Media Release          21 July 2009

Community meeting slams council decision to lock up Arlington Recreation Reserve from the surrounding community by covering it with plastic grass!

Marrickville Council’s 2009/10 Budget decision to cover Arlington Oval with plastic grass has drawn the ire of residents who say it will lock up valuable public space, increase traffic and parking chaos in their high density residential area, increase garbage and litter and destroy the heritage values of Arlington Recreation Reserve.

“Local residents are being asked to bear all of the costs and actually lose vital community open space under Marrickville Council’s plan to put plastic grass on Arlington Recreation Reserve,” said local resident, Suzanne Marks.  “This move will lead to a 6 fold increase in its current usage (see Council Briefing Paper No. 18: 11.03.09 pp. 1-2)  putting impossible strains on our already overloaded community.”

“We’ve held our first community meeting to fight Council’s decision. So far Council’s consultation process has been minimal focussing on the needs of users and not residents.  So now that people round here have found out about the plan there is considerable outrage.”

“Council’s plan for Arlington Recreation Reserve to be given over to elite sport can only happen at the expense of the local community. Arlington Reserve is community land and the 2004 Plan of Management shows clearly that the community wants to have shared use of the open spaces. By covering it with plastic grass Council will be destroying the local community’s ability to use it.”

“The area around Arlington is already congested with traffic related to the Soccer clubs.  Parking is already impossible on training nights and match days.  And this impacts on residents in the whole area – not just those around Arlington. If there is an increase all these residents will again bear the brunt.”

“Arlington Reserve is a beautiful heritage ground and our community wants real grass on their park, not plastic. Who knows what poisons will leach out of it?” she said.

Key Issues of Concern

  • No community consultation on Council’s decision
  • No studies to support the proposal
  • No Business Plan indicating how Council will manage the costs
  • Six fold increase in usage reserved for limited/elite football
  • Locking up urgently needed open spaces
  • Jury is still ‘out’ on toxicity of synthetic grass and chemical leaching
  • Reduced open space access in face of more high density residential development
  • Traffic congestion/parking/noise and disruption to neighbourhood already at saturation point
  • Ongoing financial costs to ratepayers

Contact: Suzanne Marks

Committee to Save Arlington  Recreation Reserve 141 944


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