Thank you, John Brooks and hello, everyone. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
I’d also like to acknowledge Anne Fraser, founder member of the Blackwattle Cove Coalition back in 2005, and Peter Mann, general manager of the Wentworth Park Trust. Really good places are made by strong local communities working with stakeholders and with government for the best possible results.
Each of us benefits from the goodwill, the co-operation, the skills, the local knowledge and ideas of the other.
And today, this once forlorn and neglected 13 hectares of parkland is proof of that. Together, the communities of Glebe, Ultimo and Pyrmont, with the Park Trust and the City of Sydney have begun its transformation.
In 2007, as part of our commitment to protecting and improving green spaces across the City, Council provided the new playground, the fitness stations and new lighting and paths. The Park Sporting Trust pulled down the old concrete walls, visually opening up the whole park.
And the local communities have continued to work with us, with the Trust and the various government departments to restore the 1912 viaduct to its original state.
This restores an important heritage structure at the same time as it opens access and further views to and across the park, as well as providing closer links for the three local communities.
As you know, the site has had a most chequered career – from a horribly polluted home to industries such as abattoirs to various sporting grounds to a US Army camp during World War II.
It seems now in safe hands, but it will always need a watchful community to preserve it for the future, so while we’re proud of the City’s role in contributing to a better future for Wentworth Park, its good to know that the Blackwattle Cove Coalition will keep its attention focused on this important harbour-side area.
So thank you for all you’ve done and thanks also to the Wentworth Park Trust for its contributions to these improvements.
Have a great day, everyone!