Don't turn Barra Brui Reserve into a synthetic oval

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We the undersigned oppose Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council's plans to rip up the grass oval at Barra Brui Reserve and allow the Northern Sydney and Beaches Hockey Association to turn the field into a wet-based artificial regional hockey field that denies recreational access to the local community.

We want to keep Barra Brui Reserve as a natural grass and bushland space for the enjoyment of ALL residents and the protection of existing flora and fauna. Our concerns include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • High risk to users of the oval and local residents - This development will bring in up to 280 cars per day, with 100 requiring parking. With surrounding streets being zoned E4 (areas of high bushfire evacuation risk - requiring clear egress and evacuation routes) and in bush fire prone land, this traffic requirement will put residents and players/visitors in danger plus limit emergency vehicle access to surrounding streets and to Barra Brui Reserve itself.
  • Loss of a local amenity - Barra Brui oval is a much-loved flat, grassed recreation space for the local community. The oval will be surrounded by 3m and 5m high fences. Surrounding properties are built on sloped blocks with limited flat, grassed surfaces for recreational play and exercise; residents rely on Barra Brui oval for green space.
  • Loss of a local fully-fenced off-leash dog park - dogs will not be allowed to use Barra Brui oval once it is synthetic turf. The oval will be managed by the Northern Sydney and Beaches Hockey Association - including bookings.
  • Risk of injury for users of the oval due to synthetic hard-impact surface and increased heat amplification associated with plastic surfaces.
  • Danger to preschoolers and their families at existing Barra Brui Preschool of a dramatic increase in traffic and hours of use of Barra Brui oval associated with a regional facility using a synthetic turf oval.
  • Inadequate road safety - Entering and exiting Burraneer Avenue onto Eastern Arterial Road using the existing slip road system ("seagull junction") is already very difficult, the increase in traffic will make it dangerous.
  • Environmental threat of plastic and chemical run-off into Middle Harbour Creek - located approx 2.5 km downhill from Barra Brui Reserve, with a smaller tributary creek running directly behind Barra Brui Reserve Threat to the existing critically-endangered Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest, Duffy's Forest and surrounding bushland and Garrigal National Park flora and fauna.
  • Habitat threat to native wildlife - echidnas, wallabies, lyrebirds, cockatoos, galahs, king parrots, rosellas, bandicoots, ring-tailed possums, brown cuckoo-doves, bush turkeys and many other Australian natives all make their home at Barra Brui Reserve. Their habitat is threatened by the introduction of a high-use, high-fenced synthetic oval built for hockey.

While we acknowledge that the Northern Sydney and Beaches Hockey Association deserves a dedicated space to continue to play and grow their sport, we reject that Barra Brui Oval is the right place for a synthetic oval or regional sports facility.

Synthetic surfaces may result in longer play times for sporting associations, but their risk to users and the environment are too great, especially in high-risk bushfire zones like Barra Brui Reserve.