Friday, February 23, 2024

Inner West “short-changed” by Premier’s Rozelle park plan

Sydney’s Inner West Council says an announcement by NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, today about the design of the long-promised Rozelle Parklands fails to provide the additional $15 million needed to build the park.

Mayor, Darcy Byrne (pictured) claims the decision to “short-change” the project follows a pattern of “chronic underfunding” of the Inner West by the State Government.

“The Premier was specifically asked today if there would be any more money for the project and the answer was a slap in the face for the people of the Inner West,” Mayor Byrne said.

“Our engineers have costed this project at about $30 million and the State Government is providing just $15 million, leaving the residents of the Inner West with a substandard park.

“It’s all very well for the State Government to provide glossy pictures of the proposal, but they still haven’t actually funded it.

“They promised a new public park at St Peters WestConnex Interchange as well. That park has never actually opened to the public and is dangerously contaminated.

“Now they are short-changing the Rozelle community too.”

The Mayor claims the Inner West has been “rorted out of millions” due to the State Government’s grants slush fund, from which “95% of grants were funnelled to Coalition seats”.

“We are the only Council between the CBD and the Blue Mountains to have been prevented from applying for grants from the proceeds of the sale of WestConnex,” he said.

“And this year the Government can find $300 million for a stadium in Stuart Ayres’ marginal seat of Penrith but not a cent for Leichhardt Oval.”

He said there was a clear pattern of financially discriminating against the Inner West for which “the Government stands condemned”.

Premier Perrottet today said the expansive parklands will be one of the largest open green spaces in inner Sydney. 

“As part of the Rozelle Interchange Project, we had the rare opportunity to deliver a new parkland space in the heart of our city, transforming disused former industrial land and returning it back to the local community,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Rozelle residents will soon have new recreational and community facilities set amongst an expanse of open green space the size of 12 football fields right on their doorstep.”

Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport, Rob Stokes said the parklands would provide a big new backyard for the entire community to enjoy.

“With more than 3,000 new trees, bush trails, wetlands, landscaped gardens, barbeques and playgrounds, this will be a spectacular green space spanning 10 hectares,” Mr Stokes said. 

“These parklands will heal a scar that has separated Sydney’s CBD from the inner west, and will complete a missing piece of our vision of the best harbour walk in the world linking all the way from Sydney to Parramatta.”

Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said the NSW Government had worked hard to put the needs of the local community at the heart of the project.

“We have transformed this space from what used to be disused rail yards with overgrown grass, hazards and no access to the public, to what will now be a renewed, revived and refreshed area of beautiful green space,” Mrs Ward said.

“This space is designed to be used by children, pets and everyone from the local community, and is another example of the Perrottet government delivering transport and community benefits hand in hand.” 

Major construction on the Parklands will start early next year.

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