Posts Tagged ‘artificial turf’

West Ward By-election

November 10, 2014

West Ward By-Election is being held on Saturday 15th November

When casting your vote remember Council’s Liberal / Labor alliance to lay artificial turf on Arlington Reserve.

The cost has blown out to over $2 million and they still need to buy machinery to maintain the surface.

Prior to the last council election Clr Tsardoulias published a flyer saying he would not support artificial turf on Arlington Reserve if elected. At the first meeting of the new council he then voted with the rest of the Labor councillors to lay artificial turf on Arlington Reserve.

Promises broken:

  • Insufficient parking – Parking has always been an issue and council has done nothing to address this. With the opening of the light rail parking spaces have actually been removed!
  • Increased team usage – Summer competitions and trials for Sydney Olympic FC are being held. This means that the field can be hired, by those who can afford it, 7 days a week and evenings. Could this mean an evening mid week competition during the summer months?
  • Community usage decreased – Local schools and other community groups cannot afford the fees to use the field.

Let’s not be fooled again!

Ask the candidates where they stand on the usage of the field and the effect that has on the local community.


48 hours ’till Council votes on the 2013-2014 Draft Budget

June 9, 2013

In 48 hours, Marrickville Council assembles to discuss and vote on the 2013-2014 Draft Budgets.

Marrickville Council

Level 3

2-14 Fisher Street


Council meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

We will be there.   Will you?  We’d love to have your support!

BTW, so will DHFC’s Under-16 & Under-18 teams, for whom training has been cancelled & instead directed to attend the Council meeting.  Seems Joe Pinto thinks taking up all the seats of the public gallery in the Council Chamber with teenagers will have a tangible impact on the democratic process.  lol  on ya, Joe…

In the news – again. and again. and again.

June 7, 2013

The 3rd article down demonstrates the degree of duplicity, smoke-screening and bullshit that’s being used to justify Joe Pinto’s Trophy Project.

“Financially Irresponsible” – Inner City Weekender, 31/5:

Media-27-5to7-6 ICW-31-5-13 Financially Irresponsible

“Financially Irresponsible”

“No childcare, turf instead” – Valley Times, 6/6:

Media-27-5to7-6 ValleyTimes-6-6-13 No childcare, turf instead

No childcare, turf instead

“Council’s Challenging Choice” – Inner City Weekender, 7/6:

Council's Challenging Choice

Council’s Challenging Choice

In response to the question of why Marrickville Council is about to spend $1M+ on artificial turf NOW, and at the expense of letting a desperately needed childcare centre languish unconstructed for another year, Mayor Victor Macri wants to cast our mind back to the past, where a former set of Marrickville Councillors voted to build Enmore Pool instead of a childcare centre.  As if to draw attention to his own contradiction, he said “I opposed [Enmore Pool]. I will always oppose anything that goes against childcare centres”.  Does that include allocating $1M+ to Joe Pinto’s Trophy Project at the expense of a childcare centre TODAY, Vic?  Hmmm…

As for Councillor Sam Iskander, “Every time the Council agrees and has a majority vote on something, the Greens devise a tactic to combat the decision.  The Arlington Oval returfing we agreed on”.  What a gobsmacking LOAD OF BULLSHIT.  The ONLY time Marrickville Council was almost-but-not-quite unanimous regarding Arlington (thanks for your consistency there, Mayor Macri) was in 2009 when it voted 10-to-1 to RETAIN natural turf.  Ever since machinations behind closed doors brought the issue back onto Council’s agenda in October 2012, Council has been ANYTHING BUT in agreeance on Arlington Reserve – IN FACT IT’S BEEN CONSISTENTLY DIVIDED 6-FOR, 6-AGAINST since December 2012.  But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good bit of political bloviating, Sam…

Democracy in action

June 7, 2013

In spite of the elements last Monday 27/5, 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.

We are very grateful to Alice Kennedy for her photographic record of the event.  Here’s a select few photos.

SAR members are greeted on the steps of Marrckville Council by Councillors Brooks and Gardiner

SAR members are greeted on the steps of Marrckville Council by Councillors Brooks and Gardiner

685 budget submission letters are symbolically accepted by Councillors Brooks & Gardiner.

SAR member Sharyn Moses officially presents 685 budget submission letters to Council staff

SAR member Sharyn Moses officially presents 685 budget submission letters to Council staff





PRESS RELEASE: Residents & Rate-payers raise alarm over Council’s draft budget

June 6, 2013

SYDNEY, 26 MAY 2013: Marrickville Council’s Draft Budget for 2013-2014 has met with strong opposition from both residents and rate-payers. On Monday 27 May, residents will submit more than 500 individual and signed objections to Council regarding the Draft Budget, collected from residents & rate-payers around the LGA. More objections have been submitted on-line and individually lodged with Council.

Objections relate to Council’s plans to spend more than $1 million on artificial turf at Arlington Reserve, Dulwich Hill. Council’s costings for the project are based on preliminary findings, and are expected to be much higher than the amount budgeted for.

“Council’s proposal to spend more than $1 million on artificial turf at Arlington Reserve is an inappropriate overdevelopment of a local park and sporting oval. It is too expensive and financially irresponsible,” says local resident Sandra Sullivan. “Council will not be able to generate a sufficiently high income to cover the costs of laying and maintaining artificial turf.  So the true cost, both financial and social, will be borne by residents & rate-payers for many years to come.”

Residents’ & rate-payers’ objections are echoed by six of Marrickville’s 12 Councillors: Liberal Councillor Mark Gardiner, Independent Councillor Morris Hanna, and four Greens Councillors, Melissa Brooks, Sylvie Ellsmore, David Leary and Max Phillips.

Residents will be handing submissions to Councillors Mark Gardiner, Melissa Brooks and Morris Hanna at 12.30pm on Monday 27 May. Other Councillors may be present. This will take place at Council’s Administrative Centre, 2-14 Fisher Street, Petersham. The media is invited and residents will be available for interview.


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).


LAST CHANCE for Arlington Reserve

May 25, 2013

The deadline to “HAVE YOUR SAY” to Marrickville Council and object to the inclusion of funds to artificial turf Arlington Reserve in the 2013/14 draft budget is just 2 days away!  Please click the link, which will take you to Marrickville Council’s website page for public comment submissions.

Have you sent your submission yet?

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.

You must make your submission by 5pm, 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 70427043 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,


In the news

May 21, 2013



Speaking of “robust debate” (the… inaccurate term used by an Inner West Courier journalist to describe what happened at February’s general Council meeting), we were mistaken in assuming that at tonight’s general Council meeting where Clr Mark Gardiner’s 8 questions-on-notice would actually be open for at least some discussion amongst Councillors, if not opportunities to speak by members of the public as well.  Sadly mistaken, really, by assuming that the rules of local government would allow discussion of answers to important questions of material significance to a matter at hand.

What the FIFA?!?

May 20, 2013

Amongst the items mentioned in Council’s February report on Arlington is $10,000 every 3 years for FIFA 1-Star Accreditation of the new surface. Marrickville Council flagging it as a cost is surprising.

At TOMORROW NIGHT’S Council meeting, you’ll hear 8 questions-on-notice from Councillor Mark Gardiner answered by Council, among them: “Please advise why Council would assume costs of accreditation to FIFA 1 Star of an artificial surface at Arlington”.

Council’s answer raises even more questions:

“FIFA standards provide two levels of playing surface certification. FIFA 1 Star is intended for community and municipal use generally at club level whilst FIFA 2 Star accreditation is intended for professional level. Specifying FIFA 1 Star, at least at the initial construction phase, is considered essential to ensure an acceptable quality of workmanship, surface quality and durability is delivered by the contractor suitable for intended use. “

I draw your attention to FIFA’s document on their accreditation scheme (fqc_football_turf_folder_342 PDF):  1-Star accreditation is intended for “National Training & Matchplay, Municipality”, in other words, not just ‘local’ municipal level matches, but state and national grade matches.  The interesting bit is what 2-Star accreditation (which costs even more) is for: it’s a much newer standard that acknowledges “player’s feedback, medical research, test results and information from the industry since the implementation [of the 1-Star accreditation] in 2001”, given the  increased performance of modern artificial surfaces (e.g.. “4th generation”) that come closer to approximating “the perfect natural grass pitch model” (so, real grass is better after all, eh?), and is intended for “Top clubs, Stadia, International Matchplay”.

Here’s the rub:

  1. Council have under-stated what 1-Star accreditation is intended for
  2. FIFA 1-Star accreditation appears to not adequately measure the greater * medical research * and more accurate playability of modern (‘4th generation’?) artificial turf
  3. Council has included $10,000 every 3 years for this 1-Star accreditation at the same time that certain Councillors have promised that “usage of Arlington won’t increase” – that is, Arlington will remain used by DHFC & SHFC only – which is all the surrounding facilities of parking and traffic and noise-impact can accommodate.

If you want a new artificial surface installed to FIFA 1-Star specifications, fine, specify that in your tender documents – but why bother paying for the piece of FIFA-paper when (a) it doesn’t really mean anything IN THIS DECADE, and (b) it’s not required for Arlington’s current, future-promised, and practical level of usage?

Lets ignore the apparent meaninglessness of FIFA 1-Star accreditation nowadays – if that’s what the industry wants to be fleeced for, so be it.

Does Council’s pursuit of FIFA 1-Star accreditation signal an intention, or simply leave open the possible use of Arlington for state level matches, regardless of the impact on local residents – which is exactly what happened at Northbridge ?

Arlington – A Bird’s Eye View

May 19, 2013

“ As it is situated in the middle of a densely populated residential area with limited parking and road access, neither Arlington nor any other oval in the Marrickville LGA meets [the necessary criteria for artificial turf] ”

Clr Emanuel Tsardoulias

December 2009

 When Councillor Emanuel Tsardoulias wrote those words on a flyer he distributed to all West Ward residents, and listed a DOZEN solid reasons to back it up, he wasn’t kidding, or faking.  Union Street local resident, Sharyn Moses, addressed Council on 19th February 2013 with this presentation of aerial views of several parks around Sydney that had been converted to artificial turf.  Each one has highlighted the field that was artificially turfed, nearby residential areas, and parking capacity.

When you compare it to Arlington Reserve, you really see the absurdity of spending a $million (likely much more) in an area that (a) just can’t facilitate any increase in usage above the current level, and (b) if it did would hugely impact a large number of local residents, especially given the medium-density apartments adjacent, and the high-density ‘Hoskins Park development’ just around the corner, and the ‘park-&-ride’ commuters that will likely add to demand for parking in the area later this year.

In fact artificially turfing ANY facility that doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate the increased usage that Council’s own reports say must occur to make artificial conversions financially viable, is reckless and irresponsible with rate payer’s funds.  At a time when councils are facing threats of amalgamation, you’d think Marrickville Council would be a little smarter.  But of course, being smart isn’t what’s driving this proposal – it’s ego & politics combined.

Scroll down for the 6 comparative pictures (click for the full-sized) or download the PDF (link at bottom):



3-Cromer Park

4-Seymour Shaw



Ariel views of playing fields compared to Arlington (PDF)

Somebody, please! Think of the children!

May 18, 2013

At the Council meeting last 19th February, this was the shameful mantra implied to justify Council’s evenly divided vote (6-for, 6-against) for artificial turf on Arlington Reserve – childhood obesity.  Council wheeled in “professional experts” to lecture us so.

We’re all for strategies and proven solutions for tackling that problem.  What is shameful and deceptive of the pro-artificial turf lobby is their suggestion and linking of the two as having any impact on the issue of childhood obesity.

Arlington Reserve is already the most expensive field to hire in the entire Marrickville LGA – about 30% more than all the others.  Why?  It’s a good question…  What we DO know for sure – because Council wrote so – is that Arlington is “unique” in the entire Marrickville LGA by being ‘Home’ to TWO soccer clubs, despite the recommendation of Football NSW.  So Arlington’s surface suffers accordingly as the winter season progresses.  Perhaps Council has raised the casual hiring rate to dissuade non-soccer users, so as to preserve Arlington’s over-stretched capacity for the almost exclusive use of soccer clubs?

This isn’t a wild accusation, it’s a genuine question – why is Arlington so much more expensive than all the other LGA fields?  We know of at least two situations where this is detrimentally affecting “equitable access”.  One is a nearby school who wanted to hold their annual sports carnival on Arlington last year, but were quoted a hiring cost they just couldn’t afford.  That is NOW – with natural turf.  We know of another school who regularly bring children to another nearby park for casual play, because they’re flat out refused permission to use Arlington, for free or for a fee (which they’d never be able to afford on a weekly basis).  And lets not even get into the bizarre logic of one government-funded facility charging another government-funded entity for access to it’s local community’s facilities…  parents pay school fees, and a subset of them pay soccer club membership fees, but only soccer is allowed onto Arlington.  Let us repeat – this is the situation NOW, with natural turf.  Despite the rhetoric you might’ve heard, it doesn’t get better with artificial turf.

Council have stated openly that for artificial turf to be economically viable, either hiring fees need to rise dramatically, or the hours-of-use need to rise dramatically, which is an economic rationalists way of saying ‘both need to rise as much as possible’.  BUT WAIT!  Certain Councillors have also promised “usage of Arlington won’t increase”!  Despite there being nothing written anywhere to back up that ‘promise’, it suggests that the cost to hire Arlington must increase dramatically, for soccer clubs and casual hirers alike.

DHFC & SHFC already field a wide age range of children’s teams.  We see them every Saturday or Sunday morning.  It’s a joy to see.

But will they, or their club collectively, still be able to afford an artificially turfed field’s hiring cost?  And don’t forget, there’s an extra different set of football boots need to be put on young rapidly growing feet to play on artificial turf.

Must one only play soccer to conform with the pro-artificial turf lobby’s idea of how to tackle childhood obesity?  Because artificial turf also LIMITS the range of sports that can be played on the field, even for those who might be able to afford it.  It. Makes. No. Sense.

So can someone please tell us, how does the huge capital cost, and a massively increased hiring cost, of an artificially turfed Arlington Reserve help tackle childhood obesity?  It doesn’t.  It was a shameful ploy to justify an ulterior agenda pushed through a divided Council.