Swimmers sacrifice togs in protest over pool closure

TEMPERATURES are rising at Parramatta’s Memorial Pool and this time it has got little to do with the weather.advetiseer

On Saturday, Togs on the Fence saw protesting swimmers hang their old swimming trunks and bikinis on the fence around the pool in another display of unhappiness at the planned end-of-March pool closure to make way for a new and bigger sports stadium.

“Togs on the Fence campaign is a way for community to show the state government how important this pool to is to people of western Sydney,” North Parramatta Residents Action Group president Suzette Meade said.

More than 200 signatures were added to a petition organised by NPRAG on the weekend.

“While gathering more than 200 signatures in less than two hours, we heard from school age boys catching trains from Guildford to come here because it’s the best pool and grounds in the west,” Ms Meade said


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pool free zone – parramatta

Sydney’s second CBD will be a pool free zone when Parramatta War Memorial Pool closes next month.

A Parramatta Council report has provided an update on a new aquatic centre.

Stage one of the Mays Hill precinct masterplan identified two potential sites.

The Sun can reveal they’re the corner of Park Parade and Pitt Street (north of the Jubilee Avenue walkway) and the school oval site adjacent to Pitt Street.

The community is urged to give their feedback during the stage two consultation.

The council is finalising its interim swimming management plan, which will be unveiled this month.

“While I share the community’s frustrations with the fact the pool is closing and there’ll be some time before a new pool is built, it’s important the council approves the new design with the full consultation of the community,” council administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

It remains unclear what the state government will contribute towards the pool.

“The NSW government has indicated that it will consider a financial contribution towards the capital costs of constructing a new aquatic leisure facility in Parramatta, however, no commitments have been made to a specific funding level at this time,” the council report states.

A spokeswoman for sports minister Stuart Ayres said the government has provided $400,000 towards planning the pool relocation.

North Parramatta Residents Action Group will host a public forum 7pm at Burnside Public School on February 27. It will mark 61 years after the first public meeting was held to discuss the need for a pool in Parramatta.

“We have a panel including school principals, architects, environmental and health experts,” president Suzette Meade said.

“Parramatta MP Geoff Lee has been invited to answer the questions from his constituents on why the state government is taking their pool without a replacement.”

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Pool High and Dry

Mr Ayres believed the council was getting a good result out of his government.

“It is getting a new Western Sydney Stadium, a new Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, and it has had significant investment in roads to make the city more accessible,” he told parliament.

“It is only fair NSW taxpayers have an appropriate conversation with the council about the facilities we invest in. I do not think that creates an obligation on the NSW government to fund the complete relocation of the pool, particularly when ongoing maintenance and running of the pool will be a council responsibility.”

Most of the Sun’s questions regarding costs and why the pool relocation wasn’t included in the 2016 – 2017 budget were ignored by the minister’s office.



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NSW Government faces hammering over Powerhouse move

Similarly the North Parramatta Residents Action Group said no thought had been given to facilities that were appropriate for Parramatta, such as a local history museum.

‘In Parramatta we believe the state government is over investing in a ‘super-stadium’ over a significant strategic vision to expand the cultural and creative framework of the city … a considered approach to a holistic masterplan for the city to reach its full potential is being overlooked. This region has more heritage narratives from Indigenous and colonial history than anywhere else in NSW. Stories and themes that don’t need to be invented or transplanted from another community. There is existing potential waiting to be tapped into to create a sustainable cultural and tourist industry.‘ ”


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Minister for Sports Stuart Ayres Questioned

In Budget Estimates yesterday Minister for Sports Stuart Ayres was questioned by Shadow Minister for Sports Lynda Voltz about the State Government taking no responsibility to fund a new pool to replace the one THEY propose to demolish.

Plus more interesting questioning about John Chedid former parramatta Lord Mayor and PCYC allegedly having preferential negotiations with Venues NSW to take 4000 + sqm indoor sporting venue on the site of the pool. precinct……….

What do you think? Sounds like the State Government think they have given Parramatta everything we asked for and we should be grateful?

Listen to the audio of Stuart Ayres being questioned yesterday follow the link below:


O’Connell Street Site back on Public Housing Agenda

Last Monday Brad Hazzard announced that the site on Albert & O’Connell Street will become affordable housing…….. Hmmmmm wasn’t this site part of UGNSW development?

Some of you may recall that this was a battle with residents in 2009 to stop this block proposal to become 195 one bedroom affordable housing units. In fact Dr Geoff Lee helped the community stop the development.

Then in 2012/2013 Landcom that later become Urban Growth NSW marked this site as part of their new housing development ‘parramatta north’ of 6500 apartments from the other side of the Gaol to the Parramatta Female Factory.

Then in late 2015 the Albert & OConnell Street site was ‘deferred’ from the rezoning proposal by Urban Growth. We had been advised by informants that the Aged Care facilities had 10 years remaining on their lease so UGNSW had put this area off their plans. You will notice on the map that only the old school grounds are highlighted for this project with the aged care facilities on the Fleet Street side are left.

Expressions of Interest for developers are now being called for…… feel free to contact Geoff Lee and ask him what is going on his details are parramatta@parliament.nsw.gov.au




Can you imagine if they tried to move the war cenotaph in Martin Place? There would be an uproar. This pool is no different.”

North Parramatta Residents Action Group president Suzette Meade requested an urgent meeting with planning minister Rob Stokes.

She is concerned the only community consultation before the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) was put on public exhibition was with  “targeted” rugby league fans. She wants the community engagement process to start again.

“This hardly constitutes community consultation by any standard and does not comply with the requirement of the Department of Planning and Environment’s SEARs report,” Mrs Meade wrote.

“The approach by Venue NSW also deifies logic given the government’s commitment to properly engage with communities. The current EIS submitted by Venue NSW is premature.


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New Stadium Proposal casts Shadow over Old Government House




DETAILED plans for ­Parramatta’s new Western Sydney Stadium have sparked fears that Old Government House’s world heritage listing is under threat.

The 30,000-seat stadium will be significantly taller than Pirtek Stadium and obstruct views from the ­convict-built house, a State Government report into the environmental impact of the stadium said.

“The concept proposal would increase the overall height and footprint of the stadium, and locate it closer to O’Connell St,” the report said. “As a result, there would be potential impacts to key viewpoints as a result of the increased prominence of the stadium in the ­landscape. In particular, views identified for their high importance and ­heritage values.”

National Trust of Australia Parramatta branch president Brian Powyer said the concept for the ­stadium could significantly diminish the house’s ­heritage value.

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Approval pending for precinct plan

The proposal will seek approval to create large masterplan lots, deliver extensive open space and landscaping works and on-site infrastructure such as new roads. No buildings have been proposed in the first development application (DA).

“Once a formal DA is lodged, the documents will be exhibited and the community will have an opportunity to comment on the proposal,” an UrbanGrowth NSW spokesman said.

“All highly significant and exceptional heritage buildings will be retained.”

North Parramatta Residents Action Group demanded that no land be sold or sod turned until next year’s council elections.

“How can the future of this most precious site be under the autonomous control of a state government appointed administrator who is absurdly making decisions on a development application that is being fast tracked by a state government department whose only mandate is to reach maximum residential density on public land,” president Suzette Meade said.

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