Mayor calls to transform former RSL site into public open space
Mon, 27/07/2020 - 14:30

City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas calls on leaders to secure former Concord RSL site for the community’s future.

“Now is the time for the site to be transferred into the caretaking hands of the City of Canada Bay and transformed into public open space,” City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said.

“The land on which the former Concord RSL Club stands was always made for public use, a place for locals to come together as a community, and we need government support to ensure this does not change.”

In 1955 the land was sold by Concord Golf Club to Concord Council under a covenant that stated the land was only to be used for ‘public recreation generally’.

In 1963 the land was then sold on to the Concord District RSL Sub-Branch under a covenant that stated the land was only to be used for an RSL Club or recreational uses.

Concord RSL Club closed its doors just over a year ago in June 2019.

“I look forward to working with the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, and the Member for Drummoyne, John Sidoti MP, in securing this site as public open space for our community.”

“It is imperative now more than ever that this space is kept in our community’s hands as public open space,” he said.

“The time is now for the land to be transferred to the people of the City of Canada Bay.”

The Canada Bay Open Space and Recreation Strategy identifies the need for new open space to support our growing population. By 2036, the City of Canada Bay will need 11 new sports fields, 5 cricket pitches, 10 netball courts, 7 tennis courts and 1 new baseball field.

“Whilst increasing capacity of existing sports fields may address some of this need, the Concord RSL site provides a unique opportunity for new open space,” Mayor Tsirekas said.

The former RSL site is surrounded by existing public open space that hosts a range of active sports including soccer, cricket and baseball.

In addition to organised sports, the site has the potential to address an identified need for additional active recreation facilities, such as multipurpose outdoor courts and fitness stations.

The precinct is an important part of the Green Grid that connects open spaces and recreation trails throughout the City of Canada Bay. The site is identified in the Eastern City District Plan to be a ‘secondary spine’ in the Green Grid and would be a vital link to our foreshore open space corridor along Parramatta River. The use of the land for open space would be consistent with the key principles of the State Government’s Greener Places framework, by integrating and connecting a network of high quality open spaces that would be multifunctional and provide social, environmental and economic benefits.

In addition to the area having vital potential for public recreation, the Canada Bay Biodiversity Strategy identifies the area as a priority location for habitat connectivity. The site presents an opportunity to increase linkages for critical habitat for migratory and water birds, mangroves, and the Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest near the foreshore to the golf course (south) and Bicentennial Park (west).

“We are presented with a clear and unique opportunity to realise a vision for this area that will support our goals for a more active, open and green City,” Mayor Tsirekas said.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity and I believe that the time has come for Council and State Government to work together to secure the future of this land.”