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Draft Recreation Strategy

The three drafts: Draft Plans of Management  for Crown Land Reserves, Recreation Strategy and Play Space Strategy are all on the “Your Say Woollahra“ website and submissions for the three are due 3rd April, 2023.


We discuss the Draft POM for Christison Park and the Draft Play Space Strategy separately.

For the Draft Recreation Strategy, prepared by Ross Planning,  those surveyed outside of Council staff, were mainly sports clubs and sporting organisations and sporting focused bodies.

This Draft optimises our parklands for organized sport at the cost of severely restricting other activities. The Draft makes it appear that the community's recreation needs and current issues are focused around sport. This affords a very narrow understanding of our broad and multifaceted community. There was an inadequate survey of residents. The survey is top heavy around sporting interests.

The Draft Recreation Strategy includes Lighting for increase of 60 hrs per week sport in Christison Park.(p.41).  Presently there are 15 hours per week sport.


It confirms Council is getting ready to implement their plan to change Christison Park into a Sports Complex, which is the main concern about the new Draft Plan of Management (POM).


While the new Draft POM proposes Lights for an additional 48 hrs of sport per week Investigate sports lighting with the aim to increase the fields' usability. (Council’s 19.8.19 FC&S Agenda. This was hidden under ”UPGRADE OF PLAYING FIELDS WITH ARTIFICIAL TURF”. On page 88 is the additional 48 hrs of sport per week.).  


On page 41 of the Draft Recreation Strategy there is a proposal for Lighting in Christison Park for an increase of 60 hrs per week sport.  This would be to the detriment of the local residents and park users, who presently enjoy Christison Park as a shared area for passive and active recreation, as described in the present POM.  Christison Park has sports fields which presently allow visitors to enjoy, on those very fields, e.g. stunning views of the harbour and ocean, meeting friends, exercise for health benefits, participating in informal sport, jogging, dog walking (it is the major timed dog off leash area in the municipality), picnics, kite flying and quiet contemplation.


We thought an additional 48hrs was bad enough, but now in the Draft Recreation Strategy we are faced with an increase of 60 hrs per week !


Natural open space will be lost and dog off leash times will be grossly reduced.


Up to now some people have been saying this isn’t really going to happen, but these Drafts, on Council’s  “Your  Say Woollahra”  website, confirm this is exactly what is planned.  These are concrete proposals.  Why else place Lights in the POM ?


There is no mention in the Draft Recreation Strategy of the adverse effects on the local residents and park users of changing Christison Park from its present open, natural, historic environment into a Sports Complex. There is not even mention of practical considerations like lack of parking.


Also, on page 53  of the Draft Recreation Strategy it states: “Undertake master plans (consistent with any relevant PoMs).

At a recent meeting at Council Save Christison Park Action Group was told we shouldn’t be worried about the Draft POM because it is the Masterplan that is important. The quote above is the very reason residents, SCPAG, other community groups and Councillors ought to be very concerned about the Draft POM.


Christison Park is Crown Land, owned by all residents of NSW. It is of cultural and historic significance. It adjoins Macquarie Lighthouse the first Lighthouse in Australia and the oldest working Lighthouse. It is the start of the local heritage listed Bi-Centennial Coastal Cliff Walk and a great whale watching location, with wonderful views of the harbour, ocean and Triassic cliffs. It is popular with locals and international visitors and is the municipality’s major timed dog off leash area.  It should be protected as Centennial Park is.   


The results of the Crown Land Reserves POM Survey for Christison Park overwhelmingly show residents want to retain the open, natural environment in Christison Park with no more development or built environment there. 




Once we lose our open space, natural environment it is gone forever.


If you don’t want to lose the natural, open space shared environment, just 8 kms from city centre,   ACT NOW  BEFORE  3rd APRIL


Say NO to Sports Lights in Christison Park and Lights being mentioned in the new Plan of Management or any reference to changing Christison Park into a Sports Complex.  NO to increase of 60 hours sport per week and NO to more built environment in Christison Park.


1.  Email with Subject: “Drafts Recreation Strategy” to Council: and write to, or at least cc,  the Vaucluse Ward Councillors:;;;

2.  SIGN the PETITION on our website and

3.  Talk to others about this threat to our local natural open space environment.

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