Centennial Parklands' position on the project
The Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust is dedicated to protecting the green space, heritage assets, and built and natural environment, as well as ensuring public accessibility across Centennial Parklands.
We believe that the CBD and South East Light Rail project has long-term benefits for the Parklands and the wider community, and we are working with Transport for NSW - alongside the City of Sydney, Randwick City Council, University of NSW and the Australian Turf Club - on ensuring a successful outcome.
There are numerous challenges and issues faced by the Parklands in relation to accessibility, public transport options, traffic and pedestrian movement, and managing the precinct on peak visitation days. These are long-standing issues and well-acknowledged by the community. Many are outlined in the Centennial Park Master Plan 2040, and have been substantially communicated during the current development of a draft master plan for Moore Park.
Under the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust Act 1983, we are obliged to support the NSW Government in developing public transport projects such as the Light Rail project along a defined corridor of land, however regardless of this we view the light rail project as of direct benefit to the Parklands and its visitors as follows:
- the project will improve public transport and access options for visitors to the Parklands - providing more access and opportunity to visit these green spaces;
- the project will decrease some visitors’ reliance on bringing private vehicles into the precinct - helping to reduce traffic congestion both within the Parklands and in streets and arterial roads adjacent the Parklands;
- the project will help to reduce peak congestion on major event days; and
- the project will help to achieve our ongoing commitment to reducing the on-grass parking on event days in Moore Park.
The vexed issue of trees
No one likes the thoughts of established trees being removed from our urban environment, much less the Parklands' Trustees and staff. We manage over 15,000 trees across Centennial Parklands and have an industry-leading Tree Master Planthat guides our management and maintenance regime to ensure we have a healthy and abundant tree population.
However, while not ideal, we accept that there is a level of unavoidable tree loss that will occur as part of the project in order to gain the greater good of a large-scale sustainable public transport system. We have worked hard with Transport for NSW to minimise any tree loss, and these decisions have not been easy, but have been made in the long-term interests of the Parklands, and for the wider long-term benefit of the community.
The good news is that through negotiation with Transport for NSW, we have ensured that all trees are being assessed on a case-by-case basis. In cases where removal of a tree is unavoidable, we have negotiated a tree compensation package to ensure more trees are put back into the Parklands than the number removed. This means that we anticipate around 560 new trees will be planted across the Parklands over the next four years. The long-term outcome will be a vast increase in the number of trees across the Parklands than currently exists. Transport for NSW, the project delivery agency for Light Rail, has a comprehensive report online about the tree impacts along the entire route from Circular Quay to Randwick here.