Save the Lawrence Hargrave Reserve!
The Lawrence Hargrave Reserve, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney -- a small park loved and enjoyed by locals and a beautiful gem of biodiversity -- is threatened with redevelopment by the City of Sydney Council.
In late July a Notice of Motion was prosposed by Councillor Doutney for consideration by Sydney Council. It included the following words:
"request the Chief Executive Officer to reopen consultation on the renewal of Lawrence Hargrave Reserve, using the 2010 plans as a starting point and giving consideration to the role this reserve could play, along with Fitzroy Gardens, in providing active outdoor play space for children."
After widespread protests from within the local community, this Notice of Motion was withdrawn.
The rest of this page has been left on this website as a record of our 2010-11 campaign to save the Lawrence Hargrave Reserve
The proposed redevelopment will ruin the Reserve and cause the:
(1) Loss of almost 100 car parking spaces
A whole level of the parking station beneath the Reserve is being removed. These parking spaces are vitally needed by local residents, employees working in the area and visitors to Kings Cross. More details...
(2) Loss of numerous established native plants
Splendid native trees (swamp she-oaks, coast myalls, flame trees, white cedars, plum pines, firewheel trees, water gums and brush box trees), magnificent exotic trees (magnolia, acer) and friendly birds (kookaburras, magpies, lorikeets and honeyeaters) are all at great risk. Read biodiversity report...
(3) Construction of a 3 storey building (with kiosk) and of 3 exhaust stacks
The building will block residents' views. The kiosk will no doubt be open long hours, have outside seating and create noise. The exhaust stacks will bring more pollution to the area. Why are these all being built in a public park?
(4) Ruination of a pleasant and quiet spot for relaxing, reading, sunbaking, tai chi exercises, dog walking
This Reserve is an important pleasant and quiet oasis, in use all year round for relaxing, reading, sunbaking, tai chi exercises, dog walking and family picnics. Dozens of people walk or sit in the Reserve on a daily basis, just to escape from the pressures of busy inner city living. It will be ruined by all of the above changes. More on daily activities in the Reserve...
(5) Destruction of the humanitarian memorial (and its surrounding rosemary memorial garden) to the memory of nine Australian defence personnel who lost their lives in the wake of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.
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Join the new Lawrence Hargrave Reserve Bush Regeneration Group! We need your help! Please contact Jo Holder at Cross Art Projects, tel: (02) 9357 2058, email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
In early October 2011 the Kings Cross Memorial in the Lawrence Hargrave Reserve was officially recognised as a war memorial. The listing is here and here.
Hopefully, this will protect the Memorial from further attacks by Council.
On 22 August 2011 Sydney City Council voted to create a 40-space car market in the Kings Cross parking station for backpackers vehicles.
This is an idea that we have been constantly advocating and that Council has been constantly rejecting, saying it could not be done, until this sudden turnaround.
While we welcome this change of heart, we see two problems:
-- Council is indicating that backpackers will be charged an up-front fee of $75 per week per vehicle (instead of the payment system that was previously used: a once-only rental payment taken out at the end after the sale of the vehicle, an arrangement which would be more likely to attract inpecunious backpackers)
-- the start date for the car market is a vague "before the end of the year".
A big win happened for the Lawrence Hargrave Reserve, Fitzroy Gardens and nearby Reginald Murphy Activities Centre when Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, announced on 16 May 2011 that the proposed redevelopments would not proceed.
However, the devil is in the details. We must monitor Sydney CIty Council carefully as it undertakes its promised "Maintenance". We are forming Reference Groups to do this and will keep you updated on this website.