F6 Meeting, Civic Avenue Kogarah – July 2 2017 (my notes for the Information Meeting)
History of the Land on Which We Stand Today
The indigenous people had presumably hunted around the Black Swamp (wetlands) for a long time. Two clans, the Bediagal and Kameygal of the Darug tribe hunted in this area. (Dr Arthur White The Natural History of Western Botany Bay)
The land, on which we stand today, was granted by Governor Lachlan Macquarie to Patrick Moore Portion 117 of 62 acres on August 25,1812. Parish St George, County of Cumberland.
In 1883, Peter Moore bought the land under Real Property Act as Torrens Title by Primary Application 5554. Peter Moore established Moorefield Racecourse, which opened on October 13, 1888 .
In 1951, the existing freeway corridor was set aside in the County of Cumberland Planning Scheme.
The Racecourse closed to race meetings on July 14, 1951 but stayed open until the mid 1950’s. Moorefield Racecourse buildings were demolished in the mid -1950’s , which allowed for the Moorefield Estate to be built in the late 1950’s.
The F6 corridor runs through Rockdale wetlands. The swamp area in Civic Avenue is referred to as Patmore Swamp, and is not currently heritage listed.
Moorefield Racecourse Research
In the course of my detailed research over 23 years on Moorefield Racecourse, I read all of the Rockdale Council and Committee Minutes( 1951-1959), which related to Moorefield. (I read from the Town Planning Committee June 4, 1951 to the Council Minutes September 14, 1959)
The Council Minutes talked of the F6 reservation. This was a known fact .
There was strong resident opposition to the freeway from residents and local Progress Associations. The late Rockdale Council Alderman, Arthur Henderson gave me access to his community folder, which included newspaper articles.
Residents, who purchased in Civic Avenue, were aware of the freeway proposal, as it would have appeared on the contract of sale. This was a known fact.
Governments of different political persuasions have waxed and waned over the F6 Freeway. It would appear that the current NSW Government is intent on proceeding in the near future-2019?
Recently, we have had geotechnical drilling from the Westconnex Delivery Authority in varying parts of the F6 corridor.Drilling took place at the bottom of Oakdale Avenue, and near the dog run in Civic Avenue. This, I believe, indicates an intent to proceed.
We did know about a ventilation stack until June 16, 2017 SMH article
Increased intensification of development in the Shire, along with increased intensification of development in St George, are adding to the traffic woes in the south. Added to this, is the traffic from the Illawarra.
Current infrastructure cannot cope with our increased population. No foresight has been used by transport and urban planners over the years to allow for a speedy light rail network to transport people. Instead, we continue to have a reliance on the motor car. And now, we have ongoing grid lock on our roads, and Government is attempting to find a solution.
The St George Leader and SMH Articles
The Leader reported on May 28,2011 that the 2014 State Budget had provided $11million for a feasibility study into extending the F6 . The recent State Budget allocated only $14.1milion for the Westconnex Southern F6 extension to continue planning.
The SMH on June 15,2017 reported on a draft route, June 16,2017 on stack locations, and June 17, 2017 on property acquisitions.
The General Manager of Bayside Council, Meredith Wallace confirmed with me on Thursday, June 15, 2017 that Bayside Council was not consulted in respect of the recent press announcements on the F6.
We are here today as a resident group to discuss –the ventilation stacks, property acquisitions and the impact on our community.
We have major conflicts –a tunnel or a freeway at surface level;
And a need to hold onto playing fields and natural areas against the increasing push of development.
In addition, we need to be mindful of the means in obtaining property values. SMH article December 9, 2016 “Home Owner Fights to Get Fair Value for his Property. “
And we have major concerns in relation to the technology which is used/not used in the stacks. Pollution will be showering people with carcinogenic material. Environmental and health assessment must be done correctly, as there is no safe level of exposure to vehicle emissions.
It is important that we learn of the processes involved in property acquisition. Angela is an environmental lawyer, and she will take us through these now.
Moorefield Estate F6 Residents Committee
Former Legal Studies, Geography, Commerce teacher, St George Girls (1977-2011); former Councillor Rockdale Council (1991-1999) and Kogarah Council (1999-2008).
Author : The History of Moorefield Racecourse Kogarah (1880- 1951),self- published hard copy October 2016 , (e edition available from annefield.net.au)
NOTE The Save Griffith House, St George Hospital, Kogarah Campaign (September 2012-May 2013) was documented. It is interesting to read to show how the bureaucracy works in dealing with communities, community consultation and outcomes. The detailed campaign was entered into the Advocacy Category, National Trust Awards in 2014.