Broulee - have your say or loose your trees

From your Broulee Mossy Point Community Association

In our last meeting many concerns were raised about Councils proposed expansion of Captain Oldrey Park as part of their Open Space Strategy. There were many concerns about Councils plans to clear the last remaining publicly owned section of Forest within the Broulee village to increase parking, add ovals and netball courts. Investment into sporting facilities for the shire is great but at what cost to the Broulee community?

The community association supports investment in sporting facilities in the shire but believes there needs to be a balance with passive greenspace.

If you haven't followed this topic, Captain Oldrey Park is surrounded by endangered Bangalay Sand Forest. As you would be aware last year council approved the huge Broulee development which will result in all the trees between Banksia Village and Captain Oldrey to be cleared for a new subdivision and a large tract of forest between George Bass Drive and the Heath St extension to be cleared for medium density units. Council owns the last section of the forest to the west of the netball courts and north to the public school and they now plan to clear this forest to put in more car parking, district netball courts and additional Rugby and Soccer fields.

The proposed expansion recommends

* develop a third rectangular sports field with lighting * upgrade the existing sporting amenities building * add spectator seating across the Park * add at least two extra netball courts * resurface existing netball courts * Include provision for a future skate park * Clear vegetation to allow for "surveillance" of the park * Improve car parking and transport for park users, Broulee Public School and Train St Shops.

The following concerns were raised by members in our last meeting:

* This forest growing within the bounds of our community is what gives our village its character and its soul. Do we really want to cut that all down and turn it into another Hanging Rock or Gundarry Oval?

* Is jamming the most popular 3 winter sports of Netball, Soccer and Rugby into the same facility a smart move? Would it be smarter to have a district sports facilities pair summer and winter sports, so you don't have to cater for peak traffic flows on weekend mornings, funneling all those cars into a bottle neck of our residential streets.

* Is there a more suitable location for the district netball courts given the plan is recommending building more courts, resurfacing all existing courts, building seating and building car parking. So essentially the current site has no seating, inadequate parking, non-standard playing surfaces, if you are essentially starting from scratch why not locate in a suitable place. For example the new suburb on Bevian Road opposite Barlings Beach that is already cleared or in Moruya where it is more central to all District netball clubs. Investment into District Netball is really important but is there a more suitable, central location?

* Could Broulee Soccer or Rugby teams make use of under utilised School ovals?

* Do residents believe that expanding the size and density of the sports fields will increase traffic and parking pressures on our residential streets?

* Broulee residents will sacrifice the last Bangalay Forest within the Broulee Village and the major rationale for the expansion is to benefit users from across the whole of the shire.

* Passive green space within our village should be given greater emphasis over more carparks and mown grass.

* The updated proposal does say they will retain some mature trees. However Council has already paid for the right to clear fell this area when they put in a joint proposal with the Developers for the Bio-certification process effecting this land. We have seen that Councils find it easy to say one thing and do something else when it comes to retaining greenspace. Despite assurances to the contrary a proposed drainage reserve (6000 sqm) to the south of Captain Oldrey was clear felled. Can Council be trusted with the last section of the forest to the west of the netball courts.

There is a Public Forum at the Council Chambers next Tuesday 27th at 10am. You must ring council and register before 10am on Monday if you would like to talk.

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