Hello Cruel World
Friday, May 28, 2004
Exchange of emails on questionnaire re Wentworth Park
On Monday, May 24, 2004, at 02:08 PM, E wrote:
J. is an elected member of the PA Committee and offered to print the questionnaire and notice of meeting free of charge. I believe he is a local real estate agent. But PA membership is open to local businesses as well as residents. We are very grateful for his assistance. We could not have done it without. As you know, we keep our membership fees very low to ensure that as many people as possible can afford to join. We receive no funding from Council or any other source, other than donations from members.
Residential development of wentworth park is not something we even contemplated. The term "Redevelopment" implies redeveloped as a park, sporting arenas, public amenity or whatever. The questions came out of the responses to the pilot survey conducted at the Ultimo/Pyrmont Festival which came up with a range of views about the future of the park. It was interesting in that initial survey to see quite strong support for retention or reuse of the dog track facilities. It's by no means certain that the community want it all to be a gardens and public open space.
Wentworth Park is and always will be a public park or facility/amenity. I think if you re-read the questionnaire you will see that "redevelopment" is coupled with "open space" and can only be read in the context of a public park or other amenity.
The survey is to ascertain the range of views in the community in order to assist Council in its deliberations on the future of Wentworth Park.
PA at this stage is not pushing a particular point of view. I always think it's dangerous to say "the community want this or that" without canavassing the various options widely within the community. I am hoping that the Ultimo groups will also use the questionnaire to canvass views in their community.
It has been quite a big job canvassing Pyrmont, with volunteers, so any support from Ultimo would be gratefully accepted. We can then combine forces to present the results.
It's always useful to receive background information to use in any submission we make to Council so thanks for the historial notes. Be assured that residential redevelopment is not an option as far as PA is concerned.
Sent: Monday, 24 May 2004 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: Pyrmont Action - Questionnaire for the redevelopment of Wentworth Park
Thank you for your explanation - whilst I dont question the motives of Pyrmont Action which I hope are above board, I am concerned that now the NSW govt has sold off all the public hospitals and schools to developers, the next logical step to to sell off any available local public open space to developers. The Wentworth Park site would be a developer's dream especially the northern end of the Park along Pyrmont Bridge Rd, especially if the dog racing stadium relocated and the facility demolished. I make no apologies for my suspicious nature.
Pyrmont got stuck with the casino because some local residents stood on Pyrmont Bridge with petition boards to ask visitors to Darling Harbour to support a casino in Pyrmont. I was not aware that PA was seeking suggestions from visitors to the Ultimo Pyrmont festival regarding the future redevelopment of Wentworth Park. Feedback from my comments has revealed the same sort of concerns that I have voiced in my notes.
Looking forward to meeting up with PA at the AGM on 1 June
Sent: Monday, 24 May 2004 11:52 PM
Subject: RE: Pyrmont Action - Questionnaire for the redevelopment of Wentworth Park
D, it's dedicated as a public park. There's no way whatever body controls it, could, or would sell it off. Yes, it would be interesting to go into the history of why Pyrmont got lumbered with the Casino. They have a lot to answer for.
May 25, 2004
The Showground at Moore Park was dedicated as public open space or parkland or exhibitions, and that didn't stop Fox Studios "leasing" it & making it inaccessible, with shops & suchlike covering the rest.M.
The Gladesville public land has already been lost to a walled-off rash of flats. And the locals have to keep continual watch on places like Callan Park, Hunters Hill High School & its associated grounds, maybe even Glebe High, probably many places I've never heard of or forgotten in the rush of events. Then there's the situation at North Head Quarantine Station. The harbour & estuarine islands are simmering in the background still. Don't forget the dispute at Middle Head as well as the St Marys ADI area. Years back Paul Keating let the wolves get the scent of blood on an area they'd been hungering after for decades at Garden Island. They haven't forgotten, but for a prize that great might yet be patient a while, just feeding off smaller prey in the interim.
All these were formerly dedicated to public service, whether showground, hospital or armed forces, hopefully to go to a different type of publicly-accessible public good, rather than enriching the few (after all, they'd hardly obtain assets at a price they haven't screwed down as low as possible, and with the "best" conditions to make the greatest private profit, while reducing any public return in the form of taxes) once they moved out of that part of the public service.
If you remember some years back, in relation to the Pyrmont developments, I called this "selling someone else's birthright", since it's sacrificing the good life, health, public amenity & so forth of both the current workers & residents, and those of future ones -- including the residents who'll move into the new buildings -- many thousands of people for decades to come, for the short-term profit of some person or group who possibly may never even see the area, let alone live here or participate in the community.
You do need to keep alert & questioning whenever & wherever anything is in the air for such assets. That's one of the things that is so wearing & draining for "normal" people who have jobs & families & lives to try & keep maintained as part of their society & community. History is full of ... [the rest is missing]
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