Dog-friendly park under threat

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Plans to tear up a dog-friendly park in Sydney’s east and replace it with a sports complex for teams forced to relocate due to the NSW government’s Moore Park stadium revamp have alarmed residents.

Bayside Council told residents this month it is considering rival proposals to transform Daceyville’s Astrolabe Park into a major sports precinct that could become the next training ground for the Sydney Swans and Sydney Sixers.

According to the council, the plans are a response to the impending demolition of administration and training headquarters caused by the government’s controversial plan to knock down Allianz Stadium and build a replacement 45,000-seat stadium.

But the proposal to build replacement facilities at the popular park has rankled residents. Locals fear the loss of green space and traffic congestion.

Two ovals would be built at the site, under the proposal that the council says would be funded by Cricket NSW, AFL NSW, the University of New South Wales and the state government.

But a spokeswoman for NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres  said that, while the government was aware of the proposal led by the university and sporting bodies, it had not received a funding application.

The plan included viewing pavilions, a building for administration and training, outdoor cricket nets, parking and a walking track on the site next to the UNSW-owned David Phillips Field.

An artist's impression of the integration of Astrolabe Park recreation facilities with David Phillip Sports complex to the east.
An artist’s impression of the integration of Astrolabe Park recreation facilities with David Phillip Sports complex to the east.

Photo: Supplied

An expansion at the university and loss of playing fields meant its cricket and AFL clubs had to be relocated, the papers said. UNSW was contacted for comment.

A second proposal, put forward by the Sydney International Beach Volleyball Consortium, is for a major sports and entertainment complex that includes a 6500-seat stadium with a retractable roof.

It would be used for “indoor volleyball, professional artists, international conferences and functions” and include accommodation with backpacker-style rooms, a plaza for community events, eateries and a “resort-style lagoon”.

Councillors agreed to defer the matter and arrange a community forum. A spokesman said the council had “general discussions” with the sporting groups but had not spoken to the state government about the proposals.

An artist's impression of the volleyball and entertainment stadium.
An artist’s impression of the volleyball and entertainment stadium.

Photo: Supplied

Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said in a statement the organisation was in “urgent talks” with the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust and state government about its future home.

Mr Jones said Astrolabe Park was one of several sites the organisation was exploring before its headquarters were likely demolished at the end of the coming cricket season.

The proposed development would be a “community hub which will also provide training capacity for the Sydney Sixers men’s and women’s teams”, he said.

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