Redfern Oval

About this Item
SubjectsFootball; Planning and Development; Sport and Recreation; Historic Buildings and Sites
SpeakersMoore Ms Clover
BusinessPrivate Members Statements

Page: 16173

    Ms CLOVER MOORE (Bligh) [5.57 p.m.]: Tonight I speak about an issue that is important to the Bligh constituents and to the city. Last Monday the city's Environment and Heritage Committee discussed a report on the redevelopment proposal for the oval within Redfern Park, based on the findings of public consultation and the assessment process. In the 2005-06 budget the city allocated funding of $19 million over three years for a quality recreation facility to redress the current rundown state of the oval after years of neglect by the former South Sydney City Council.

    Last year the city put on public exhibition three options prepared for the former council, ranging from open parkland to a 20,000-seat stadium. A fourth option prepared by South Sydney Leagues Club was also exhibited. The $19 million recommended proposal includes a new playing field on the existing oval site with an undercover pavilion for seating and ancillary facilities such as player change rooms, toilets, gymnasium, office space and a community meeting place. Sports lighting for training purposes is also proposed and provision for temporary fencing when ticketed events are required. The proposal has been developed to provide year-round facilities for junior clubs and schools sports competitions, training and occasional games for Souths, the annual Koori Cup Knockout, community activities and community recreation.

    On Monday the Indigenous Land Corporation wrote to me to propose a venue on the site that could be the focus of indigenous cultural, social and sporting excellence. At my request, the city contacted the corporation and a meeting has been set up. Together with other councillors I supported the recommendation that the proposal be deferred for a month to assess the Indigenous Land Corporation proposal to gain further information about the possibility of increasing seating capacity. The city's chief executive officer has arranged to meet with Souths and other organisations to further discuss their needs. The city is committed to continuing the association between Souths and Redfern Oval, and wants to achieve this within the site's constraints. All councillors who spoke at committee on Monday night stated that they did not support option 4 proposed by South Sydney Leagues Club.

    Souths' proposal is dependent on the city providing public land estimated to be worth around $10 million in public money for private commercial development and an enclosed stadium without public access. It includes a six-level private stadium development for 14,000 patrons and an 800 vehicle car park, commercial/retail, football club offices, function facilities and community services as well as a 24-hour medical centre, a gymnasium and an Aboriginal cultural centre. The proposal is to be privately funded through the sale and redevelopment of the current South Sydney Leagues Club premises in Chalmers Street and is expected to receive ongoing funded through commercial operations on the premises on public parkland. These are critical issues and need to be considered in planning for the oval site.

    The community land classification and local recreational zoning are not compatible with commercial development of a major regional facility. At an average of 5.9 square metres per person, open space in Redfern-Waterloo is below the city average of 6.6 square metres. The population in Redfern-Waterloo is expected to increase from more than 14,000 to 40,000 by 2015, reducing open space to less than four square metres per person unless additional areas are added. Maximum year-round opportunities need to be provided for local junior, school and Aboriginal sports activities, with provision for the annual Koori knock-out competition. Any redevelopment should allow Souths to continue their historic association with Redfern Oval, with recognition of the team's recent move to Telstra Stadium.

    Traffic associated with a large stadium will create unsustainable impacts on adjacent roads and on-street parking, as routinely experienced with Aussie Stadium and the Sydney Cricket Ground. Significant environmental limits exist due to the surrounding residential area and a water table about two metres below the playing surface. Any recreation facility on public land must be financially sustainable, with the city able to guarantee a high standard of maintenance in the long term. Council's recommended option addressed all these concerns. I am told that a union green ban is being proposed to support South's commercial option. If that occurs, it will be the first time a green ban has been imposed to support using public parkland for a private commercial development with significant environmental impacts.

    The State Government has advised that it does not support a new major football stadium at Redfern Park that would compete with the Sydney cricket and football stadia at Moore Park and Telstra Stadium at Homebush. I acknowledge that the honourable member for Heffron is a newcomer and has to try to establish a profile in the South Sydney area. I suggest that it might be helpful if she does her homework and gets her facts straight. Effective representation is about much more than party politicking.