- March 22, 2018
- Posted by: Gail Giles-Gidney
- Category: Media
22 March 2018
North Shore Times
Council opposes tunnel plan for sporting facilities
WILLOUGHBY Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney has vowed to advocate for north shore sporting group grounds that stand to be affected by construction of the Western Harbour Tunnel.
At last week’s council meeting, Cr Giles-Gidney expressed concern in her mayoral minute over the effects construction of the tunnel would have on surroun-ding sporting complexes.
A preliminary environmental study conducted by the State Government reportedly shows the Flat Rock Baseball Diamond and the nearby netball courts at Bicentennial Oval will be affected by the construction of the $14 million transport project.
The consequences of the sporting grounds being targeted as part of construction means they would be subjected to up to 12 hours a day of truck movement, resulting in significant noise, traffic and environmental impacts to residents.
Cr Giles-Gidney said the council must work with the government to find an alternative to the proposed use of the Flat Rock Baseball Diamond as a construction site.
“Loss of this playing field and disturbance to the surrounding reserves and walkways from noise and pollution will displace hundreds of sporting and recreation participants each week while adding even more pressure to Willoughby’s already limited open space availability,” she said.
Since 2014 Willoughby Council has spent more than $500,000 to upgrade the irrigation and playing surfaces and install new fencing at the site.
Cr Giles-Gidney said the complex provided sport and recreation access to about 685 people each week.
She said that while she supported the government’s investment in large infrastructure projects, it should not come at the cost of community resources such as sporting facilities.
“A balance is needed between the development of infrastructure and the provision of high-quality open space for residents and sporting groups,” she said.
“Willoughby Council has made significant investment to maintain high-quality facilities at the Flat Rock Baseball Diamond and the surrounding Bicentennial Reserve.”