Canada Bay urges Federal Government not to sell off Russell Lea’s only park
Thu, 03/09/2020 - 15:54

City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas has called on the Commonwealth to hand over the only public park and playground in Russell Lea to Council as the end of 50-year lease nears.

"Now more than ever, local green spaces like Sibbick St Reserve play such a vital role in our community," City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said.

"It provides locals with a place where they can enjoy the outdoors, play a game of basketball, or take the kids to blow off some steam."

In June 2019, the Commonwealth Department of Finance advised Council that the future of Sibbick Street Reserve would be up for review as its long-term lease comes to a close.

Since Drummoyne Council entered into a lease with the Federal Government in 1975, Council has undertaken substantial capital improvements to the reserve, including over $120,000 of investment in the past ten years alone.

In their letter to Council, the Department stated that there is a "low likelihood of a Commonwealth use requirement for this site going forward" and that "the land is potentially surplus."

"Sibbick Street Reserve is by no means surplus to the needs of our community," City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said. "Home to the only public park and playground in Russell Lea, it is essential Council holds on to Sibbick Street Reserve for public benefit."

In July 2019, Council made a reasonable request that the Department transfers the land to the City of Canada Bay for a nominal figure so it can continue to invest in and maintain the park for community use.

“Last month the Member for Reid Fiona Martin has expressed her support for the Department of Finance to hand this land over to Council.”

“I commend Ms Martin on her support for the local Russel Lea community and I have this week written to Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann calling for his support.”

“The City of Canada Bay will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure this open, green space is secured for the future of our community.”

City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas has called on the Commonwealth to hand over the only public park and playground in Russell Lea to Council as the end of 50-year lease nears.