Moore Park Motion

(Motions, 1 August 2019, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

Note: continued from 6 June 2019, see HERE

I thank the members representing the electorates of Manly, Heffron, Auburn and Camden. I also thank my neighbouring member, the member for Vaucluse, who this morning had no voice—I know she was able to find her voice and her passion for Moore Park and this motion, which I greatly appreciate. This motion is especially important at this time as concerns around the stadium knockdown and rebuild continue to grow. The Government promised the community that it will expand and strengthen protections of green open space and recreation spaces in urban environments, with the Premier arguing that "access to green open space is crucial for communities to thrive". A dedicated Minister has been appointed and $150 million has been allocated to expand and improve the public parklands estate. I acknowledge the Minister's presence in the Chamber. Last week I enjoyed planting trees with him and class 4H at Bourke Street Primary School.

In a letter dated 12 March 2019 the former Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, told the Saving Moore Park group that the Sydney Football Stadium redevelopment will not impact on open space within Moore Park. He also said that investment in Moore Park will be considered as part of the $150 million green open space funding. These commitments must be honoured and they are reinforced by the passage of this motion. While widespread community concern and anger over the stadium redevelopment focused on how money could have been better spent, the surrounding communities have always been worried over serious risks of encroachment of and negative impacts to Moore Park. This follows successive government decisions that have resulted in the alienation and permanent loss of massive amounts of parkland.

The new stadium will be bigger, more imposing, closer to Moore Park and set to host more events. This creates major risks to the parklands that must be addressed. Protecting Moore Park from the new stadium will require redesign to make it less imposing and ensure no encroachment on grasslands or disruption to the park's tranquillity. It will mean the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust [SCG Trust] does not move facilities and functions into the Entertainment Quarter. The stadium redevelopment should be seen as an opportunity to fulfil commitments to expand and improve urban green open recreation space. Event parking is one of the biggest causes of alienation of Moore Park from public use. When the new stadium opens, the light rail service will be operating and there will be an unprecedented opportunity to change the way patrons travel to and from matches. Integrated ticketing and removal of car parking would encourage people to move from driving to catching public transport and should be mandatory for all events. That is why the Moore Park Master Plan 2040 aims to achieve this.

The Parliament's support for this motion comes at an important time as it is clear that the SCG Trust is continuing to push for ongoing parking on the grasslands, which encroaches on Moore Park and is contrary to the master plan. Let us hope the strong community opposition to this and the passage of today's resolution of the Parliament sends the SCG Trust a strong message. Moore Park is publicly owned, provides large areas of grassland and habitat for native fauna and includes the beautiful Kippax Lake. It is located in an area of rapid population growth where demand for open space is soaring. It is prime land to invest in for recreation and open space needs. Supporting this motion is a way for the Government to show that it is listening to the community and keeping its commitments to protect Moore Park from the stadium and to expand green public places in Sydney. I commend the motion.