Arlington Reserve fake grass plan causes stir – The Inner West Courier

inner-west-courier-city07 Aug 09  by Marie Sansom  Read this article on the Inner West Courier website.

Arlington Reserve fake grass plan causes stir Protesters at Arlington Reserve. A MAJOR stoush has kicked off over synthetic grass at a Dulwich Hill reserve.

Marrickville Council recently allocated $1.3 million for synthetic grass to be laid at Arlington Reserve, so soccer can be played year-round. But some residents are incensed and want councillors to re-examine the issue.

Arlington Reserve protestThey have formed a group, Save Arlington Reserve, which will meet this Saturday at Arlington Reserve, at 11am this Saturday. Suzanne Marks, from the group, said ground use would skyrocket, with players and supporters coming every weekend and most week nights, causing more traffic, noise and disruption.

Dulwich Hill Soccer Club and Stanmore Hawks currently share the reserve for 26 weeks of the year to preserve the surface. “There’s very big community action building against it. They’re locking up the facility from the neighbourhood, except for elite soccer players,” Ms Marks said.

“People feel utterly betrayed by their local councillors with no notification and consultation with their local community.”

The need to keep the surface clean will mean dogs, walkers and children will not be able to use the ground for recreation. West ward councillor Dimitrios Thanos, initially a supporter of the project, is expected to move a motion at an August 18 council meeting asking for alternative sites to be considered.

In an email to other councillors he said: “I do recognise that the decision to identify Arlington Oval was probably a bit hasty.

“ Dulwich Hill Soccer Club secretary John Ferreira accused Greens councillors and residents who oppose the synthetic grass of being short-sighted. “They want it to be a dog park for a minority of people and to improve the value of their houses,” Mr Ferreira.

He said Football NSW intermittently banned clubs from using the ground because poor conditions made it so dangerous.

“There’s not enough sporting fields in the area, especially to play at the elite level,” he said. “We’ve got hundreds of kids who we would rather have playing soccer than running around the streets and shopping centres.”

[Editors note] The accusation by Mr Ferreira regarding the dog park is not true.  No Councillor from any political party has said they want to stop soccer being played at Arlington Reserve or that they want to turn it into a dog park.  Unfortunately, the pro-artificial turf people are spreading this lie in the community.

Read this story on the Inner West Courier’s website.

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