The organisations responsible for the Sydney Cricket Ground and Centennial Park could be heading for a stoush over the government's increasingly controversial plans for a bridge across Anzac Parade.
The Labor opposition has joined a growing chorus calling on the state government to halt work on the bridge, to be named after former test cricketer Alfred “Tibby” Cotter, for lack of community consultation.
It is understood that one of the main reasons the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust supports the $25 million walkway is because it wants to use the western area of Moore Park for car parking during major events.
At the moment there is no car parking on the western side of Moore Park, with patrons who drive to the SCG or Allianz Stadium instead parking on the playing fields closer to the grounds.
Under the SCG Trust's plans, the playing fields on the eastern side of Anzac Parade, currently used for car parking, would be upgraded and a bridge would allow people to park in Moore Park West and cross to the grounds.
But Moore Park West is managed by the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust. A trust spokesman told Fairfax Media on Friday: “We have no plans to allow on-grass car parking in Moore Park West, and the SCG Trust has not approached us about this.”
The NSW government has promoted the Tibby Cotter Walkway as a shared-use bridge for bike riders, but cycling groups are in unison that it not be built as planned. The bridge will not connect to the well-used bike path on Anzac Parade, and cyclists wanting to access it would have to cross a busy bus-way.
The shadow roads minister, Walt Secord, compared the Tibby Cotter Walkway to the planned Nepean River Green Bridge, which costs $24 million and is also controversial.
“In light of the savage cuts that the Liberals and Nationals are making to health and education, it is hard to justify spending almost $50 million on two poorly planned pedestrian bridges in Sydney – without having had proper community consultation,” Mr Secord said.
In a joint statement on Friday with other sporting codes that use the SCG and Allianz Stadium, the SCG Trust chairman, Tony Shepherd, said the bridge would be a “boon for fans and the broader community, allowing them to cross one of Sydney's busiest arterial roads safely and easily".
Referring to Lord Mayor Clover Moore's opposition to the bridge, the Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, said: “If the City of Sydney council and its cheer squad were the only ones we listened to – nothing would ever get built.”
The government acknowledges the bridge is not being built where most pedestrians want to cross Anzac Parade, but says signs can be used to direct them.