Tag Archives: Dulwich Hill

Artificial turf budget blows out by 200% – now more than footpaths

Marrickville Greens – media release

2 June 2014Max-Arlington-Reserve-800px

Ratepayers will be furious that the cost of controversial project of installing artificial turf at Arlington Reserve has blown out to over $2 million, more than 200% from initial estimate of $1 million, with more cost rises likely as contractors struggle with unstable soils.

According to a Question on Notice lodged by the Greens:

  •  $1 million was originally allocated for installing artificial turf at Arlington Reserve in the 2013-14 budget.
  • By September 2013 this had blown out to $1.8 million when Council accepted the construction tender.
  • At May 2014 the current cost is $2.05 million with further costs to come as work continues on preparing the subsurface (approximately 70% complete).
  • The latest projected end of year result for footpaths spend is $1,236,687, while local roads projected result is $2,166,410.

“Residents are entitled to feel furious about the massive cost blow out.  Labor are wasting more and more ratepayers money on a folly that is unwanted by the local community,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“Mayor Jo Haylen needs to explain how a 200% budget blow out is acceptable and why Marrickville Council is now spending more on installing plastic grass than on footpaths?

“Prior to the last election Labor promised residents of Dulwich Hill that Arlington Reserve was the wrong place for artificial turf, but at the first regular council meeting after the election they broke this promise and pursued this folly.

“Artificial turf needs specialist cleaning and maintenance and the surface must be replaced every ten years.  The Greens fear this is just the beginning of cost blow outs to be borne by the ratepayers of Marrickville.

“The Save Arlington community group and the Greens warned that the cost of artificial turf could blow out significantly and unfortunately those warning have become reality.”

Contact: Cr Max Phillips 0419 444 91

 Question on Notice of cost of artificial turf

Greens oppose artificial turf on Arlington Reserve *again*

The Greens will oppose artificial turf on Arlington Reserve when it once again comes before Council on Tuesday 19 February 2013.   The Greens have consistently stood with the community in opposition to artificial turf.

Historic Arlington Oval in Dulwich Hill

Historic Arlington Oval in Dulwich Hill

Plastic grass only makes financial sense if you maximise the use of a sports ground.  However, Arlington Reserve is located in a high density residential area, with limited parking.  If Marrickville Council votes to go ahead with artificial turf it is either wasting $1.1 million of ratepayers money on a surface that will only be used by a few players each week, or it will have to increase usage of the ground to the detriment of local residents.

There are many other good reasons to oppose artificial turf, as set out by Greens Councillor for Burraga West Ward, Melissa Brooks in her letter to residents below.

Currently the vote on Council looks like being 6 – 6.  With the 4 Greens Councillors, Independent Councillor Morris Hanna, and Liberal Councillor (North Ward) Mark Gardiner against;  the four Labor Councillors, Independent Councillor Victor Macri, and Liberal Councillor (West Ward) Rosanna Tyler for artificial turf.

If this is the vote, then Mayor Macri can choose to use his casting vote for push through artificial turf.

Reports from local residents indicate that Liberal Councillor Rosanna Tyler seems to have adopted a very strange stance of only talking or being concerned with residents who voted for her – which means she effectively will ignore over 75% of the residents of her ward!

In 2009, Labor voted against artificial turf. Labor Councillor Emanuel Tsardoulias circulated a letter to local residents saying that Labor considered Arlington Reserve unsuitable for artificial turf.  It remains to be seen whether Labor Councillor will betray this promise to local residents.  For more information visit savearlingtonreserve.com

Letter from Councillor Brooks  below (or download PDF)


Melissa Brooks

Greens councillor, Burraga West Ward

Greens committed to protecting Arlington Reserve

Dear Resident,

I am writing to update you on Marrickville Council’s discussions about the future of Arlington Reserve.

You may be aware that Council is currently considering installing artificial turf on Arlington Reserve, having previously rejected this proposal due to residents’ concerns in 2009.

The Greens on Marrickville Council have consistently opposed the move to resurface Arlington Reserve with an artificial surface, for a number of reasons:

Intensification of usage

If the surface were converted to artificial turf, Council would be under enormous pressure to make a return from that investment and intensify usage in order to increase revenue from use of the reserve.

While some Councillors are promising not to increase usage of the reserve, Council will inevitably come under pressure from sporting clubs to increase usage to alleviate a shortage in sporting fields.  Artificial surfaces are designed to maximise usage, but Arlington Reserve is located in an area that can not sustain such usage.  If Council believes an artificial surface is necessary, it should be located in a more appropriate area with suitable infrastructure.

Financially irresponsible

In 2011 Council spent $272,214 on improving the natural grass surface. Resurfacing Arlington with artificial turf is an even more expensive venture that benefits only a few members of our community. It will cost $1.1 million to install an artificial surface, which will need to be replaced at least once every ten years. This does not include the huge disposal costs for artificial surfaces. This cannot be offset by the minor reduction in maintenance costs that comes with an artificial surface.

Loss of amenity for residents

An artificial surface will retain heat and not possess the natural cooling effects of a natural surface, dramatically increasing the ambient heat in the immediate area.

Loss of community use

The community’s enjoyment of this reserve will be compromised and conversion to an artificial surface may effectively privatise this beautiful public asset. Artificial turf is unsuitable for many other community uses of the reserve, especially during the summer when the surface will become a heat source.

Environmental issues

The verdict is still out on the environmental impacts of artificial surfaces.  Risks of installing an artificial surface include chemical leaching and destruction of bandicoot and bird foraging habitat.

We do know that artificial surfaces have huge carbon footprints across their lifecycle, from manufacturing, installation, transportation, maintenance, and a very slow disposal in landfill. Natural surfaces act as a carbon sink and help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

I was the only Councillor representing West Ward to stand with the community to oppose the proposal to resurface Arlington Reserve with artificial turf.

My fellow Greens Councillors, as well as Independent Councillor Morris Hanna and Councillor Mark Gardiner have also committed to oppose the proposal.

In 2009 Labor admitted that Arlington Reserve was not a suitable location for artificial turf and voted against it.  Why have the Labor Councillors betrayed this commitment?  What has changed?

I urge you to contact Labor and Liberal Councillors and let them know your views on this issue, as well as your State and Federal Members of Parliament. Contact details for your Councillors are available at www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/council/councillors.html.

Marrickville Council will be discussing Arlington Reserve at the council meeting at 6.30pm on Tuesday 19th February, at Council’s offices in Fisher Street, Petersham. Residents are welcome to attend. If you wish to speak at the meeting you should register in advance – more information is available on the Council website.

Please feel free to contact me regarding this, or any other matter.

Yours sincerely,

Melissa Brooks
Greens councillor for West Burraga Ward, Marrickville Council

Community Rallies to Save Disability Support at Dulwich High

Rally against disability funding cuts

Cameras film speakers at rally against disability funding cuts at Dulwich Hill

On Sunday Greens Council candidate Melissa Brooks joined with local residents to protest state government cuts to support students with disability. The changes will have a severe impact on local schools. Dulwich High will lose $44,000, with thousands more lost from Marrickville West Primary, Lewisham Primary, St Peters Primary and Newtown Primary.

“These are cruel cuts that hurt some of the most vulnerable people in our community” Ms Brooks said.

“Sadly, the O’Farrell Coalition Government has picked up where the Labor Government left off: cutting funds from public education.

“Today we stand here in solidarity with our local community. We join thousands of parents around the state to demand quality education for all our children.”

The cuts mean reductions in the number of hours children with autism and other disabilities will receive with specialist teachers aides. The cuts affect 272 schools across NSW.

“Every day in my work I see the result of people falling through the cracks of our education system” said Ms Brooks, who is also employed as a community worker.

“These cuts might look like they save money, but in the long run they cost millions more in social services, police and prisons. That’s not to mention the anguish to individuals, families and communities. It makes no sense.”

For more information and to support the community campaign go to: http://supportourkids.wordpress.com/affected-schools/

Contact:         Greens Candidate for West Ward Melissa Brooks 0403 831 066

A real grass win for Arlington

Real Green grass gets the go ahead for Arlington OvalAfter months of waiting, residents living around Arlington Oval were relieved and overjoyed to hear that Marrickville Council was not going to cover their local field with artificial turf despite lobbying from two A grade soccer clubs who use the oval.

Greens councillor Marika Kontellis has been working steadily with residents throughout this highly emotive period seeking a way forward that would be a win-win for both sides, “The decision to resurface Arlington with natural turf using sophisticated irrigation methods and rainwater harvesting, will make the young soccer players less likely to suffer heat stroke and many of the other health issues associated with synthetic turf. At the same time the decision will give local residents a break from more intensive usage of the field and the loss of amenity that would have gone with that”.

“I’m pleased that the Labor councillors along with Independent West Ward councillor, Dimitrios Thanos finally realized that artificial turf was not a sensible option for Arlington and in the end voted for what the Greens thought was the right solution from the start – green natural grass on the field.”

“It’s a tribute to the local community that they stood their ground and made us all aware of the negative impact the artificial turf would have had on their lives and as an offshoot of this whole process, we hope to see improved conditions for them during the soccer season.”

“As well, I think we need a lot more scientific analysis of artificial turf and its effects on the environment and players before we look at this type of playing surface . It’s one of those things that looks good on face value but in my opinion, does not measure up as it should,”

Enquiries: Clr Marika Kontellis  –  0409076708

Plans for the future shape of Marrickville now public

Is the future of Marrickville four and five storey flat buildings dominating our shopping strips?


The future of Marrickville?

You can now judge for yourself as the draft Local Environment Plan (LEP) for Marrickville Council is now public as it will go to next Tuesday’s Council meeting for debate and decision.

The Local Environment Plan controls zoning, height limits and floor space ratio.

Under pressure from the state government to squeeze more 4,100 more dwellings into the Marrickville area, the draft LEP has some considerable increases in height and density in a number of centres, including Lewisham, Dulwich Hill, Petersham and Marrickville.

The draft LEP is now a public document and you can see the maps here.

The new streetscape?

The new streetscape?

Marrickville Council will debate, amend and vote on the LEP at this Tuesday’s meeting.  It will then be sent to the Department of Planning for approval to exhibit.  After that a formal public consultation period will begin.

The Greens have some serious concerns about the draft LEP.  We believe it is allowing too much height and too much density in our shopping strips in the form of flat buildings.  Heritage protection is also stripped back from the current draft heritage areas.  It has the potential to change the character of our neighbourhood centres to resemble Kogarah or Rockdale.

High density street scape

High density street scape

Illawarra Road may end up a tunnel between five top seven storey flat buildings all the way from the Woollies on Renwick Street Marrickville to Marrickville Road.  The precinct around Petersham station could present block after block of flat buildings, while Dulwich Hill shops and Dulwich Hill station undergo an extreme make over that makes them higher and denser.

The Greens will move a series of amendments to the draft LEP to ensure the integrity of the Inner West is not compromised by overdevelopment.

The Greens urge local residents to have a look at the plans and to let councillors know what they think either by email, or by coming to the meeting.

You can apply to speak at a meeting here.  The meeting starts at 6.30pm Tuesday 1 September at the Marrickville Council chambers, 2 Fisher Street Petersham.

Councillor’s emails can be found here.

by Councillor Max Phillips

Which density is best for the Marrickville area?

Have your say on the draft LEP: which density is best for the Marrickville area?

Arlington Oval Consultation Re-Opened

Marrickville Council has re-opened the consultation on the million dollar plan to cover Arlington Oval with plastic turf, following pressure from residents around Arlington Oval and Greens Councillors.

Arlington Oval Still Under Threat

Arlington Oval Still Under Threat

The huge turnout at last weekend’s community action has prompted council to hold a consultation session at the Oval this Sunday 16th August, from 9am to noon. This is your opportunity to speak to Council officers, and persuade Labour and Independent Councillors to change their minds!

If you live in the area around the Oval you should already have received this letter from Council, giving you the opportunity to tell your Councillors what you think. You can also comment online until 4th September.  

If the plans to cover the Oval with synthetic turf are to be halted, we must convince Labour and Independent Councillors to reverse their decision.  The plans are also available on the Marrickville Council website.

Contact Marika Kontellis (0409 076 708) for more information on the Greens campaign to save Arlington Oval.

*** Update 13-Aug *** Research by SaveArlingtonReserve has discovered an article in PitchCare Oceania highlighting the concerns turf care professionals in the USA have with fake grass. Always a good read, PitchCare magazine raises more questions about the environmental and financial sustainability of plastic turf:

Dulwich Hill Astroturf story in the Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald has a story on Marrickville Council’s plan to replace the grass at Dulwich Hill’s Arlington Oval with artificial turf on page 5.

Something funny is afoot, and not everyone is laughing

Paul Bibby Urban Affairs Reporter

July 8, 2009

OVER nearly a century Arlington Oval at Dulwich Hill has hosted many sports events, including rugby league and the Empire Games in 1938. Now a most modern phenomenon is about to take to the field: synthetic grass.

The grand old ground will become the first council football field in Sydney to be resurfaced with synthetic grass, as the local council tries to deal with a chronic shortage of usable sporting fields in the region.FOOTBALL2

Made from hundreds of tonnes of shredded tyres covered by a synthetic green carpet, the turf provides an even, all-weather surface that can survive the daily stampede of football studs.

The move is a win for local sporting teams which have been forced to travel across the city to play and train to avoid turning Arlington into a quagmire.

But the plan has drawn criticism from some residents and councillors who say the artificial surface is overpriced, may leach toxins into the air and soil, and will diminish Arlington’s proud history…

To read the rest of this story visit the smh.com.au.

« Older Entries