The Weekly Times published this letter from HHT’s Brigid Dowsett on January 12th, 2016
“Over the many years of controversy concerning mismanagement and degradation of Boronia Park with the reconstruction of Oval 3, much debate has featured in the local press. After a protracted 18 month process to develop a revised Plan of Management to better protect the reserve, it had looked as if a well-balanced outcome could be achieved following the selection by Hunters Hill Council of an independent consultant. The needs of the active recreational sporting interests, as well as the legal requirement to preserve and maintain the cultural and natural values of this much loved heritage-listed Crown reserve, were well represented in the first draft Plan.
Unfortunately for the future of the natural areas of Boronia Park, its native wildlife and habitat corridors, an aggressive and persistent push by the organised sporting lobby has succeeded in having its wish list delivered by our elected Councillors. The Plan that was adopted on 7 December will see more intensive use and access to the reserve for the dominant sports, placing increased pressure on the sensitive bushland and adjoining wetlands, already impacted by their proximity to the roadway and sporting fields. In addition, if lighting is allowed for Oval 3 it will result in even greater pressure and disturbance.
The lengthy process of developing the Plan, and Council’s ongoing attempts at remediation following the Oval 3 debacle, have come at great expense to rate-payers. We will continue to bear the cost of implementing the provisions within the Plan that satisfy the demands of organised sports clubs, while the budget for bush regeneration languishes. Council has ignored the ample space available for parking along Park Rd and favoured invasive parking along the internal roadway and increased vehicle access. This will place both pedestrians and the Park’s natural values at unnecessary risk. The determination to construct an exclusive Clubhouse and achieve long term tenure for sporting clubs represent further alienation and disruption to shared public land.
Those who champion the protection of nature in our increasingly over-developed city, can surely expect better than this from our local Council?”