Historic King Edward Park protected from private development

Media release from David Shoebridge

11 May 2015

A proposed private function centre on historic King Edward Park has been defeated today following a landmark Land and Environment Court decision. The decision declared the function centre’s development consent, as well as an amendment to the Park’s Plan of Management that had been used to support it, invalid.

The decision provides much needed support for communities across NSW who are seeing governments on all levels pushing to privatise Crown land for short term public returns and long term private profits.

Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“This is an important community win because it says once Crown land is set aside for a public purpose, then neither the Minister nor a local council can just hand it over to private interests.

“The Court has clearly said that a private function centre, which can and will exclude the general public, is not permitted on land reserved for public recreation.

“This is a win not just for King Edward Park, it will give strength to communities across the State who are opposing the privatisation of Crown land in their patch.

“Whether it is the Talus Trust land in Willoughby, the Paddington Bowling Club or one of countless reserves up and down the coast the pattern is the same, with Crown land being eyed off by private interests for private profits.

“We all owe the Friends of King Edward Park a huge debt of gratitude for their four and a half year struggle to protect this historic public park,” Mr Shoebridge said.

The decision can be found here: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/554ac56ce4b0fc828c996ed4

Media contact: David Shoebridge 9230 3030 or 0408 113 952

The verdict

The verdict in our long running case was handed down to-day, all done in 5 minutes

The function centre is impermissible.
The plan of management is invalid and the development consent has been set aside.
Costs awarded.

It has been a long journey and this victory was only possible because of the generosity and hard work of our legal team, Tim Robertson, Jason Lazarus, Jacquie Svenson and Felicity Wardhaugh and our many dedicated supporters who shared our belief about the importance of Crown Land. Our sincere thanks go to them.


Fred Nile calls for ICAC scrutiny into King Edward Park redevelopment

A Media release form the ABC

Fred Nile wants the ICAC to look into the King Edward Park redevelopment (ABC News: Dan Cox)

The head of a parliamentary planning inquiry wants the corruption watchdog to look into why the old Newcastle bowling club site redevelopment was ever approved.

Earlier this week, the Land and Environment Court ruled council’s approval of a function centre on the King Edward Park site was invalid.

It said it was not in keeping with the reserve’s stated purpose of public recreation.

Christian Democrats leader Fred Nile headed up a planning inquiry into the project, along with others in Newcastle.

He said the ICAC should have a look at it.

“Yes, I think it’s an issue that should be followed up as to how it was approved in the first place,” he said.

“Such a large development on King Edward headland reserve.

“I believe there are sufficient grounds to investigate the matter.”

Reverend Nile said there are sufficient grounds for the ICAC to investigate.

“Because there were changes,” he said.

“Because the Council originally rejected the proposal to rezone the land so why did they change that decision.

“I think when we have those beautiful sites such as the King Edward Park we need to protect them.”