Bob Campbell Oval fiasco
Last Monday, Lane Cove Council completely ignored the community’s plea to retain the lush grassed surface at Bob Campbell Oval and reject the push by a small minority of soccer players for fenced artificial turf.
1,637 mainly Greenwich locals, along with around 200 heart-felt submissions utterly rejected the proposed plastic and rubber replacement of natural grass.
The Oval, nested between the Lane Cove River and surrounding bushland, has always been a cherished ambient recreational park for the entire community.
It has not been the exclusive domain of soccer players, with many, including my son, hating plastic grass due to abrasions and it being 10 degrees hotter.
The proposed changes have torn the community apart and resulted in utmost resentment towards Council.
Stormwater tanks, effective irrigation and improved drainage should be implemented, so natural grass remains.
One hopes a Rescission Motion can result in environmental sanity and that Council finally listens to the community along with the growing number of global scientists and academics who are increasingly cautioning against plastic, chemicals and rubber components of artificial turf, due to the impact on aquatic life, global warming and human health.
Why would Council risk its environmental credentials?
Council lacks consultation
In addition to the argument against the proposed artificial turfing of Bob Campbell Oval, stated so eloquently by Don Murchison, I wish to add a further note.
There is growing disquiet in the community that something has gone very wrong with Lane Cove Council’s community consultation.
And the BCO issue is a good example.
It appears projects are worked out and then run past a few prominent stakeholders for comment.
When the community finally gets to hear of the projects it’s almost too late, and certainly if valid objections are raised they are met with amazed resentment by councillors and staff alike.
And then ignored or dismissed.
If this is what is considered good governance then it’s not acceptable, and thank goodness a large proportion of the thinking community is starting to realise that.
Armenians condemn ‘shameful ceasefire’
Today, we stand here as the public affairs representatives of a broken Armenian-Australian community.
An integral piece of the Armenian motherland, from where our ancestors derive, is under occupation after the Russian Federation brokered a deal as treacherous as the one forced upon the Armenians by Stalin during the days of the Soviet Union.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have signed a ceasefire agreement that would take the majority of Artsakh away from its indigenous owners, force Armenians to leave homes they’ve inhabited for thousands of years, and allow the construction of a pan-Turkic Highway connecting Azerbaijan with fellow genocidal Armenophobic dictatorship Turkey, through sovereign Armenian lands.
This deal takes the worst components from every so-called “compromise” proposed, and packages it up with the unacceptable presence on Armenia’s doorstep of forces from the Republic of Turkey, who continues to commit their predecessors’ genocide against Armenians by denying the crime.
Making it even harder to swallow is the fact that this agreement was forced on Armenia and Artsakh, after 44 days of war crimes by Azerbaijan, Turkey and Islamist Jihadi terrorists deployed from the Middle East.
War crimes that included the use of illegal cluster bombs, chemical warfare in the form of white phosphorus munitions dropped on Artsakh’s pristine forests where people lay refuge, attacks on hospitals, schools, churches and civilian homes, beheadings of Armenian prisoners of war, open threats by Turkish and Azerbaijani officials of ethnic cleansing.
They said a ceasefire can only be achieved if Armenians leave their homes in Nagorno Karabakh.
For six weeks, we have not slept. Budgets, interest rates, jobs plans, even Covid have not played a part in our thinking.
This will all continue to be secondary until Azerbaijan’s occupation of our motherland ends.
We call on our friends: we need your advocacy and this is what we pledge to demand on behalf of our community.
Russia is to blame, Azerbaijan is to blame, Turkey is to blame, Armenian leaders will be judged by their citizens
As these war crimes were ongoing, as the Armenian homeland was being ripped apart, the international community remained silent. Australia continues its silence. This international looking the other way has resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Armenians from the Armenian homeland,
But make no mistake, this deal is co-signed by all those countries who watched on as this resumption of genocide took place.
Our message to the Australian Government: Your signature might be in invisible ink, but it is not invisible to Armenian-Australians.
You ignored the pleas of your own citizens to call out and condemn such military aggression.
Blinded by your diplomatic aspirations, you swallowed hook, line and sinker the threats and propaganda of two foreign dictatorships and granted false equivalence to the roles being played by the aggressors and the victims.
Let me be clearer, your Armenian-Australian constituents reject this deal! This deal is one forced on our people under unacceptable duress.
If anybody thinks we are here to cry and mourn, please reconsider. There is no time for that. We have an ancestral motherland to save, heroes to honour, people to care for and return safely to their homes.
Armenian National Committee of Australia.