the City of Sydney live in an apartment – Moore Park is our city’s backyard.
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