By Tom Flanagan
SYDNEY — Two hundred and fifty local residents attended a rally to save two Erskineville parks on August 1. The rally demanded that the two adjoining parks (on the corners of Erskineville Road and Albert Street) be preserved for community use and not be sold off to developers.
The parks were acquired by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority in the late 1970s for a road expansion, a plan long since abandoned. Benches were installed by South Sydney Council, which has kept the area neatly landscaped for the enjoyment of residents.
Speakers at the rally included Jack Carnegie, a spokesperson for the Erskineville Save the Parks Committee; Freda Brown, a former resident of the site; South Sydney Mayor Vic Smith, Labor MLC Paul O'Grady and Alistair Harris from Greenpeace (also a local resident).
Erskineville already has the second lowest area of open space in all of Sydney (neighbouring West Alexandria has the lowest). The NSW Department of Planning recommends 2.83 hectares of open space per thousand people. Erskineville has 0.4 hectares/thousand people, and if the parks are lost, it will have only 0.2 hectares/thousand people.
The Save the Parks Committee plans to approach the building trades unions to support a green ban on the site.
To get in touch with the committee, phone Susan Kennett on 557 1141.