PRINCE OF WALES PARK
AN INCENSED Tamworth resident has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to stop a CBD park being sold off for a Dan Murphy’s superstore, even rallying support in a cheeky newspaper classified ad.
In a four-line ad in yesterday’s Leader, father-of-two Bob McDonald urged objectors to continue protesting a Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) decision to sell Prince of Wales Park – without public consultation – to make way for a Woolworths/Dan Murphy’s development.
“It’s my land, your land and our kids’ land and council have no right to do this,” Mr McDonald said.
“I’m hoping to draw more attention to the issue. People mightn’t be opposed to development in general, but it’s the way they’ve gone about it that stinks.
“We’re slowly losing our rights as a community and it’s time we took a stand.”
The future of the $18 million development – and the park – hinges on a development application (DA) approval by the NSW Joint Regional Planning Panel.
The public consultation period for the DA closed on Wednesday but Mr McDonald said opponents to the sale could still have their opinions heard by writing to council.
Debate on the issue has boiled since The Leader last month broke news of council’s plan to sell the land from under the community’s nose, citing a clause in the Local Government Act to allow sole tenders if it meant a better commercial outcome for council.
Councillors have refused to back away from their decision to sell the land behind closed doors, saying it was for the “greater good” of the community.
“This was a solid commercial deal, council followed due process and it will benefit the whole community,” Cr Tim Coates said.
“If (by selling the park) we can have an increased standard of facilities somewhere else, it makes good sense.
“It’s a fine line we tread and we don’t make these decisions lightly, but this will benefit the whole community in the long term.
“There have been a lot of decisions council have made over the years – like the decision to consolidate Taminda as an industrial area – that have not been popular at the time but have been proven right.”
Council has confirmed a large proportion of the funds from the Prince of Wales Park sale will be ploughed into a state-of-the-art new regional playground at Bicentennial Park.