Leichhardt Council will rally local sporting groups in a renewed fight to make sure open spaces and sporting facilities are included in the development of the Bays Precinct.
Please find below the text of a LMC media release.
The move to hold a Council summit meeting on 1 December follows the Government’s failure to include any new sporting facilities in their plans for the Bays Precinct.
Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne said the State Government’s had again ignored the desperate need for sporting fields and open space in the inner west.
“The State’s plans for the massive redevelopment of the Bays Precinct have completely overlooked the needs of the residents who live here now and the residents who will live here in the future,” said Cr Byrne.
“The inner west is crying out for open space and places to play. We need to put as much pressure as we can on the State Government to make it happen while we have this unique opportunity in the Bays Precinct.”
“Council will host a meeting of peak sporting associations and local clubs to work out a joint campaign to keep the heat on.
Cr Byrne said Leichhardt Council has already been working to address a significant shortage in both passive and active open space for existing residents.
“Over the last four years we’ve created three new sporting fields at Callan Park, upgraded two further fields, opened up new recreational trails in Balmain’s Cameron’s Cove and created a completely new neighbourhood park in Annandale, with more to come,” he said.
“But the additional pressures of 16,000 more residential units within the Bays Precinct, coupled with our existing shortage of open space, would place an immense added burden on Leichhardt Council and our community.
Glenn Burge, convenor of the local Sporting Alliance and their ‘Spaces to Play’ campaign, said local sporting clubs welcomed the Council summit to advance the shared goals of the campaign.
"The future active open space needs are a critical community need at a time of extraordinary high levels of new housing development," Mr Burge said.
Canterbury and District Soccer Football Association chief executive Ian Holmes said the State Government and its agencies were ignoring the needs of community sport in the inner west.
“We have a major health crisis looming with issues around childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and associated health issues connected with a lack of physical activity. This will result in an economic catastrophe for future State Government health budgets. Is this going to be the Baird Government’s legacy to the taxpayers in this state?”
Mr Holmes said the Government can find $1.6 billion to build stadiums for professional sporting franchises, but cannot find space for local sporting fields.
“The question for the Premier and his Ministers is; where do the children play?
“If the Government continues down this manic path of population intensification by apartment construction, it is simply going to create major social problems for the future right on the doorstep of the CBD. It is simply irresponsible, poor public policy and poor governance to maintain this direction.”