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A view of Marrickville Golf Course from across the Cooks River

I’ve thought about how to write about this and all I can come up with is that Marrickville is at risk of more loss as a community.

We have already lost the ability to drive around the area in peak driving times and on weekends without significant gridlock and serious parking difficulties.

Marrickville appears to have been marked to become another Hurstville in terms of high-rise development.

We have lost employment zones to high-rise development and more is planned.

We are losing what many in the community would regard as heritage houses, again to high-rise development.

Despite $2 million spent on two years of community consultation to decide the Local Environmental Plan (LEP), high-rise in Marrickville is being planned outside the perimeters of the LEP.  ‘Infill,’ high-rise development outside the agreed areas is already happening.

When we moved to Marrickville there was a hospital and a large popular swimming pool.  These are other amenities that were lost to this suburb.

Now for the second time since I have been writing this blog, Marrickville Golf Course is being targeted by Council to either keep it as 18 holes with changes to the course or to reduce it to 9 holes so that more playing fields can be created for the young to play soccer. 

Am I against soccer?  Absolutely not.  However, I am against losing what is the most significant green space of the area and one that does an incredibly good job providing amenity and services to the community.  Can it be expanded in services?  Of course, and I am pretty sure the Club is keen to add to the significant amenity they provide to the community.

Young people learn to play golf here as part of school curriculum. Any age can play.  What I like to see continue is the patronage of older people – those who cannot run around playing soccer.

I’ve been at the Marrickville Golf Club and been surprised to see the Club House filled to the brim with older men socialising after a morning playing golf. Find me somewhere else locally where this happens.  A few men use the Marrickville Men’s Shed, but mostly, in my observation, retired men stay home.

The Marrickville RSL, which was also lost to high-rise development, was another place where older people congregated.  They went to socialise and have a hearty hot lunch, often their only real meal of the day.  I don’t know of any other place in Marrickville where older people are catered for in such large numbers as the Marrickville Golf Course and this is something for our community to be proud of and hold on to.  We will all grow old one day.

The Marrickville Golf Course provides considerable amenity to the community and you don’t need to play golf to benefit.  I know many community groups meet at the Club House.  There is also live music, a restaurant serving great cheap food, trivia nights and other social functions that those in the know frequent regularly.  It is not fancy, but it is a friendly and convivial place to have a meal, socialise with others and it is very important to many in the community.

If the Marrickville Golf Course is reduced to 9 holes, the Club believes it will be its death knell and yet another amenity lost to the community.

I’ve read arguments on Facebook that people can play golf elsewhere. The same can be said for sports on playing fields.  Travel along the river and you will see that playing fields are dotted all along the river and much of the time they are empty.

There is nothing wrong with keeping a golf course, but there is plenty that is wrong by chopping it in half.  If I remember correctly, the Marrickville Golf Course has already lost; from a 21 hole course it was reduced to 18 holes to make the playing field at Mahoney Reserve.

The Marrickville Golf Course is a truly significant green space and incredibly important for wildlife. 

This is the only place that I know where one can walk on bare earth instead of a concrete footpath.   To me this is a luxury and I love doing it.  It is not dangerous to do so because the walking path is out of the way of golfers.  Yes, I suppose you take a risk, but I have not heard of any walker who has been hit by a stray golf ball here.  We take risks every day by getting into cars and the statistic show that this is way more dangerous than walking on the edge of a golf course.  Besides, Council has plans to put a concrete shared path along the river’s edge through the golf course, so they can’t be too worried about this.

People come to the golf course to walk alone, with others and/or with their dog.  People cycle through the golf course.  The road is a great shortcut.  People bird watch here.  People come to learn and to play golf.  People come to meet others, eat, drink, listen to music and make friends.  People come for the amenity, to get out of their homes and into fresh air.  People come to regain their health and to keep their health.  People come because it makes them happy.  People come.

With over 20,000 games played every year it is not a fallow underutilised place despite what some argue.  Anything that happens here should be building upon the amenity, not reducing it.

Council is well aware of the need for more green space, especially as we are having a significant population increase in Marrickville.  This will likely be in the areas of 31,000 more people by 2036 and with the rate of development in Marrickville, this will likely be sooner rather than later.  These people will need somewhere to play and not all people need playing fields.

Lastly, some say that the golf course is targeted for development. I don’t know if this is correct, but I have seen high-rise built within 10-15 metres of the river recently, so I would not be surprised if this is in future plans.  Incremental loss seems to be the way things work.  Being in a flood prone area does not stop development these days.  I cite the plans for Carrington Road Marrickville to house 2,600 new dwellings despite being known to flood regularly when it rains.

Marrickville Golf Club is holding a rally to appeal to Council to keep the golf course at 18 holes this coming Sunday and they would like community support.

WHERE:        At the Marrickville Golf Course, probably outside the Club House.  Just head down Wharf Road and you will see people congregating.  It is impossible to get lost there.

WHEN:         Sunday 7thApril 2019

TIME:             1pm

Australian Wood ducks walking along the Cooks River in Marrickville Golf Course.  I was thrilled to see these.  

I have not been able to get down to the Cooks River for quite a while, until yesterday when I was lucky to spot this Nankeen night heron just outside his usual territory.  If I am correct about this being the  same bird, he is a voracious eater. I have sat watching him scoop up small fish with his beak and down them in one swallow only to do this again and again.  I moved on after watching about 30 fish get swallowed and no sign of letting up.  We are so lucky to have these birds living on the river.  

 

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays.  I hope you are having a lovely day today whatever you are doing.  I will be back to posting soon, hopefully before the new year.  Thanks for your patience.  Jacqueline 🙂

Be part of planting for the wildlife and to make spaces beautiful for the community to enjoy.

National Tree Day is almost upon us. Inner West Council is holding a planting event at three sites.  The site in our area is Tempe Reserve.   Council do not say where in Tempe Reserve, but I am sure there will be signs directing you where to go.    Council asks that you wear closed shoes & bring bottled water & a hat.  Tools will be supplied by Council.

WHERE:        Tempe Reserve – Holbeach Avenue Tempe.

WHEN:          Sunday 5thAugust 2018.

TIME:             10am – noon.

One good thing is that the planting at each site is happening on different dates, so if you are super keen, you could go to all three.

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WHERE:        Richard Murden Reserve –  Hawthorne Parade Haberfield.

WHEN:          Sunday 15thJuly 2018.

TIME:            10am – noon.

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WHERE:        Whites Creek Valley Park – White Street Annandale.

WHEN:          Sunday 29th  July 2018.

TIME:             10am – noon.

This is the third year that Inner West Council are giving away free trees, but not how many. They said in  this year’s media release that they gave away 300 trees last year.  That is great to know.

The trees are in large pots, but do need to be planted in the ground.  All trees on offer are Australian natives, which is wonderful as they will supply food for our wildlife.  The trees grow to small, medium & large stature allowing you to choose one suitable for your garden.

You will need to go to Rozelle Bay Community Nursery to collect your free tree.  Bring proof of address, as this offer is only available to Inner West Council residents.  There is a limit of one tree per household.

WHERE:        Rozelle Bay Community Nursery –  Wisdom Street Annandale.

WHEN:          Sunday 29thJuly 2018.

TIME:             10am – 1pm.

Plants for sale at Marrickville Community Nursery

Inner West Council is holding an Open Day at Marrickville Community Nursery.

Council says attendees will –

  • Take a guided tour.
  • Learn about native plants & native gardening.
  • Hear from volunteers who help local biodiversity.
  • Learn how to volunteer for local biodiversity.
  • Go home with a free seedling.

WHEN:          Saturday 26thMay 2018.

WHERE:        Marrickville Community Nursery is located in the Addison Road Community Centre between Reverse Garbage & The Bower – 142 Addison Road Marrickville.

TIME:             10am – 1pm.

I have attended a similar event at Marrickville Community Nursery & it was good.  I enjoyed myself.

A Pied cormorant and a Little black cormorant sit together 

City of Sydney are holding a Bioblitz on Friday evening 13th April & Saturday 14th April 2018 at Sydney Park.

What is a Bioblitz?  This is where regular people of all ages become citizen scientists & get together to record all the living beings they see so the Council & the community can learn about the biodiversity at Sydney Park.

There will be workshops, science activities, lectures & bike safaris.

On the evening of Friday the 13th you can help survey the microbats or participate in a spotlighting survey looking for animals in the park.  Or you could look inside nesting boxes with a camera on a stick or search for frogs in the wetlands.

At dawn on Saturday morning, there will be a bird survey & in the afternoon a bike safari up the Alexandria Canal looking at what animals and plants are living in this location.  Learn also about the cultural & environmental history of the canal.  On Saturday evening, there will be a spider spotting survey.

There will be a Bioblitz Hub manned by scientists & staff from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.  They will help you to record & identify sightings & be available for a chat.  There will be microscopes to use, as well & drawing of plants found.

There is a list of events, plus cost & booking information here –

https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/programs/bioblitz

Yellow Buttons (Chrysocephalum apiculatum) – a lovely Australian native.

The City of Sydney is having a plant sale this Sunday 11th March.   The plants all come from the Council’s Living Colour displays throughout the CBD.

Some of the varieties are rosemary, mint, thyme, marigold, coleus, westringia, dianella & laurentia.

They are asking for a gold coin donation for each plant with the proceeds going to the RSPCA to help animals in need.  What a great cause.

WHERE:        Sydney Park.

WHEN:          Sunday 11th March 2018.

TIME:             8am.  Previous sales were almost over within 30-minutes, so be quick.

The Save Marrickville group put this model together to give the community an idea of what the landscape will look like with all the high-rise buildings in Marrickville. The tall black and brown buildings at the top represent the 35 storeys for Carrington Road, the red and orange is around Marrickville Railway Station and the white represents single story houses. This model does not include the Victoria Road Precinct, which also has high-rise. It is pretty shocking to look at a proposed future Marrickville if the government and the developers get what they want.  Photo by Save Marrickville and used with thanks.

Community group ‘Save Marrickville’ [ www.savemarrickville.com.au ] has organised a march to peacefully protest the NSW State Government’s rezoning of Marrickville to a Priority Precinct.

Save Marrickville say on their Facebook page that –

  • “The rezoning of Marrickville will mean the mass destruction of heritage streets replaced with high density.
  • The destruction of Marrickville’s character.
  • High rise towers up to 35 storeys.
  • Eight storey apartment blocks next to your home.
  • More than 10,000 extra residents.
  • Almost no affordable housing.
  • No new schools or parks.
  • Roads & railways grid-locked.
  • Abolishing industrial land & 1,800 local jobs that exist now.

There is still time to change this!   Marrickville has not yet been rezoned.”

All you need to do is look at nearby Wolli Creek or Alexandria to see what is planned for Marrickville.  This level of development will change Marrickville for ever.  Dulwich Hill will also be hard hit by development.

This is an opportunity to tell the NSW state government that their plans are nothing less than over-development & will destroy this community.  Silence to the government means we approve.

The march will be –

WHEN:          Saturday 24th February 2018.

TIME:             12 noon.

WHERE:        Meet at Marrickville Town Hall & march a short distance down Marrickville Road to the Alex Trevallion Plaza located next to the Post Office Cafe.

SPEAKERS: Linda Burney MP – Federal Labor Member for Barton.

Mayor Byrne – Inner West Council.

Councillor Hesse – Greens Councillor for Marrickville Ward.

Kelsie Dadd – spokesperson for Save Marrickville.

The lovely Fig in Richardson Reserve Marrickville South. 

Happy Christmas.    I hope you are having a nice day with no worries.

A view of The Greenway filled with Hills Fig trees and an almost continuous canopy. Very special.

Community consultation on site about the Inner West Council’s Masterplan for the 5.8km Greenway corridor.  There are two events locally, both for this coming Saturday.

WHERE:        Jack Shanahan Reserve at Hercules Street Dulwich Hill.
DATE:            Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             10am to 12pm

WHERE:        Hoskins Park at Pigott Street Dulwich Hill
WHEN:          Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             2pm to 4pm

Currently the Greenway starts at Grosvenor Crescent Lewisham & the shared pedestrian/bicycle path takes you all the way to the Parramatta River at the border of Haberfield & Leichhardt with the Hawthorn Canal dividing them.  It’s a lovely place in my opinion & a much needed haven for wildlife. I am very glad it is being completed.   I’ve written about the Greenway here – http://bit.ly/1l9FvAf

From Have Your Say website – “The NSW Government and the new Inner West Council have announced a joint commitment of $14.5 million towards the cost of completing the GreenWay missing links. This will unlock approximately 3ha of open space not currently accessible to the community.”

The missing links will open the Greenway to the public from Lewisham all the way to the Cooks River beside Wardell Road Earlwood.  This will result in an off-road path from Earlwood to Leichhardt – safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Three hectares of linear open space is not to be scoffed at considering how poor the levels of green space is in the former Marrickville municipality area.  The Greenway is one of the few places locally where the tree canopy is consistent & reaches over my head.  It is the only one off road.   Hopefully, Inner West Council will plant big canopy trees & tall trees along the new section to create the same effect where trees create a buffer from the urban surroundings.  Let the Greenway truly be green.

You can also participate in community consultation online at – http://www.yoursayinnerwest.com.au/greenway

City Farm – obvious care has been taken to choose features & repurpose containers for planting. Many of the sandstone blocks come with attached history.

I first came across information about City Farm on National Tree Day 2014 at Sydney Park.  Since then I have waited with much enthusiasm for the opening.  Well, the official launch of the community hub & cropping area is happening this weekend!

The City of Sydney will hold agroforestry lessons for adults & potting vegetable seedlings to take home & cow milking demonstrations for the kids.

Volunteers have been working on the site & will be available to chat to anyone who is interested in getting involved.  There are lots of opportunities for volunteers of all capacity & experience.  It’s an opportunity for us to learn how to grow food in a sustainable way.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the site as it was being developed & I think it looks gorgeous.  Once it is up & running I expect it will bloom like a huge flower.

DATE:            Sunday 29th October 2017

TIME:             10am to 2pm

WHERE:        Sydney Park, at the top of the hill where previous National Tree Day events have been held & near the dog pool.  Enter via Barwon Road near the corner of Campbell Street.

This is a very attractive fence in my opinion. The City of Sydney have taken care to design a space that is beautiful & inviting for people to enter.

One of the planted areas. The plants & several new trees have labels explaining their uses & benefits.  Pretty, pretty, pretty.

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