Media Releases

Media releases from the Save Arlington Reserve Action Group


MEDIA RELEASE (20-2-2013)

Save Arlington Reserve Committee

Council Meeting C0213 Item 2 – “Arlington Playing Field Update”

Wednesday 20th February 2013

Marrickville Council votes for artificial turf

On Tuesday night, 19th February 2013, Marrickville Council spent two hours deliberating on the issue of artificial turf for Arlington Recreation Reserve, Dulwich Hill.

Despite a promising few moments of doubt when Councillor Rosana Tyler requested a brief recess to negotiate privately with other Councillors, Council ultimately voted on the proposal raised by Mayor Victor Macri to proceed with artificial turf for Arlington.  The vote was 6-for (Councillors Haylen, Iskandar, Macri, Tsardoulias, Tyler and Woods), and 6-against (Councillors Brooks, Ellsmore, Gardiner, Hanna, Leary and Phillips).  The Chairperson, Mayor Macri, used his Casting Vote and the motion to proceed with artificial turf was carried.

The members of the committee to Save Arlington Reserve and many local residents are very disappointed in Council’s decision, and in particular the underlying disregard for its obligations under Section 36F(b) of the NSW Local Government Act which relates to community land designated for sporting activities, whereby they must ensure that such activities are managed having regard to any adverse impact on nearby residences.

Despite both Councillors and citizen speakers drawing attention to:

  • the glaring economic recklessness of the artificial turf option given the limitations of the Arlington Plan Of Management
  • the undeniable consequences upon local residents that the dramatically intensified usage that Council’s own reports insist must accompany an artificial field (later, if not sooner) due to the categorical unsuitability of the area surrounding Arlington
  • the dramatically higher hiring costs to users and the financial risk this exposes Council to if prime users are unable to maintain payment of such fees
  • the complete absence of solidly identified funding sources
  • the inferiority of artificial turf in 12 out of 14 environmental impact aspects considered in Council’s latest report

certain Council members maintained an agenda that placed all of these considerations at a lower priority to… well, perhaps you should ask them that.

The committee to Save Arlington Reserve will continue to lobby for retaining natural turf on Arlington Recreation Reserve.


MEDIA RELEASE (9-2-2013)

Save Arlington Reserve Committee

Community Gathering: Laxton Reserve

Saturday 9 February 2013

No Artificial Turf on Arlington Reserve

Organisers deem Saturdays Community Gathering – Laxton Reserve a success.

Spread out among the shade of the trees Councillors Mark Gardiner (Lib, North Ward), Melissa Brooks (Greens, West Ward ) and Max Phillips (Greens, Central Ward) addressed some 100 residents.  Apart from the valuable opportunity to discuss the issue with so many fellow residents, attendees were particularly encouraged by Councillor Gardiner’s vocal support for maintaining natural turf on Arlington and his appreciation of residents’ concerns.  Other West Ward Councillors Tyler (Lib) and Tsardoulias (ALP) did not attend.

Questions raised during the meeting included:

  • Why did Councillors who voted in Council for artificial turf not inform or consult with residents most affected by the decision?
  • How do Councillors regard their statutory obligations under the Local Government Act to manage sporting facilities ‘having regard to any adverse impact on nearby residences.’  (S36F (a) (b) of the Local Government Act?
  • Are these Councillors aware of the risk of water table contamination, destruction of habitat of the endangered Long Nosed Bandicoot, destruction of established tree stands caused by artificial turf and micro climatic effects of such a large plastic surface during summer?
  • Why did two of  the  three West Ward Councillors in which Arlington is located, Rosanna Tyler (Lib) and Emanuel Tsardoulias (ALP)  not respond to their invitation to attend?  In the case of Cr Tsardoulias’, given his recent fatherhood, why did no other ALP councillor attend in his stead.   (Apologies were received from Mayor Vic Macri and Councillors Morris Hanna: Ind, Sylvie Ellerson and David Leary: Greens) ?
  • What measures did Marrickville Council take to ensure that the natural turf playing surface was maintained to a satisfactory standard for the 2010-2012 soccer seasons?
  • Do these Councillors realise  that hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment will be torn up after only two years in order to spend in excess of $1 million on artificial turf for a single-use elite sports facility?

1500 Marrickville residents have now signed the Committee’s petition completely opposing artificial turf on Arlington – an indication of the ire of local residents/ratepayers.  This exceeds the number of 750 gathered when this matter was fought in 12009.

Contact:   Suzanne Marks: 0409 141 944

Sharyn Moses:   0439 421 906

For Committee to Save Arlington Reserve


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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