By DANIEL LO SURDO
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has petitioned the NSW Government to make Rozelle Parklands the best sporting precinct in NSW.
The Rozelle Parklands project aims to be opened in 2023, with up to 10 hectares of land offering a rectangular sporting field, an oval, play equipment, picnic areas and a wetlands area fitted with a boardwalk.
With the parklands set to be managed by Council, but owned by Transport for NSW, Byrne has called for considerable amendments to the Rozelle Parklands’ Urban Design and Landscape Plan to provide further sporting facilities and amenities upon the conclusion of the WestConnex Rozelle Interchange.
“Rozelle and Lilyfield residents have been subjected to the most outrageous impacts throughout the construction of the WestConnex,” Byrne said.
“I am determined to make sure there is something positive for the community to look forward to at the end of the nightmare.”
Frustration surrounding WestConnex construction continues throughout the inner west this year, with tunnelling causing damage to multiple properties and generating consistent noise that was particularly disturbing to residents forced to stay at home as part of COVID-19 safety measures last year.
But now with the emergence of the Rozelle Parklands, Byrne views the facility as a just reward for the hardships his constituents have faced throughout the construction of WestConnex.
“We now have a unique, once in a generation opportunity for a multi-code facility that will benefit all local sporting clubs and codes,” Byrne said.
“I have been fighting on behalf of the community to ensure that the Government provides sufficient funding for the facilities and amenities within the Parklands, so that our community is not left simply with a grassed over concrete slab.”
Catering for the Inner West
With insufficient facilities currently undermining community participation in the inner west, multiple sporting clubs have also requested the State Government to expand its current plans for the space.
Calls for accessible toilet and change room facilities, additional multipurpose sporting fields, an eight-lane athletics track, hockey pitches and access to public transport have all been listed as key elements that are presently not included in the project.
The project is included as part of the State’s $3.9 billion Rozelle interchange plans, which is set for completion in 2023.
The spaghetti junction promises to link the new M4 and M5 tunnels, the ANZAC Bridge, Iron Cove and the future Western Harbour Tunnel together through a complex three-storey interchange varying between 35 and 65 metres underground. The Rozelle Parklands project will be situated directly above the Rozelle Interchange.
As part of the project, the NSW Government established the formation of the Rozelle Parklands Working Group to involve community members in optimising the use of the land.
The Working Group includes local and state government stakeholders with a strong understanding of urban planning and sport and recreational patterns in the inner west.
Working Group consultation began in February this year, with an ultimate recommendation expected to be conveyed to the Minister for Transport Andrew Constance in mid-2021.