Battlelines drawn over ‘soul of city’

THE fight to save the iconic Scully Park No. 1 has intensified after a newly formed protest group announced it would hold a public rally on Wednesday night.

The move comes amid plans by West Tamworth League Club to forge ahead with a $12 million motel and function centre on the city’s top sporting ground, despite mounting opposition.

The Save Our Scully Alliance has called on residents to join a campaign to stop the development, claiming it would rob the community of a valuable green space and sporting field.

“A city that destroys its parks is a city without soul,” Save Our Scully co-convener Stephen Young said.

“We’re not against a motel but we don’t believe it should be built on Scully Park.

“Wests could build an aesthetically pleasing motel on the corner of Phillip and Kent St.

“Scully Park was built in 1957 through the blood, sweat and tears of countless volunteers and has since then been a ground for the community.”

Mr Young said Wednesday’s public meeting would map out a strategy to oppose the development application, which is currently before Tamworth Regional Council.

The strategy would include a letter writing campaign, a petition, a Facebook page and lobbying of councillors.

Mr Young said despite a promise by Wests management that Scully No. 2 would be redeveloped into a superior venue, Scully No. 1 remained the only park in the city capable of hosting marquee games like NRL, A-League and Super rugby trials.

Wests chief executive Rod Laing maintained the motel would provide a critical new revenue stream for the club and Scully No. 1 was the only logical place to build it.

But others, like former league club vice-president Jim Cox, said the proposed development was a sign of the times.

“It seems like money has overtaken the value and history of sport,” Mr Cox said.

“I don’t want to knock the club or Rod (Laing), he has got the club to where it is and is doing what he believes is best.

“But the club’s main role should be about promoting sport.”

The public meeting will be held this Wednesday from 5.30pm at the community centre in Darling St.

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