BY LUCAS BAIRD
The City of Sydney will organise a public meeting as well as provide financial support to campaigning against a new Stadium at Moore Park following an ABC Radio National Program that aired last Sunday.
In the program, a promotional video produced by the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust champions a precinct of sporting venues, including a new stadium as well as a tennis centre and a new car park.
In an interview with ABC Radio 792 Premier Mike Baird stated that a new 55,000 seat arena would be constructed on the site of the existing facility as well as parking “if it came to that,” He stated details were still being negotiated.
The Lord Mayor said that the park was under threat and that the interests of the people lie with the protection of Moore Park.
“The NSW Government has a clear choice: act in the interests of powerful vested interests or act in the interests of the people of Sydney – both east and west – by protecting Moore Park and directing sports investment to western Sydney,” The Lord Mayor said.
“I propose the City hold a public meeting and help mobilise parklands supporters to send a clear message to the State Government that the community highly values the parklands and will resist proposals that threaten them,” she said
Greens Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Irene Doutney supported the Lord Mayor.
“I think it is important because it is public land and it should be left as open public space. There is only a quarter left from the original gift from Governor Lachlan Macquarie,” Clr Doutney said.
“It is for some sporting facility, where sporting facilities already exist. It should be constructed in the Western Suburbs where the majority of sporting fans live.”
“There is all this speculation, and there is no transparency, it is really a big problem,” she said.
State MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, was also sceptical of the government, citing continued “contempt,” from the government.
“The explosive Radio National Background Briefing exposé which links the Tibby Cotter Bridge that we fiercely opposed for its damage to the parklands and failure to meet pedestrian and cyclist needs, to a long term plan to build stadia and car parks on Moore Park,” Mr Greenwich said.
“The parklands continue to be treated with contempt,” he said.
Independent Councillor, Angela Vithoulkas, said that the City of Sydney Council was not wholly supportive of the Lord Mayor’s proposal by voting against the motion.
Clr Vithoulkas voiced her concern in the meeting that the Lord Mayor will run a scare campaign on the issue.
“It is the role of the City and local government to provide fair and balanced information not a one sided opinion campaign before it has even happened,” Clr Vithoulkas told City Hub.
“It is not even about whether people do or do not want a stadium, it is about the process the people deserve.”
Clr Vithoulkas made clear that she believes it doesn’t help anyone to create an “Us versus Them,” situation.
“We are there to provide information and get information. We are there to fight on their behalf.”
“We are not supposed to be there to misinform or mislead or rile up the crowd on one side,” she said.
Clr Vithoulkas was also critical of the State Government’s actions.
“The State Government hasn’t fully revealed their plan, that their lack of communication with the community is providing misinformation, stress and anger amongst the community on plans that haven’t actually been revealed yet.”
“That is not fair from the State Government,” she said.