Michele Grant, Foreshore Protection Group.
The public walkway will be re-established along Simpsons Creek in Terrace Park in plans endorsed by Council last Thursday.
The proposed new path will be 10m wide alongside the 22 new riverside cabins shrinking to 3m in the permanent section so residents retain their existing sites. It’s 7m in the southern area, with 30 camp sites permitted amid the WWI Memorial Park’s coastal cypress pine trees.
We were promised a 10m continuous walkway along the riverbank in Terrace Park and Massey Greene Holiday Park during last November’s walk-around with Steve Edmonds, CEO of NSW Crown Holiday Park Trust (CHPT). It was mayor Simon Richardson’s ‘non-negotiable’ big ace, used to win over the community and justify the handover of 35,000m2 of prime public land to Crown Trustees for commercial development.
In the Massey Greene plan, we get the same existing walkway – not 10m wide, and not one extra inch along the boat harbour boundary where it is most needed. Proposed new works will intensify development within metres of the harbour and river front – exacerbating access issues – to the park, yacht precinct, boat ramp and public pathway.
At Ferry Reserve the foreshore area will be cut in half; the public gained a few metres but lost 20m of public road reserve – excising 10m off the grassed strip for commercial use.
With the acquisition of the old Pacific Highway site, Ferry Reserve will virtually double in size and profits. Yet our Green councillors refused to protect the integrity of the foreshore strip and rehabilitate the wildlife corridor, or retain public land for public recreation.
Proposed park plans endorsed by our new Green councillors (and old do-nothing Basil) fail to address community concerns, exacerbate existing amenity and compliance problems and we don’t get our 10m continuous walkway along the riverfront.
The only place the 10m setback is implemented is in front of huge new cabins – extending approximately 100–150m in Terrace Park. Council has also left CHPT vandals in charge of the coastal cypress pine trees they’ve spent ten years brutally pruning and killing off after encroaching onto the Memorial Park.
Crown Lands really hit the jackpot with our new council. By any estimation, Council has negotiated a pretty shit deal for the Brunswick community, in exchange for public road reserve lands valued at over $3 million back in 2009.
But we will get our walkway back in Terrace Park ‘wherever feasible’ one day soon, maybe!