By ALLISON HORE
Councillors and members of state parliament from across the political spectrum have signed an open letter calling for a commitment to ending on-grass parking at Moore Park.
The letter from community group Saving Moore Park calls on Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, to agree to permanently end on-grass car parking on the Northern end of Moore Park.
Signing their support on the letter were eight councillors and state members from across the political spectrum. Signatories included Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney, Christine Forster, independent MP Alex Greenwich, Greens member for Newtown Jenny Leong, and Labor member for Coogee, Marjorie O’Neill.
Michael Waterhouse, president of Saving Moore Park, said that the wide-ranging support for the campaign shows how important the issue is to the community.
“Such wide-ranging support for a local community grass roots campaign is unusual and reflects the depth of feeling about these issues in the local community,” said Mr. Waterhouse.
“The Government listens to the sporting codes and SCG Trust. They also need to listen to the community.”
When there are large concerts or sporting events at the nearby Allianz Stadium, temporary event day parking on-grass at the northern end of the park is sometimes facilitated to take parking pressure off the surrounding streets. But due to the amenity of the space during the ongoing pandemic, it was announced in March that there would be no temporary parking near the Kippax Lake area of Moore Park.
Saving Moore Park would like to see parking on the park end for good. They say that the land taken up by temporary event parking would provide “excellent” playing fields for junior or community sport and that there is a “desperate shortage” of such facilities in the City of Sydney.
The Moore Park Master Plan which was put together with extensive community consultation has the goal of the progressive removal of on-grass parking at Moore Park. The open letter also calls on the NSW government to commit $15million toward implementation of the plan over the next two years.
Part of the Moore Park Master Plan includes the construction of a new car park to facilitate off-street parking without on-grass parking. But no clear answer has been given as to whether on-grass parking will be reinstated after the pandemic before these facilities are built.
“Alarmingly, I have heard that the football codes and SCG Trust got the government to agree to resume Moore Park car parking once events return to the precinct,” Alex Greenwich said in his supporter newsletter in August.
“If event related car parking in Moore Park is reinstated after the pandemic, it will be difficult to remove it.”
Saving Moore Park says it’s crucial for the links between local communities and the new Greater Sydney Parklands Board and Management to be strengthened and formalised to ensure the voices of the community are heard on issues like ending on-grass parking.
Mr. Waterhouse thanks the community for their support on the campaign and encourages others to get behind it, “we are gratified by the recent sharp increase in people registering their support for what we’re doing.”