A letter from HHT President Tony Coote to Ross Williams, The Save Hunters Hill Municipality Coalition. SCROLL DOWN to see Ross Williams’ reply
Following last Monday’s Council meeting and your impassioned plea for more sporting facilities in Boronia Park, I was wondering whether in making that plea were you representing the views of SHHMC?
Also I was also concerned about the figures you used in your argument. You are quoted in the Northern District Times – “Boronia Park is 80 percent natural bushland and 20 percent recreational land and only about 12 percent is the sporting ovals”. Attached for your information is a the map of Boronia Park that relates to the PoM. I have overlaid the map with the area taken up by the ovals, their surrounds and part of the access road which is essential to their maintenance and which is sometimes used for parking during sports activities. According to my calculations all this represents approximately 31% of the site. If you add to this the cleared areas such as Findlays Paddock you get a total of around 45% of the site, which leaves only 55% of the site remaining. The 55% remainder is by no means “natural bushland” because it includes significant areas degraded by dumping in previous times and other partially cleared places. This makes your quoted figures of 80% “natural bushland” and 12% sporting ovals somewhat shy of the reality.
I also point out that in arguing for more amenities for the clubs you made a special plea based on the work they do for the local children. As someone who takes kids to and from soccer matches throughout the metropolitan area I am aware of what’s involved and what is required here.
The reality is that kiddies come to games already togged out and that their parents rush them away (still togged) immediately after the game so they can be half way across Sydney for the kiddie’s sister’s netball game and thus have no need for change rooms let alone “meeting rooms”. Clearly the kids need toilet facilities.
And I wonder about the need for “meeting rooms” for the senior players. Having played rugby at grade level for some years with Sydney University I am well aware of rugby culture post match. I suggest that any so-called meeting room would simply be a place where the senior players can hang around after the game having a few beers either commiserating a loss or celebrating a win.
Kind Regards, Tony Coote, President The Hunters Hill Trust
ROSS WILLIAMS responds:
I was speaking as Ross Williams. I make it very clear when I am speaking for SHHMC. I do have the right to be a resident with passionate views.
Regarding the % you need to include the substantive native bushland that runs along the Lane Cove River to Buffalo Creek Reserve to give a true picture of the extent of the parkland associated with BP. This area, you have omitted, is an integral part of the park providing a buffer zone between residential areas and the river as well as providing a significant flora and fauna corridor linking to Buffalo Creek and on to the National Park to the north. If the POMgt does not include this area then it is in error and the diagram and related bushland management plans need to consider the requirements of the complete park and particularly the bushland as a continuum rather than some artificial human drawn line on a map.
As I have said on several occasions we need to take a balanced approach to the issues at hand and from my professional opinion the sporting proposals will have no deleterious impact on the bush that cannot be mitigated by good design and best practice.
The community can have a win win outcome here with the bushland preserved and enhanced sporting facilities to underpin our community wellbeing. I have spent my whole life working to protect the environment and rehabilitate degraded lands so I don’t take this issue lightly and I am confident that managed correctly the sporting proposals pose no threat to the surrounding parklands.
It looks like all parties need to take a deep breath and negotiate in good faith around what can be achieved for the park.
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