Save our parklands
Your front page story about the relocation of the recycling facility is very timely. It is the first step in a multimillion dollar master plan secretly being developed for Lismore Park by council.
Also planned are: the destruction of Jolley Field, the last grass hockey field, to make way for filtering ponds; the destruction of one of the best turf wickets in Lismore, Blair Oval; the destruction of the City Lights Tennis Club courts to make way for a row of trees; and the relocation of the Crozier Oval parking for up to 3000 spectators into the front yards of neighbouring houses.
The charge forward seems to be led by the chairman of the Sports Advisory Group, Cr Neil Marks. Over the past 18 years I have represented the community in the Land and Environment Court, participated in and made many planning submissions to Council and spoken at LCC meetings. I have received not one response from council. After a tip off from a concerned citizen I attended a meeting on July 19, 2012 with about 12 others. Cr Marks opened the meeting. I was told that some landowners had been informed, but not residents. Are we second class citizens now? I have been advised that the cricketers have been told that if they don't go along their funding may be reduced.
Let me say that I totally support the filtering of stormwater such as the creek along Richards Oval boundary but the Jolley Field precinct is definitely the wrong location for filtering ponds, being one of the busiest pedestrian and traffic areas of Lismore and directly outside a major liquor outlet.
Council needs to bring this secret concept plan out from behind closed doors and adopt an open and transparent public communication of its intentions. When the master plan and a new plan of management for Lismore Park gets the green light from councillors, after extensive community consultation, that work on other DAs such as the recycling relocation and Crozier parking should occur. Alternatively council could say Lismore Park is of immense benefit to the broader community, is invaluable public open space and leave the damn thing alone!