OPEN SPACE, RECREATION AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES STRATEGY
Georges River Council have developed a draft Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy, which provides high-level direction for community centres, libraries, open space, sport and recreation facilities, athletics and aquatic facilities in the Georges River area.
Council is seeking community feedback on this Strategy, which is on public exhibition until Sunday 7 April 2019.
Kogarah Bay Progress Association have developed a submission, which has been sent to Council in response to the recommendations outlined in this draft strategy. See the full submission here.
Residents are encouraged to write their own submissions to Council, before the 7th April deadline on issues that concern them. Send your written submission to The General Manager:
A summary of the key points made by the Association in our submission are outlined below.
Future Strategic Directions – Regional Hubs
The draft strategy recommends Jubilee Stadium precinct as a regional sporting hub, incorporating the existing stadium, and the construction of a new aquatic facility at this location.
KBPA does not support this recommendation and instead recommend the much larger area of the Carss Bush Park precinct (incorporating the area outlined in the picture below) as the regional sporting hub for the Kogarah Bay Ward.
Why Carss Bush Park as a Regional Hub and not Jubilee Stadium
Council are already recognising the importance of Carss Bush Park as a regional sporting facility, investing heavily in infrastructure amenities at Harold Fraser Oval and Charles Pirie Reserve.
Council should investigate relocating the SES from its current location at Harold Fraser Oval to the old Kogarah Council depot in nearby Planthurst Road, Carlton, which would open up the tranquil setting of the oval and its immediate surrounds.
A new aquatic facility, replacing the existing Carss Park Pool in its current location would make this area a true regional sporting hub. Carss Park offers far superior parking options that Jubilee Stadium.
Jubilee Stadium Precinct
The Association does not support the recommendation of establishing Jubilee Stadium as a Regional Sporting Hub, incorporating a new aquatic facility due to the traffic and congestion in this area during morning and afternoon peak hours, the conflict with the adjoining primary school as well as the limited parking with kerbside parking taken by staff from St George Public and Private Hospitals.
Establishing a Regional Sporting Hub at Jubilee Stadium would likely result in the loss of Kogarah Park, one of only 2 passive open space parks located on the western side of Princes Hwy up to Railway Parade.
To further utilise the stadium asset, Council should consider making function rooms within the stadium grandstand available to hire for the public and corporate sector and incorporate athletics facilities around the perimeter of the ground to encourage multi-use.
The Association strongly supports replacing the existing Carss Park Swimming Pool, in its existing location with a new aquatic centre incorporating a new 50m outdoor heated swimming pool, a 25m indoor pool and program pool for learn-to-swim. The centre should also include a pool suitable for water-polo, a gym, a crèche and a café to increase revenue opportunities.
There is currently only 1 pool suitable to host school swimming carnivals in the Georges River Local Government Area; Sans Souci Leisure Centre. With availability so competitive, some local schools are forced to host carnivals outside the local government area.
The draft strategy cites Carss Park Pool as being in a remote area, thus not suitable for a regional aquatic centre. High-visibility to passing traffic is not a factor that attracts people to an aquatic facility. Sutherland Leisure Centre is a prime example of a large regional aquatic facility that is not located in a high visibility location and still enjoys very high patronage, due to the wonderful facilities on offer in the centre.
The Association does not support the recommendation to build a new aquatic facility at the Jubilee Stadium precinct as it would likely result in the loss of an existing enclosed local park (Kogarah Park)
Existing Open Space and Sports and Recreation Facilities
We strongly object to any repurposing or slimming down of Beverley Park Golf Course to 9 holes to provide additional passive recreation space, additional sporting fields or housing, as is suggested on page 126 of the Draft Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy.
We recommend maintaining the full 18-hole golf course and introducing a Memorandum of Understanding for the golf course to be a ‘shared facility’ in that neighbouring residents can share the open green space that the golf course offers during after hours golf use. There are quite a few hours, especially during daylight saving time at dusk when there are no golfers on the course, which would be an ideal time for leisure walking or jogging by the public. This arrangement could be implemented in a new lease agreement for the golf course, when the current lease expires at the end of 2020.
Passive Open Spaces
With increased densities along Railway Pde, Kogarah and the Princes Hwy corridors, green passive open space is more important than ever.
The Kogarah Bay Ward, between Princes Hwy and the railway line has very limited passive open space (Anglo Square, Kogarah Park below Jubilee Oval, and Hogben Park). Not nearly enough green open space to accommodate the increase in population forecast for the area by the Greater Sydney Commission.
By redeveloping Jubilee Oval/Kogarah Park as an aquatic centre would reduce by one-third the green open space parks for this area. This is totally unacceptable and Council should be increasing its open space areas, not decreasing them and should be using Section 94 Developer Contributions to fund these acquisitions.
As the population of the Georges River LGA increases, more and more people will be living in higher-density housing, making community centres, which are hired casually for birthdays etc more valued.
Council should make available for public hire the function centres within Jubilee Stadium grandstand. These function rooms would also be ideal for corporate hire.
Council should also consider, when redeveloping amenity facilities in the many playing fields within the local government area to design such facilities so that they can be multi-use, incorporating hireable community space and or meeting rooms.
The Greater Sydney Commission identified the Kogarah precinct as a centre for education and medical services, due to the many hospitals, medical offices, schools and tafes that service the area.
The Association believes that Kogarah Library should be identified as the regional library unit to support the planning by the Greater Sydney Commission.
There needs to be stronger rules in place that provides harmony between the traditional uses of a library, being a quiet space for reading and research and the future modern use of libraries as interactive spaces.
Currently the library is being promoted as a toddler centre for singing, story reading and child-play centre, without separate spaces required to accommodate this.
It is appearing more and more common for the library to act as a Community Centre, not a library with activities such as demonstration of children’s martial arts, face-painting, singing etc, groups meeting for recreational activities such as group card games as well as commercial tutors using the library space to provide paid services.
Council should be promoting existing Community Centres as meeting places and organized play-groups, such as those offered by Kogarah Community Services rather than at a library.