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Sunday, 03 September 2023 00:53

Ku-ring-gai High School hockey field

The synthetic hockey surface was installed about 30 years ago and is now worn out. The Northern Sydney and Beaches Hockey Association (NSBHA) has been working on a project to renew the surface and upgrade the players’ amenities. They originally proposed a totally new facility at Barra Brui oval in St Ives on the edge of Garigal National Park. That was eventually knocked back because car parking space was too limited. So the project is proceeding at Ku-ring-gai High.

The project is being funded through a NSW Office of Sport – Sporting infrastructure Grants ($2,720,000), NSBHA funding ($480,000) and a Ku-ring-gai Council contribution for specific carpark works ($1,000,000), giving a total of $4,200,000.

The council meeting in August voted to proceed with the joint project at Ku-ring-gai High. We cannot provide more details as all the reports presented to the meeting were confidential. The meeting minutes note that council is accepting the risks and costs associated with the project and the general manager is to be the delegated authority to execute the draft Heads of Agreement on behalf of council. What are the ‘risks and costs’? The grants are intended to cover the construction and installation costs.

Car parking is an unknown element of the project. A new parking area on the school grounds requires approval under Part IV of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, for which council would be responsible. It is hard to see how the car parking can be increased without affecting the broad area of bushland in the school grounds that abuts Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and contains some rare plants.

The meeting minutes note that the development of the field will occur irrespective of whether development consent is obtained for the car park upgrade. In the staff report for the meeting it is stated that the project is justified because the project will lead to better containment of impacts on-site and hence reduced impact on the local community. We can’t see how impact will be reduced with more traffic on Bobbin Head Road. If the car park upgrade does not occur there will be more demand for parking on Bobbin Head Road.