Moore wants more parkland at Moore Park

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has unveiled plans to cut the Moore Park Golf Course from 18 holes to nine, in a bid to increase parkland in Central Sydney.

In a Mayoral Minute presented at tonight’s City of Sydney Council meeting, the Lord Mayor said the needs of the area had changed since the golf course was first established, and that a new large public park was required.

“The area adjacent to Moore Park was primarily industrial when the Moore Park Golf Course was established in 1913, but the area of Redfern, Waterloo and Green Square is undergoing a process of urban renewal and is becoming the densest residential area in Australia,” the Lord Mayor said.

She said the area had a projected residential population of up to 70,000 people and 22,000 workers by 2031, adding: “By 2040 up to 90,000 additional people could be living within a catchment less than two kilometres from Moore Park.

“City planners are working with Green Square developers to create forty urban parks and playgrounds as part of urban renewal.

“However, small parks do not provide the opportunity to stride out, de-stress and recharge or renew and commune with nature for people living in high density apartments.”

Two options for downsizing the golf course have been presented. One option involves locating the parkland to the north of Dacey Avenue, on the western side of the course. The other proposes transforming the area south of Dacey Avenue. Both retain the driving range, clubhouse, and maintenance depot, and require “only minimal reconfiguration of the fairway and greens”.

Either option would create 18-20 hectares of parkland – which translates to a new park slightly larger than Hyde Park (16 hectares), about two-thirds the size of the Royal Botanic Garden (30 hectares) or just under half the size of Sydney Park (42 hectares). 

The announcement drew a largely positive reaction on the Lord Mayor’s Facebook page, where she posted about the proposal this morning. Many respondents maintained that parks benefit more people than golf courses.

Typical of the sentiments was a comment by Jinesh Attard, who wrote: “I walked [through the golf course] the other week and there were probably 10 golfers playing in this huge area … walked across the road into the apartment area and the small park was crowded with dog walkers and people.”

“Brilliant,” said Andrew Wilson. “Golf is a great game, but full courses are a ridiculous waste of space for a small group of the population that close to high density areas.”

However, Matt Caine wrote: “What most of these commentators and Ms Moore don’t say is that this is a public course, i.e. anyone can play there.

“Also that the city needing more parkland is the result of the rampant and inappropriate overdevelopment, of which the Green Square area is just one of many examples. Where the City and state government have given developers free rein to do as they please.”

Liberal City of Sydney Councillor Christine Forster called the proposal “a disgraceful waste of taxpayers’ money”.

“The community has already had its say and is strongly in favour of retaining the existing 18-hole golf course, as indicated in the 700 responses to the public exhibition of the Moore Park Masterplan 2040,” Forster said, referring to a blueprint developed by the Centennial and Moore Park Trust following a public exhibition and consultation process in 2015-16.

“The golf course contributes around a quarter of the Centennial Parklands revenue, necessary to run and maintain the extensive parklands around Centennial and Moore parks,” she said. 

Last month, the Lord Mayor briefed NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes on the proposal. The Minister has referred it the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust for consideration.

“It is now time for Council to undertake community consultation on these options,” concluded Moore in the Mayoral Minute. 

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