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City of Sydney pushes for Moore Park Golf Course to be halved in size to unlock more public parkland

City of Sydney pushes for Moore Park Golf Course to be halved in size to unlock more public parkland
October 26, 2020

The City of Sydney is pushing ahead with plans to halve the size of Moore Park Golf Course to unlock more public open spaces, urging the NSW Government's new parks ‘super agency’ to adopt proposals to reduce.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore wants to cut the course in the east from 18 holes to nine to meet a growing need for open space for residents, arguing the land was intended for public use.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the council has revealed two plans for how half the course downsized with former golf course land to be converted to about 20 hectares of parkland.

Lord Mayor Moore will outline the options in a mayoral minute at Monday night's City of Sydney council meeting.

The two options for reconfiguring part of the course retained the driving range, clubhouse, and maintenance depot and, according to Lord Mayor Moore, require "only minimal reconfiguration of the fairway and greens”..

One option is to locate the parkland to the north of Dacey Avenue on the western side of the course, while the other proposes transforming the area south of Dacey Avenue. Each would create 18 to 20 hectares of parkland.

Lord Mayor Moore has presented the plans to NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes, who requested the newly-formed Greater Sydney Parklands Trust, which oversees Centennial Park and Moore Park, to consider them.

In her mayoral minute, Lord Mayor Moore says the demand for more public parkland has been driven by changes to the course's surrounds, where residential development has replaced swathes of mostly industrial land.

Lord Mayor Moore goes on to explain "the area of Redfern, Waterloo and Green Square ... is becoming the densest residential area in Australia, with an expected residential population of up to 70,000 people and 22,000 workers by 2031.

“By 2040 up to 90,000 additional people could be living within a catchment less than 2 kilometres from Moore Park."

Lord Mayor Moore suggest that participation in golf was dropping and golfers were "well-catered for", with 12 courses - six of which were accessible to the general public - were located within 12 kilometres of Moore Park.

She added “today, 31 million people visit Centennial Parklands while just 60,000 rounds of golf are played on the Moore Park Golf Course each year."

The council will spend $50,000 on a community consultation plan for the proposal if the minute is adopted.

The NSW Department of Planning has said Moore Park was the country's third most-used public golf course and there was strong local support to retain its length during consultation on the Moore Park masterplan in 2017.

Councils in densely populated metropolitan areas across Australia are considering possible re-use of golf course land as public open space, a situation exaggerated by Coronavirus restrictions have sent more residents outside and their demand for more public spaces in densely-populated parts of cities.

Images: Moore Park Golf Course from the air (top) and the City of Sydney's two options to reduce the 18-hole golf course at Moore Park to nine holes (below. Credit: City of Sydney).

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20th February 2018 - 18-hole golf course to be retained at Melbourne’s Albert Park

27th October 2017 - Australian rugby and sports science base opens in Sydney’s Moore Park

23rd August 2017 - New governing body to ensure Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse remains as public open space

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