If trying to remove a chunk of historic Ashfield Park was not enough, now the WestConnex Authority is after a chunk of historic Petersham Park.
This park is famous because Sir Donald Bradman had his first appearance in grade level cricket in Petersham Oval that is in the park in 1926 when he was just 18-years-old. This local sporting history is one that many people refer to with pride. The Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre located in Petersham Park has recently been upgraded.
Petersham Park also has many significant & veteran trees, plus stands, gate & pagoda that many would consider heritage & worthy of protection.
Even though a short distance from Parramatta Road, this area of Petersham/Lewisham is a lovely green oasis of mostly Federation houses & leafy tree-lined streets.
From the ‘Save Petersham Park’ Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/savepetershampark/timeline
“We are concerned residents of Petersham. On 23 November 2014, the NSW State Government, Urbangrowth, released a proposed plan for Parramatta Rd, to build a tunnel underneath it, called westconnex. They propose an entry/exit from the tunnel at Petersham Park. (A similar entry/exit proposed at St Peters will cover all of Tempe tip and also take 80 houses around that area. It is not just a couple of ramps). Urbangrowth also proposes 10 storey highrises on all of Station St, and 24 storey highrises behind the old Lewisham Hospital. See page 31 of the draft strategy document under “new parramatta rd” on the website “www.urbangrowthnsw.com.au.“ There is also word unofficially of an unfiltered emissions stack at Fort St High School. Where there is a tunnel exit there has to be an emission stack.”
It is not surprising news, but frankly, it is appalling. Same for the 10 & 24 storey high-rise apartments & the unfiltered stack planned for this area.
I tried to open the UrbanGrowth website, but was greeted with the following – “This site is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance and will be back online shortly. Please check back soon.” Hopefully it will be back online quickly as I imagine there will be many local residents who are very interested to read this document.
Thankfully Marrickville Council & Mayor Gardiner have been forthright in their opposition to WestConnex Motorway, so hopefully they will have more to say against the stripping of public green space in the municipality that is famous for having the least green space of any municipality in Australia. We should not be losing precious green space to roads, tunnels or smoke stacks.
As for the 24-storey high-rise apartment blocks….. this will be a boon for developers. High-rise development has not been allocated for this area as per the recently completed Local Environment Plan (LEP) that cost ratepayers $2 million. Development is not bad & I am not against it, as long as it sticks to the heavily consulted Marrickville Local Environment Plan. Anything outside the LEP will destroy the area as far as I am concerned.
You may also want to become friends with Save Petersham Park on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/savepetershampark/timeline & also The WestConnex Action Group Inner West – another resident group in Marrickville LGA, also on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/westconnexactiongroup
There is also the ‘No WestConnex Rockdale Group’ on Facebook, who are opposing the Motorway going through the Landing Lights Wetland, a very important habitat & home to many species of migratory birds. This group of residents are also campaigning against the ‘Tempe to President Avenue feeder road,’ which will funnel tens of thousands extra vehicles every day on to the already busy local roads in Rockdale & Kogarah.
The community will be far more powerful & influential if we all gather together & support each other’s peaceful campaigns rather than separate into little areas only looking after our territory. WestConnex will have a phenomenal impact on Marrickville LGA. I find it very interesting that the government would prefer to remove a chunk of an historic park than purchase private property along Parramatta Road.