Sydney Should Not Have to Sacrifice Precious Green Space for Needed Development

Today I called on the Government to halt plans to develop Moore Park and allow the community consultation already under way to take its course. The Greens do not believe the community should be forced to sacrifice parkland and green spaces for needed development. 


Ms JENNY LEONG (Newtown) [10.51 a.m.]: My contribution to debate on the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (No 2) 2015 will be brief. I recognise the concluding comments made by the member who preceded me, the member for Myall Lakes, who said that statute law bills are about inconsequential and miscellaneous amendments. It is clear the bill contains provisions that are not miscellaneous and not insignificant to people who live near and around Moore Park or the community that uses Moore Park. It is incumbent on the Government, in the spirit of good faith associated with the introduction of statute law bills, to remove from schedule 1.13, "Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Act 1978 No. 72". The Government should remove that from the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (No 2) 2015 so that it can be dealt with as stand-alone legislation and the remainder of the bill can be dealt with as miscellaneous amendments.

I do not consider the construction of a six-storey building, the establishment of an Australian Rugby Development Centre and a University of Technology Sydney sports science facility in the middle of a key park and green open space in the middle of our city to be inconsequential or miscellaneous in nature. The merits of whether we need a headquarters for Australian Rugby Union, of which I am quite a fan, or whether a floor needs to be added to a building to enable the University of Technology Sydney to develop its science facilities seem to be beyond doubt. Both proposals seem to be good and useful for our community, but whether the relevant provisions should be rushed through this House without debate and whether those facilities should be placed in the middle of open green space, which is much-needed in our inner-city areas, seems to be outrageous.

I hope the Government realises there are some concerns and controversy surrounding this bill. I also hope that schedule 1.13 to the bill will be removed. The timing of this legislation is somewhat questionable. A consultation process is currently underway in relation to Moore Park. People and community groups are having their say about what they envisage for Moore Park. Yet at the same time we see a determination by the Government, in this allegedly miscellaneous provisions bill, to establish a five- or six-storey building on a car park in the middle of a park that is allegedly the subject of open consultation with the community in relation to its future. I do not consider that to be fair play.

As the member for Sydney explained, members of this House have not had sufficient time to consider the proposals properly. The prevailing assumption is that Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bills are just that—bills that deal with miscellaneous and uncontroversial provisions. The Greens urge the Government to remove schedule 1.13 so that the functions of Parliament in passing Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provision) Bills are confined to making minor legislative amendments. The Government should recognise that this bill deals with controversial amendments that are in no way minor. Schedule 1.13 should not be part of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (No 2) 2015.


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