The final count-down…

Last Monday 27th, seven members of the Save Arlington Reserve Action Group handed over 685 paper submission letters to Marrickville Council.  Also in attendance were Councillors Mark Gardiner (Liberal) and Melissa Brooks (Greens), and an apology from Morris Hanna (Independent) who wasn’t able to attend.

According to figures published today in Marrickville Council’s business papers for the next Council meeting (THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, Tuesday 11th, 6:30 pm!), a total of 750 submissions rejecting artificial turf on Arlington Reserve have been received by the 27/5 closing date.

Of the approximately 70 unique ‘non form-letter’ submissions made regarding Council’s 2013/14 budget, all but 5 were regarding Arlington, and all but 5 of those were against artificial turf.

This is in stark contrast to the pro-artificial turf lobby who submitted 123 petitions and only 12% of them residing in the Marrickville LGA, and 5 ‘unique’ submissions.

At the April 2013 General Council meeting, the normally calm, rational, and mild mannered Councillor Emanuel Tsardoulias flew into an inconsolable, incoherent, spitting rage at the motion by Councillor Melissa Brooks to have the Arlington resurfacing item struck off the budget, asserting that she represented ‘a few noisy residents’ (not an exact quote, but close enough, as for reasons that defy obvious understanding and democracy, citizens are not allowed to record the proceedings of the public meetings of their elected representatives).

There’s a few important and fundamental points to get right here:

  • Councillor Mark Gardiner (Liberal), a representative of a different ward, has taken a principled stand against the artificial turf proposal “just because it’s wrong!” (and that is a quote), as has Councillor Morris Hanna (Independent), alongside four Greens Councillors.
  • Councillor Melissa Brooks (Greens), who also represents West Ward residents alongside Councillor Tsardoulias (and Councillor Tyler), is a democratically elected member of Marrickville Council, and does not deserve such disrespect from Councillor Tsardoulias.
  • The members of the Save Arlington Reserve Action Group are decidedly non-political.  We wish the issue were not politicised, but when Marrickville Labor keeps back-flipping on this issue (once in 2009 from a pro-artificial to anti-artificial stance, then back to a pro-artificial stance in 2012, & remain resolutely uncommunicative on the issue besides the bullshit arguments we’ve already debunked in previous posts), you know there’s something political going on – as quite distinct from “getting the basics right”.
  • 1503 people, mostly Marrickville LGA residents, signed a petition in December 2012 saying No to artificial turf on Arlington.
  • 685 people, 82% of them Marrickville LGA residents, PUT THEIR SIGNATURE TO A BUDGET SUBMISSION LETTER – NOT JUST A LINE ON A PETITION saying No to the allocations of funds for artificial turf on Arlington.
  • 60 people wrote their own letter to Council making the same objection in their own words.

Thank you Councillor Tsardoulias, but “we” are not a ‘noisy few residents’, as we’ve demonstrated in black and white. Again.

We can’t wait to see what bullshit arguments certain Councillors put up next week to ‘justify’ their continued stance of allocating $1M+ to Joe Pinto’s Trophy Project, at the expense of childcare (2000 children in Marrickville & Dulwich Hill on waiting lists), or the stalled new library, or the replacement of ten toilet blocks on other green spaces that will be knocked down next year but not replaced.



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