Greens call for stop to further privatisation of King Edward Park headland

Friday, 11 February 2011

The Greens candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton, today called on the state government to abandon the large private function centre proposed for the former Newcastle Bowling Club site and to develop an alternative proposal that would improve access to this valuable coastal headland.

“The proposed function centre development would further alienate this sensitive public owned headland site from general public use, would be a gross over-development of one the city’s most iconic coastal parks, and is contrary to the government’s own Plan of Management for the area,” Mr Sutton said.

“If the current Labor government is seriously sorry for its previous record, and genuinely opposed to further privatisation of public assets (as they have recently claimed), the current Member for Newcastle, Jodi McKay, should seize this opportunity to develop this site in a way that increases public access to it, rather than restricting it even further than the previous development did.

“So far, Ms McKay has been pushing this proposal as part of her larger agenda to privatise Newcastle’s beaches and coastal parks under the Newcastle Coastal Revitalisation Masterplan.

“Concerned residents in the local community have pointed out that the proposed new function centre structure is almost double the footprint shown in the state government’s Plan of Management for the headland reserve.

“They have also drawn attention to the lack of general public access that the development would allow, due to both its proposed purpose (as a function centre) and its scale and design.

“Ms McKay has been silent on this issue, despite her recent criticism of the Coalition’s privatisation agenda.

“This may be a last chance to seize the opportunity to improve public access to this beautiful and historic public land, with its magnificent coastal views.

“If Ms McKay and the Labor government continue to support the current proposal, it will prove yet again that they are still hell-bent on privatising public assets for private gain, and the development will become yet another monument to Labor’s lack of sincerity and credibility on the issue of privatisation,” Mr Sutton said.

For further information or comment, please contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle), on 4969 2668 or 0411 154 004.

John Sutton’s campaign blog is at: http://newcastle2011.blogspot.com/

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