It has been the policy of successive State Governments since 1995 to convert the former South Sydney industrial area into the Green Square urban renewal area, and by 2040, up to 80,000 people will be living within two kilometres of Moore Park.
Sydney has changed since public land at Moore Park was allocated for a golf course in 1913. While the surrounding land was predominantly industrial, now it neighbours one of Australia's most densely-populated residential communities – the sort of density that is crucial if we address the housing crisis.
In the face of the increasing need for public open space, we asked the Government: is this still the best use of inner-city public land?
This question is fundamentally one of equity. Happily, the Government accepted our proposal to convert the course from 18 holes to nine, retaining the larger area of land for golf, the clubhouse, depots, parking, and the popular driving range, and returning up to 20 hectares of land to Moore Park for public recreation.
The Government will soon commence public consultation with the local community and stakeholders on how best to revitalise the parkland.
The Herald provided an interesting summary of the vast tracts of land devoted to golf near the city, some 13 courses, or 566 hectares exist across our east.
I thank and congratulate the Premier for making a decision that positively impacts the majority, as it is imperative for growing, densely populated communities to have access to open space with parkland. Thank you also to former Premier Bob Carr, Paul Nicolau of Business Sydney and Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich for their support and advocacy.