Thank you Addison Road Markets!

May 13, 2013

Addison Road Markets

We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to the organisers of the Addison Road Markets – – for their generous donation of stall space yesterday (and the next two Sundays) for the Save Arlington Reserve action group.

We collected many ‘Draft Budget Submission’ letters from locals.  Have you sent your submission letter to Marrickville Council yet?

Click the the ‘HAVE YOUR SAY’ image at the top of the right-hand column to be taken to Marrickville Council’s page.  Scroll back to our previous post for a suggested letter or points to include in your own.

See you there next week!


We’re at Addison Road Markets!

May 12, 2013

Curious about why you should help Save Arlington Reserve?

Then come have a chat with us – TODAY! – we have a stall at the Addison Road Markets, today, and the next two sundays!

SARG at Addison Rd Markets

Have a chat, get informed, and get the T-shirt!

“Have Your Say” on Council’s draft 2013-14 Budget

May 10, 2013

It’s time to “HAVE YOUR SAY” to Marrickville Council and object to the inclusion of funds for artificial turf on Arlington Reserve.  Please click the link, which will take you to Marrickville Council’s website page for public comment on their draft 2013-14 Budget.

We have a letter which we welcome you to use (see quoted text and attachment below), but we strongly encourage you to write your own (feel free to use ours for pointers :), as Councillors value a diversity of correspondence, not just quantity.

This mail-to link will pre-fill your email with our submission.  Add to the To: field if you want all 12 Councillors to receive it too.

Or snail-mail:
The General Manager, Marrickville Council
PO Box 14, Petersham  NSW  2049

You must make your submission by Monday 27th May!

Please forward this email to all the people you know in Marrickville LGA and encourage them to “Have Their Say”.

Thanks for your support!

Our suggested Draft Budget Submission Letter follows, or click this link for the PDF: Draft Budget Submission (10May)


Dear General Manager

I write to you in connection with Marrickville Council’s draft budget for 2013/14. I have a number of concerns about the Capital Budget proposals, specifically in relation to Section 4720 Landscape Design & Project Management items 7042, 7043 and 7079, Amenity Upgrade and Installation of Synthetic Turf at Arlington Reserve, Dulwich Hill.


I have summarised my concerns and objections to these items which are not in the interest of Marrickville’s rate payers:



A high percentage of rate payers’ funds are being spent on one recreational facility, representing 31% of the landscape and design budget for the entire Marrickville LGA, and is a disproportionate amount of funds to be allocated for one park!

  • Proposed expenditure in the draft budget for Arlington Reserve is $1.055 million

2013/14 $950,000 artificial turf, $80,000 Kiosk and $ 25,000 change rooms

  • Arlington Reserve has already had major funds allocated from 2009 to 2013, totalling $1,435,172:

2009/10  $264,000 clubhouse, $34,910 Synthetic Surface Feasibility Study $19,642 consultant’s fees

2010 /11 $272,214 Natural turf works and irrigation

2011/12 $234,000 Sportsground, $200,000 Enhanced Upgrade

2012/13 $219,406 Sportsground improvements, $191,000 Enhanced Upgrade


Lack of transparency

Costs referred to in Councils report, (Arlington Reserve Playing Field Upgrade, file ref: 12/SF468/84658.12, 19 Feb 2013) have not been itemised in the draft budget and as such do not provide transparency over the true cost to rate payers.

  • The $950,000 does not cover the capital cost of synthetic turf.
  • Although mentioned in the report soil testing, removal of soil, drainage works, paving to reduce mud-tracking, soil and drainage modification, fencing and lighting improvements, site investigations, traffic/parking management plans have not been considered.
  • Projected on-going costs:

$47,000 Specialist Grooming Machine 

$10,000 FIFA Accreditation every 3 years

$500,000 artificial turf replacement every 8-10 yrs & Council’s acknowledged escalating “high disposal cost”



No clarification has been provided for the funding of this development. 

  • Council will need to borrow $2.45 million in financial year 2013/14 for capital expenditure.
  • What is the cost to rate payers from this borrowing in principal plus interest? 
  • Will this require additional borrowing, or a reduction in funding for basic services?


In conclusion, I do not approve of and request the removal of items 7042, 7043 and 7079 from the Capital Budget.

Yours sincerely,


PRESS RELEASE: COUNCIL BUDGET: Vital services underfunded in favour of sporting elite

May 3, 2013

Vital services underfunded in favour of sporting elite.

SYDNEY, 29 APRIL 2013: Marrickville Council’s draft budget released on Friday has underfunded vital services such as childcare centres and other community facilities in favour of an extravagant park ‘upgrade’ for two elite-grade soccer clubs. The funds earmarked equate to nearly a third of the council’s total capital expenditure on park upgrades within the entire Marrickville LGA.

Despite a desperate need for more services such as affordable childcare and renewing ageing infrastructure, Marrickville Council will be directing more than $1 million of tax-payers’ funds to lay synthetic turf at Arlington Reserve, Dulwich Hill. The Reserve, which is home to two elite-grade soccer clubs, is currently only used fourteen hours a week during the winter season. Yet, the funds earmarked for this project account for 31 per cent of the council’s total capital expenditure on park upgrades within the entire Marrickville LGA.

The decision to outlay more than $1 million of tax-payers’ funds to Arlington Reserve has failed to win a majority vote among council members. The motion, which was submitted to Council by Mayor Victor Macri in October last year, reached a divisive ‘six-for, six-against’ vote among council members in February. Following the deadlock, Mayor Macri used his casting vote to pass the motion. Local residents are concerned about the financial implications of such a move, and how the mis-management of tax-payers’ funds will impact the wider community. Local resident, Sandra Sullivan, said:

“Money that is supposed to be spent on community facilities is going towards an extravagance for two elite, all male soccer clubs. With that money, Council could build half a new child care centre, upgrade ten toilet blocks, and carry out countless other kinds of park improvements.”

Labor Councillor Emmanuel Tsardoulias, who voted for the allocation of funds to the facility, maintains that the move is in the interest of the wider community. He insists that public access to the ground won’t be compromised in favour of the soccer clubs: “The plan of management of the oval isn’t changing. It remains the same and won’t change.”

Liberal Councillor Mark Gardiner, Independent Councillor Morris Hanna, and four Greens Councillors opposed the motion to allocate such a high proportion of funds to the Reserve. They believe it is financially negligent of Council to spend more than $1 million on artificial turf in a location where it can’t be fully utilised.

The Marrickville Council Budget is now available for public consultation until 27 May. Let Council know what you think by visiting Click on ‘HAVE YOUR SAY’, and send the General Manager a letter or email.

For more information contact the Save Arlington Reserve Group:

The Save Arlington Reserve Group is a non-political group formed in 2009 by residents of Dulwich Hill, NSW. Our mission is to preserve the amenity of Arlington Reserve and to ensure this park of historical value remains accessible to all the community. Arlington Reserve has hosted many sporting events over the years including rugby league and the British Empire Games in 1938 (now known as the Commonwealth Games).

Alive and kicking

April 5, 2013

Fanancial Success Strategy

Artificial turf on Arlington Reserve is NOT a done deal!

Our second last chance is approaching – it CAN be stopped during Council’s draft budget process.

With so many costs mentioned but not itemised in Council’s report on options for Arlington Reserve in February, we think it’ll be a blow-out budget.

Some Councillors promise usage of Arlington won’t increase with artificial turf, but this contradicts Council’s own reports that it must increase to be economical, AND it would be financially negligent of Council to spend $2M+ on artificial turf in a location that can’t be fully utilised without serious impact on residents.  If installed, Council would soon come under enormous pressure to ‘fully utilise an expensive tax-payer-funded artificial turf field’.

Your rate-payer funds are at risk of being mis-spent in a location least suited to it.

Let your Councillors know what you think:   (This address is received by all 12 Councillors)

As details of Council’s budget emerge, we’ll update you here.

Media Release (after 19-2-2013 Council meeting)

February 20, 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.

Arlington – Press Release following 19-2-2013 motion to proceed with artificial turf (PDF)

Getting the basics right – or something like that…

February 20, 2013

Unfortunately, despite a brief faltering glimmer of hope from Clr Rosana Tyler during the 2 hour deliberation, Council’s 6-for, 6-against vote with Mayor Macri’s casting vote was used to pass a motion raised by Mayor Macri to proceed with artificial turf on Arlington Reserve.

Apparently this is Labor’s idea of “getting the basics right”.  Note how, despite multiple reports over many months, they still haven’t got a clue how to pay for it…

The motion in full:


C0213 Item 2           Arlington Reserve Playing Field Update

Public speakers:            Sharyn Moses, Anthony May, Joe Pinto, John Theodoropoulos and
Ian Holmes (Canterbury and District Football Association)

Motion:               (Macri/Iskandar)


1.     the report be received and noted;

2.     Council resolves to proceed with a Synthetic Turf surface at Arlington Oval;

3.     funding be allocated to meet the cost of works in the 2013/14 budget from –

a.     unallocated s94 funds; and/or

b.     loan funds to be repaid from:

i.     maintenance costs savings;

ii.     an increase in user charges based on current hours of use; and/or

c.      other available funding sources.

4.     Council endorses the terms of reference and expression of interest process for the establishment of a community group.

5.     Council reiterates its commitment to the current plan of management and resolves that it remains unchanged.

Motion Tied
For Motion:                         Councillors Haylen, Iskandar, Macri, Tsardoulias, Tyler and Woods
Against Motion:                 Councillors Brooks, Ellsmore, Gardiner, Hanna, Leary and Phillips

The Chairperson used his Casting Vote and the MOTION was Carried.


If only this could explain it all…

Council’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde report on Arlington

February 17, 2013

Here’s the link to Marrickville Council’s “Arlington Reserve Playing Field Update” report which we’ve waited two months for, following the new resolution on 4/12/12 to get more information on all three options (natural grass, artificial turf, “hybrid”):

Arlington Reserve Playing Field Update (PDF)

After reading this document, and with all due respect to its author, it reads like it was authored in turns by Dr Jekyll and his alter-ego Mr Hyde.  We encourage you to have a read of it yourself – it’s riddled with breathtaking inconsistencies and is deeply self-contradictory, with glaring examples of costs mentioned but not actually included in budget summaries.

We REALLY need you to contact your Councillors and voice your rejection of this proposal.  In the table of Councillor’s contact details below, when you click on the email addresses, you’ll get a pre-made email ready to send!

Remember, Council is currently 6-for, 6- against – ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

Marrickville Councillors

Victor Macri (IND)


Emanuel Tsardoulias (Labor)


Rosana Tyler (Liberal)


Sam Iskander (Labor)


Jo Haylen (Labor)


Chris Woods (Labor)


Mark Gardiner (Liberal)


Morris Hanna (IND)


Melissa Brooks (Greens)


Max Phillips (Greens)


Sylvie Ellsmore (Greens)


David Leary (Greens)


Your voice is NEEDED

February 16, 2013

Council is now TIED – 6 for, 6 against!

At the Informal Gathering last Saturday, Mark Gardiner (Lib) spoke to the 80-100 residents who attended, stating his support for retaining natural turf!  He also implored all concerned residents to CONTACT THEIR COUNCILLORS.

Unfortunately this means Mayor Victor Macri has the deciding vote, and well… we know what that means.

Why are all four Labor Councillors still holding out?  Why do they see this issue so differently to 2009 when Marrickville Council voted 10-to-1 to retain natural turf?

Please call or email your Councillors to voice your concerns. It’s crunch time, Council meets Tuesday evening – please call ASAP (at a respectable hour of the day, of course).

Scroll down for the contact details for all Councillors. If you click the email links, you should get a pre-made email with appropriate To:, Subject:, and message content – don’t forget to sign it! But please customise or write your own! If you use Hotmail (or any web-mail service) you’ll need to cut-n-paste the info into Hotmail.

The first ‘’ link will reach all 12 Councillors in 1 email.

Marrickville Councillors

Victor Macri (IND)


Emanuel Tsardoulias (Labor)


Rosana Tyler (Liberal)


Sam Iskander (Labor)


Jo Haylen (Labor)


Chris Woods (Labor)


Mark Gardiner (Liberal)


Morris Hanna (IND)


Melissa Brooks (Greens)


Max Phillips (Greens)


Sylvie Ellsmore (Greens)


David Leary (Greens)


Press Release

February 12, 2013

Following the success of the Informal Gathering held last Saturday, we have the following Press Release.

A PDF is available (MR-post 9-02 mtg(SM)).  Full text is as follows:


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